JINZUN HARBOR, Taitung County, Taiwan (Monday, November 6, 2023) – Competition has kicked off at 2023 Taiwan Open of Surfing, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series 5000 event. Day 1 of competition saw the completion of the women’s Round of 56 as well as ten heats of the men’s Round of 96 in super clean two-to-three foot surf at Jinzun Harbor.
The opening heat of the day saw Australian competitor Maddie Parker (AUS) post the highest two-wave total of the women’s Opening Round, earning a 10.30 two-wave total for her powerful frontside hacks. Parker was able to pick off the longest set waves of her heat to book a spot in the Round of 48.
“I was pretty nervous coming into that heat, so I’m stoked to take the win,” Parker said. “Being first heat of the whole event is super tough because you have nothing to compare with. It’s a bit of a guessing game, what the judges are looking for, where the best waves are breaking; you kind of have to work it all out yourself. This is my first time here, and it’s really fun – I’m enjoying my time in Taiwan.”
Indonesian surfer Dhany Widianto (INA) was the standout surfer of the Opening Day, posting an impressive heat total of 14.33 which included an excellent 8.00 point ride (out of a possible 10). Widianto was able to utilise both lefts and rights as well as rail surfing, snaps and aerials to dominate his heat and take the win.
“I just wanted to make sure I was on the good waves because I knew it would allow me to do the surfing I wanted to do,” Widianto said. “This is my first time here in Taiwan, and it’s really fun. There are a few similarities to my home break of Kuta Beach in Bali, so I’m feeling comfortable here. I just wanted to keep focussed and get a good result here for my first time in Taiwan.”
Other standout performers on Day 1 included Noah Arkfeld (PHL), who earned a solid 13.00 point heat total for a series of radical air reverses. Thomas Carvalho (AUS) also looked solid, opting for a more conventional approach, linking back-to-back power turns to post a two-wave total of 14.33.
Year after year, the performance level of the Taiwanese competitors continues to grow and today showed a massive leap with the likes of Jung Yun Chung (TPE) posting the third highest heat total of the women’s Opening Round. Tomorrow will see another 12 Taiwanese athletes do battle with the international field, with this year’s event seeing more local entrants than any previous Taiwan Open of Surfing QS.
The 2023 Taiwan Open of Surfing QS 5000 will run at Jinzun Harbor in Taitung County from November 6 – 12. For more information and to watch the event live, head to www.worldsurfleague.com or download the free WSL App.