Taiwan International Surfing Open Kicks off in Taitung

An opening ceremony today saw an Amis blessing ritual, and a performance by an indigenous drumming group, as surfers gathered for Taiwan’s only international surfing contest, in Taitung County, Donghe Township’s Jinzun Beach.

Surfers will begin competing for NTD$2.5 million (more than USD$78,000) in prize money tomorrow, Thursday, November 24 until Sunday, November 27.

Surfers began testing the waters today, and spectators gathered on the beach to watch the world class surfers warming up for tomorrow’s contest.

The competition is a round in the World Surfing League’s global competition circuit.

International pro surfers competing in this year’s contest include Japan’s Reo Inaba, women’s longboard world champion Rachel Tilly, from California, Australian Perth Standlick, and Tony Silvagni from North Carolina.

Contestants this year include 112 international, and 100 Taiwanese surfers. Records were set for the number of international competitors, and the amount of prize money.

Shuttle bus services will run between Taitung City and Jinzun 8 times daily during the 4 days of the competition.

The competition is widely touted by its official local name as “Taiwan Open of Surfing,” even on the WSL website.

An Amis elder blesses a surfer
An Amis elder blesses a surfer in a ceremony marking the start of the 2016 Taiwan round of the World Surfing League contest. Photo: United Daily News.

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