The 2017 Taiwan Open of Surfing has been upgraded to a Longboard Championship Tour (LCT) event, and it will decide this year's World Longboard Champions. Having proven itself as an awesome location for surfing events over the last six years, Jinzun Harbor in Taitung will continue to host WSL events for many years to come.
Returning to Taitung County for his 5th Taiwan Open of Surfing is two-time World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen. Jensen has welcomed the upgrade from Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event to LCT stating that the consistency of conditions and variety of waves at Jinzun Harbor makes it the perfect place for a World Title decider.
"I'm a big fan of the waves in Taiwan," Jensen said. "We have been deciding the World Champion at the same spot for five years now so a change is good. I have been coming to the Taiwan Open of Surfing for 5 years and have never seen the waves drop below chest height. The conditions can vary a lot, it can be a bowled out right or look like a left point, it's a good variation so I just hope we get some light winds and have a great finish to the year. The event in Taiwan has always been run really well and had an awesome set-up and I'm sure this year will be no different."
For the first time in years, the WSL Longboard Champions will be decided by more than one event with an LCT already completed in Papua New Guinea this year. Jensen won that, along with Brazilian Chloe Calmon, and the pair will head into the Taiwan Open of Surfing as favorites to take the 2017 Titles.
As in previous years, the along with the LCT, the Taiwan Open of Surfing will also play host to a Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 event. This QS1,500 is the last event of in the Australia/Oceania and Asia regions for 2017 -- so it will decide the 2017 regional QS rankings.
A standout performer at the 2016 QS1,500 event was Victoria up-and-comer Cody Robinson. Robinson fell just short of winning the event and is keen to go to the top of the podium when he returns in 2017.
"I'm super excited to head back to Taiwan and compete this year," Robinson said. "It is such a nice place and we got awesome waves last year, some of the best I have ever seen at a QS event. Last year I finished second which is my best result to date on the QS, this definitely gives me confidence heading back there."
Taitung County Governor Justin Huang has been a huge supporter of the event ever since he helped to bring the WSL on board 5 years ago. He has seen it continue to grow and develop into what it is today and loves what it has done to the local economy and surf scene. He is also pumped to say the Longboard World Champions will be crowned in Taitung County.
"Over the years it has been great to see the growth and development of the Taiwan Open of Surfing," Governor Huang said. "Having it return as a combined event is good but to have a LCT and the World Champions crowned here in Taiwan is incredible. The event is a tremendous help in developing the surf industry in Taiwan. It's an exciting time in the sport of surfing as we look toward the 2020 Olympics. We are excited to work with WSL in building up the young talented surfers from Taiwan as we look toward the future of the sport. We wish luck to all of the competitors and look forward to seeing who takes the title."
The WSL, in collaboration with event organizer, Oasis Union Group Chairman Li, and Local Peace Marketing Manager Burce Cheng, are all happy to see Taitung Governor Justin Huang continue support to make local tourism and inspire future young surfer in Greater China region for athletes to have better incentives in the future.