In the near perfect surf conditions at Kata Beach, the Women’s Longboards started off with the one-on-one battle between Dhea Natasha Novitasari from Indonesia and Song Hyehyun from South Korea. Both were exchanging hang fives and hang tens to the delight of the commentators and cheers from the crowd.
Hyehyun was in the lead heading into the final minute, seeming to have the win well in hand, until Novitasari snuck into into a beautiful left hander and executed a hang ten and roundhouse cutback combination, earning her an excellent 8.25 to take the lead by a slim 0.1 point. Hyehyun had one quick chance for a buzzer beater but came up short.
“I’m so glad I was able to pull off that hang ten that gave me the lead. I’m happy to make it through the semis!” said an excited Novitasari.
Japan’s Hiroka Yoshikawa earned her spot in the semi-finals by posting the highest combined heat score of 16.00 points, solidifying her position as the event favorite come finals day today.
“The waves today were so fun, better as compared to the past few days. After the rain, the waves were so glassy. I’m so excited to compete again tomorrow and hopefully the waves will be the same,’’ said Yoshikawa.
Thailand and Malaysia will also be represented in the Women Longboard semifinals, with Annissa Flynn and Qadeja Munirah Binti Musaddiq securing their spots yesterday.
Qadeja Musaddiq is the little sister of 2019 Southeast Asian Games competitor Didaqt Musaddiqspot and grew up surfing at the long lefthander of Cherating. “Ever since I saw my brother surf, I wanted to learn how to surf too,” she said. “I was fortunate that my brother trained me well. I feel so blessed and happy after that heat. This is my first time competing in an international surfing competition and I’m overwhelmed by the support of my family and friends back in Malaysia,” Musaddiq added.
In Men’s Longboard Quarterfinal action, it was a tightly contested battle between Dean Permana from and Tsukamoto Masaya from Japan. The Batukaras local pulled a critical hang ten from the peak all the way inside with just 30 seconds to go to earn a 8.35 score and come from behind to win the heat against Masaya in one of the events best heats, where both classic logging style and high performance style were on display.
Thailand’s Weerawat Kuru never let up in his heat against fellow Thai surfer Jakkrit Phutphueak. Kuru is a member of Thailand’s national surfing team and easily won the heat to secure his spot in the semi-finals, where he will meet Dean Permana.
In the third heat of the quarter-finals, Deni Pirdaus, another talented surfer from Batukaras, Indonesia claimed victory over Hafiz Bin Abdul Rahim from Malaysia using his exceptional leashless footwork to end with the highest heat score of the day of 16.25. “I’m so happy I was able to make it in the semi-finals, and I’m so excited for tomorrow’s match,’’ said Pirdaus.
Roger Casugay from the Philippines managed to clinch his win over Settawut Chaiwat in a nail biting quarterfinals heat to earn his spot in the semifinals. “I’m super tired after that paddle battle at the end of the heat,” said Casogay. “I guess my daily cardio training paid off, as I’ve been training back at home with the national team to prepare for situations like this. I’m so excited for tomorrow’s semifinals match up.” Casugay will meet Deni Pirdaus in what promises to be an epic semi-final duel.
In the Men’s Shortboard action, the last remaining Thai surfers in the draw went head to head with Natthakron Sae Lew posting a combined heat score of 11.70 over Nattawin Poksakul to secure his semi-final spot. In the next heat it was Nyoman Satria Mukti winning the heat by only 1.45 points in a close match between Jakkapan Thongnak from Thailand. Nyoman Satria Mukti will meet Natthakron Sae Lew in the semi-finals match up today.
One of the most anticipated quarterfinal matches was between John Mark Tokong from the Philippines and 16-year-old Made Joi Satriawan from Bali, Indonesia. Tokong was awarded an excellent 8.25 score for landing a three sixty air, which ultimately got him the win over the young Indonesian.
Oney Anwar and Tipi Jabrik came head to head in the final quarter-final heat. Oney’s intense energy no doubt gave him an advantage against the veteran. Oney dominated the scoring with a total of 15.00 points against Jabrik’s 9.00 score. Anwar will meet John Mark Tokong today in a super exciting semi-finals match up.
In the Women’s Shortboards, Dhea Natasha Novitasari easily won the first heat against fellow Indonesian Pua Johnson and Camille Spaccarotella from Singapore, while in Heat 2 it was Ziggy Mackenzie over local favorite Annissa Flynn from Thailand and Hanasuri Jabrik. Semi-final matchups will be Dhea Natasha Novitasari vs Annissa Flynn, and Pua Johnson vs Ziggy Mackenzie.
To view highlights of days 1, 2 and 3: