19 February 2018, San Jan, La Union, Philippines: The 6th annual Single and Unattached Single Fin Invitational came to an exciting conclusion yesterday afternoon in a race against the setting sun after blitzing through heat after heat since 7:30 am in the superb 2-3 foot waves rolling through Mona Lisa Point.
Dawn revealed what everybody was hoping for after waiting through two days of virtually flat wave conditions, and that was line after line of glassy waves coming in to greet the waiting surfers and the anxious contest organizers. The parties every night helped make the waiting much more bearable, but the surfers were amping to get into the water and show off their best logging maneuvers.
The competition had started the afternoon before as some windswell bumped up the waves enough to run some heats of the newly introduced Newly Single Division (made up of newbie’s just getting into classic longboarding), but with the 31 Men’s Invitational competitors, 24 Women’s Invitational competitors, as well as the 12 Shortboard Single competitors, it was a close call as to whether the event could be completed in just one day, assuming the anticipated swell would arrive on schedule.
But arrive it did, and it kept pumping all day long, while the surfers kept surfing, and the judges and contest crew kept up a frantic pace until the sun had all but set as the last final was concluded at just after 6 pm.
Later, everyone gathered at the Ohana Bar, where the champions were all crowned and received their trophies and goodies from all the sponsors. It was another epic Single and Unattached event, and while parting was such sweet sorry, the promise of doing it again next year was all anyone needed to go home with.
When asked to say a few words to the crowd, Australia’s Belinda Baggs said it best for all the surfers that had traveled to La Union for the event, saying “Thanks everyone in La Union for having us here this week, and welcoming us back. It’s like returning to some of my best friends. Thanks for sharing with us your amazing spirit of surfing, and it’s so great to know there are still places in the world like this where we can come and have this much fun.” Baggs enjoys surfing in the Philippines and has been to the event several times before.
First timers to the event, sisters Ikit and Aping Agudo who hail from Siargao Island, home of world famous Cloud 9, both ended up on the podium with a first place and third place finish respectively. When it was their turn on the microphone, they said, “We want to say thanks our sponsors and all those people who support us to come to this event. It’s the first time we’ve joined this event and it’s been one of our best experiences ever. Thanks to Buji and Nikki from Vessel, Wendell and Vans, Jeff and Daisy, Mike Oida and the judges, all the competitors, and especially to the locals for sharing their waves with us. For sure we will be back next year.”
When asked to evaluate the performances of the competitors this year Head Judge Mike Oida replied, “I’m really impressed again this year with the level of surfing and how it keeps progressing. This event has been going on for what like 6 years now and to be able to see how the local surfers have taken to the art of logging is amazing.”
“The Philippines is a country where surfing started late, and have fairly recently gotten into logging, but the surfers are rapidly learning how these logs should be ridden. Seeing the logging community grow, and seeing international people coming and joining in the event is great, as the young local surfers can see how the internationals perform and learn how to improve their style in a real live setting is great, I’m so happy that Buji and Nikki and all the sponsors have come together to keep this event going and making it better and better.”
Event co-creator Buji Libarnes was all smiles during the party and after the awards. “This is our 6th time running this event and it’s getting bigger and better every year, so yes I’m really happy how it has been progressing.” Libarnes created the event 6 years ago with his now wife, Nikki Dela Paz – Barnes from the love they shared for single fin logging, and two years ago he proposed to her on the stage during the awards presentation.
“It’s being loved by the local and the international community, and it’s become very dear to both Filipino surfers and international surfers, and a lot of people are already looking forward to next year, so we hope to see you all again next year for the Single and Unattached 2019!” he added.
1. King King Villanueva
2. Jay-R Esquivel
3. Marven Abat
1. Ikit Agudo
2. Belinda Baggs
3. Aping Agudo
4. Sam Suendermann
1. Luke Landrigan
2. Jeff Dela Torre
3. Sean Nettleton
4. Ian Saguan
1. Daisy Valdez
2. Sam Suendermann
3. Belinda Baggs
4. Nikki Dela Paz-Libarnes
5. Sunshine Su Hyun Shin
1. Wya Lorin
2. Reymar Asperas
3. Ayna Carlson
4. Elfen Cruz
Nixon Sickest Logger Award – Mark Aguila
For more information you can contact [email protected]
#SingleAndUnattached2018 Celebrating 6 years of classic surfing and good vibrations in San Juan Surftown.
Presented to you by Vans Philippines and Vessel Hostel.
Sponsored by Coast Thru Life Olpub Clean Beach Co, Tagpuan Surf Town Launion, Surf Shack, ggsg72, Gwapitos, World Of Fun, Solar Sports,
Supported by Chu Takahashi’s Diner, Fluid Surf, Illest Ph, Huf Philippines, The Rail, PromdiSea, Wrangler, I love Koi Swim, Barik Supremo Lambanog, Dj Surf School, La Union Surf Club
THE Clothing, My Life On Board, Blunt Magazine, Circle Hostel, Hugot Dagat, Casa Good Vibes, Globe, Urbiz Garden, Choka Restauran,t @Wave Nomad and El Union.
Made possible with love from Maka Philippines.
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