23 October 2015, Kenting-Taiwan: The 2015 Jialeshuei International Surf Festival got off to a great start today in good to excellent 2-4 foot waves, as Asia’s best men and women surfers attacked the rivermouth righthand break and by sunset had all but decided tomorrow’s quarterfinalists in both divisions, leaving only Heats 7 and 8 of Round Two of the Men’s Division not completed.
In the Men’s Division it was 3 time ASC Men’s Champion Raditya Rondi (Bali, Indonesia) posting the highest single wave score of 8.83 (out of a possible 10 points) in his Round 2 heat against Taiwan’s Yang Bao Liung, and also coming in with the highest combined heat score of 15.83 (out of a possible 20 points) of the day.
“I was stoked to get a left out there on a day where most of the waves went right,” said Raditya. “I had seen a couple of lefts yesterday and was hoping to get a good one in a heat today, and thankfully I did in Round 2. I like going right, but being a goofyfooter I’ll always be looking go left when I have the chance. The waves were a bit soft going right depending on the tide, so I’m lucky that left popped up it gave me the chance to do a lot of maneuvers and get an excellent score,” he explained.
Tomorrow will see the remaining two heats of the ASC Men’s Open run in addition to the Quarterfinals. Making it through today’s competition and matched up in Quarterfinal 1 is Raditya Rondi vs Rory McDonald (TWN), in Quarterfinal 2 is Putra Hermawan (IDN) vs Rio Waida (IDN/JPN), in Quarterfinal 3 is Tipi Jabrik (IDN) vs Mega Semadhi (IDN), and the remaining Quarterfinal will be either Koko Mitsua (IDN) or Zuang Fu Zheng (TWN), Dede Suryana (IDN) or Anthony Roberts (CAN).
In the ASC Women’s Division, called by ASC Contest Director Tipi Jabrik as the “Heat of the Day”, was the Heat 4 matchup between 16-year-old Puanani Johnson of Bali and 19-year-old Miyasaka Momoko of Japan. Pua jumped out into an early lead but was then overtaken by Momo, who posted solid scores of 6.5 and 5.33 on her backhand to leave Pua needing a score of 4.9 to regain the lead. Pua came close with a 4.5 score but Momo answered back with a 5.2, seeming to have the heat under control with just two minutes to go But Pua had one last chance as a nice set wave came her way and she smashed a big backside turn and followed it up with several more turns that earned her a 5.87 score and the heat win.
“I heard earlier that Momo was ranked number 6 on the JPSA this year, so I know it would be a tough heat,” said Pua. “So I tried to only catch waves I knew would give me good scoring potential. Then when I was behind I really knew I had to pick the right ones to get the score, and luckily I got a good one!”
Momo, who hails from Chiba, was smiling after her loss, happy to have competed in the event, saying “The waves were really good and I really had fun out there! Pua was surfing really well and it’s great that she won. It’s fun to be here, and I’m really glad I came to this event.” Momo and her sister Rioko both competed in the event, with Rioko posting the Women’s Division’s highest waves score of 8.33 (out of a possible 10 points).
This ASC Women’s Division competition boasts three sets of sisters competing…Momo and Rioko from Japan, Pua and Kai from Bali, and Nildie and Nilbe from the Philippines!
Tomorrow’s Women’s Division action will continue with 2013 ASC Women’s Champion Rina Kitazawa taking on Huang Ya Yuan (TWN) in Quarterfinal 1, Taina Izquierdo (IDN) vs Puanani Johnson (IDN) in Quarterfinal 2, Miyasaka Rioko (JPN) vs Kailani Johnson (IDN) in Quarterfinal 3, and Wenling Chou (TWN) vs Nildie Blancada (PHL) in Quarterfinal 4.
The Jialesheui International Surfing Festival was opened by Mayor Pan this morning before the competition started, and in his speech he first thanked the competitors for coming and then the ASC for sanctioning the event. He then expressed his commitment to making this an annual event and growing it bigger and bigger in the years to come.
This is the first ASC sanctioned event to take place in the Kenting area, where Asia’s best men and women surfers including 3 previous ASC Men’s Champions and a previous ASC Women Champion have come to Taiwan to join over 200 other competitors for three days of competition and good times at the area’s most popular surf spot of Jialeshuei.
In the ASC Men’s division has a field of 24 competitors from Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, the USA, Hawaii, and England, competing for the $5,000 USD prize purse on offer, and the Women’s Division with 12 competitors representing Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines chasing their share of the $3,000 USD prize pot.
The Jialeshuei International Surfing Festival is sponsored by the Pingtung County Government, Quiksilver Taiwan, Roxy, Ocean Potion, North Shore Surfing World, Surf Trip World, Jimmy Lewis, True Wave, UUKT, HOT Kenting, Sea Doo, Japan Star Travel, Surfin’Life, Tempus, KTers, Pineapple Surfboards, 720-armour, Ref Surfboards Hawaii, National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Kenting Surf Shop, Taiwan SP Surf, Empowerment Employment Program, Local Motion, and USA Style Shop; organized by TORSA and sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships.