Carille Point had Flawless Conditions
The Beach Break Single and Unattached Classic Single Fin Longboard contest kicked off today in excellent 2-3 foot (1 meter) waves today at La Union's Carille Point (also nicknamed "Jesus Point"), with the first round of the Men's Division, round 1 and the quarterfinals of the Women's Division, as well as the semifinals of the Juniors all being run under sunny skies and perfect conditions.
At the picturesque pointbreak divinely made for classic logging and blessed by the Savior himself, the international field of 33 men, 16 women, and 10 juniors all had their turn in the water to impress the judges in hopes of advancing and ending on top of the podium tomorrow afternoon, where there is a total of $5,000 USD up for grabs as well as the prestige of being crowned Single and Unattached champions.
In the Men's Division it was Indonesia's Arip "Mencos" Nurhidayat who posted the highest single wave score of the day in his Round 1 heat of 8 points out of a possible 10, performing smooth and effortless combinations of maneuvers including hang 5's and a hang 10, and utilizing every inch of his 9 foot 4 inch board in between. "It was so much fun out there," said Arip. "This wave is a bit like my home break in Java and so it was very easy for me. This is my first trip to the Philippines and I really love it!"
In the Women's Division it was Carla Rowland from California nabbed the highest single wave score of the day for an amazingly long wave where she pulled off four hang 5's, starting out with the first two on her backside and then switchfooting for the next two! The judges loved it, awarding her a whopping 8.5 points. "This is the best pointbreak for longboarding I've found in the Philippines," said Rowland, "I may of had an bit of an advantage today because I've surfed here for the last two seasons, and
coming from Malibu I have to say that while it may not be Malibu, Carille is definitely my home away from home here in the Philippines. This place doesn't often break in February, so I was super stoked when this swell arrived so we could compete here today."
Australian veteran Belinda Baggs is an old friend of Rowland's, having surfed together in at Malibu in the old days, and was delighted to come to the Philippines and be able to surf with her again. "It was great to be here in the Philippines again, and especially to be able to surf this place with such good waves!" she said. "I'm really looking forward to tomorrow so we can do it again."
Current Australasian (ASP-LQS) Women's Longboard champion Georgia Young from Western Australia was also very impressed with the quality of the waves on offer, saying, "It was pretty amazing out there today, about as good as it gets for logging. I'm used to just being able to just make a few turns and dodging closeouts at home, so this was way better than I could have imagined. The waves were just so perfect, and to be able to surf with Carla and Belinda and all the local girls here was way beyond any
expectation I had."
ASC Head Judge Arya Subyakto, who was last in La Union to judge a longboarding contest just over four years ago, was suprised by how much the quality of the local surfers had improved, especially the junior competitors, saying "I'm really amazed at the progression of the longboarders since I was here last, and especially at the level of the juniors compared to any other SE Asian countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Taiwan.. When I watched the Philippines team at the Asian Beach Games back in 2008 they got a silver medal, but if they were to compete today I'm sure they would take home the gold. I hope the government is aware of the great potential they have and will support them in the future."
And from a local perspective, Kiddo Casio, a Manila transplant to La Union and purveyor of the finest coffee north of Manila, who is also the MC for the event was all smiles when the action was called for the day, and when asked what the highlight of the day was for him he answered, "Just the great vibe here at Carille, as it's our favorite spot, our happy place in the world, and to see so many people enjoying themselves and sharing this awesome wave, the locals, the crew from Manila, and some international
contestants as well, what could be better?"
The Single and Unattached competition will conclude tomorrow, and the morning will start off with the remaining 16 men's competitors starting their quarterfinal heats and then running through their semifinals before going into the Juniors, Women's and then Men's finals. The location of the will be determined tomorrow early, as the swell is predicted to be dropping overnight, which may lead to the event finishing up at nearby Mona Liza Point in San Juan.
If you are anywhere close to La Union tomorrow, you'll want to come to the beach to watch the finals of the Single and Unattached, and then join in the Beach Break party that will have the town rocking long into the night. Don't Miss It!!!!