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Ekkarat Sriden Takes Men’s Open Win at Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series

By: Photos and Text by Tim Hain Posted: June-15-2009 in
Ekkarat Sriden - Photo Tim Hain
Photos and Text by Tim Hain

Phuket –Thailand: Ekkarat Sriden of Kamala Beach used his small wave prowess to full effect in a challenging final at Kalim Beach on Sunday to take the top spot in the Men’s Open division at the first contest of the three event Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series in the beautiful world class tourist destination of Phuket.

“I knew if I got the right waves I could win, but it was really hard sometimes to know which one would give me the chance to do a big move”, said Sriden after the 25 minute final. “I surf with the other guys all the time, so I knew I had to be aggressive to win” he added. And he did just that, posting 4.5 points on his first wave to take the lead before adding several 3 point + waves to finish with a two wave best score total of 8.25 to best runner up Jamie Smith’s 6.50.

The first event of the three event series named The Monsoon Riders saw over 100 surfers competing in four divisions, Men’s Open, Longboard, Women’s, and Junior’s (under 14 years old) over a three day period starting on Friday June 12 and finished up on Monday June 14. A truly international field of competitors, the event attracted surfers from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hawaii, the USA, and Thailand.

At the opening ceremony on the Kalim Beach strip overlooking the coral reef righthander on Friday morning, the competitors and the spectators were treated to some native Thai dances and performances before the Vice Governor of Phuket Mr. Worapoj Rattasima thanked the Phuket Boardriders Club and Quiksilver SEA for their work in promoting surfing and tourism in Thailand and the Phuket area, pledging his continued support of their efforts.

Shortly after the opening ceremony, the first of the 64 surfers signed up to compete in the Men’s Open division took to the water. The warm water and beautiful weather conditions made for fun competition and proved great entertainment for the spectators gathered on the golden sands of Kalim Beach. Round 1 of the Men’s Open and Round 1 of the Longboard division were completed in the first day’s action.

Day Two saw and increase in swell size to very good 3 foot (1 meter) conditions, allowing the surfers more opportunities for an even greater variety of maneuvers to the delight of the fans on the beach. The Women’s, Juniors, Longboard and Men’s Open divisions all competed on Saturday, setting things up for a Sunday finish.

The Sunday morning sun revealed a drop in swell size, but as the remaining contestants consisted of local Phuket surfers, with the exception of Australian Bree Evens in the Women’s Division, all were familiar with the set up and conditions so it was business as usual and highly competitive in all divisions.

The Longboard Division looked to be having the most fun, giving the crowd on the beach the full smorgasbord of tricks including noserides, cross-stepping, headstands, fin-first takeoffs, and everything in between. But at the end of the day it was Preecha Trirat that narrowly defeated his Kata Surf Club mate Chalee Yampluem for the victory.

In the Women’s Division young Aussie Bree Evans put on a clinic, ripping her way into the top spot over 11 year old local Annisa Flynn, who although coming in second in the Women’s bested all the boys in the Junior Division to claim first place and the top spot on the podium in the Juniors. Looks like the future of women’s surfing in Phuket is in great hands!

Coming in second place in the Junior Final was exceptional young surfer Oliver Penmit, a standout in that he competed in the Junior, Longboard, and Men’s Open, reaching the finals in both the Junior and the Longboard divisions.

After the day’s competition was completed, the contest crew and surfers had a few hours to relax before heading to the Jungceylon Shopping Center in Patong Beach for an evening of entertainment, food and drinks, the awards presentation, and a bikini competition with 8 of Thailand’s sexiest girls!

The finalists in all divisions received cash ranging from 10,000 to 1,000 THB, as well as products and gift certificates from Quiksilver, Roxy, Jim Beam, Patong Paragon Hotel, and other sponsors.

Quiksilver SE Asia’s Sports Marketing Manager and ex-World Tour professional surfer Jake “the Snake” Paterson was very pleased with the entire event, saying “We are delighted on having the opportunity to be the presenting sponsor in the Thailand Surf Series, and that the Phuket Boardriders Club, the Phuket Government, and the many local businesses here are so supportive in giving their resources to grow the sport of surfing here in Thailand.” He then said, “Seeing the enthusiasm and the skill of the local surfers and the tremendous potential here, we’re looking forward to helping to it develop over the next three years and hopefully longer.”

The organizer and president of the Phuket Boardriders Club Chanin “Joob” Aiyarak added this; “ I would really like to thank Quiksilver for sponsoring our Thailand Surf Series, for with their help we can now reach a wider audience and help our young kids to learn about what a fun and healthy sport surfing is. Our future is with our kids, we cannot forget that.”

The Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series is presented by Quiksilver South East Asia, supported by the Phuket Provincial Office, Thailand Tourism and Sport Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Patong Municipality, Kamala OBT, and Karon Municipality, with media sponsors the Phuket Gazette, PG TV, Blue Wave 90.5FM, B95FM, Phuket Bulletin, MTV, Phuket Neo Photo Club, and sponsors Jim Beam, Nok Air, Kingfisher Beer, Jungceylon Shopping Center, and the Patong Paragon Hotel.

The Thailand Surf Series is sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships, and the next event will be the King of the Jungle at Kamala Beach from August 14-16. For more information check Phuket Board Riders and

Monsoon Riders Contest Results:

Men’s Open:
1. Ekkarat Sriden
2. Jamie Smith
3. Noppasit Boonchuey
4. Jakkapan Thongnat

1. Preecha Trirat
2. Chalee Yampluem
3. Jamie Smith
4. Decha Sittidej

1. Bree Evans
2. Annissa Flynn
3. Sam-Ang Pheongkong
4. Kulab Boonjalran

1. Annissa Flynn
2. Oliver Penmit
3. Panjo Schenieder
4. Panu Wisetsombat

Photos and Text by Tim Hain - ISC/ASC Media


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