World’s best surf PNG
The first-ever World Surf League (WSL) event in Papua New Guinea has been staged at Tupira in Madang Province.
The Kumul PNG World Longboard Championship in March attracted big crowds and has been highly praised by the world’s best longboard surfers.
The men’s winner, Taylor Jensen from the US, said: “This is crazy, I’ve never experienced anything like that and to get a win here makes it that much more special.
“This has been an amazing experience from start to finish. I was a little worried coming here, just because you hear things, but witnessing it in person was just proof you can’t believe everything you hear. The people here are amazing and this is something I’ll never forget.”
Brazil’s Chloe Calmon won the women’s competition, her first-ever WSL victory.
“I’ve always dreamed about winning an event, but this is completely different from anything I’ve ever thought it would be like,” Calmon said. “Since the first heat I was so amazed by the energy of this place. I’m so thankful to be here in this amazing place with these great people.”
The women’s runner up, Crystal Walsh from Hawaii, was equally enthusiastic. “This wave is so dreamy and perfect, it was great to have a longboard event here and really show that we can charge. Especially the locals -– Ruthy Kurumuk was just going for it on the big days. I’m really excited and just super afraid of waking up and this being all a dream.”
Kurumuk was among a number of PNG wildcard surfers who competed in the early heats. Others included the current PNG longboard champion, Marianne Longa, as well as Titima Mange and Akun Alois.
Carving it up ... (clockwise from this page) Aussie longboarder Harvey Ingleby in the Tupira surf; children with traditional boards at the opening ceremony; the winners, Taylor Jensen from the US and Chloe Calmon from Brazil; France’s Victoria Vergara cuts a fine line; Jensen celebrates his victory.