The third annual Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival is well and truly underway after Peru claimed Gold in the ISA China Cup yesterday. The Hainan Classic, a men's ASP 4-Star QS event will hit the water today, starting with a Round of 80. This unique event sees the ASP and ISA working together, offering the athletes the chance to compete for national pride and personal QS rankings points.
Medi Veminardi (Reunion Island) is the No. 1 seed at this year's Hainan Classic and currently ranked 103 on the QS. The points on offer here in Hainan this week will be vital in helping Veminardi crack into the top 100 and qualify for next year's top rated QS events.
â€œLast year the waves were really fun here, I like this place,â€ Veminardi said. â€œIt's looking a bit smaller this year but I'm sure it will still be fun. I was two or three spots away from getting into Haleiwa and Sunset so instead of staying in winter in France â€” I don't really like the cold â€” I thought I'd come here with the boys and do the last QS of the year and try to get some points. If I get some good points here I can move up the rankings and that would be great for me.â€
Hong Kong's Wolf Wertheimer is only 14 years old and he's one of the region's most exciting surfers. Wolf received an ASP Wildcard into the Round of 64 and will take on some of the world's most exciting up-and-coming surfers when competition commences.
â€œI was born and raised in Hong Kong, but recently moved to Taiwan for the waves and to improve my Mandarin,â€ said Wertheimer. â€œI like surfing in Hainan because the waves can be perfect and are usually uncrowded â€” also the people here are really nice. I really like participating in a world-class surf event and being in the water with the professionals is a great experience and a lot of fun.â€
Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) started his year off with a solid 3rd place finish at the 1-Star QS at Bells Beach in January. The Hainan Classic will be Hing's last event of the year and he's looking for another solid result to help his seed for next year's QS events in Australia.
â€œI didn't really know what to expect coming here, but so far it's been really fun,â€ Hing said. â€œThe surf is small, but you can see there's so much potential at this break. I'm looking forward to the 4-Star, it will most likely be my last event of the year and I want to finish with a good result.â€
Michael February (South Africa) is the No. 6 seed in this year's event and after a consistent competitive year he's looking to make his mark at the Hainan Classic. He's been a standout in the ISA China Cup for team South Africa and will be one to watch as the ASP event gets underway.
â€œYesterday was really small, today is a little better so hopefully there's some fun waves later in the week,â€ February said. â€œI came to China to compete in both the ASP and ISA events and it's been fun so far. With a lot of guys in Hawaii right now it's a great opportunity to compete in a 4-Star and get a good result.â€
The ASP 4-Star Hainan Classic will run from November 25 - 28. More information HainanInternationalSurfingFestival.com/hainan-classic