Over 120 of Australia / Oceania and Asia's best up-and-coming surfers have arrived in Taitung County ahead of the 2022 Taiwan Open Of Surfing, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series event. With a promising forecast as well as 5000 QS points up for grabs for the women and 3000 for the men, it's set to be an epic week of competition as international surfing returns to the playful peaks for Jinzun Harbour for the first time since 2019.
Being a co-sanctioned event between the Australia / Oceania and Asia regions, the event has attracted a massive international field of competitors looking to qualify for the Challenger Series (CS) and eventually, the Championship Tour. One surfer who has experienced time at the elite level and is looking to make a return is New Zealand's Paige Hareb (NZL). Hareb comes into the Taiwan Open of Surfing leading the rankings in the Australia / Oceania region and is hungry to go deep into the draw here in Taiwan.
"This is my first time in Taiwan, I've only been here a day and I love it already," Hareb said. "It's so much better than I expected with warm weather, beautiful scenery and fun waves. This event is an awesome opportunity to get some good points and help qualify for the 2023 Challenger Series."
Men's rankings leader Marlon Harrison (AUS) has arrived in Taiwan for the first time and is so far liking with what the waves have to offer. The impressive young natural footer will be looking to extend his lead ahead of the back-to-back run of events in Australia early next year.
"This is my first time here in Taiwan and I'm loving it," Harrison said. "The waves have been so good for the last few days and it's looking like continuing throughout the window so it should be a great event. Everyone is loving the surf here and we're all feeling really welcome by the people here which is great. This place is awesome."
The Asia region's rankings leaders Minami Nonaka (JPN) and Kian Martin (SWE) will also be ones to watch when competition commences. They'll have to overcome a strong field of competitors including a number of Taiwan's best surfers, being led by Pan Hai-Hsin (TPE) who will be competing in his sixth Taiwan Open of Surfing WSL event.
With an 8 day window and mostly light winds and waves in the three-to-four foot range, event organisers are confident there will be plenty of opportunity for competitors in all rounds throughout the next week. This promising forecast will guarantee plenty of action for those watching on the beach or online through the live broadcast.
Event organisers will meet at 7:30 A.M. local time to make a call on competition for a possible 8:00 A.M. start.
The 2022 Taiwan Open of Surfing Women's QS5000 and Men's QS 3000 will run at Jinzun Harbour from November 13 - 20. The competition will be broadcasted LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL's YouTube channel, and on the free WSL app.