After a lull in waves forced competition to stop midway through Round 2 yesterday, the 2018 Taiwan Open World Junior Championships has re-commenced and completed the last 4 heats of Men's Round 2. With winds freshening from the North throughout the morning, the event was only able to run through the four remaining heats of Round 2.
South African Luke Slijpen had his work cut out for him in Heat 10 of Round 2 when he came up against Hawaiian prodigy Eli Hanneman. The cross-shore winds and right-hand ramps on offer looked perfect for Hanneman's notorious aerial game but it failed to fire. Instead, Slijpen took to the air to lock in an early lead then picked off a couple of long lefts to consolidate. Hanneman was always on the hunt but was unable to find a wave that offered him that perfect section and was eliminated in equal 25th place while Slijpen progresses into Round 3.
"I felt really good going into that heat," Slijpen said. "After Round 1 I was a little bit unsure of how I was surfing and going into the heat I just relaxed and thought things through and it definitely helped my confidence. It's been so good here in Taiwan, we have a big crew from South Africa and we're all drawing from each others energy which is cool."
Peruvian Jhonny Guerrero was channelling some of the left points his homeland is famous for, smashing backhand hits to take his Round 2 heat over Eli Beukes. Guerrero is one of a number of Peruvian representatives at this years World Juniors and is proud to do his compatriots proud and hopes to continue his run in Round 3 when he takes on Tyler Gunter.
"Although it was a bit windy in that heat the lefts are still clean on the face," Guerrero said. "This is a really fun location for an event, the waves haven't stopped since I've been here. It's cool that there are a few Peruvian surfers in this contest, everyone can push each other. I'd love to see a Peruvian on the Championship Tour soon.
Crosby Colapinto found protection from the winds on the long lefthanders at Jinzun Harbour, posting his two-wave total of 12.80 on his backhand. The brother of 2018 CT Rookie Griffin Colapinto, Crosby has been finding inspiration in his brother's competitive run in Hawaii.
"It's pretty cool we're both surfing big events at the same time," Colapinto said. "We've been talking on the phone and watching each other's heats, which has been fun. This place reminds me a lot of home (San Clemente, California) with similar waves and a similar climate so I've been enjoying it. The lefts were kind of out of the wind a bit so I just focussed on catching them and it worked well so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them if this wind continues."
Earlier in the day, Hawaii's Cole AlvesCole Alves overcame Germany's Lenni Jensen in Heat 9 of round 3. Alves posted a two-wave total of 12.83 to claim the 30-minute match-up.