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Surf, Fun, and Games on Day 1 of Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition

September 22, 2011

Day 1 of the Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition in the Phuket’s most popular seaside town of Patong Beach saw a full day of action starting with an opening ceremony and followed by competitor registration, a beach cleanup, various fun games, a surfing expression session, and Round One of the Men’s Shortboard Open Division, then was wrapped up by a late afternoon surfing clinic to end the day.

By the time registration was closed at 12 noon, almost 100 competitors from 9 different countries had signed up to compete in the four-day Asian Surfing Championship sanctioned 3-star Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition. America, Australia, Burma, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and of course Thailand are all represented at the event, which will conclude on Saturday evening September 24 with a gala banquet awards presentation at the Jungceylon Mall that includes fashion shows, live music from Big Ass, one of Bangkok’s hottest bands, and an after party at Famous.

The Deputy Mayor of the Patong Municipality Mr. Prasan Yodtor officially opened the Quiksilver Thailand 2011 Surf Competition this morning at just after 10 am. In his speech he welcomed everybody and thanked them for coming, then expressed his desire that the event would be a great success and how pleased he was that the competition was taking place in Patong Beach this year. He also thanked Mr. Surached from Quiksilver and Mr. Chanin “Joob” Aiyarak of Surfing Thailand for the generous donation of 50,000 THB in support of the children and community of Patong Beach.

Next on the agenda was a beach cleanup conducted by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, who had invited the children from the Sainamyen School to come down and participate in the mornings program in order to assist in educating them about how to better care for their environment by picking up and properly disposing of trash.

 

 

While waiting for the late registrants to finish up, the organizers called up several of the surfers from the various countries and asked them to paddle out for a 20 minute expression session to give the spectators a taste of what would be coming when the main event kicked off. Teiki Ballian from France, Raditya Rondi from Indonesia, Mamat from Malaysia, Chatchai Samporn and Jamie Smith from Thailand, gladly jumped into the water to show off for the crowd.

Then it was on to the first round of the Men’s Shortboard Division, where a total of 56 surfers filled up the heat draw in hopes of ending up on the podium on Saturday to receive their share of the 67,000 THB (approximately $2,200 USD) prize purse. The highlight of the first round came in the 7th heat, where France’s Teiki Ballian’s frontside aerial netted him the top single wave score of the day, 6 points out of a possible 10, as well as the highest combined heat score of 10 out of a possible 20. Considering the 2-3 foot onshore windy conditions late in the day, it was an impressive feat that had the crowd on its feet and giving Ballian a big round of applause.

Back on the beach Teiki was all smiles, saying, “I was so stoked to land that air. It was a bit hard to find a good wave out there, so I just looked for one of those double-ups that come through sometimes. I really love this place, as I have been coming here since I was 12 years old, and I come here every chance I get. I feel like Phuket is almost my home, as I’ve got a lot of friends here. I’m so happy I came here for this event, and hope that I can get into the finals!”

Lots of action was happening on the beach too, as various vendors set up games including a dunking tank, a shooting range, dart throwing and more to give the spectators and passers by a chance to have some fun and win some prizes during the day.

In addition to the Men’s Shortboard Division competition, there will also be Longboard Open Division, Master’s (over 35) Division, and Women’s Division action at Patong Beach during the next three days, promising lots of fun and excitement for everyone.

The organizers have called for the Longboard Open contestants to stand by at the beach at 8:00 am, as the tidal conditions in the early morning seem to be most suitable for the longboard competition. Certainly there will be more Men’s Shortboard action as well, continuing on with Round 2 later in the morning, so come on down to the beach and check it out!

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