Vietnam-Muine: SUP competition 2017

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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, 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.

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As the competitors disappeared in to the distance accompanied by the safety boat it could still be anyone’s race. Spectators hurry to get on their motor bikes eager to reach the finish line (Jibe’s Beach Club) before the leaders arrive.

Excited eyes scan the horizon to see the first silhouettes come into view. To warm rounds of applause, cheering and even accompanied by the sounds of a trumpeter Mr Sergei Tovkan powered himself the last few meters through the water and crossed the line in a sprint finish to claim first place for the third time in a row. Sergei’s time was clocked at 39 minutes and 31 seconds just over his personal best of 38 minutes and 21 seconds. 2nd, and 3rd was a close finish seeing Alexander Melniehenko crossing the line next with Michael Krarchenko taking 3rd.

Text: Adie Casket
Photo: Pascal

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