Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The 7th Manila Surfers' Cup: sunshine, surf and free ice cream!

The Point at Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union was peeling 3 foot rights as the 7th Manila Surfers' Cup: Para Sa'yo 'To Kid (This One's For You Kid) kicked off over the weekend.

The Manila Surfers' Association, Aloha Boardsports and LUSC present: the 7th Manila Surfers' Cup: Para Sa'yo 'To Kid! Co-presented with Vans "Off the Wall" and Antonov Vodka (Vodka on the Go).

66 participants paddled out, divided into 10 divisions, all with one thing in mind: the top spot. Several familiar faces were the obvious top bets for the spectators who came down to the beach to watch. Longboarding sisters Nicola and Carla Sebastian along with shortboarder Takamura Ishikawa were among the surfers expected to do well. But, as the heats progressed, it became clear that some newcomers were emerging as dark horses in the competition. Among them were Nicky Ancheta of the Men's Longboard Open and shortboarder Jasher Villaruel, who moved on to the semis of their respective divisions as the day closed.

DJ Ameline kept the beats going

Keeping the crowd entertained was DJ Ameline, who set up her station right on the beach and kept the beats fresh. And keeping the beach supplied with free scoops of ice cream was Fruits In Ice Cream whose "Ice Cream Machine" had been driven up to La Union from Manila. The truck was parked on the beach, providing the heated crowd with a variety of their ice cream flavors for both days of the event.

Free ice cream from FIC!

A raffle was also held during the evening's beach party. The proceeds went directly to the second MSA Medical Mission, scheduled on April 21st in Urbiztondo, La Union for children between the ages of 1-13. Among the items up for grabs were loot bags from Banana Boat/Schick/The Body Shop, 3 MyPhone mobile phones, gift certificates from Vans and one Contour Camera.

Sunday morning saw more excitement as the semi-finals of all divisions got underway. Also a big draw for the Sunday crowd was the FCS Manila Surfers' Invitational divisions where handpicked Manila surfers - mostly past champions - would be competing in four winner-take-all divisions. Among those invited were Paolo Soler, Bjorn Pabon, Lor Lapus and Nikki dela Paz.

Nikki dela Paz, FCS Manila Surfers' Invitational: Wahine Shortboard

When asked about his take on the event, Lemon Dines, La Union local and previous president of the La Union Surf Club, said "Natutuwa ako na madaming bago. Tsaka na gumagaling ang mga taga Manila (I am happy to see many new faces and that the Manila surfers are getting better)."

The swell picked up, with the occasional overhead set coming through, just in time for the specially requested Technical Team Expression Session. The judges, marshals, flagmen, hosts and runners of the La Union Surf Club paddled out for a much-needed 20 minute session before resuming the competition.

Masuno Naito, FCS Manila Surfers Invitational: Men's Shortboard

As with the previous day, dark horses Nicky Ancheta and Kathryn Esguerra outsurfed their competitors to secure spots in their finals heats. Shortboard finalist Tin Terible, found herself a slot in the Wahine Longboard Open as well.

The finals heats were quite close, showcasing the increased level of surfing of the Manila surfers and giving the judges quite a headache. And as the final scores were tabulated, the beach was given another treat from the Manila Surfers' Association - the annual Costume Surf Session.

The Circle Hostel's Ziggie Gonzales in costume in front of the FIC Ice Cream Machine

The brainchild of former MSA officer Kage Gozun, the Costume Surf Session has evolved to become an FIC-sponsored event where online voters have a say for best surfer in costume. Past participants have included surfers dressed as Dora the Explorer, Shrek, and Manny Pacquiao. This year's notable entries were a cross-dressed Marilyn Monroe, Adam & Eve and a family dressed up as space-age skiers.

Results from the Costume Surf Session will be announced at the post-event party in a few weeks' time.

When asked how he felt about his first event as MSA's newest President, Tonet Jose said "I am stoked to hear nothing but positive remarks about the comp. I am thankful to everyone who made the event a success."


Wahine Novice: Gene Villapando, Lor de Jesus, Michelle Romano and Kathryn Esguerra!
Men's Novice: Benj Pacia, Terence Concepcion, Jeff Ortega and Melf Kuhl.
Wahine SB Open: Lalai Catipon, Carla Sebastian, Camille Post Santiago and Tin Terible
Men's SB Open: Takamura Ishikawa, Sadri Dulay, Ejay Ventura and Jasher Villaruel.
Men's LB Open: Sadri Dulay, Ejay Ventura, Dodong Korea and Nicky Ancheta.
Wahine LB Open: Rozie Laurel Delgado, Tamara Benitez, Tin Terible and Nicola Sebastian.

FCS MSA Men's SB Invitational Champ: Bjorn Dizon Pabon
FCS MSA Wahine SB Invitational Champ: Nikki Arce Dela Paz
FCS MSA Men's LB Invitational Champ: Buji Libarnes
FCS MSA Wahine LB Invitational Champ: Nikki dela Paz

- Photos by Kage Gozun

For more stock images of surf, travel and lifestyle please check out: Kage's Online Portfolio

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