NAI YANG: Thailand’s first international windsurfing rally championship started yesterday as 30 world-class windsurfers from 21 countries set off from Nai Yang Beach in the first of four days of racing covering 100 kilometers.
The windsurfers are members of the Eastern Windsurfing Club (EWC), which has teamed up with the Windsurfing Association of Thailand, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for the four-day rally being held in honor of His Majesty the King.
Following a welcome speech by Phuket Vice-Governor Worapoj Ratthasima at the Indigo Pearl Hotel at Nai Yang Beach, the windsurfers set off towards Surin Beach when the start of the race was signaled by a siren at 12.10 pm.
Notable world-class windsurfers joining the rally include Austrian Olympic gold medalist Christoph Sieber; Italian world champion and three times Olympic competitor Riccardo Giordano; British windsurfing champion Guy Cribb; French champion Patrice Belbeoc’h; German champion Alexander Baron and Australian champion Chris Lawrence.
Today the windsurfers will race from Surin Beach to Patong. Tomorrow they will race from Patong to Kata and on Saturday from Kata to Nai Harn.
Prizes will be awarded by the Tourism and Sports Minister Suwit Yodmanee during the closing ceremony on Saturday at The Royal Phuket Yacht Club, Nai Harn, from 7 pm until midnight.
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