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Sam finds feet on Cloud 9

AFTER an exhausting year on the WQS tour surfing poor quality waves, Queenscliff’s Sam Page was on a mission to find an event that would focus more on natural ability.

So when the opportunity came up to compete at a venue that is regarded as one of the most perfect, barrelling, right-hand reef breaks in the world, Page jumped at the chance.

The 2009 edition of the Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational was blessed with some of the most amazing conditions seen for an event, with perfect 6-8 ft barrels rolling through the famous Cloud 9 line-up. Due to Siargao’s proximity to the Philippine Deep, big swells from the Pacific Ocean roll in from the second-deepest stretch of water in the world.

It creates flawless, hollow barrelling waves and Page didn’t take long to find his feet, with the powerhouse pulling into some of the biggest barrels of his career.

The natural-footer isn’t renowned for his barrel-riding ability, but it didn’t take long for him to stamp himself as a standout in the line-up, posting some of the biggest scores of the event including one monster ride that saw him rewarded with a perfect 10 points.

In a stacked event he eventually went down to Hawaiian big-wave specialist Makua Rothman in what was a slow, fourth-round heat. Page started the heat on fire, posting a near perfect 9.5 ride, but a long lull meant he couldn’t find another set wave, giving the win to his opponent by the barest of margins.

“I’ve never been in an event where all you had to do was get barrelled, it was kind of a surreal feeling,” Page said. “It was unbelievable and I had some of the best heats of my career.

“I also got plenty of exposure from it which is always a good thing.” The former top junior has decided to take his career in a new direction in 2010, cutting back his WQS contest commitments to a select couple of events as he focuses on taking more surf trips as he continues to get footage for his series of surf flicks, called The Glimpse.

IT’S always great to see boardriders’ clubs getting behind any charity, and the Dee Why surfing fraternity is holding its annual event for the Black Dog Institute on Saturday.

The event is open to any under-18 boy or girl from this region and it’s sure to be a fantastic day out, so we encourage everyone to get behind this event and help the Dee Why crew raise important funds for the charity.

Registration is 7am, Start time 8am, Dee Why Beach, $5 entry fee and for information ring John on 0418 634 534. -ADAM HENNESSEY

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