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KTA Vietnam Final Report

Mui Ne has lived up to its reputation as one of Asia’s most consistent wind venues by giving round three of the KTA tour four days of competition. This saw the event beginning with both the men’s and women’s course racing on day one, with day two and three focusing on the freestyle events, plus the added bonus of the extremely popular Big Air contest, which left the final day open again for further course racing to finishing things as they were begun.

After some very tough technical racing on day one, which left Yo from Thailand and Kathryn Bogwardt on top of things, the winds increased more to favour a call for the freestyle, which ran the double eliminator for the 12 women competitors and the 26 men.

There were many great rounds on the way through to the finals, with standards noticeably on the up from the first two rounds of the tour with the great conditions and the improving level of riders taking part from 19 different countries. In the end many heats were so close that only a split decision would separate who carried on and who would have to fight back through the loser brackets.

Particularly worth noting for the guys were the performances turned in by the local riders from Vietnam, with Kin, Nhut and Nam certainly riders to watch as the tour continues. Also from further afield, Vincent Loof, Freddrick Soupart and Victor Kampan looked dangerously close to unsettling the current tour leaders, but in the end the final came down once more to the head to head that has been running from the first round between the Philippines Ken Nacor and Thailand’s Yo, with this time Yo turning the tables and taking the top spot. Phi from Vietnam claimd third and he is certainly one of the riders showing most improvement since the tour began.

For the women it was upsets all round as Vietnam favourite Julia Diep Anh Thu gave some very strong performances to challenge for the top spot, which in the end was fought out between Kathryn and Nuria Goma, with the final judges decision going Kathryn’s way.

The Big Air competition that then followed on to finish day three of the Vietnam tour stop gave the solid supporting crowd even more to cheer about as the 60 riders that had entered set about their two timed jumps. The end results saw Sergey Roszhkov take the men’s title with a jump of 6.2 seconds and Maki Yamamura putting up 3.8 seconds to win the women’s section.

Although the final day began with a morning of low wind, the thermals came through once more in the afternoon to allow for further course racing heats to take place, this time with a larger course being set for the riders race over.

The racing was again extremely tight between the top girls, so much so that both Nuira and Kathryn ended up with identical results for the week and unfortunately as the thermal wind began to shut down and it became clear that a decider could not be run, the KTA head judge referred back to the IKA for clarification on breaking the tie. The decision took the winners place to Nuria on the basis of her winning the last of the women’s races held during the event, a very tough rule and one which all riders on the KTA agreed needs some revision. For the men’s side of things Yo remained dominant putting in some very fast finishing time’s in each heat, that left all the battles to take place for the remain podium positions behind him.

So thumbs up for the KTA Vietnam with great competition throughout and great support for the event from local sponsors, Sankara, C2Sky, Mystic, Ripcurl, Ozone and Windchimes and tour sponsors Evason Six Senses Spa, Cabrinha, Maelstorm, Kite Zone and SueMe.

Course Racing  - Men
1. Pudla Narpichit – Yo    - Thailand
2. David Romeu Rojas - Spain
3. Lai Hong Phi - Vietnam

Course Racing  - Women
1. Nuria Goma - Spain
2. Kathryn Bogwardt - Germany
3. Ali Dudfield    - Australia

Freestyle  - Men
1. Pudla Narpichit – Yo    - Thailand
2. Ken Nacor - Philippines
3. Lai Hong Phi    - Vietnam

Freestyle  - Women
1. Kathryn Bogwardt - Germany
2. Nuria Goma - Spain
3. Diep Anh Thu Julia - Vietnam