Taiwan Open of Surfing
ASP-ASC 1 Star
Jinzun Harbor, Taiwan
15 - 17 November, 2013
Competitors ready at Jinzun Harbor for Taiwan Open of Surfing
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 November, 2013 - After a morning of free surfing at Jinzun Harbor, the international field of competitors and spectators gathered together with government official and the event organizers to officially launch the first ever co-sanctioned ASP-ASC 1 Star WQS Taiwan Open of Surfing this afternoon.
Competition will start with Round 1 of the Men’s Open Division tomorrow morning at 7:30 am as Day One of this three day event.
First up on the microphone was Deputy Governor Mr. Chang Chi Yi, who wished the competitors a successful competition and thanked them for coming to Taiwan, as well as stating his hopes that they will have a great experience in Taitung County.
Next up was ASP Australasia General Manager Dane Jordan, who voiced his appreciation to the government for their sponsorship of the event and then expressed how significant it was that the ASP and the ASC were joining together here in Taiwan for the first time in the united effort to grow the sport of surfing in Asia.
He closed by saying “ We’re looking forward to a great forecast and some great waves, I wish everyone the best, and thank you for being here!”
ASP Japan Tour Manager Toshi Omi was then called up to the microphone and in his speech he thanked the organizers and the ASP for the invitation to come to the event and to Dane Jordan for his efforts.
Then he added, “On behalf of ASP Japan and all the Japanese surfers I want thank the Taiwanese people for all their hospitality, all the people are super nice. We love the Taiwan food and we’re happy to have a few more days to enjoy it. Thank you!”
Then it was ASC President Tipi Jabrik’s turn to say a few words, and he started by saying, “This is the third year the ASC has been involved in this event, and it’s great to see it grow every year. Let’s give a big hand to everybody here in Taitung County for all their effort.
Three years ago we came here and there was nothing but a fishing village, and now look this set up….thanks to the ASP for working together with the ASC in our mission to grow surfing in Asia…thanks to Dane and to Toshi, and finally thanks to Kathy and her team at Peace Marketing for all their hard work to put this event together.”
Next, competitors from the various countries represented at the event were called up in groups to ceremoniously pour water from their countries into a bowl representing Taiwan, which was later taken down to the harbor and poured into the ocean.
Competitors from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Greece, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, and the USA are all represented at the Taiwan Open of Surfing
Of particular significance for the ASC competitors is that the Taiwan Open of Surfing is the last stop of the 2013 season, so it’s all coming down to the wire in the race for the Men’s Open Championship.
The pressure is on for current champion and ratings leader Raditya Rondi from Bali, Indonesia as he is being chased by his cousin Garut Widiarta and fellow Balinese Putra Hermawan, but he appeared very relaxed and confident today after the opening ceremony. Rondi is last year’s Taiwan Open winner as well as 2-time ASC Men’s Open Champion.
“I’ve been really looking forward to this event,” he said smiling. “I know its going to be harder than last year as there are more really good surfers from Japan, Australia, and other places here this time, but I know I just need to find the best waves in my heat… that will be the biggest challenge.”
Despite a wicked knee injury that occurred at Keramas before the 2013 season began, which caused him to miss the first event of the season Rondi has overcome these obstacles and says, “My knee finally feels really good now, not 100% but almost there, so I’m confident that physically I’m in great shape and can’t wait to get out there tomorrow. I just want to win this event, it would mean a lot to me for sure, and of course the championship too!”
In a nutshell, Rondi needs to make the quarterfinals in this event to assure his 2013 championship. A 4th place finish in Round 3 means that Garut Widiarta could steal the championship if Widiarta gets into the final and finishes second. A third place finish for Rondi would mean that Widiarta has to win the event to take the championship.
Hermawan also has an outside chance if Rondi fails to advance past the 2nd round, and he wins the event, but making his job more difficult is the fact that he has to start in Round 1, whereas the Rondi and Widiarta have Round 2 seedings.
So look for some very exciting and intense heats in this 1 star WQS and 6 star ASC Men’s Open Division competition!
In the ASC Women’s Division Japan’s Rina Kitazawa is atop the leader board, having won two out of the three women’s events so far and so has essentially already won the 2013 Championship. Number two in the rankings is last year’s Taiwan Open winner Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea, who even with a win at this event wouldn’t be able to overcome Rina’s points lead.
In the ASC Longboard Division, Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat from West Java Indonesia has his second consecutive championship locked in as well, with wins in West Java and Bali and runner up Teiki Ballian (France) not attending the Taiwan Open.
The swell forecast is showing consistent wave size in the 2-4 foot range with moderate to strong side and on-shore winds, so it should provide a variety of conditions to test all of these professional surfers and give the spectators a great show.
ASP/ASC Men’s Open Round 1 – 7:30 am start
ASC Women’s Round 1
ASC Longboard Round 1
ASP/ASC Men’s Open Round 2
The 2013 Taiwan Open of Surfing is supported by ASP Australasia, ASC, Stream trail, TOOLS & HULA HAWAII, Hurley, Dragon, BABI, Toblerone, Holiwa, BenQ, Carrefour, O’Neill & JingCai Good MG.