Thursday, 02 March 2023 16:34

First ever WingFoil Asians



- 2 long distance races, sunshine and smiles
- 6 female and 16 male competitors registered
- ANOC World Beach Games Tickets up for grabs


© IWSA/Techawat Songsuairoop: First ever WingFoil Racing Asians

The first ever WingFoil Racing Asian Championships started today in Pattaya, Thailand.  Hosted at the Club Loongchat, a favourite wind sports spot on the beach to the south of Pattaya city, the 100-ranking-ponts event will also give a ticket to the first female and the first male competitors for the 2023 ANOC World Beach Games to be held in Bali, Indonesia.


© IWSA/Techawat Songsuairoop: Riders have been waiting in anticipation

After several days of ideal sailing conditions for training, the wind decided to play games with the 6 female and 16 male competitors registered.  From the beginning of the day the wind was blowing with speeds just under the minimum for a wingfoil competition.   'It just didn't want to play ball for most of the day.'  But is seems that the patience pays, and just after 3 in the afternoon, Mirco Babini, the tour director, called the fleet on the water for the two long-distance race. 

Babini has been sending wind updates back ashore all day as the riders were waiting patiently on the beach, keeping them alert and ready to go when the AP ashore was finally removed.


© IWSA/Techawat Songsuairoop: Racing in front of the city
Two double-scoring long distance races were sailed, and that was just enough to give a fair split of the men's fleet in two groups for tomorrow.

In the long distance race, all WingFoils start together.  It's a spectacular sight but quite challenging for the competitors, who come from quite diverse backgrounds.  Ho Chi Ho from Hong Kong is a seasoned windsurfer.  Twice an Olympian, and an Asian Games gold medalist, he is in Thailand to have fun on the water, try to qualify for the World Beach Games and give back to the sport.  After winning both races today - by a slim margin - he was back on the beach discussing with Juntham Whatsapong, the young kiteboarder from Thailand who gave him a run for his money.   'It will be close and he is improving all the time.  I was lucky, he caught a plastic bag on the foil in the second race' said Ho Chi Ho.

It was close in the women's fleet too.  Chiaki Fujimoto (JPN) managed to win both races followed closely by Hei Man Chen from Hong Kong.


© IWSA/Techawat Songsuairoop: Close racing for the top spot

As disappointing it was not to get suitable conditions on the first morning, Patis 'Pop' Waiwong was anyway smiling, and for good reason.  The owner of the Club Loongchat and Secretary General of the Thailand Kite and Wing Association explained that the Thailand Sports Authority is keen to have a presence in the ANOC World Beach Games, which will be held in Bali Indonesia this August, and have embraced the WingFoil Racing discipline.  The sport is managed in the country by the national kiteboarding association which has extended their activities and it seems that, using the base of kiteboarding, the sport is growing fast.  Pop expects that the Thai sailors will secure both the male and the female tickets to the ANOC World Beach Games and that Thailand will be able to send multiple sailors in the other international events.

If his feeling gets to be materialised is yet to be seen in the next few days. 


© IWSA/Techawat Songsuairoop: Thailand is ready for the ANOC World Beach Games

Racing continues tomorrow with the men's fleet split in two groups and the women sailing separately in a third group.

Stay tuned!




1.  Chi Ho Ho HKG  1.5 p
 2. Satchapong Vimonsatiankit THA  5.0 p
 3. Jay Chan HKG   6.5 p


1.  Chiaki Fujimoto  JPN  3.0 p
 2. Hei Man Chan  THA  6.0 p
 3.  Warasiri Yanthong  THA  9.0 p
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