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19 November 2012, Jinzun Harbor-Taitung County: In an exciting climax to a spectacular three days of competitive surfing at the 2012 Taiwan Open of Surfing Taitung County yesterday, Indonesia’s Raditya Rondi posted his second consecutive ASC Men’s Open victory of the 2012-2013 tour season by besting Australian Dean Brady in a riving 23 minute man-on-man final, winning the largest single division prize money prize of $75,000 NTD ($2,500 USD) so far on the ASC tour and in the biggest surfing competition every held in Taiwan.
“I’m so happy to have won this event today,” said Rondi after hearing that Brady’s final wave score wasn’t enough to take the victory away from him. “Thanks to my sponsor Billabong for sending me here and thanks to the Taitung government and the ASC for putting on such a great surf contest. I’ve had such a great time here, surfing and meeting all the local people, and eating great food. Thanks for all of this!”
Rondi, who was recently crowned the 2012 Indonesian Surfing Championship Men’s Open Champion and already has two Asian Surfing Championship Men’s Open titles to boast about, was up against a formidable opponent in Dean Brady, who was one of Australia’s top ranked Pro Junior surfers and is now an internationally known free surfer.
“I was really lucky to get a couple of good waves at the beginning of the heat to take the lead,” explained Rondi. “I had seen Brady take out Marlon and then Tipi in the previous heats, and even though he is a big guy he can really surf small waves super good, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy to win. I was getting nervous in the middle of the heat because there weren’t many good waves coming through, then near the end I got a good wave of 6.5 points so I started to feel more relaxed. But then just a minute from the end Brady got that one wave and smashed it….so coming in we both didn’t know if it was enough to beat me or not, so I was really nervous again!”
Both competitors and the spectators waited in anticipation for the scores to come down from the judges tower, the ASC Director Tipi Jabrik announced that Brady’s score came up just 1 point short, as he needed a 7.2 point score but earned only a 6.2.
“That was great fun, win or lose. I was happy to be in the final for sure.” Said Brady. “Raditya was surfing so well all through the whole event, he certainly deserved to win. I fell just short, but if I hadn’t got that last wave it would have been way short, so I feel better about that. On the beach before the start we both high fived and I gave him a hug and we both agreed to just go out there and have fun, and we did that. I think we gave the guys on the beach a good show too, and it was a pretty great way to end a super fun three days here in Taiwan.”
In the Women’s Open Division it was 5-time Indonesian Women’s champion and 2-time Asian Women’s champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea (IND) who took out her second consecutive event win of the year, just edging past Taiwan’s Jessie Hong in the final minute. “I’m so lucky to have gotten that last wave,” said Gea. “Jessie was leading from the start and we all were chasing her, and I just couldn’t get another good wave until the very end. I thought I should get a good score because I got lots of turns in, and was so happy when it came it at just enough.” In her final point tally she bested Hong by a single point.
The Longboard Final was a spectacular display of both progressive and traditional longboard surfing, with world champion Taylor Jenson (USA), young Aussie phenom Nic Jones (AUS), 2-time Indonesian and Asian champ Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat, and ASP number one ranked Georgia Young showing the Taiwanese crowd on the beach everything from Hang 5’s to Hang 10’s, floaters, deep gouging cutbacks and re-entries, aerials, and maneuvers that haven’t even been named yet, to draw massive rounds of applause and cheers after every wave. Jenson won the final matchup, scoring the event’s highest single wave score of 8.9 point (out of a possible 10) on his final wave to the delight of the crowd.
In the Junior “Grommet” Division final (16 years of age and under), Australia’s Harry Bryant wowed the crowd with his impressive ‘go for it’ style, taking first place over Rory MacDonald (TWN), Taitung local Wang Zhen Ming “Monkey”, and Wolf Wertheimer (USA). “I wish the waves had been a bit better for me in the final” said Harry. “I really wanted to do some big airs and try a bunch of different things, but I just couldn’t get the right waves. But it was so great just to be here, I’m so stoked about the place, the people, the food and everything!”
