The Time Has Come
THE 2019 TAITUNG WAVE CLASSIC.
The countdown to Wave Jam 2019 has ended! Like clockwork, when the Moon Festival rolled around in mid – September, the North East monsoon winds started blowing. Not too regularly at first, but into October, their frequency increased. Past mid – October and it had been windy for 6 days straight. Some days were 4.5 and 5.0, while 2 days went nuclear and a 4.0 was too big. This could only mean the Wave Jam was around the corner..
FIVE YEARS OF WAVE JAMMIN’ POSTER BOYS.
This year was our five year anniversary. “Five years of wind-fueled gatherings, broken masts, trips to the rocks (aka ‘rock stardom’), uncounted bottles of beer consumed and meat barbecued. So come out with your wind gear and help us celebrate the Taitung Wave Classic 2019. Waiting period is Nov 9th to 30th. Uber casual, roaming venue, long waiting period, braais (barbecues) and downwinders. This is not a contest so the only prizes you will be getting are a couple beers and lot of stories. 😀Just an excuse for windsurfers to get together and have a good time. Bring on the jam..”
Follow the jam factory on Facebook here:
www.facebook.com/taitungwaveclassic or browse through the event write-up below.
DAY 1 – BOB’S REEF.
Bob’s Reef on 4.0s/4.5s. The Russian finally made it out. Ripping Belgian Numas Coenegrachts had a good session. Gabriel Gras, Craig from Oz, Steffen Oberstein and Urs had some good waves. Waves much better than the day before! Late show: Federico Davicino (Spain) and Harris Pan (Kaohsiung) who showed up just as the wind died.
DAY 2 PART 1 – GRAVEYARDS
Back from the grave…
The plan was to launch from Bob’s, sail south to Graves, and then finish up in Dulan. While we were rigging up North Shore, general Jason Tsai showed up like an early Christmas. He and Miriam (a young lass kiting for 7 months) would stay at Bob’s (the wind is more consistent) and the rest of us would downwind to Graves (much better waves when Bob’s is blown out) and finally end up in the relatively protected waters of Dulan Bay. Attack mission commence: Taiga Matsumoto, Yoshihito Niizuma, and Numas Coenegrachts left the beach. Only 2 of us made it to Graves – the wind had gone nuclear, and Bob was angry at us for visiting during his low tide siesta. Bob was moshing to Slayer and he had the speakers on full. Heading south straight away Taiga Matsumoto and I ended up at Graves, a small point that helps clean things up a bit. Graves was easier, smoother and had a deep channel to help get out. Had an hour or so here with Taiga, but after a while, with the dropping tide, things started to get out of control. Taiga nearly got caught inside (which would have ended his session). We decided to continue south, guessing the others had packed up and would be there anyway. Downwinding in 30 knots was fun and interesting, with a few cool catapults along the way. We saw something big halfway to Dulan. I tried not to get catapulted. As you pass a certain line near Dulan, it’s weird how the wind drops 5 knots. It was comforting seeing a sail far off in the distance – I guessed it was Fede (I can spot him from a mile away) and I guessed right! We rounded into the bay, relieved to have survived the battle of Graves…
Thanks to the awesome photographers: Cory Leis, Yong-yi Chen and Jason Tsai.
DAY 2 PART 2: DULAN
Taiga Matsumoto and I limped into Dulan Bay after a harrowing session at Graveyards. Familiar sails and friendly faces everywhere; 曾映皓 (Jimmy) out on his blood red Ga 4.0 and shredding ever wave in his path, Wan Pin Juan (our Amis windsurfer friend and P.E. teacher at Donghe elementary school), Federico Davicino (the Spanish Butterfly – ripping around like he had wings), the guys we had left behind in the war zone (Yoshihito from Japan and Numas the Belgian ripper). Dulan Point was super fun, although the wind was gusty and unpredictable at times.
Photo cred: Yong-yi Chen
DAY 3: BOB’S
(18 to 20 knots – 5.0s)
Unlike the day before, Bob was in a much better mood, welcoming us and offering us gentle 18 to 20 knots and some smooth waves. Everyone except Numas the Belgian made it out (wind was too light for him/he was hungover from drinking with cousin Kenny the Russian). Everyone caught heaps of good waves.
Points of note:
1) Yoshihito (after being chided by teammate Taiga MachuMacho for ‘sailing the channel” too much) started to venture deeper up the reef and more in the critical section. He took off too late on a couple and went to the washing machine , but he also succeeded riding a few nuggets. No pain no gain.
2) Sega Huang surprised us all. Everyone had come in except him and Jimmy. They were both fully powered and heading out through the channel and saw a sizable wave swing wide and rear up right in their path. Both were going to have to jump it or gibe on it, and I was expecting Jimmy to throw a backloop. Instead Jimmy just jumped it, and right behind him Sega launched into a huge pushloop, completely inverted, rotated all the way round (pushloop style, not horizontally like backloop) and crashed on the landing. If he had pushed with his backhand he might have landed a clean pushie!
Photos: Yong-yi Chen
DAY 6: PART 1 – NUCLEAR BOB’S AGAIN!
Part 1: Psycho Bob’s
35 knots and up to mast high sets. 4.0 but needed 3.5s. Totally overpowered (except Taiga Matsumoto, who seems to thrive in these conditions).
I love Bob’s Award: Taiga Matsumoto
Big Cohones Award: Yoko Nakamura
Rockstar Awards: Yoshihito Niizuma, Gabriel Gras and Urs all paid a visit to the rocky shorebreak downwind.
