The wind gods blew down on Mui Ne again for the '15th Annual Fun Cup' and we can look back at another successful Windsurf competition of great riding, great conditions and fun times at Jibe's Mui Ne.
With a host of International competitors battling it out to proudly say that they are the Champions of 2014, it turned out to be one of the most exciting and closely fought Fun Cups in recent years.
Competitors from 10 different Nations and ages ranging from 12 to 55, all converged on Mui Ne for Valentine's weekend to embrace their true passions - Windsurfing, speed and the thrill of competition. All of which emphasize what the Fun Cup is all about - everyone is welcome, all ages, all abilities, just come and enjoy it.
The Fun Cup is a slalom race, set up in a 'Round Robin' format. The riders must compete in a series of races over a two day period, the rider with the most wins over that period will be crowned Champion. The format might appear simple, but the racing itself is not. A subtle blend of speed, skill and stamina is needed to remain consistent enough over the two days, if you get this right then you'll be in with a chance of winning over-all.
As previously mentioned Mui Ne was blessed with amazing conditions for the races, which really helped bring out the best in the riders. In the ever-growing Ladies competition a unique battle was taking place, as during the course of the 8 races 1st, 2nd and 3rd place went to the same 3 riders each race; this is almost unheard of in this type of event. The only thing that was different each race was time difference between each rider, with the margins decreasing between them, each race was getting more and more tense. However, the evergreen Lucy Odillo Maher was able to keep her cool to claim her second Fun Cup win in 3 years, when questioned on her win her only comment was 'You beauty' and who could argue with that. Special mention must go to Dariya who came 3rd overall in the Ladies event. As the Fun Cup's youngest competitor at only 12 years old we think that hers might be a name to remember for the future Windsurf competitions. Well done Ladies.
1st - Lucy Odillo Maher (AUS)
2nd - Mariya Saptkina (RUS)
3rd - Dariya Bolshakova (RUS)
The Men's Division was equally as enjoyable and full of action. Some might say this really went to the wire, with the last race of the day being the decider between the top riders. Honorable mention must go to local riders Tai and Ky Tu Truong and to Hungarian journeyman and previous Fun Cup winner Csiga who pushed hard until the end, but the overall winner was Albert Pijoan Monne from Spain, who only 3 days previous had won the 1st Windsurf Wave Competition in Mui Ne, Vietnam.
"I was lucky" said a modest Albert when I caught up with him a few days after his win. "I knew there were other guys faster than me, so I had to make sure I didn't fall and that way I could benefit from other riders' mistakes. The first day I was winning the races, but the second day was much tougher, the guys had been watching and studying, they learn fast. I was really impressed with the speed Tai and Tu were getting, every time I was getting close to them they would accelerate, Csiga also rides really fast so I couldn't let get far away from me otherwise I'd never catch them." Albert went on, "It's not just about how fast you go, technique is very important in this type of competition."
1st - Albert Pijoan Monne (ESP)
2nd - Csiga (HUN)
3rd -_Alex Trussov (RUS)
After the final race it was time for a quick shower and on with the party gear, Jibe's was the venue Saturday evening for the award ceremony and prize giving. After the speeches, photos and celebratory hugs all round came some very entertaining traditional dancing and singing, with the free flow champagne, wine and beer taking it effect it was everyone chance to show some of their dance moves off, making it a night to remember for some, I'm sure a few have no memories at all.
We would like to offer our thanks to all the competitors who help made Fun Cup 15 such a great event, thank you to the Jibe's staff and to the tireless efforts of Mr. Janot Prat and Mr. Adie Casket for making the event run so smooth, and all those who helped lend a hand, thank you to the People's Committee for their on going support and to our fantastic sponsors who supplied us with such great prizes and gifts and thank you to all those who gave generously to the orphanage.
All proceeds and profits from the Fun Cup will go to the Ham Tam Orphanage, as we want to show our continued support for all the children and staff there.
Thank you and see you all again next year for Fun Cup 2015.