Edouard Delpero has won the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship event in clean, 4-to-6 foot waves at Jinzun Harbour. The stylish naturalfooter was a favourite coming into the event after winning it as an qualifying contest in 2016 and came up against two-time World Longboard Champion Phil Rajzman.
"This has been a great event for me," Delpero said. "I have worked really hard this week to get to the Final. I was always aiming to win but never expected to be in a surf-off for the World Title. I love Taiwan and the Taitung area -- I have amazing memories here and always get incredible surf. I'm already looking forward to coming back next year."
The first-place finish rocketed 27-year-old Delpero to equal first on the men's longboard rankings and forced a surf-off with Taylor Jensen to decide the 2017 title.
In the Final of the Taiwan Open, Delpero came up against Rajzman, the 2007 and 2016 World Champion from Brazil. Rajzman was Jensen's only hope to clinch the title without a surf-off and looked a solid chance to win the event. In the final, Rajzman struggled to find the rhythm he had in earlier rounds and went down to Delpero with a heat total of 11.03. He finishes the season ranked No. 4 in the world.
"Edouard was surfing incredibly all event and really deserves the win," Rajzman said. "I struggled to find good waves in the Final, which was hard, because I would have loved to have won the event. Winning and giving the Title to Taylor would have been special for me but to have a surf-off is really exciting for the sport."