The Men’s Longboard Division af the 15th Lanuza Surfing Festival was on a waist to shoulder high waves last November 9 at Doot Poktoy, Lanuza, Surigao Del Sur.
Two of the best longboarders in the country: Benito Nerida from La Union and Mark Aguila from Baler, battled toe-to-toe using every inch of their surfboards and giving an exciting match-up during the Semi-finals. Nerida, who’s known for his combined high performance and classic style of surfing, proved his mastery of right-hander waves–impressing the judges with his variant cross-stepping, hang-fives and cutbacks.
“Hirap din kumuha ng alon. Matagal din ‘yung pag dating ng set and medyo high tide na rin”. (It was hard catching waves. The wave intervals were quite long and it was almost high tide),” said Nerida. During the final minute of Heat 2, Semi-finals, Nerida spotted the incoming sets and didn’t hesitate to paddle for a wave, which got him a 6.5 heat score and earning him a spot in the Finals.
Lanuza local Loynex Ruina knew exactly what he wanted and patiently waited for the perfect sets to come in. Ruina was rewarded with two quality head high waves and the judges gave him a 4.75 score on his first one and 6 on the second one, securing his spot in the finals together with Jeff Dela Torre from La Union.
In the next heat, crowd favorite and first time competitor Rafael Nogalo from Siargao failed to proceed to the finals. Nogalo was lined up against well-experienced competitive surfers but he didn’t back out and continued to perform his best. “Sobrang kinabahan ako. Buti rin yun mga kasama ko sa line up ini-encourage nila ako na mag relax and i-enjoy ko lang yun alon. Sobrang galing nila. First time ko sumali kaya sobra ‘yung pressure talaga. I tried my best but fell short during the last minute of my heat. (I was so nervous. Good thing my fellow competitors encouraged me to relax and just enjoy the waves. They were all excellent surfers. It’s my first time to compete so I was really pressured. I tried my best but fell short during the last minute of my heat.),” said Nogalo.
Men’s Longboard Finals:
Jeff Dela Torre (La Union)
Benito Nerida (La Union)
Mark Aguila (Baler)
Loynex Ruina (Lanuza)
For live heat scores and updates, visit Philippine Surfing Championship Tour’s website.
The 15th Lanuza Surfing Festival is brought to you by the following sponsors and media partners: The Municipality of Lanuza, Province of Surigao Del Sur, Department of Tourism, Philippine Sports Commission, Office of Senator Angara, SkyJet Air (Official Airline Partner), Solar Sports (Official TV Partner), EDGE Sport (Official Digital Media Partner), Reef, Pichay Initiative, TIEZA, Marcventures Holdings inc., Kermit Surf Resort, Gwapitos, Fluidsurf, BackBurn, Indio, Holy Skull, Aguariva Swimwear, AFrame, San Miguel Beer, Inquirer.net, INQPop, The Manila Bulletin, Going Places Magazine, EDGE Davao and My Life on Board.