23 September 2011, Phuket-Thailand: All surfing divisions saw action today in the run-up to tomorrows final day of the Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition at Patong Beach in Phuket, led off by the Women’s Division first thing in the morning.
The morning’s high tide 1-meter waves provided the perfect conditions to get the 13 Women’s Division competitors into the water and taking their shot at getting at finals berth. After six heats it was Yasniar Gea from Indonesia, Annissa Flynn from Thailand, Gamala Hanafia of Indonesia, and Charmaine Gale who will be competing in tomorrow’s final for that number one spot on the podium and the 7,000 baht first place prize money. Roxy Team Rider Gamala Hanafia was happy and relieved to make it into the final, saying “I had a couple of close calls in my heats, where I just needed just one more good wave to make it through, and somehow I always got it. Hope my luck is that good tomorrow too!”
Next up was the Masters Division (over 35 years of age), who displayed remarkable skill in the relatively smallish low tide conditions, with Wayan Gantiyasa from Indonesia nabbing the highest wave scores and combined heat score in his semi-final. It will be Gantiyasa, Tatsuya Koboli from Japan, Devin Long and Chalong Thongsak from Thailand who will battle it out in tomorrow’s final. “This is my first time here to Phuket, and it’s been a lot of fun. My nephew Garut Widiarta came here a couple of weeks ago for another surf event, and when he came back he convinced me to come along. I’m so glad I did!” said Gantiyasa. Gantiyasa grew up on Kuta Beach as one of the first Balinese to surf and travel internationally, and a mentor to many of Bali’s top surfers.
The day’s competition was wrapped up in the late afternoon with the completion of Round 3 of the Men’s Open Shortboard Division. Bali’s Lee Wilson posted the highest score in his division, a 7.9 out of a possible 10, an amazing score given the shifty peaks and rips not to mention competing against last year’s Quiksilver Thailand winner Tipi Jabrik. “Tipi jumped out to the lead early and so I had my work cut out for me,” said Wilson. “I fell on a couple of waves as was getting tired from all the paddling, but finally got a good one. I was so happy when I heard the score and that I got the lead, then I lucked another nice little wave where I got a couple of good turns in and scored almost 5 points. It was enought to get me through, so I’m looking forward to the quarterfinals and then winning it all tomorrow!”
Tomorrow will see the exciting conclusion of the Quiksilver Thailand Open 2011, with lots of great surfing action in the water, games, surf clinics, and music on the heach, and then what promises to be an epic evening at the Jungceylon Mall for the awards presentation and after party. Don’t miss it!