MANILA (UPDATED/CORRECTED) -- Filipino surfer Rogelio Esquievel Jr. made waves as he qualified for the 2023 WSL World Longboard Tour after a historic win in Indonesia recently.
He achieved this after finishing first in the PADROL Longboard Classic in Bali which is a qualifier for the WLT, and after Japanese surfer Taka Inoue was eliminated by France's Roland Lefeuvre in the semifinal round.
"I'm so happy to win this event and get on the WLT, as there are so many surfers here like Roland and Augusto, and others from Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and of course the Philippines, that are so good," Esquievel told World Surf League.
"Thank you so much to all the people that have supported me, so I can make this dream come true. In this final it was really hard, as the tide was super low, and the water was knee-deep, so I decided to wait and choose the waves I thought would get me longer rides where I could finish with maybe a floater or something. Luckily I got a couple of chances, and could win the final," he added.
The Filipino first posted a score of 7.17 for a Hang 5 to Hang 10 combination, but Lefeuvre followed suit with a 6.50. Esquievel then scored an 8.00 wave to top everyone and finish first.
Esquievel was also the first Filipino ever to qualify for the WLT. Previously, he was hailed as champion in the WSL La Union International Pro Longboard Qualifying Series held in La Union last January.