The 1st official Vietnam Fun Cup was held in 2000 in a sleepy little fishing town which was blessed with wind. Since the early days this once quiet little town has turned into one of the most popular water sport destinations in the whole of Asia and the Fun Cup event has done nothing but grow in popularity and skill levels. This year was something special as we welcomed the 20th anniversary of this historic event.
This year’s event was due to be held on Friday the 25th and 26th January. The wind this year obviously wanted to add an element of excitement by not showing up for the first day, although all competitors waited patiently throughout, the wind was fashionably late arriving at 16.00 which was already too late to run the first heat. The day was not a waste though, thanks to the fantastic Tropical Mini Golf and their famous BBQ. Competitors and friends kicked back with the finest food and drinks, all part of the Fun Cup activities. (Special thanks to Tropical Mini Golf who donates all proceeds to the Anh Sang Orphanage, La Gi, Việt Nam ).
When Friday morning arrived we understood that the Wind Gods had been saving the best conditions for the last day. Beautiful N.E winds, starting at 09.00 am and continued to build hour by hour, as is Mui Ne tradition. The heats started with the usual competitor excitement and angst: rider briefing check, course set up check, safety procedures check, 20+ knots check. Excited faces tuned their gear for the last time before being called to enter the water by the race director. This year’s event saw riders from Vietnam, Israel, Korea, England, Estonia, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, Egypt and Germany proving once again the international attention this event attracts.
As the day unfolded we began to see the favorites keeping their places in the higher end of the rankings. New comers to the event keeping the pressure on the local riders, nothing could be held back if they had any intention of taking one of the top three positions.
With the morning races coming to a close we saw Maksim Koshkin, Maksim Oberemko, Alexy Trusov and Truong Ky Tai fighting for the top 3 positions for the Men, whilst the Women continued to battle it out, Anna Sagulenko, Tram Kim Chi and Armelle Burk.
After a quick refuel and a significant increase in wind speeds the final 4 heats began. This was still anyone’s race with conditions pushing all riders to their limits. At this point we must recognize a very special rider for the 20th Anniversary, Rom Levi threw down an amazing performance at the incredible age of 13. Rom managed to put a lot of veteran riders to shame holding a very impressive 7th place in the first two heats. Keep one eye open and expect to see Rom working his way up, hopefully to a world class level.
As the last green flag was raised the final heat, all was to play for as riders made their way around the 4 jibe downwind course for the final time. Tired faces began to arrive back from the water, one of the toughest racing days in the Fun Cup 20 year history. Race officials fired into action to get all results finalized before the prize giving ceremony.
The evening closing ceremony, prize giving and party atmosphere did not disappoint. Riders, family and friends ate, drank and danced the night away to the unforgettable sounds of the Gwennilli band and traditional Vietnamese dancing. A delectable spread at the all you can eat BBQ gave all riders that extra energy needed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of high level slalom racing that has become a keystone in the Mui Ne calendar.
The Vietnam Fun Cup is not just about bringing like minded people together, but is also focused on a local charity orphanage Anh Sang Orphanage, La Gi, Việt Nam. All proceeds from the race event as well as funds generated from both evening parties are donated to this fantastic charity, helping to give those less fortunate a loving, caring and educational environment. Anyone wishing to make a donation to this cause can visit Jibe’s Beach Club where your efforts will be warmly received.
Massive thanks must go to all our fabulous sponsors which make this event so much more exciting with some very valuable prizes to win. We would like thank all competitor, organizers, volunteers and spectators for making the Vietnam Fun Cup possible and helping to make one of the most enjoyable events in the annual Mui Ne Calendar.20th Fun Cup Gallery