JINZUN HARBOR, Taitung County, Taiwan (Thursday, November 9, 2023) – Day 3 of competition at the 2023 Taiwan Open of Surfing, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 5000 has seen some incredible performances from some of the event’s top seeds. Excellent scores were posted as Jinzun Harbor continued to deliver clean surf in the two-to-three-foot range.
On a day of big performances, three young Australians stood out from the crowd, with Jordy Lawler, Alister Reginato and Raya Cambell all claiming convincing heat wins that included excellent rides and a couple of excellent heat totals. North Narrabeen’s Jordy Lawler (AUS) was able to post the second-highest heat total of the event with a 16.33 two-wave combination (out of a possible 20). Lawler struggled to find a decent score until the last few minutes of the heat when he found two excellent rides to go from last to first and progress into the Round of 32.
“There are a lot of fun-looking waves out there, so it’s hard to pass certain ones up,” Lawler said. “There are good ones and better ones, and you want the better ones for a score. I like the look of the left and thought I should focus on that – it didn’t really work for me until I got some good ones at the end. I also wanted to focus on completing the waves strong, so I was stoked to be able to do that.”
Alister Reginato (AUS) posted both the highest heat total of the event and the highest single wave of the event in his Round of 64 match-up. Reginato posted a 16.93 combination, including a 9.10 single-wave score (out of a possible 10) for a series of massive backside re-entries on a long Jinzun left.
Raya Campbell (AUS) put on a dominant display in her Round of 32 heat, posting a 7.50 and an 8.00 on her opening two waves for a 15.50 heat total. Hailing from Snapper Rocks, Campbell looked confident on the rights at Jinzun, opening up on her backhand to claim a convincing win on her way to the Round of 16.
“I surprised myself a bit, to be honest,” Campbell said. “I wasn’t sure at the start of the heat if I should go to the left or the right, so I sat in the middle, and the two waves just came to me, so I was stoked. When you lock in two scores like that at the start, you can’t really be too ‘easy breezy’ because there could easily be a flurry of waves for the other competitors, so I just tried to calm myself down and focus on getting a couple more waves. There are a lot of fun waves here and bowling sections, so it’s really fun to surf.”
Former winners at the Taiwan Open of Surfing, Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) and Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN), started their 2023 campaign where they left off, both taking strong wins in the Round of 32. Nanaho will be looking to go back-to-back here at Jinzun Harbor, while Olympic Bronze medalist Amuro will be hoping to repeat the success of her World Junior Title win at this location in 2019.
“I haven’t competed much recently, so I was very nervous before that hat,” Amuro Tsuzuki said. “My legs were shaking, and I had to calm myself down. Once I got some waves, I felt more calm and remembered this is a happy place for me. The waves are really fun, and there is plenty of opportunity, so I’m excited to get back out there in the Round of 16.”
To round out the day, the Opening 4 Heats of the men’s Round of 32 were completed with mixed results for some of the event hopefuls. Shohei Kato (JPN) continued his form to book a spot in the men’s Round of 16 along with Joel Vaughan (AUS), Marlon Harrison (AUS), Kian Martin (SWE) and Tully Wylie (AUS), to name a few. Day 2 standout Sheldon Simkus (AUS) and Japanese hopeful Hiroto Ohara (JPN) were two who were knocked out earlier than expected on Day 3.
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.