The stage is set for this year's instalment of the Taiwan Open of Surfing with the 2019 edition to be the biggest yet with three major WSL events to run over the next three weeks. Before the World Longboard and Junior Championships commence, a men's Qualifying Series 3000 event will run at Jinzun Harbour in Taitung County.
The Taiwan Open QS3,000 will see over 140 competitors from all corners of the globe battle it out for QS ranking points as they look to improve their seed for the 2020 Qualifying Series season. Last time a men's QS event ran at the high-performance peaks of Jinzun Harbour, Aussie livewire Mitch Parkinson (AUS) took the win. Fresh off a win at the recent So Sri Lanka Pro, Parkinson is looking to continue his epic end to the 2019 season.
"I'm stoked to be back in Taiwan I really enjoy this place," Parkinson said. "There are always fun waves at Jinzun Harbour so it's the perfect place to run an event. I haven't been competing much this year but was happy to come back here because it's always a good time. Winning in Sri Lanka was the best result of my career and if I back that up with a big result here, I might have to consider competing in some more events next year. I'm pumped for this event to get started. The forecast is looking great so it should be a sick week of competition."
With the Taiwan Open being the final event on the WSL Asia regional Qualifying Series, it will play as the deciding event for the 2019 Regional Champion, an honour that brings with it a seed into the opening Challenger Series events for 2020. Currently leading the rankings is Indonesian prodigy Rio Waida (IDN) who has epic experience at Jinzun and a shot at a major. Leg up in 2020.
"I'm so happy to be back in Taiwan, I love this place," Waida said. "It would definitely be great to win the regional Asia QS, but I don't want to think too much about that - my major focus is on this event and making sure I get a solid result here. Doing well here will help my ranking. My dream is to qualify and to do that you need to surf on the Challenger Series, so a good result is so important to me. I've been training hard and surfing a lot so I'm confident about this event."
With good swell and light winds forecast for the opening days of competition, excitement is building among competitors and fans alike. The Taiwan Open QS3,000 will run from November 23 - 26. Once completed, the Taiwan Open World Junior Championship will run from November 26 - December 1 and will be followed by the World Longboard Championships from December 1 - 7.
To watch all of the action from the Taiwan Open of Surfing, head to www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.