In Noserider Pro Invitational final, the remaining 5 noseriding specialists from the original 16 that started the competition on Friday (a mix of competitors from Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan and the USA) paddled out to see who could wrap their toes over the nose of their boards the longest and most often and come home with the big winner’s check. It was not a big surprise that Taylor Jenson took out the final, as he had won every heat since the first day, and was a star attraction on the beach as well as in the water, as many of the Taiwanese surfers are avid longboarders. When asked about his experience so far, Jenson replied, “This is my first time to the Taitung area, so I didn’t know what to expect with the whole event. I was surprised at how many people there were here and how big the set up was. It seems like longboarding is pretty popular here too, probably because the waves can be a bit slow and a touch flat, which lends itself well to longboarding. Plus most people learn on longboards and surfing is relatively new here. I really had fun out here and I’m stoked to be here.
At the awards presentation held the evening after the day’s finals had been concluded, Taitung governor Jason Huang thanked the competitors, the judging panel, the ASC, and the event organizers for their support and hard work at making the event such a great success, and promised to continue to support the growth of surfing in Taiwan. He was very impressed by the surfing he witnessed, saying, “Being able to watch you perform, right here in Taitung, is a wonderful experience, for me and all the local people. I think they have only ever seen anything like this on You Tube or TV or on the internet. So this is a very meaningful event and I thank you for your participation and your support in making this event a big success. Next year we will be doing it again and I hope to see you here,” which drew a big round of applause.
ASC Director Tipi Jabrik in his speech complemented Governer Huang saying, “This place is really special, so natural, the water so clear. That’s the reason people want to come here to surf. And another thing that is really special. Wherever you go for a surfing competition, you will never see the governor going to the contest site. You should feel really honored to have the governor coming and checking if everything is ok. It’s a great sign that the government really does care about surfing, so we’re looking forward for great things in Taiwan’s surfing future.”
The 2012 Taiwan Open of Surfing was an Ultima grade Asian Surfing Championship sanctioned surfing competition, sponsored by the Taitung County government, with total prize money of the NTD 600,000 (USD $20,000) in prize money across the Men’s Open, Women’s, Open, Longboard Open, Juniors, and Noserider Pro Invitational divisions, which is the biggest prize purse ever offered in a surfing event in Taiwan.
To see video highlights from the event:
To check out the heat draws, heat scores, photos and videos of the 2012 Taiwan Open of Surfing, check Asian Surfing Championship on Facebook and www.asiansurfingtour.com
2012 Taitung Open of Surfing Contest Results:
ASC Men’s Open Division
1 - Raditya Rondi (IND)
2 - Dean Brady(AUS)
Equal 3rd – Tipi Jabrik (IND) and Rathu Suargita (IND)
ASC Women’s Open Division
1 – Yasnyiar Gea (IND)
2 – Jessie Hong (TWN)
3 – Georgia Young (AUS)
4 – Michaela Partin (USA)
ASC Longboard Open Division
1 – Taylor Jenson (USA)
2 – Nic Jones (AUS)
3 – Arip Nurhidayat (IND)
4. Georgia Young (AUS)
ASC Junior Division
1 - Harry Bryant (AUS)
2 – Rory MacDonald (TWN)
3 – Wang Zhen Ming (TWN)
4 – Wolf Wertheimer (USA)
Noserider Pro Invitational
1 – Taylor Jenson (USA)
2 – Nic Jones (AUS)
3 – Chiou Chong Hong (TWN)
4 – Rosie Locke (AUS)
5 – Cheng Tung-Ming (TWN)
Special Recognition Awards from the Judging Panel
Best Attitude and Enthusiasm – Wang Chen Ming “Monkey” (TWN)
Most Stylish Shortboard Surfer – Marlon Gerber (IND)
Most Unique and Innovative Longboard Style – Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat (IND
Asian Surfing Championships
Tim Hain – Media and Communications
About the Asian Surfing Championships
The Asian Surfing Championships began in 2011 with the mission of growing the sport of surfing in South East Asia from the grassroots level by assisting each country in organizing professional surfing events that will develop the skills of their surfers in healthy competition as well as to draw attention to their area for the progression of surfing locally, nationally, and throughout the SEA area.
Organized surfing competitions have historically been the best medium for the development of surfers and for the sport of surfing, where learning how to compete fairly and to being disciplined in training and competition are key skills needed not only for surfing but also for life.
The ASC works with the local, national and multinational event sponsors and organizers to maximize the results of these competitive surfing events towards accomplishing the goals of sharing the sport of surfing and bringing positive economic, social, and environmental benefits to the people in these South East Asian countries. See more at http://www.asiansurfingtour.com