After three action filled days of surfing at the Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by the Taitung County Government, Champions have been crowned across three divisions. Perth Standlick (AUS) took out the QS1,500, Tony Silvagni (USA) winning the Men's LQS and Crystal Walsh(HAW) taking the Women's LQS event. All Finals were held in clean 3 foot waves at Jinzun Harbour as conditions turned on for competitors all day.
Perth Standlick had been one of the in-form surfers of the event and this was never more clear than on finals day with the Bondi local posting four scores in the excellent range (over 8.00) throughout the day, one of these being a 9.25 (out of a possible 10) in the Final. Standlick came up against Japanese surfer Takumi Nakamura (JPN) who was tearing up the field on the opposite side of the draw. In the Final Nakamura posted a Heat total of 13.25 which wasn't enough to stop Standlick's rampaging backhand attack which earned him an impressive heat-total of 17.65 and the best win of his career.
"This is my first QS win!" Standlick said. "I've had a tough year and had a lot on my mind lately - so I had a plan to come here and win the event and it worked. It hasn't really sunk it yet but I'm really happy. This gives me some confidence, points and money heading into next year. Thanks to everyone at home for the support and thanks for everyone in Taiwan at this event, I love this place."
Earlier on Men's LQS final took place, where winner Tony Silvagni took on two-time World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA). Silvagni got busy early locking in an 8.00 and 9.25 in the opening minutes of the Final, putting Jensen in a combination situation. Jensen answered back with an 8.25 late in the Final to bring him into contention needing an 8.76. With three minutes left Jensen took off on a set, throwing absolutely everything at it only to come up short by 0.59 of a point, giving the win to a deserving Silvagni.
"I'm Ecstatic," Silvagni said. "Taylor (Jensen) is the one to beat, he has won so many contests this year so I knew I'd have my work cut out for me. I just wanted to keep my momentum going. I'm so glad he didn't get the score at the end. I'm so happy I've been able to win this contest. Taiwan is amazing, the people are so friendly, the food is great it's just a really healthy atmosphere, it's a special event for sure, I look forward to coming back. This has been an all round perfect day."
Immediately after Silvagni was chaired up the beach, the buzzer went and the Women's LQS was underway with Nava Young (AUS) being put under pressure from the get go as Crystal Walsh (HAW) took an early lead which she kept for the remainder of the heat. Young persisted until the end but was unable to post the score she needed, gifting Walsh the title of 2015 Taiwan Open of Surfing Women's LQS Champion.
"I never win anything - this is crazy!" said Walsh. "I still can't believe that just happened I have no idea what to say or what to do, but it feels great. This is my first time to Taiwan and I can't believe how much I love it here. It's beautiful, the waves are amazing, and the people are the best. Thanks to everyone here for supporting surfing!"
One of the absolute standout heats of the event was easily the men's LQS Semifinal between eventual event champion Tony Silvagni and Edouard Delpero (FRA) going tit for tat each posting a number of excellent scores each. With a minute left Delpero took off on a left pulling a number of innovative and conventional longboard manoeuvres all the way to the beach and posting a near perfect 9.80. The next wave was then ridden by Silvagni who posted a 9.00 to accompany his 9.65, which meant he retained the lead and Delpero narrowly missed a Finals birth.
"I knew my wave was a good one and my score would be high, which it was," Delpero said. "But unfortunately he got a good one and had a good back-up score, it was a hard one to deal with but that's surfing I suppose."
Highlights and photos from this year's Taiwan Open of Surfing can be viewed at worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.