A heavy downpour with onshore winds and high tide conditions greeted the officials and surfers on the fourth day of competition at Kata Beach, but with it came an increase in wave size in the 3-5 foot. Contest Director Tipi Jabrik decided to call the competition on, explaining, “This is the biggest day out of the past few days of the contest, so I think we should maximize the opportunity and run. We’ll try to finish Men’s Shortboard Round Two, Women’s Shortboard Round Two and then Men’s Shortboard Round Three, that’s the plan.”
Event Manager Chatchai Somporn added, “I have checked several forecasts and they said it will be raining and windy the whole day, but that the weather conditions will change tomorrow and be better so I’m excited for the upcoming quarterfinal matches as we think there will be great waves on offer for the remainder of the event.”
Round 2 of the Men’s Shortboards started off with Thailand’s Pongpao Yayee putting on an exceptional performance as he used his local knowledge to navigate through the challenging windswell conditions and win Heat 1. Unfortunately he failed to earn any high scoring waves in Round 3, so did not advance into the quarterfinals.
In Heat Two, Made Joi Satriawan from Bali earned praise from the commentators and the crowd as he easily adapted to the onshore conditions posting the highest heat total score of Round 2, a 16.10, with the day’s first excellent score of an 8.60 as well.
He went on to also win Heat 3 and earn his spot in the quarterfinals, where he will meet the Philippines John Mark Tokong in quarterfinal 3.
“The waves are so hard to read but that’s what it is. I’ve been training a lot in Bali and I guess the training pays off. Hopefully the waves will stay the same, bigger and more action. I’m just so stoked to make it through,” said Satriawan.
Another Indonesian standout was Nyoman Satria Mukti aka “Blacky”, who put on quite a show against Jamie Smith and Weerchat Polsimna from Thailand and crowd favorite John Mark Tokong in Round 2 Heat 4. For most of the heat, Blacky was in a see-saw battle with Tokong for the lead, but in the dying minutes of the heat, he overtook Tokong for the heat win by just 0.6 of a point.
“Honestly, it’s very hard out there… it’s very tricky, very windy,” said Blacky. “But in the end I managed to get the wave that I needed. I’m happy to be here in Thailand… it’s just like my home in Legian, Padma Beach,” he added.
Blacky went on to also win his Round 3 heat, dropping 8.50 and 7.90 scores for a 16.40 heat total. “I’m so stoked and happy I was able to land that air. It was massive and actually hard out there, so many waves and so much current but I made sure I did my best to get the waves that I needed,’’ said Nyoman. He is matched up with Thai local Jakkapan Thongnak in quarterfinal 2.
In the final heat of Round 3, Indonesia’s Oney Anwar staged an aerial battle against Siargao Island native John Mark Tokong, undoubtedly the heat of the day and the event so far. Air after air, these two regular footers put on an epic show, with Anwar posting the highest combined heat score of 17.75. He landed a front side 360 air and the judges awarded him a 9.25 score, sealing his victory over Tokong, who also landed a huge frontside air for an excellent 8.40 to end with a total score of 15.70.
“That was a really fun surf!” exclaimed Anwar. “Marama (John Mark Tokong) is always a really dangerous opponent for me because he always smashes me whenever I’m in his home island of Siargao. I don’t know maybe we had a mental connection or something and decided to put on an aerial show out there. I’m excited for tomorrow’s quarterfinals. The waves and getting bigger… so let’s do it,’’ he said. Tokong added, “That was a very fun heat. I love it here. The crowd, the energy. It’s just a surreal experience for me!”
After winning her Round 1 heat on Thursday afternoon, thirteen year old Ziggy Mackenzie from Australia (but who grew up in Bali) tackled the huge set waves with determination and put on a great performance against Indonesians Hanasuri Jabrik and Lidia Kato, and Proud Panutatsanaporn of Thailand to win her place in the Women’s quarterfinals.
“The wave conditions today were very challenging,” said Mackenzie. “It’s hard to find the right high scoring wave. Good job to all the girls, they were all ripping. Thank you guys! I love it here in Thailand! I actually didn’t know that there were waves here. Super stoked to be here. I also want to say thanks to my mom! Love you mom!”
Hanasuri Jabrik, who is the daughter of ASC’s Tipi jabrik also showed her contest savvy during her heat as her score was tied exactly the same as fellow Indonesian Lidia Kato. “I just tried staying close to Lydia so she wouldn’t get the wave,” explained Jabkrik. “And then when she was paddling for a wave I paddled for the wave and I got it. Luckily she didn’t get the score at the end so I could advance. It’s really good to be here in Phuket and I love Thai food, so I really wanted to try the real Thai food. The waves are fun like my home break in Padma. Yeah, super stoked to be here,’’ she added.
In the last heat of Women’s Round Two, Kata local Annissa Flynn’s knowledge of her homebreak gave her the advantage as she took the heat win over Pua Johnson from Indonesia and up and coming Thailand surfing sensation Isabel Faye Higgs. Johnson, who first competed in Phuket at the age of fourteen, was excited to be back here again. “I’m really glad the conditions got a little better today. There’s some swell and some sections and it’s a lot easier for me as I’m a little bit bigger person, but yes I’m looking forward to the next round. I love it here in Thailand. The food is great, the people are so hospitable and it’s super affordable here. I’ll be back here for a holiday again for sure,” said Johnson.
Quarterfinal matchups for the Men’s Shortboard are as follows: Quarterfinal 1 - Nattawin Poksakul vs Natthakron Sae-Iew, Quarterfinal 2 - I Nyoman Satria Mukti vs Jakkapan Thongnak, Quarterfinal 3 - Made Joi Satriawan vs John Mark M. Tokong, and Quarterfinal 4 - Hairil Anwar vs Tipi Jabrik.
Round 3 (Quarterfinal) matchups for the Women’s Shortboard are as follows: Heat 1 -Dhea Natasha Novitasari vs Camille Spaccarotella vs Pua Johnson, Heat 2 - Annissa Tita Flynn vs Mackenzie Ziggy vs Hanasuri Jabrik
To view highlights of Days 1, 2 and 3: