Vietnam: The 18th Jibes Vietnam Windsurf Fun Cup

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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.
Red, Yellow then Green and the racing began. This year Jibes focused on 2 days of full powered racing. The first day saw some close action with Albert Pijoan (CAT), Ageer Shamil (RUS), Ilya Chaika (RUS), Maksin Koskin (RUS), and Ilya Panagushin (RUS) all battling for first place. The end of the first day saw Albert Pijoan sitting in first, Ageer Shamil a close second with Ilya Chaika chasing in third. For the women’s event this year we saw some really high level riders, Vietnam was represented by Tran Thi Kim Chi (VN), Maria Shapkina (RUS) and Irina Gurko (RUS). Maria Shapkina dominated the first days racing only losing one heat to Tran Thi Kim Chi, leaving Irina Gurko in 3rd place for the day. The evening was spent at Tropical Mini Golf, where contestants and guests were treated to some of the finest foods of Mui Ne in what can only be described as a tropical paradise oasis.

Day 2 saw very similar conditions only difference being this was the last day for competitors chasing 1st 2nd or 3rd to really give it all they had to secure a position on the podium. All heats were run consecutively really testing the rider’s stamina and skill. After all results were calculated for both days events excited faces gathered eager to know their positions.

The prize giving this year consisted of brand new 2017 Starboard Isonic boards for the winners. Severne sails for second place (Freek and Unit) and Aeron booms for third. Special prizes were given to Tol Meltrer (Israel) our youngest competitor at the age of 13, showing high level riding and confidence never witnessed before, also we must mention and give huge respect to Daniel Callahan (USA) windsurfing veteran, showing the youngsters that it is a sport for all with no age limit. To make sure others had a chance of taking home something special a lucky draw was held for all who entered the competition, some great gifts were won from luxury hotel accommodation, windsurfing equipment to romantic evening meals.

Winners
Mens:
1st Albert Pijoan (CAT)
2nd Maksim Koshkin (RUS)
3rd Ilya Chaika (RUS)

Womens:
1st Maria Shapkina (RUS)
2nd Tran Thi Kim Chi (VN)
3rd Irina Gurko (RUS)

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The closing ceremony was something not to be missed, an amazing musical performance from the local orphanage for blind children stole the show and left the crowds wanting more, all proceeds from the Fun Cup go directly to this charity making the whole event really worthwhile. Traditional dancing as well as live singing all went to make an unforgettable evening that danced into the early hours.

Final thanks must go out to all our amazing sponsors which make this event possible: Starboard, Severne, Shamal, DHL, Aeron, Tropical Mini Golf, Whale Village, Chen Sea Resort, Warehouse, Marou Chocolate, Fanny Ice Cream, Sea Links City, Victoria Resort, Le Fruit, Cocobeach Resort, Blue Ocean Resort, Full Moon Village, Jibes Beach Club, Coca Cola, 69 Slam, Takalau Resort, Chasseur Blanc, and Dragon Beach.
Mui Ne Windsurf Race Series

This year also saw the introduction of “The Mui Ne Windsurf Race Series” created and managed by Pascal Lefebvre of Jibes Beach Club. This race series is a combination of three windsurf events held each year in Mui Ne. The points are taken from each event Surf4You Cup, Vetratoria Russian Cup and Jibes Vietnam Fun Cup, tabulated to get the top three winners all receiving very substantial cash prizes.

Text: Adie Casket
Photo: Pascal

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