Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

Kiteboarders making history at Phuket King’s Cup

by Phuket King's Cup Media on 4 Dec 2011
Kiteboarding in Thailand Duncan Worthington
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has decided to include kiteboarding course racing as an evaluation sport in the 2016 Olympics.

This year the 25th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, the largest sailing event in Asia, is including a kiteboarding division, which will be run with the cooperation of Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA).


Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee said, 'We're delighted to welcome the kiteboarders. We are broadening the Regatta, and we hope this new element will have very strong appeal to kiteboarding enthusiasts and a younger sailing audience.’

Willy Kerr is the Phuket based KTA Tour Director. 'This year’s Phuket King’s Cup Regatta will feature a kiteboarding division. It’s a historic step for Asian sailing but quite a logical one as the sport has a strong following in Thailand with Hua Hin playing host to the Kiteboarding World Tour for the last two seasons and Pranburi being the Thailand stop on Kiteboard Tour Asia.

‘The KTA is an ISAF sanctioned continental tour. The current KTA champion is Thai sailor Narapichit ‘Yo’ Pudla, twice Asian champion in freestyle and course racing and in the Philippines last year he was close behind the World Champion, so we are expecting great things of him in the future.’

Kerr continued ‘We have been inundated with people wanting to join. We did invite 20 of the top riders to come and join the Phuket King’s Cup event this year but next year I probably see it being an Open division.

‘Amongst this year’s sailors we have Aya Oshima, two-time Asia Freestyle/ Race Champion and two-time Japanese Freestyle Champion and Ken Nacor who is the Philippines Champion and Asia number 2. Beijing Olympics windsurfing Silver medalist Ho Chi Ho will be competing, as will Turkish KTA Champion and Turkish Freestyle Champion Taner Aykurt and Kathryn Bogwardt, the 2010 and 2011 KTA Ladies Champion.

‘We really need eight knots to race. We will launch from the beach and ride out and we’re aiming for three races per day. We have a 45 minute time limit on our races which are very similar in format to traditional sailing, but there are some important differences.’

Neil Godbold, KTA founding Director and head of training explains. ‘Kiteboarders follow the same overall sailing rules. However, the kite adds a third dimension.

‘We have a set of rules for when an upwind kite and a downwind kite are passing each other and if boats are on closing tacks. Basically it is upwind- kite up, downwind- kite down.

‘It sounds easy when you say it but when there are 50 or 60 people around you on the start line starting on different tacks, then it becomes interesting.

‘The distance of the kite from the board can vary; in strong winds as little as 27 metres, in soft conditions up to 40 metres.

‘Some sailors are trying to run along the start line with their kite high because they are trying not to cross the line early and sailors who are on timed runs and coming from the back (of the fleet) will have their kites low.

‘As the start flag goes those from the back will come charging through, the guys in the front row will be trying to drop their kites down to power up quicker than those behind them.

‘If everyone is on starboard tack off the line its fine, but port tack starters have to deal with the priority rule on the water surface and the priority rules with the kites at the same time.

‘Kiteboarders sailed in a Cowes Week Round Island race this year and there has been San Francisco regatta racing and some mixed fleet racing with the RS:X windsurfers in France.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] ‘The Phuket King’s Cup will be one of the first major regattas with a kite board class. For us to be competing for King’s Cup awards is very exciting.’

Willy Kerr summed up saying ‘The King’s Cup organizing committee is certainly proving to be forward looking.

‘Up the track at Olympic level, there is a big opportunity for lightweight Asian sailors. Our Kite Board Tour Asia events are open to Europeans also, so we have found in the light wind spots the Asians are finishing on top quite a lot. Their lightness, their small bodies and agility - it really does help. They have an advantage there and just as has been happening in windsurfing, we expect to see Asian kiteboarders winning Olympic medals in the future.’

Speaking for the kiteboarders Narapichit ‘Yo’ Pudla said this afternoon ‘We are all pretty excited. It's great to be here at the Phuket King’s Cup with all the other sailors from around the world and we are looking forward to a great event.’

International Kiteboarding Association www.internationalkiteboarding.org
Kite Tour Asia - www.kiteboardtour.asia

Phuket King’s Cup www.kingscup.com

Sponsors of the 2011 Phuket King's Cup Regatta include Kata Group Resorts
Thailand, PTT Group, Siam Winery, Singha Corporation, AIA Thailand, PTT
Global Chemical, PTTEP, Thai Oil, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket,
Boathouse and Sunsail. Media Partners include 91.5FM, Helm Superyacht Asia
Pacific, The Nation, Phuket Best Group, Phuket Gazette, Phuket Magazine,
Sail-World.com, SEA Yachting and YachtStyle Asia.

For more information, please visit www.kingscup.com.
High resolution images for media are available upon log-in.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/phuketkingscupregatta.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PhuketKingsCup
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/phuketkingscup

NaiadNorth Technology - Southern SparsZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug