The 2022 Taiwan Open Of Surfing World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event has continued today with the opening round of the women's QS 5000 event. Some of Australia / Oceania's and Asia's best up and coming competitors put on a great display of surfing in fun, wind affected two-to-four foot surf.
The opening heat of the day saw the standout performance as Brazilian competitor Anne Dos Santos (BRA) who put on a clinic going left and right to post a heat total of 11.83 (out of a possible 20). Dos Santos, took advantage of the cleaner conditions early to display her speed on rail and ability to ditch on her frontside. She will progress into the Round of 32 as she continues to enjoy her maiden trip to Taiwan.
"There's definitely a lot of wind but the waves are still really fun," Dos Santos said. "There are a lot of peaks going left and right so we had a lot of opportunities out there for us - it's an amazing spot for an event. I've been having such a good time here in Taiwan. It's such a beautiful place with so many great waves."
Another competitor who has been enjoying her first trip to Taiwan is young Australian Mia Huppatz (AUS) who took a convincing heat win in her opening round matchup at Jinzun Harbour. Huppatz showed impeccable timing and finesse to post two mid-range scores and book a spot into the Round of 32 where she'll take on former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Paige Hareb (NZL).
"I'm blown away by this place - It's so beautiful and the waves haven't stopped the whole time we've been here," Huppatz said. That was a tough heat though, the wind was right up so it was hard to know which waves to go for - I'm just glad I was able to find a few that gave me multiple sections. I'm hoping to keep this going and make some more heats here in Taiwan."
Filipino representative Nilbie Blancada (PHL) is fresh off a win at the Siargao International Surfing Cup where she dominated the field with her incredible tube riding. Today, in the peaks of Jinzun Harbour, Blancada showed she's also got what it takes to post scores on her rail, claiming a heat win with lightning fast carves in the pocket. After claiming her maiden WSL victory only a month ago Blancada is keen to continue her form with another solid result here in Taiwan as she looks to climb the regional rankings.
"It felt good to get an early heat win here in Taiwan," Blancada said. "I want to keep my confidence high after winning in Cloud 9 but this is such a different location for waves. It's good to show a different side of my surfing and I'm keen to go deep in the draw. This is a QS 5000 so the field has a lot of great surfers to overcome. It will be a great experience."
Nao Omura (JPN) was another standout in the opening round of the women's competition, posting the second highest two-wave total of the day for her powerful backhand attack. Australian surfers Freya Prum (AUS) Sasha Baker (AUS), Willow Hardy (AUS) and Charli Hurst (AUS) were all able to claim heat wins on the opening day of women's competition as well.
Event organisers will reconvene at 7:00 A.M. local time to make a call on competition for a possible 7:30 A.M. start.
The 2022 Taiwan Open of Surfing Women's QS 5000 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.
The Taiwan Open of Surfing is proudly supported by the Taitung County Government.