Borongan City rides wave of firsts in national surf tour

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Borongan City rides wave of firsts in national surf tour

COOL WATER. A surfer rides the waves at the Baybay Beach in Borongan City.

Pilipinas Surfing National Tour i

The Pilipinas Surfing National Tour in Borongan City hopes to inspire more young athletes to follow the footsteps of Jay-R Esquivel, the first Filipino to qualify in the World Surf League Longboard Tour

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar – Surf City Borongan Masters introduced the longboard category for the juniors division to the Pilipinas Surfing National Tour in its fourth staging at the Baybay Beach in Borongan City.

Drawing inspiration from Jay-R Esquivel, who became the first Filipino to qualify for the World Surf League Longboard Tour last June and went on to secure an eighth place finish in the World Longboard Championships last October, the event aims to produce more athletes in the category to follow after the footsteps of the La Union pride.

The new boys and girls categories of the tournament, running until December 2, have been added to the juniors shortboard, men’s and women’s open shortboard, men’s and women’s open longboard, and men’s masters previously contested in the competition that began in 2019.

Borongan Masters also partnered with the Department of Information and Communications Technology this year to become the first event in Eastern Samar to offer free wi-fi to athletes and participants of the 2nd National Surf Summit from December 1 to 3 in the same venue.

These cement Borongan’s City’s pioneering efforts in the national surf circuit as it also promoted many firsts in its previous editions.

In its inaugural installment where it carried the name Surf in the City, the event kickstarted the first competition-long live broadcast in the tour.

Strictly observing health protocols, Borongan became the only city that staged its leg during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. It was also the first to include the masters division for surfers over 40 years old.

Last year, Surf in the City handed the biggest total prize money of P1.1 million in Philippine surfing history and the first to award equal prize money to men and women, as well as boys and girls in the juniors division. It also initiated a gender-neutral comfort room in its efforts to promote equality.

The event kicked off on November 24 with an opening ceremony graced by the athletes, tournament officials and speakers at the Surf City Big Tent in Baybay Beach. 

The tournament is the fourth leg in the national tour after surfIN in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; Calicoan Odyssey Waves in Guiuan; and Akkaw Baler in Aurora.

Surf In The City is the longest-running surf competition in Eastern Visayas, initiated by the local surf group of Borongan City as an invitational regional event. 

In 2019, the City Government provided support to elevate it to the status of a national leg in the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour, which serves as the country’s premier national surfing competition. –

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