Gavin Beschen

The Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational was put on hold in the Philippines today with diminishing conditions on offer for the unique, specialty tube riding event.

After two days of big, flawless barrels, contest organisers opted to call a lay day with epic conditions expected to hit the region into next week.

Typhoon Lupit, which generated 2.0-2.5m hollow, barrelling waves for the opening two days of the event before tracking WNW towards the northern region of the Philippines, has turned ENE and is now likely to produce epic conditions towards the back end of the seven day waiting period.

The opening three rounds of competition has already turned out multiple 10 point rides with some of the most insane conditions seen for an event this year.

12 heats remain until the 2009 Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational champion is crowned.

Remaining round four heats include – Ht4 Sam Page (Aus) vs Makua Rothman (Haw), Ht5 Shinpei Horiguchi (JPN) vs Carlito Nagolo (Phl), Ht6 Gavin Beschen (Haw) vs Dionisio Espejon (Phl), Ht 7 Joel Nantes (Aus) vs Agus Frimento (Phl), Ht8 Rodolfo Alcala (Phl) and Garrett Parkes (Aus).

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Antonio Marques

With the swell direction changing and the wave size settling in the five-to-six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) range, the Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro witnessed some of this year’s best surf conditions, El Confital turning into a tube generator for the second day of action.

With the completion of Rounds 2 and 3, competitors had to get through an action-packed day of exciting exchanges, the ASP WQS 2-Star event turning into a “Professionals Vs Locals” bout where ASP touring surfers were to take a clear advantage. From one perfect ride to many eight and nine point scores, the tube festival put the usual cheering crowds on fire.

Advancing through to the Man-on-man Quarterfinals with two heat wins today was inform Portuguese veteran Ruben Gonzalez (Cascais, PRT), 31, who opened his Day 3 campaign with the only perfect 10.00 point ride of the event thus far, adding a solid 7.17 to wrap-up his show in style.

“I went outthere with a game plan, to look and wait for the better set waves and be patient,” Gonzalez said. “I knew there were a few perfect ones so I waited and managed to stand deep in that one wave, raced along the wall inside the barrel and made it. It was pretty intense.”

Ruben Gonzalez, who confirmed his supremacy later on in Round 3, made his intentions clear today and stands as the favorite for the title, along with nearby Tenerife Island resident Jonathan Gonzalez who followed the Portuguese closely in the high-performance scale today.

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 Anthony Tashnick

The 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In ran in perfect conditions on Thursday. 

Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft pull off a repeat win for the tow in event. 

Ross Clarke-Jones wins the Kingfish Title and Anthony Tashnick wins the Liquid Militia Paddle In Exhibition.

The event started just after 8 AM and ran all day, finishing up around 6 PM.  Surfers traveled from around the world to compete, coming from as far as Australia and Ireland.

Conditions were perfect, with solid 30’+ surf and no wind all day.  Competition was a  high quality as the waves were.  Making it to the tow in finals were the teams of Adam Replogle/Alistair Craft, Ross Clarke-Jones/Ian Walsh, Ikaika Kalama/Kainoa Havanio, and Jeff Kafka/Travis Payne.  Separated by only 2/10ths of point, Replogle/Craft pull off the win over Jones/Walsh.

New this year was the Kingfish Title, awarded to the surfer with the best combined  scores of tow in and paddle in. 

Ross Clarke-Jones beat out Tyler Fox by just 2/10ths of a  point. Third place went to Chad Jackson.

The Liquid Militia Paddle In Exhibition saw some great paddle in surfing at Nelscott Reef.

Earning third place was Chris Bertish.  Second place went to Keallii Mamala, and Anthony Tashnick took first.

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