Jun Shiiba (JPN) winner of the first ever ASP event in Taiwan! Pic ASP/Will H-S
TAITUNG, Taiwan (Sunday, November 17, 2013) – Japanese surfer Jun Shiiba (JPN) etched his name in the history books today by becoming the first surfer to win an ASP event in Taiwan at the ASP 1-Star rated Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung. The wind was up early this morning but it didn’t stop Jinzun Harbour from producing clean running right handers for the final day of competition.
Shiiba took out the final over fellow Japanese surfer Yujiro Tsuji (JPN), both surfers put on a show making the Final the most exciting heat of the entire event. Shiiba and Tsuji both posted excellent scores in a classic goofy verse regular (Right foot forward vs left foot forward) battle, and with only five minutes to go Shiiba was in second position needing a solid score to win. He waiting for a set and unloaded a barrage of hooks and carving turns and a monster air-reverse, netting an 8.30 (out of a possible 10), and his second ASP World Tour event win.
“This is unbelievable!” Shiiba said. “I’m surprised that I won and I am so happy! There are a lot of good surfers at this event and I am so happy to win. I just tried to focus on catching all of the good waves. I was watching all of the other heats and I saw that to win you have to wait for the best waves. It’s very windy, but the surf is still really good and the wind was good for airs which helped me win. I love Taiwan, I’ll be back next year!”
Tsuji used his lightning fast backhand attack to advance into the Final, but fell just short of the win and was forced to settle for a runner-up finish. Tsuji scored an 8.17 (out of a possible 10) for a series of fast and powerful turns in the pocket, but he couldn’t find a good backup score and lost with a two-wave heat-total of 14.04 (out of a possible 20) to Shiiba’s 16.97.
“I really enjoyed the Final I was trying not to think about who was winning I just wanted to focus one wave at a time,” Tsuji said. “Jun (Shiiba) did some big aerials and he is a great surfer, I am happy for him. My home break is a lot like the right handers here in Taiwan, I really love surfing on my backside. This is my last competition for the year so I am very happy to come second.”
Dede Suryana (IND) was the last Indonesian surfer left in the draw at the 2013 Taiwan Open of Surfing, but was eliminated in the Semifinals, finishing equal 3rd place.
“I was really lost out there,” Suryana said. “The wind came up early today and I kept drifting out of position. The Japanese guys are really good in waves like this probably because it’s like their home. Third place is not bad, it’s my best result at an ASP event so I am happy. Hopefully I can do better next year.”
ASP have partnered with the ASC (Asian Surfing Championship) for this year’s Taiwan Open of Surfing and on top of the ASP 1-Star division there will also be women’s shortboard, men’s and women’s longboard and junior divisions.