After an hour we packed up and left for Dulan (Part 2).
Thanks to Yong-yi Chen for the photos!
DAY 6: PART 2 – DULAN
Nov 20th – Dulan.
Jekyll and Hyde. From the wildness of Bob’s tantrum to the relative gentle caress of Dulan. We arrived back at Dulan to see Howard Chang, young ripper 歐瑞暘 from Penghu, Federico Davicino and Zen Hom Lee rigged up and ready to go. Sega Huang, 曾映皓, Harris Pan and the boys arrived and rigged. Gabriel Gras was up for round 2.
Gusty but rippable conditions. Outside point wasn’t working to its potential but when you windsurf it doesn’t matter, it’s still fun.
I love Bob’s (Marley)🤣: Taiga Matsumoto
Wave 360: Howard Chang🤘
Ninja tunes: Jimmy Zheng
Honorable lady: Yoko Nakamura
New kids on the block: 歐瑞暘, and Oscar Trapezist🤘
Most improved: Gabriel Gras
Legend: Oscar Trapezist
DAY 7: DULAN
Checked Jinzun (nobody keen except Howard. Checked Bob’s (looked like the day before). So Dulan it was.
4.5 was the sail of choice. Waves were soft in the beginning but as the tide dropped the reef started showing what it can do. Everybody was on fire. Sails ripping around, conditions relatively easy, and once in a while a nice set coming through through point, big and mushy on the outside and reforming nicely in the inside bowl section at Lowers.
Photo cred: Yong-yi Chen
DAY 8: JINZUN (LEFTOVERS)
Introducing Takara Ishii! “WGLG is honored to have our friend and windsurfer Takara Ishii in the house. The last time he was here he was only 15 years old. He is just back from the Aloha Classic in Hawaii where he reached 3rd place in the youth class.
Likes: Pocky (chocolate?)
IWT (International Windsurf Tour): 2nd place juniors
PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association): 3rd place juniors”
Takara on fire!
Takara is in town, fresh from a third place podium finish in Hawaii. He was windsurfing mast and half high waves with barely any wind (that’s normal on Maui sometimes). So Day 8 of the Taitung Wave Classic moved to our creme de la creme of wavesailing spots: Leftovers in Jinzun. It’s like a mini Ponta Preta, breaks close to the rocks but the wave is smooth as silk. It’s high consequence if you fall, so it’s better to sail there when you are at least on a 4.5 and the wave is 3m up, so that the distance between you and the rocks is wider. While the Taiwan Open of Surfing ran heats, just a stone’s throw away at the left hand break in full sight of the judging tower, Takara Ishii put on a show. He lacerated, decimated, and attacked the wave at Leftovers. He windsurfed it better most people can surf it. He was so close to the rocks sometimes I was worried his fins would be scraping on stone.
King of leftovers: Takara Ishii
Electricity Man: Kiyo-san (he walked right into the electric cow fence behind the beach 🤣)
Photographer extraordinaire: Yong-yi Chen (the best)
DAY 9: THE BATTLE FOR LEFTOVERS!
Great turnout on Tuesday, November 26th. Wind was solid 23 knots plus – sails averaged 4.5 except Takara who was on a 4.0 and Nico who only brings 3 sails (4.2, 4.2 and yes, 4.2)
The local boys: 曾映皓, Wan Pin Juan, Sega Huang, Huiger Lin.
The North Shore general (also this year’s poster boy): Nico Wsf
The Japanese squad: Takara Ishii, Taiga Matsumoto and Kiyo Electricity.
The kite squad: Urs, Danny (back from Switzerland), Ties Carlier (bit of both), and Zach Smith
Airshow : Takara Ishii – perfect pushloops, sky high backloops.
Baptism of Fire (and shorebreak): Kiyo Electricity
4.2 award: Nico Wsf
K.O. award: Mark Jackson – 2 pushloop attempts to over rotation to violent smashing. Send it.
King of Leftovers: Takara Ishii, for his immaculate display of what a windsurfer can do in super light wind in the shallow south bowl at Leftovers, lower Jinzun Point.
Photographer of the Year: Yong-yi Chen
DAY 10: BATTLE OF THE BUNKER!
Again, another classic day at Jinzun. This time sailors tended to stay more upwind due to lighter winds, nearer to the bunker.
Marathon drive: Wouter van Marle
(Wouter arrived at around 2pm, after a 6 hour nightmare drive from Taipei. After snapping some photos of the action, he rigged up a 4.5 when the wind had dropped to 5.0, went out and..went straight to the rocks.
Rockstar Award: Wouter van Marle
Rippers: Federico Davicino, Sega Huang, 曾映皓, Bk Yeh, Ogn Ngo, and of course Takara Ishii!
Photos: Yongyi Chen and Wouter van Marle
DAY 11: THE BATTLE OF ONE EYE!
Epic session at an epic spot. This spot is so underrated and is probably the least sailed. This day, Thursday November 28th, was a day to remember.
Sailors: Takara Ishii, Nico, Fede, Mark, Gabe
Wave of the Day : Nico Yeh!
Photo award: Wouter van Marle🤘🌊🌴
THAT’S A WRAP
We got to sail pretty much all our spots except Donghe rivermouth, in a variety of conditions from nuclear Bob’s and graveyards, to smooth Dulan and Jinzun, and even took the jam to One Eye. We met new people, told war stories and ate and drank together. The 2019 Taitung Wave Classic will definitely be a hard year to beat. A great way to celebrate five awesome years of wave jamming!