The Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series 2009 finished up yesterday in spectacular but often testing surfing conditions at beautiful Kata Beach in Phuket Thailand, with this final event culminating in both Island Crown event winners and the overall championship winners of the three-event series. Over 100 surfers participated in the Island Crown, locals as well as surfers from Australia, Japan, France, South Africa, Indonesia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Over the course of the three-day event, the surf at Kata Beach varied from 2-3 foot glassy faces to stormy 5-6 foot non-stop windswell, giving the competitors in each division a challenging test of their endurance and skill. “If I wasn’t in the contest I wouldn’t have paddled out for some of those heats. In all my years of surfing here in Phuket I’ve never surfed in conditions like this. It was really hard work but I’m glad I did it,” said Decha “Day” Sittidej after his heat on Saturday morning. Saturday’s competition was stopped three times when howling winds brought torrents of rain that blasted the beach for several minutes.
On Sunday the weather and the waves made a miraculous turn to produce a sunny and less windy day with more controlled surfing conditions overall. There were still sizeable waves that at low tide made for lots of paddling, but the surfers were up to the challenge and the spectators enjoyed cheering them on from the beach.
On Sunday evening at the end of the three days of competition, everyone gathered by the pool of the Kata Beach Resort for the awards presentation. After enjoying the delicious food and tapping the bountiful supplies of Kingfisher Beer and Jim Beam, as well as other refreshments, the crowd was treated a Quiksilver/Roxy fashion show by the stunning Maxim models.
Having gotten the crowd’s attention, Mr. Chanin “Joob” Aiyarak then took to the stage and begun the awards ceremony, starting with the Island Crown events winners in the Junior, Women’s, Longboard, and finally Men’s Open Division. Oliver Penmit got his first event series win in the Juniors, Tiffany Riggs from Australia was victorious in the Women’s, Aaron Wright from the USA stole the show in the Longboards, and Jamie Smith claimed his first win at his home break of Kata Beach.
Then it was time to announce the overall winners of each division in the Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series, so Quiksilver’s CEO of South East Asia Paul Hutson took to the stage, first taking a moment to say, “On behalf of Quiksilver I would sincerely like to thank all the sponsors, including the government of Phuket, as without their support we couldn’t have put together such a great series of events. And equally we are very grateful for the hard work and great job that Surached and his team from Quiksilver Thailand, together with Joob and his Phuket Boardriders crew here in Phuket, have done over the three events to make it such a fantastic success. We couldn’t be more pleased and can’t wait to do it again next year. See you then and thank you!”
Taking the overall championship victory in the Men’s Open Division was Ekkarat Sriden, who won the Monsoon Riders event at Kalim Beach on June 16, was the runner up the King of the Jungle event at Kamala Beach on July 16, and was the runner up in the Island Crown. For his championship victory he received a trophy, products from Quiksilver and other sponsors and the grand prize of a surfboard signed by 9-time world champion Kelly Slater.
The Junior and Women’s divisions were both won by Phuket’s 11 year old girl grom phenom Annissa Flynn, who didn’t manage to rack up another win at the Island Crown in either the Junior or the Women’s Division but had two first place victories in the Junior Division and a first and a second placing in the Women’s Division at the previous two events to lead the rankings and score the championship.
The Longboard Division series championship was nabbed by Kata Beach local Jamie Smith, whose consistency throughout the series saw him narrowly best two-time Longboard event winner Preecha Takira for the final trophy, as Preecha failed to advance into the semifinals which would have ensured his championship victory. Both surfers competed in the Mens Open and the Longboard events and are Kata Beach locals.
With the awards presentation over and all the winners laden with products and cash for their hard work, the Maxim models took one more turn at the runway before giving up the rest of the night to “Pae Slur”, a very popular Bangkok band that came down to rock the house and close out the evening with an energetic finale!
Quiksilver’s Sports Marketing Manager and ex World Tour pro surfer Jake Paterson was very happy with what he has seen in the Phuket surfing community saying, “It was so great to come here and see the growth and development of the surfing here, even just over these three events. From the grommets to the older set, they are all very into the sport and learning fast. I’m stoked to be able to come here give them a hand…and to get a few fun surfs in with the crew here too!”
Phuket Boardriders President Chanin “Joob” Aiyarak was also extremely pleased with the success of the series, adding, “To have Quiksilver, the government, and our many sponsors give us this opportunity is a dream come true. We have been working hard over these last months, for years actually…so to see such a successful conclusion today makes it all worthwhile. And as part of the Asian Surfing Championship tour, the Thailand Surf Series is now a good example for surfing communities in other South East Asian countries as to what is possible to do.”
Also the opening ceremony on the beach on Friday morning, the governor of Puget Mr. Withal Praising voiced his appreciation to the sponsors and pledged his support of the Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series, encouraging everyone to come an enjoy the surf, the beaches, and all that Phuket has to offer.
The Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series was hosted and supported by the following: Quiksilver SEA, Phuket Provincial Office, Thailand Tourism and Sport Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Patong Municipality, Kamala OBT, and the Karon Municipality, with media sponsors Phuket Gazette, PG TV, Blue Wave 90.5FM, B95FM, Phuket Bulletin, Art and Culture Magazine, MTV, and the Phuket Neo Photo Club, as well as Jim Beam, Nok Air, Kingfisher, Print Kamala Resort, the Jungceylon Shopping Center, the Patong Paragon Hotel, the Kata Beach Resort, and the Absolute Resort.
Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series 2009 Championship Results
Men’s Open Division Champion – Ekkarat Sriden (Kamala Beach)
Longboard Division Champion – Jamie Smith (Kata Beach)
Women’s Division Champion – Annissa Flynn (Kata Beach)
Junior Division Champion – Annissa Flynn (Kata Beach)
Island Crown Results
Men’s Open Division
1. Jamie Smith (Thailand)
2. Yudi Andika (Indonesia)
3. Jakkapan Thongnak (Thailand)
4. Ekkarat Sriden (Thailand)
1. Aaron Wright (USA)
2. Yudi Andika (Indonesia)
3. Sammarat Rattamart (Thailand)
4. Jamie Smith (Thailand)
1. Tiffany Riggs (Australia)
2. Lulu Skarpa (South Africa)
3. Masako Hasebe (Japan)
4. Yuka Kobayashi (Japan)
1. Oliver Penmit (Thailand)
2. Amnad Chisaman (Thailand)
3. Sittiwat Jabchu (Thailand)
4. Annissa Flynn (Thailand)
About the Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series
Organized and presented by the Phuket Boardriders Club, the Quilksilver Thailand Surf Series is the first Asian Surfing Championship tour series to be held in South East Asia, and is the first major surfing series in Thailand to be presented by a large international surfing brand.
About the Phuket Boardriders Club
The Phuket Boardriders Club is a non-profit organization formed in 2002 to strengthen local surfing talent and create camaraderie and friendship between local and visiting surfers. The management of the club consists of Thai office bearers and local expatriate volunteers, and over the past 7 surf seasons the Boardriders have held numerous surf contests in Phuket including the Kalim Surfing Contest, The Kamala Surfing Contest, and the Kata/Karon surfing competition (also known as The Phuket Surfing Contest). For more information, see www.phuketboardriders.com and www.thaisurfseries.com.