With just a week until the opening day of the 2017 Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung County Government, competitors from both shortboard and longboard disciplines await to see what mother nature will provide in the way of waves for the final World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) and Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event in the Australasia region for the year.
In 2016 Perth Standlick was gifted the biggest win of his career in pumping waves at the rippable cobblestone point of Jinzun Harbour in Taitung County. Standlick has been quiet on the QS this season but will be looking to finish the year off with a bang when he returns to Taiwan next week.
"I've only done a few events this season," Standlick said. "A couple QS10,000s and some other smaller events. I had a ball in Taiwan last year; the waves were so fun the entire time I was there. Jinzun Harbour is such a sick wave; it's super easy to surf and allows you to attempt any maneuverer you want to. I can't wait to get back to the Taiwan Open of Surfing."
As the Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung County is co-sanctioned by WSL Australasia and WSL Japan, it will be the event to decide the Regional Qualifying Series Champions for the two regions. Taking the Regional QS title means a spot in all of the QS6,000 and QS10,000 events for the first half of 2017, an amazing opportunity for aspiring professional surfers. Leading the Japan QS is Reo Inaba who will be looking for a solid result in Taiwan to guarantee the no. 1 spot.
"I'm really excited to get to Taiwan," Inaba said. "I'm really looking for a solid result to get myself in the big QS events next year and being the regional champion would be really cool as well. I enjoy going to Taiwan; the water and weather is warm the waves are really fun and the food and people are great. It's exciting to get back there."
With the impressive quality of waves on offer in Taiwan it is no surprise to see a high standard of surfers emerging from the area. One of these local rippers is Yu-Hau Yang. Yang has been awarded the local wildcard for the event and will be one to watch when he takes on the internationals at his local break.
"I am very excited to see the best competitive surfers from all over the world surfing at my favourite home break Jinzun Harbour," Yang said. "It's so good for all of us local surfers to see the top guys surf, it helps to push our own surfing. It's also cool to hang out with them all and form friendships. We love sharing the beauty of Taitung with everyone from around the world."
One of Indonesia's most established competitive surfers is Javanese icon Dede Suryana. Having taken out the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) at Jinzun Harbour a few years ago, Suryana has confidence in his ability to perform in the high-performance waves.
"I'm really happy to be going back to Taiwan," Suryana said. "I hope the waves turn on so everyone can enjoy the waves and the competition. Last time I competed in Taiwan I won the ASC so I hope I can do that again this year."
The Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung County LQS and QS will run from November 23-27 and will air live on the WSL website.