Vietnam kitesurfer ranks third in Asia
By Michael Smith in Mui Ne
Vietnamese kitesurfer, Nguyen Duc Long, was named the third top freestyle kitesurfer in Asia following a strong performance at the KTA Thailand Event at Pranburi.
Long won the crowd’s heart at Pranburi with his effortless style in strong wind conditions.
Virtually unknown to the judges in his first heat, the member of Vietnam’s K!NN team had the crowd cheering for him as he landed all his tricks cleanly and progressed through the heats.
He was beaten in the double eliminations by the Turkish champion, Taner Aykurt, but his high score put him in third place in the freestyle for the year.
After the event Long said he was thrilled and encouraged with the result, particularly because he had only recently rejoined the team after quitting last year.
“I was so surprised,” he said, “I missed the first competition, because I’d quit. So I thought I couldn’t win any of the top three places for Asian Freestyle Champion. I am so happy I came back and competed!”
The KINN team’s publicist and photographer, Anny Barlow said it was a fantastic end to a challenging year.
There were concerns for the local Mui Ne K!NN kitesurfing team when Long had quit after last season along with two other team riders, but their return and his third place was a huge boost.
The next Kitesurfing Tour Asia (KTA) event for the K!NN team will be in China in May.
The K!NN team is active in supporting and empowering youth through watersports in Mui Ne.