GENERAL LUNA, Siargao, Philippines (Wednesday, November 1, 2023) – John Mark Tokong (PHL) and Anon Matsuoka (JPN) have claimed victory at the 2023 Siargao International Surfing Cup, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event. The pair overcame a massive field of Asia’s best up-and-comers to take famous wins as Cloud 9 turned on super clean two-to-three foot surf for Finals Day.
John Mark Tokong (PHL) has taken back-to-back victories at his home break of Cloud 9, staking his claim as one of the most dominant surfers ever at an individual event, with today being his fourth win from five finals and seven starts. Tokong came up against Japan’s Joh Azuchi (JPN) in the Final, and although Azuchi looked in good touch, it was all about the local hero as Tokong posted a 16.25 two-wave total (out of a possible 20), which was the highest of the entire event. Tokong boosted huge airs and threaded long tubes for the score as he moved to 12th on the WSL Asia regional rankings ahead of the Taiwan Open of Surfing QS 5000, which commences in just over a week.
“I’m so stoked to win again this year,” Tokong said. “It was great taking on Joh in the final, but I just felt so confident going into the heat. I just focussed on my plan and on myself and avoided mistakes. I competed on the Challenger Series this year, which was an incredible experience. I want to get back there again next year, and this win will do a lot for my ranking. All of my family are here today, which makes the win even more special. I’m off to Taiwan next week, so after a celebration tonight, it’s back to competition mode and focussing on another big result.”
Caption: Anon Matsuoka (JPN) taking her second QS win of the year at the Siargao International Surfing Cup.
Credit: WSL / Tim Hain
Anon Matsuoka (JPN) came into the Siargao International Surfing Cup with a slim lead on the WSL Asia regional rankings and, with her win today, has consolidated the top spot as she looks to book a spot on the 2024 WSL Challenger Series. Matsuoka came up against 15-year-old phenom Sky Brown (GBR) in the Final, who, in the Semifinals, posted the second-highest heat total of the entire event to take down reigning event winner Nilbie Blancada (PHL). 17-year-old Matsuoka wasn’t phased, as the pair went tit-for-tat, exchanging waves and the lead until Matsuoka closed the door with three huge backside snaps to lock in her 12.00 point two-wave total and the win.
“I’m so happy to take this win,” Matsuoka said. “It was cool to come up against Sky (Brown) in the Final. She is also a goofy footer and one of my favourite surfers, so it was always going to be a challenge to overcome her. I have a big run of events coming up, so to start it off with a win feels really amazing. I’ve had an amazing week here in the Philippines, and this win really tops it off.”
Although Azuchi and Brown fell short of the win, the runner-up finish was the best of Sky Brown’s career and was enough to put Azuchi at number 1 on the WSL Asia regional rankings.
Competitors will now shift their focus to the 2023 Taiwan Open of Surfing QS 5000, which will commence next Monday, November 6, at Jinzun Harbour in Taitung County.
The 2023 Siargao International Surfing Cup QS 3000 ran at Cloud 9 in the Philippines from October 26 to November 1. For more information and results, head to www.worldsurfleague.com or download the Free WSL App.
The Siargao International Surfing Cup QS 3000 is proudly sponsored by Speaker Martin Romualdez, NextGen, SMART, and PAGGS.