(Monday 26th October, 2009): The Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational was back in business in the Philippines today until strong winds halted play mid-round.
In building 3-4ft (1-1.5m) barrelling waves, contest organisers decided to run two round four heats before competition was suspended with freshening onshore winds.
With only 10 heats (5 hours) required to finalize competition, organizers have the luxury to wait for ideal conditions. It's expected that the swell will continue to build overnight with improved conditions across tomorrow.
Local ace Carlito Nogalo is through to the quarterfinals after dispatching of Japan's Shinpei Horiguchi.
In a wave starved heat, the talented natural foot utilised ever inch of his local knowledge to jag the heat's best wave, dropping in late, pumping through the barrel before cleanly exiting to receive a near perfect 9.97 from the judges.
He backed it up with a 4.50 to best Horiguch – 14.47 to 5.33.
"I can't believe I made it through that barrel," said Nogalo.
"The wind got stronger throughout the heat so it really made barrel riding quite hard. I'm glad I came out."
Hawaii's Makua Rothman also booked a spot in the quarterfinals, downing Australia's Sam Page (Manly, NSW) in a high-scoring affair.
Page made a perfect start to the 30-minute showdown, nailing a near perfect 9.50 before Rothman hit back netting a 8.83 and a 8.00 to leave Page requiring a 7 .33.
Final scores: Rothman 16.83 to Page 14.50. Rothman will now take on Kiwi surfer Jay Quinn (Gisborne, now Gold Coast) in the quarterfinals.
When competition resumes, Hawaii's Gavin Beschen will face off with local Dionisio Espejon in heat six of round four. Other round four heats include Ht 7 Joel Nantes (Aus) vs Agus Frimento (Phl), Ht8 Rodolfo Alcala (Phl) and Garrett Parkes (Aus).
Due to Siargao’s proximity to the Philippine Deep, big swells from the Pacific Ocean roll in from the second deepest stretch of water in the world to create flawless, hollow barrelling waves.
The 2009 tournament will run from October 21-27,2009.
The tournament contest site is Siargao Island's ‘Cloud 9’, a powerful, hollow right-hander that has been frequently compared to the renowned surf of Hawaii and Indonesia.
The Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational 2009 is proudly supported by Billabong, Province of Surigao Del Norte, Stoked Inc, Von Zipper sunglasses, Nixon, Kustom footwear, Friendster, and Sagana Resort.