SURFING: Day five of the Phuket Beach Festival international surfing competition yesterday (August 27) was indeed a day in the books as excellent surfing conditions allowed the remaining competitors to compete for their semi-final positions in the men’s and women’s shortboard and longboard divisions.
In near-perfect surf conditions at Kata Beach, the women’s longboards began with the head-to-head battle between Indonesia’s Dhea Natasha Novitasari and South Korea’s Song Hyehyun. Both were trading hang fives and hang ten to the delight of the commentators and the cheers of the crowd.
Hyehyun was in the lead heading into the last minute, looking like he had the victory well in hand, until Novitasari sneaked into a nice southpaw and executed a combination ten shot and round cut, earning him an excellent 8, 25 to take the lead by a slim 0.1 point. Hyehyun had a quick chance for a buzzer beater but didn’t make it.
“I’m so happy to have hit that ten shot that gave me the lead. I am happy to have managed to pass the semi-finals! said an excited Novitasari.
Japan’s Hiroka Yoshikawa secured her place in the semi-finals by posting the highest combined score of 16.00 points, cementing her position as the event’s favorite on the day of the final today.
“The waves today were so much fun, better compared to the last few days. After the rain the waves were so glassy. I’m so excited to compete again tomorrow and hope the waves are the same,” said Yoshikawa said.
Thailand and Malaysia will also be represented in the women’s longboard semi-finals, 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 the long left of Cherating. “Since I saw my brother surf, I wanted to learn to surf too,” she said. “I was lucky that my brother trained me well. I feel so blessed and happy after this heat. This is my first time competing in an international surfing competition and I am overwhelmed with the support of my family and friends in Malaysia,” added Musaddiq.
In the men’s longboard quarterfinals, it was a hard-fought battle between Dean Permana of Japan and Tsukamoto Masaya of Japan. The Batukaras local scored a top ten critical hit inside with just 30 seconds to go to earn an 8.35 and come from behind to win the round against Masaya in one of the best rounds ever. the event, where both classic journaling style and high performance styling were on display.
Thailand’s Weerawat Kuru never gave up on fellow Thai Jakkrit Phutphueak. Kuru is a member of Thailand’s national surfing team and easily won the round to secure his place in the semi-finals, where he will meet Dean Permana.
In the third leg of the quarter-finals, Deni Pirdaus, another talented surfer from Batukaras, Indonesia, took victory over Hafiz Bin Abdul Rahim from Malaysia using his outstanding off-leash footwork to finish with the heat score the highest. daily high of 16.25. “I’m so happy that I was able to qualify for the semi-finals and I’m so excited for tomorrow’s game,” said Pirdaus.
Roger Casugay of the Philippines managed to clinch his win over Settawut Chaiwat in a biting quarter-final flurry to earn his place in the semi-finals. “I’m super tired after that paddle battle at the end of the run,” Casogay said. “I guess my daily cardio training paid off as I trained at home with the national team to prepare for situations like this. I’m so excited for tomorrow’s semi-final game Casugay will meet Deni Pirdaus in what promises to be an epic semi-final duel.
In the Men’s Shortboard action, the last Thai surfers remaining in the draw went head-to-head with Natthakron Sae Lew posting a combined score of 11.70 over Nattawin Poksakul to secure his place in the semi-finals. In the next round, it was Nyoman Satria Mukti who won the round with only 1.45 points in a tight match between Jakkapan Thongnak from Thailand. Nyoman Satria Mukti will meet Natthakron Sae Lew in the semi-finals today.
One of the most anticipated quarter-finals pitted John Mark Tokong of the Philippines against 16-year-old Made Joi Satriawan of Bali, Indonesia. Tokong scored an excellent 8.25 for landing a three sixty air which ultimately earned him victory over the young Indonesian.
Oney Anwar and Tipi Jabrik faced each other in the last quarter-final. Oney’s intense energy undoubtedly gave him an advantage against the veteran. Oney topped the score with a total of 15.00 points to Jabrik’s 9.00. Anwar will meet John Mark Tokong today in a super exciting semi-final match.
In the women’s shortboards, Dhea Natasha Novitasari easily won round one against fellow Indonesian Pua Johnson and Camille Spaccarotella from Singapore, while in round 2 it was Ziggy Mackenzie ahead of local favorite Annissa Flynn from Thailand and Hanasuri Jabrik. The semifinal matchups will be Dhea Natasha Novitasari vs. Annissa Flynn and Pua Johnson vs. Ziggy Mackenzie.
To see the highlights of Days 1, 2 and 3: