Wild Weather Conditions at the Jaileshuei Surf Festival 2017 Result in Early Afternoon Stoppage on Day 2
The wild conditions predicted yesterday by Contest Director Neil MacDonald came true in spades today, resulting in an abbreviated session on Day 2 of the Jaileshuei Surfing Festival 2017 with only 18 of the planned 37 heats run before gale force 60-80 kph plus wind gusts, rain, thunder, and lightening coupled with unruly 4-5 foot windswell surf had the contest put on hold and officially stopped for the day at about 2 pm.
“There were gusts of wind that blew through like a cyclone, and had everybody grabbing onto the tents, tables, and chairs and everything that was and wasn’t fastened down, and rain that the wind blew almost horizontally, so as much as we wanted to keep going it just wasn’t practical,” said Head Judge Keenan Roxburgh. “In between those gusts the surfing conditions varied from almost glassy one minute to a full duck-diving contest the next, which presented challenges not only for the surfers but for the judging panel and everyone on the beach as well, so after a brief meeting we decided that Mother Nature would win this one and we’d surrender today but come back tomorrow morning and finish things off,” he explained.
The plan for tomorrow is to run a double bank system utilizing both the rivermouth break and the nearby lefthander with two panels of judges and splitting the remaining heats up so that the more skilled “A” class surfers will compete at the rivermouth break with the computer judging system and the “B” surfers will use manual scoring on the more sheltered lefthander.
It is predicted that the storm will temper overnight and allow the conclusion of the event tomorrow, so the organizers will set up to run the first heats at 7 am.
The early morning 6:45 start today saw the Under 16 Juniors take to the water in decent conditions, with some glassy faces and 2-3 foot waves, then Women’s Longboard A and B, Men’s and Women’s Bodyboarding, and Women’s Shortboard before the competition was stopped at 11 am as it was time for Mayor Pan of Pingung County to officially welcome everybody to the event and thank them for coming. Luckily the rain stopped for just enough time to allow him a short speech and a few photos before starting in again. Then it was back to the contest for a few heats before things got too wild and it was time to pack up for the day.
Hopefully tomorrow will see milder conditions and everybody will come out to see the finals day of the Jaileshuei Surfing Festival 2017!