05.30 am pitch black, most are still sleeping, tired eyes arriving early at Jibes Beach Club to reserve what they feel will be the best board and sail choice for the day, “The 18th Jibes Vietnam Windsurf Fun Cup” is about to begin.
This year we saw entries from 11 different countries (Vietnam, Russia, USA, Thailand, Netherlands, Canada, France, Israel, Germany, Catalonia and Estonia), great to see so many different nationalities brought together by their passion for windsurfing.
Conditions this year did not disappoint, clean steady wind with a much smaller swell than previous years, competitors could focus more on fine tuning their rigs to produce maximum speeds with the added benefit of flatter riding conditions. The usual downwind slalom course was used with a total of 4 Jibes.
Early morning, flat water and very light wind it can only mean “The 2017 King Of The Bay “ SUP competition.
Equipment checked and boards lined up, the time counted down before the air horn sounded for a beach start (Surf4you). All competitors grabbed their gear and sprinted into the water to try and get ahead of the pack for a clean start. The best boards for a long distance SUP race are designed specifically for this discipline, focus is on making the most aquadynamic shape to cut through the waters but at the same time making sure the most light weight materials are used. Over the past few years more intense research has been going into inflatable boards www.star-board-sup.com/2017/board/11-6-x-30-touring-inflatable/, obviously this is all about keeping them light weight, top manufactures of this equipment currently used in this competition were Starboard, JP and Jimmy Lewis.
The 6th Jibes Sunrise Surf & SUP
This year the competition was held towards the end of November on the beautiful beach of Full Moon Village Suoi Nuoc. We held out as long as we could for the best conditions and the waves did not disappoint, neither did the competitors. We saw a definite increase in local Vietnamese riders, great to see local enthusiasm from some of the best Vietnamese riders in the country. Other nationalities included Russia, America, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Italy and Spain, making for a great mix of nationalities sharing their passion together. With over 32 competitors we knew this was going to be one of the most exciting Surf competitions seen so far. We were also very happy to announce that this year’s event would be professionally supported and recorded by Rufus Blackwell, using the very latest in DJI Drone and sport media technology, keep your eyes open for the final cut in and amongst the action, coming soon.
The event started off seeing the previous winners Pandanus using their free entry prize from last year to battle it out on the courts for a repeat result.
This year saw seven teams competing in a double elimination event giving each team the chance of winning the tournament even if they have had a loss along the way, with extra excitement and pressure being put on the leading teams not to relax too much.
Day 9: The final day in Vietnam turns up the heat to showcase some of the most nail biting action the World Tour has witnessed in recent years.
Following the frustration of the two previous windless days, all hopes boiled down to the competition’s final day to deliver suitable conditions for the racers to take to the water. With a mediocre forecast and talk of pressure systems interfering with the local thermal effect, the outlook looked bleak.