Professional kiteboarding tries out a new location — Phan Rang. Words by Jon Aspin
When the KTA Pro Kiteboarding event took place just off the coast of Phan Rang in Ninh Thuan Province back in February, it was a little too late for us to include anything in our March issue.
So, here are a few photos from what by all accounts turned out to be a sensational time in a pristine location. Even though a storm on the first day, and some difficult wind conditions, tried to play havoc with the event, the Vietnam Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation, (VCRSF) along with local officials and event organizers, were able to shift the location slightly around Ninh Chu Bay, enabling the blue-ribbon Freestyle X category to run smoothly.
Here, sponsored riders, including some bona-fide European national champions, names like Dylan van der Meij (NED), and Andrey Salnik (UKR) on the men's side, and Marine Duprat (FRA) and Annabel van Westerop (NED) in the women’s event, mixed it with Asia’s best. Special mention should go to Vietnam’s own Lai Hoang Phu, who took out the men’s division of KTA’s new WOO Big Air competition with a gnarly jump of 13.8m.
Also up for grabs were cash prizes in the Time Trial category that saw racers navigate a demanding circuit five times, with each rider's best three times counting towards their score, and the everyone-can-have-a-go, but still competitive SUP sprint.
Judging by the smiles on people’s faces in the pictures we’ve seen, it was a welcome return to Vietnam for the Asian Pro Tour, which has not been here since 2012. The location was also important. Straddled by Phan Thiet / Mui Ne to the south and Nha Trang / Cam Ranh to the north, the province of Ninh Thuan is often overlooked in favour of its better-known counterparts up and down the central coast. Holding a professional, international competition on the outskirts of its major city, Phan Rang, will help put this desert-like region on the international map.
Thanks to local supporters Manta Sail Training Centre, Son Long Thuan and Vietnam Airlines, as well as their hosts for the competition Ninh Chu Bay Beach Club and Bar. Let’s hope they and the tour keep coming back.
The next stop for the KTA is in Hainan in China in May. Keep on eye on all the action and results at kiteboardtour.asia or you can check out them out at facebook.com/kiteboardtourasia
Men: Lai Hoang Phu (VN)
Women: Mariska Wildenburg (NED)
Men: Dylan van der Meij (NED)
Women: Marine Duprat (FRA)
Men: Narapichit Pudla (THAI)
Women: Jingle Chen (CHN)
Men: Alexsander Shafinsky (RUS)
Women: Marine Duprat (FRA)
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Ninh Chu Bay Beach Club Friday, 01 April 2016 05:11 Comment Link
Special thanks should also go to Bacardi, Red Rock Beer, Saigon Sound System, Swiss Alpine Sausages and the Mai Khois for sponsoring some great night time events for the riders and spectators.