Sandon Whittaker conquered the 2016 International Siargao Surfing Cup, at Cloud 9, in the Philippines.
In the final against the local talent Philmar Alipayo, the young Australian surfed four two-to-three-foot waves and got the scores he needed from the judges. Whittaker, 16, competed less than 24 hours after overcoming a viral illness.
"This is a dream come true. This is only my third QS event, so I had low expectations, especially being a 16-year-old with all the older guys. It doesn't feel real. Coming up against Philmar was scary because local knowledge is very important here," explained Sandon Whittaker.
"When my heat was coming up yesterday, I could hear the announcer calling my name, and I was still at my hotel ready to give up because I felt so sick. The people I'm staying with were all showing me so much support, along with my dad, so I thought I'd have a go and have a crack and not disappoint them. I'm feeling a lot better now. It's just an amazing vibe."
The 2016 Siargao Surfing Cup is a Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 event, and one of the most important sports events in the Philippines. Siargao offers plenty of reef, beach and point breaks.