23 September 2010, Kata Beach – Phuket: Rounds 1 and 2 of the Men’s Open Division of the Quiksilver Thailand Surf Competition 2010 were completed today under beautiful blue skies and sunshine in the 2-3 foot glassy waves on offer at Kata Beach in Phuket, Thailand.
The day’s action got underway just after 10 am, with four man heats of 20 minutes each being the order of the day. Plenty of groundswell waves were pulsing through in each heat; so all competitors were getting their share in the high tide conditions.
Some light rain cooled things off a couple of times during the mornings competition, but the sun was shining most of the time and the wind was either non-existent or very light onshore until near the end of Round 2 at about 2:30 pm.
Highlights of the included Michael Anthony of Australia getting the highest single wave score of the day, a 5.5 out of a possible 10, winning his heat and having the MC announce that today was also his birthday. He received a huge round of applause as he exited the water and walked up the beach. “I don’t know who let that secret out,” said Anthony afterwards, “but it was a nice present. I just hope my luck holds and I make it into the final and win!” Anthony won the Quiksilver Kamala Beach competition last year, so his chances are quite good.
Last year’s Quiksilver Island Crown winner and Kata Beach local Jamie Smith made it through his Round 2 heat to advance, but his heat was won by Shinichi Mamimura of Japan who exhibited a very smooth style and carved some deep turns to impress the judges.
With the wind picking up and the tide dropping out, the decision was made to call off the action for the day at the conclusion of Round 2 and entertain the spectators and competitors on the beach with games and giveaways by event sponsors including Nok Air, Jim Beam, Ibis Hotel, Quiksilver, and others. Ring tossing for Jim Beam and Coke, and Musical Chairs by Nok Air were fan favorites.
Tomorrow will see the first round of the Longboard Division competitors taking to the Kata Beach waves and showing of their best maneuvers starting at 8:00 am.
77 surfers from 10 countries (Australia, England, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and the USA) are competing in three divisions, Men’s Open Shortboard, Women’s Open Shortboard, and Longboard Open for a total prize purse of over 240,000 THB (approx $7,500 USD).
The Men’s Open winner will receive 50,000 THB (approx $1,500 USD), the Women’s Open winner 30,000 THB (approx $940 USD), and the Longboard winner 30,000 THB (approx $940 USD). First to fourth places in each division will receive cash, trophies and prize packs from Quiksilver and other sponsors.