Massive Opening Day at the Jialeshuei Surfing Festival Under Variable Weather and Swell Conditions
The opening day of the Jaileshuei Surfing Festival 2017 saw a massive 40 heats run amidst wildly variable weather and swell conditions, where gale force winds and horizontal rains changed up with sunny skies and mild winds along with near flat and then 3-4 foot waves innumerable times throughout the 9 plus hours of competition.
Having only 3 days to crown 10 division champions from the 170 plus surfers registered in the event, there is no option but to run full on each day regardless of weather and swell conditions, and at the end of today TORSA Contest Director Neil MacDonald was pleased with the progress that was made on opening day, saying “We had a very long day today but I think all in all we got everything done that we needed to do. Conditions varied from small surf and light winds to heavy wind and rain and growing swell…and I think we’re looking forward to another wild day tomorrow!”
The day started out with a morning surfer’s meeting at 8 am with Head Judge Keenan Roxburgh going over the judging criteria and priority rules with the assistance of Yu-Ying (Wenling) Chou, before the day launched into action with the Women’s Longboard B division, followed by the Women’s Longboard A division.
Due to time constraints heat times were cinched down to 12 minutes, but with a constant supply of windswell waves rolling in there were ample opportunities to rack up scores by the more proficient surfers. The audience was well entertained by some great longboarding action by the Men’s Longboard A division, as well as later in the day by the Men’s Shortboard A division.
By the end of the day the Junior B, Men’s and Women’s Longboard B, Men’s and Women’s Longboard A, Men’s Shortboard A and Men’s Shortboard B Divisions had all completed their first rounds, and the final horn blew at just after 5:30 pm.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for more wind and rain and an increasing swell, so will again present a challenge for both the organizers and the surfers. The competition will get underway tomorrow at 7am, and have a mid day break to give Pintung County Mayor Men An Pan and other local dignitaries an opportunity to meet the surfers and share some words with the spectators and organizers at the event.