MANOKWARI, West Papua, Indonesia (Sunday, December 3, 2023) – Today, Kana Nakashio (JPN) and Roi Kanazawa (JPN) claimed victory at the inaugural Manokwari Pro, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event. Amban Beach turned on excellent two-to-three-foot glassy conditions, providing a proper finale to five days of great competition.
Kana Nakashio (INA) pulled out all the stops against her familiar Japanese rival Cocona Kawase (JPN) in the women’s Final. The two competitors battled it out, Nakashio on her forehand and Kawase on her backhand. Nakashio took the lead early and forced Kawase to play catchup, both surfers displaying power and flow with combinations of big bottom turns and powerful cracks at the lip, but it was Nakashio finding the best waves and earning the biggest scores to win her second Final in two days with a two-wave total of 14.83 (out of a possible 20).
Nakashio narrowly escaped elimination in Semifinal 1 against Cinta Hansel (INA), but with under two minutes to go, she found her chance and posted the highest wave score of the Semifinal, a 6.83 (out of a possible 10), to advance into the Final.
“This is so amazing, winning the Pro Junior yesterday and winning the QS today,” Nakashio said. “I had a close call in the semis, where I almost lost but just got the score at the last minute, but that gave me confidence that I was meant to win this final also. This is such a great wave and such a great place; I’m really happy I came here to Manokwari to compete – and winning both divisions is almost unbelievable.”
With her win today, Nakashio’s QS Asia rankings jumped up two spots to Number 5.
In the men’s Final, it looked to be an event matchup between Japan’s Roi Kanazawa (JPN) and Indonesia’s Dhany Widianto (INA), as both were standouts over the last few days, showing impressive rail and aerial skills.
Kanazawa started quickly, taking to the air and posting a 6.33 to take the lead, while Widianto used his priority to wait patiently for a set wave. When he got his chance, he uncharacteristically failed to complete a lofty air reverse, but on his next chance, he posted a 7.27 on turns. After an almost 15-minute lull, it all came down to the final minute. Widianto, needing a score of 6.30 to take the lead, took off and punted another air reverse followed by turns for a 6.50 to get the lead briefly, but Kanazawa had taken off on the second wave of the set going left and smashed a series of backhand turns to earn a 7.50 score and get him back into the lead. Kanazawa finished with a two-wave total of 14.50 to Widianto’s 13.77.
“I’m so happy to be the winner today, as it’s my first ever QS win,” Kanazawa said. “I was really nervous in this final, as I know Dhany is such a good surfer. I knew I had to do air and turns to win, and then even when I was in the lead, there was that long lull, it made me more nervous. In that last minute getting that left, I knew I had to give it everything, and I’m lucky it was enough. I love it here in Manokwari; I’ve had such a good time.”
The 2023 Manokwari Pro QS 1000 and Pro Junior ran at Amban Beach in West Papua, Indonesia, from November 29 to December 3, 2023. For more information and results, head to www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.
The 2023 Manokwari Pro QS 1000 and Pro Junior are sponsored by the Province of West Papua Tourism Authority.