JINZUN HARBOUR, TAITUNG / TPE (Sunday, November 24, 2019) – The field has been narrowed at Jinzun Harbour as Day 2 of the Taiwan Open of Surfing QS3,000 saw 22 heats run and won. Competitors where gifted more fun clean waves in the two-to-three foot waves as Round 3 was completed along with 8 heats of Round 4.
San Clemente up and comer Kade Matson (USA) had the difficult task of taking on travel partner and good friend Jett Schilling (USA) in Heat 8 of Round 3. Both surfers are here for both the QS3,000 and World Junior Championships and were looking to get as much experience at Jinzun Harbour as possible through the QS. Matson looked in sync while Schilling struggled to find a rhythm and was eliminated in last spot. Matson progressed into Round 4 with Colombia’s Giorgio Gomez (COL).
“Jett and I are staying together so that was a weird one,” Matson said. “We travel together, we live in the same town and we pretty much surf together every day so it’s never fun having a heat with a really good friend like that. I’m stoked to make it through but it’s rough seeing Jett go down for sure. This is my second time back to Taiwan and I’m stoked to be back, there seems to always be good waves. This is such a cool event for us because we get to surf for QS points and then a Junior Title so it’s a super exciting few weeks for all of the competitors.”
Arashi Kato (JPN) lead the charge of the Japanese competitors, along with Rinta Oooto (JPN) and Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) who all progressed into Round 4. Kato showed surgeon-like precision on his backhand and raw power on the frontside to post a respectable heat total of 12.80 and move into Round 4 and continue to compete at one of his favourite locations on the QS.
“I love coming to Taiwan,” Kato said. “The waves are really fun and never slow down, we have so many options to surf so I’m always happy to come here to surf, especially in a contest. The waves are a bit smaller today but it means there are more peaks for us to choose from so you can move around and do your own thing which makes it a bit more relaxing than other heats.”
Pictured: Aussie ripper Sandon Whittaker (AUS) progressing into Round 4 of the opening day of the Taiwan Open of Surfing QS3,000.
Credit: © WSL / Matt Dunbar
Young Aussie Sandon Whittaker (AUS) is another competitor who has made a few trips to Taiwan and always looks forward to the fun waves it constantly has on offer. Whittaker’s experience in the area was evident as he opted to separate himself from the pack and find a few long-running lefts to post an impressive heat total of 14.14 to win his opening heat as he looks to set himself up for the 2020 season.
“When I saw the Qualifying Series was coming back to Taitung I was so stoked,” Whittaker said. “The waves are so fun today, it’s clean left and right peaks everywhere, what more could you ask for. As soon as I saw the event was on, I booked my flights straight away. A good result here would be awesome for my rank as I look to jump into the top 100 next year but to be honest, I’m just stoked to be here enjoying what Taiwan has to offer.”
Day 1 standouts Dakoda Walters (AUS) and Marc Lacomare (FRA) continued their dominance on Day 2, each posting excellent heat totals to progress into the seeded Round 4. Walters combined his aerial antics with smooth rail work while Lacomare punished the left-hand walls with his powerful and critical approach.
With conditions continuing to provide plenty of opportunity throughout the afternoon at Jinzun Harbour, contest directors were able to run through ## heats of Round 4 which saw the event top seeds hit the water.
Ryland Rubens (USA), Marco Mignot (FRA), Renan Peres Pulga (BRA), and Jackson Baker (AUS) were among the top seeds who progressed through the opening heats of Round 4.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow as the top seeds hit the water in the remaining heats of Round 4 of the Qualifying Series 3000 event at the Taiwan Open of Surfing.
The Taiwan Open QS3,000 will run from November 23 – 26. For more information and to watch all of the action from the Taiwan Open of Surfing, head to www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.