Dede Suryana from Indonesia and Miyasaka Rioko from Japan took respective Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) Men’s and Women’s Division wins yesterday to the delight of hundreds of fans on the beach in an exciting finale to the inaugural ASC sanctioned Jialeshuei International Surfing Festival.
The three day surfing festival that took place at Jialeshuie Beach, arguably South Taiwan’s most popular and consistent surf break, with some 250 plus local and international surfers competing in 11 divisions including men’s and women’s shortboard, men’s and women’s longboard, bodyboard, juniors, and SUP (some divisions having both A and B skill level separation), in addition to the ASC Men’s Open and ASC Women’s Divisions.
In the ASC Men’s Open Division final it was two of Indonesia’s most seasoned competitive surfers going blow for blow in the consistent 3-foot (1 meter) surf using a mix of turns, floaters and aerial maneuvers to wow the crowd in the 25 minute final, with 2014 ASC Men’s Champion Dede Suryana (West Java, Indonesia) getting the better of 2010 Indonesian Open/Pro Junior Champion Putra Hermawan (Bali, Indonesia).
“I’m so happy to get this win here today as I knew it would be a real challenge to best Putra,” said Dede. “Putra is such a smart competitor and can score big point doing any maneuver including airs, so with the wind turning and blowing sideshore I decided to go for airs whenever I could and hope the judges would give me good scores! There were some nice sections if you picked the right wave, and lucky for me I got some chances and completed all my airs to get the win,” he explained.
For his win today Dede will bring home $2,000 USD to his wife and baby girl who are waiting for him at home. “I’m always happy for a win but going home with money for my family is the best feeling. Thanks to my wife for her patience with my traveling, but I’m so glad I get to come to great places like Taiwan. This place is really fun, with such good food and good people and good waves, and really can’t wait to come back here next year,” he said.
Suryana and fellow Indonesian Raditya Rondi, who lost in the semifinals to Putra Hermawan, are in a close race for the 2015 ASC Open title, and with this win it will all be decided at the final event of the year coming up on Rote Island in Indonesian in two weeks.
The ASC Women’s Division was taken out by Miyasaka Rioko (Chiba, Japan), who dominated the final to take her first ASC win over Indonesia’s up-and-coming 13-year-old Taina Izquierdo. Rioko was a wave magnet during the 25 minute final, finding the best-shaped waves and putting together a smooth and aggressive display for the ASC judging crew headed up by Made “Sachang” Sadiartha from Bali, Indonesia.
“The waves were really good out there, you just had to choose the right ones, and then it was so fun,” said Rioko. “I came here to Taiwan for a photo trip and to help out judging in the locals divisions, but then the ASC guys invited me and my sister Momo to join their division so we did. I’m really happy to win and it’s been so much fun..thank you to the ASC and to everybody here,” she added.
In the 2015 ASC Women’s title race, front runner and 2013 ASC champ Rina Kitazawa had a chance to claim the title in this event but didn’t make it through her semifinal heat against eventual finalist Taina Izquierdo. Fortunately for her, number 2 ranked Nilbie Blancada from the Philippines also lost her semifinal heat against Rioko, so her championship chances are still alive and well with one more event remaining.
Nilbie goes home with the distinction of having won the Expression Session from a mixed field of about 30 surfers that paddled out immediately after the finals, whose goal it was to impress Neil MacDonald and win the 3,000 NT that was up for grabs. Rumour has it that Jose was so impressed that he added another 3,000 NT to it. Great job Nilbie!
This was the first surfing competition sanctioned by the ASC in South Taiwan, but TORSA (Taiwan Ocean Recreation Sports Association) has held hold local surfing events in the area for years, and this year with Mayor Pan’s election win just a few months ago one of the first things he did was to ask TORSA to create an international level surfing event.
“We didn’t have much time, but thanks to a great team and the support of the community I think we pulled off a great event,” said TORSA President Jose Chung. “Neil MacDonald and I have been talking to the ASC for several years about doing an event here, so with the election and support from Mayor Pan it all came together and we couldn’t be happier. I knew we were blessed, as there was that typhoon that came through just a couple days before we were going to start but instead of it hanging around and us having to delay, it passed by and gave us great weather and great waves. Everybody had a great time, and we’re already excited about planning next year’s event. With more time and even more resources, we’re sure to have an even bigger and better one next year,” he added.
1. Dede Suryana (IDN) – 15.00 pts
2. Putra Hermawan (IDN) – 14.77 pts
Equal 3rd. Raditya Rondi (IDN) and Mega Semadhi (IDN)
1. Miyasaka Rioko (JPN) – 10.17 pts
2. Taina Izquierdo (IDN) – 3.5 pts
Equal 3rd. Rina Kitazawa (JPN) and Nilbie Blancada (PHL)