Press Room

Taiwan Open of Surfing to Crown 2019 WSL World Longboard and World Junior Champions

Revamped Longboard Tour to Culminate at Jinzun Harbour in Taitung County with the 2019 Event to Be Bolstered by Men's QS3,000.

COOLANGATTA, QLD / AUS (Friday, October 25, 2019) The World Surf League (WSL) will once again return to the playful peaks of Jinzun Harbour in Taitung County, Taiwan to crown the 2019 World Junior (WJC) and World Longboard Champions (WLC). The Taiwan Open of Surfing, which will run from November 23 to December 7, 2019, will be bigger than ever with the addition of a Men's Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event to this year's schedule.

Line Up Day 3 Jinzun Harbour will play as the primary event location for the Taiwan Open of Surfing. WSL / Bennett

After three amazing events on the new-look WSL World Longboard Tour, the rankings have been set and the top 24 men and top 24 women have been decided ahead of the final event at the Taiwan Open of Surfing. It will be the third year in a row that the WSL World Longboard Champions will be crowned in Taiwan and Longboard Tour Director Devon Howard can't wait to see the action unfold at Jinzun Harbour.

"It's been unreal to be part of the World Longboard Championship evolving from a once-a-year event a year to four-event tour," Howard said. "There's been a lot of new faces at the events this year and we've had three incredible stops so far at some amazing locations including Noosa in Australia, Galicia in Spain and then New York City. With a range of surfers finding results throughout the year, there is an awesome spread on the leaderboard which is going to make the grand finale in Taiwan super exciting. The Longboard Tour can't wait to get back to Taitung County and crown our 2019 World Longboard Champions at the Taiwan Open of Surfing."

Soleil Errico At the 2018 World Longboard Championship in Taiwan. Soleil Errico will return to Taiwan to defend her title in 2019. WSL / Tim Hain

Currently sitting at third on the rankings, reigning men's World Longboard Champion Steven Sawyer is thrilled to return to Taiwan a place where he achieved his dreams in 2018.

"I'm always excited to return to Taiwan as it's personally my favorite place on tour," Sawyer said. "That has nothing to do with my previous results there either, I just love it there. The people, the food and the waves are all amazing, it's definitely a wave-rich place. I really feel at home there. There's nothing like jumping in the car and cruising up and down the coast looking for waves. There are so many left point breaks there it's like heaven for a goofy-footer. There is always swell and plenty of opportunity for competitors which will make for an epic showdown this December."

The WSL World Longboard Championship will run at Jinzun Harbour from December 1 - 7, 2019.

Steven Sawyer At the 2018 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Longboard Championships. Steven Sawyer loves Taiwan. WSL / Jack Barripp

Returning to the Taiwan Open of Surfing for its second consecutive year will be the WSL World Junior Championship. After regional qualifying events been run all over the world, the fields have been decided and the best 18-and-under surfers will descend on the fun park, that is Jinzun Harbour, from November 26 till December 1. Returning to Taiwan to defend her title is 2018 WSL Women's World Junior Champion Kirra Pinkerton.

"I'm super excited to be returning to Taiwan, especially now that I've been before and know what to expect," Pinkerton said. "It will be cool competing against all of the new juniors that will be coming through this year as well. I love everything about Taiwan, the weather, food, waves, and especially the Boba teas. I've never been to a country where every single person was so nice and helpful. The waves are super fun and remind me a lot of the waves at home in California. It's going to be an exciting event and I can't wait to get back."

Kirra Pinkerton upsets Keala Tomoda-Bannert in the Final to win the 2018 Taiwan Open World Junior Championships at Jinzun Harbour, Taiwan. Kirra Pinkerton taking the World Junior titlle in Taitung last year. WSL / Jack Barripp

In 2019, the Taiwan Open of Surfing will expand yet again with this year's event adding a Men's Qualifying Series 3,000 event. With incredible consistency and an abundance of high-performance waves on offer, Jinzun Harbour is an incredible location to see aspiring Championship Tour surfer's duke it out for important QS rankings points. Taitung Governor April Yao, couldn't be happier with the continual evolution and growth of Taiwan's premier surfing event, which is now in its 7th on the WSL schedule.

"The collaboration between the Taitung County Government and the World Surf League has continued to grow and 2019 will be the most impressive Taiwan Open of surfing yet," Governor Yao said. "The event has enabled surfers from all over the world to visit the beautiful Taitung County and surf the amazing waves we have to offer on our Pacific Coast and show that Taitung has the best waves in Taiwan. Jinzun Harbour is a perfect place to hold a competition for the Longboards and Juniors and we can't wait to this year, also welcome surfers in the QS3,000 event. We wish all competitors luck and hope they enjoy the charm and the waves that Taitung County has to offer."

Taiwan Open of Surfing The beauty of Jinzun Harbour. WSL / Tom Bennett

The Taiwan Open of Surfing Men's QS3,000 will run from November 23 - 26.

The 2019 Taiwan Open of Surfing will run from November 23 - December 7, 2019. For more information on any of the three events, please visit www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.

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