With less than a point lead against his toughest rival, Raoni Monteiro of Brazil has been crowned the champion of the 2017 Siargao International Surfing Cup.
A former elite Championship Tour competitor, Monteiro was up against Costa Rica’s Thomas King in the final showdown Thursday.
The lead between the two rivals swung back and forth throughout the 35-minute final duel, with King holding the lead score into the dying minutes.
King maintained his momentum with a lead at 7.17 points in the last crucial seconds, but Monteiro made a last-ditch strike from a medium set wave with a score of 8.03, just enough to win with a heat total of 17.06.
King, who garnered a total heat score of 16.33 points, attempted to rally against Monteiro but the clock expired.
“I’m super stoked. I can’t believe I would win this event. I can’t even explain how happy I am right now,” said the 35-year-old champion, who is a surf coach in Brazil.
“Right at the end when I saw that wave came I knew it as the one and I knew I could do it. This has been a really amazing event for me,” said Monteiro, who is a first time competitor in the Philippines.
Monteiro got off in the league in 2010 after he suffered knee injuries, taking some time to focus on family.
Monteiro earned his last championship title that year at the prestigious Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach in Hawaii, USA.
“The last event I won was Sunset so it has been a while since I had this feeling,” said Monteiro, who took home $12,000 prize money.
The 21-year-old King, who almost looked to become an event champion, said he did all his best.
“This is by far my best result so I’m just happy to surf in a final, especially with a former Championship Tour surfer like Raoni,” King said.
On his way to the final, Monteiro overcame Peruvian ripper Lucca Messinas in an epic semifinal matchup. Messinas looked in incredible form posting a solid heat total of 14.93 for his quick forehand attack.
Monteiro posted a massive heat total of 18.07 leaving Messinas to finish the event in equal third place, his best qualifying series result to date.
Portugal surfer Nic von Rupp, who was beaten by King in the semifinal bout only with less than a point margin, settled in co-equal third with Messinas. PNA