KTA X-Champs Vietnam Halfway
We are halfway through the competition here at the KTA X-Champs in the stunning Ninh Chu Bay, hosted by the Ninh Chu Bay Beach Club. Although the competition itself is only two days old, some of the early arrivals managed to explore the area as well.
The full KTA experience has always been about connecting with the amazing places we get to visit and the Ninh Thuan region of Vietnam was no exception. Glorious coastline, dotted with surf bays greeted the riders as they traveled north from our base at Ninh Chu Bay. First port of call was the local fishing village Lang Gong, where Phi Hoang, a local rider showed that kiting was not his only waterman skill, as he coached the group in how to pilot the local Vietnamese round boat. Has to be said though, for the other riders who gave round boat rowing a go, going in a straight line was all but impossible.
As well as taking to the water in traditional craft, riders took the chance to visit the Cham Village at Nui Chua. You have to enter across a gorge spanned by a rope suspension bridge, to meet the people living in these mountain regions. And so the pre-event days continued a mix of training and lifestyle, hill temples and floating restaurants as the riders immersed themselves in the local scene.
The KTA Kites Kids were also in action, supported by our key local sponsor, Manta Sail Training. Manta and the KTA share many of the same core aims, those of supporting local people to develop new skills and access new opportunities, so it’s been great to work with them to bring the KTA back into Vietnam
Then suddenly it was the official opening ceremony and the competitors were being warmly welcomed by the Ninh Thuan Provincial Government, in a formal ceremony attend by 80 officials, plus literally hundreds of the public, looking on from the beach.
In advance of this day, Ninh Chu Bay had been enjoying the expected cross-shore winds and peachy water conditions, but as the opening ceremony finished the rain began. The forecast, but not welcomed storm dampened spirits as the returning wind shifted to offshore. From now on it would hard work for the riders, but as the opening SUP races began lifting spirits and exciting the crowds.
After some hard fought paddle races, it was time for the TT Race fleet to take to the water and although not easy the riders and team managed to push through a number of races to close the day. The racing as well as the whole KTA X-Champs, is being solidly support again by our long term partner and sponsor Cabrinha.
Day two opened with the same wind situation and it was clear that it would not be shifting back any time soon. Nevertheless, the riders pushed on with the competition and the SUP racers again powered their way around the course. KTA SUP racing is being run as a one design class, kindly sponsored by Starboard, who are support the KTA throughout the session.
The kiting on day 2 opened with the first round of the KTA’s new WOO Big Air competition. This saw some pretty sick boosts being punched out and the crowds entertained by major wow factor.
While all the excitement was taking place on the water, the KTA team was busy behind the scenes, working with the local Ninh Thuan government and the VCRSF to come up with a location shift around Ninh Chu Bay for the final two days, to enable the Freestyle X to run smoothly.
Back at Ninh Chu Bay the water action was being completed for the day by the TT Races, who were having a better time of the conditions and laying down some killer races to round another great day of action at the KTA X-Champs Vietnam.
As always though and event experience with the KTA is not complete without its social life and to this ends our hosts at the Ninh Chu Bay Beach Club did us proud. Providing not only an Swiss Alps Sasagefest washed down by Red Rock beer, but also a kicking Bacardi sponsored Jamaican Night , all back dropped by tunes and DJ’s from the very cool Saigon Sound System crew.
So, we are half way there. It’s been tough for the kiters and hard work for the paddlers, but the results are in and faces are still smiling, so roll on the final weekend and the entry of Freestyle to the mix.
SUP Race leaders so far:
Men: Alexander Shapinskiy Women: Marine Duprat
TT Race leaders so far:
Men: Yo Narapitchit Pudla, Thailand Women: Jingle Chen, China
Top WOO Jump at this point:
Men: Lai Hoang Phu, Vietnam – 13.8mtrs Women: Mariska Wildenberg, Holland – 10.9