There will be two events:
The first event will be the PKRA Thailand competition March 11-14. The top 2 male and top 2 female finishers will automatically be entered in the main event of the PKRA International freestyle competition! This event will be run by the PKRA international judges and a PKRA contest director which means the highest quality of judging.
Monday, March 15 through Saturday, March 20 the top riders in the world will compete in this Grand Slam event, featuring Freestyle, Course Racing, and Board Off disciplines. It will be the first professional kiteboarding event in Asia in the history of the sport, and it promises to be a new beginning for the sport in the region, as it is expected to become an annual kiteboarding mega-event in Thailand.
A little late on posting this but if you live in Hua Hin you’d have to be more of a hermit than this guy to have missed all the signs and the PKRA has a good web site about the event so the news is out.
So, all FBF will try to do here is make it a bit easier for those NOT staying at the Intercontinental to view the event.
The maps on both the PKRA and Intercontinental sites are a little vague on where the event will be held so FBF reconnoitered the area today, mainly for selfish reasons (2 boys who need to wash up after visiting any beach) but will share what was learned here…
A platform/stage/viewing platform is under construction roughly just north of Soi 79, which is the northern boundary of the Intercontinental Hotel. There were no kiteboards visible at that site this morning but there were several working out on the beach east of the Condochain at Soi 75/1, which is probably the BEST place to get a bird’s eye view of the festivities though would imagine the Intercontinental will probably offer some most comfortable viewing areas also.
There are a few small food stalls at the end of Soi 77 complete with umbrellas, tables and chairs and an abundance of massage ladies with their amenities. One would assume that many more will be setting up shop in the next few days.
There are also a few restaurants in more permanent structures along the beach in this area and south ie, between Sois 75/1 and what would probably be Soi 83/2 for those preferring tiles under their feet rather than sand.
Denizens of Bo Fai don’t often go wandering through the rabbit warren of Sois on the Southside so there are probably more places in that area since FBF last visited the beach in that area.
Parking is not going to be fun. Unless you’re a high-roller flying in for the event and staying at one of the resorts in the area or willing to fight the Scandies in their Speedos at the Condochain, be prepared for a hike.
The Sois in the area are barely wide enough to handle both pedestrians and moterbikes at the same time so there will obviously be a few folks from you-know-where who will park their cars there, further complicating matters.
Petchkasem has limited street parking in the area and that will go fast. The vacant lot just north of the Hua Hin Sports Villa at Soi 104/2 may be opened up for parking and this page will be updated if that proves to be the case.
A closing thought on local publicity:
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For many years it has seemed that local hotels and resorts and even the TAT have gone out of their way NOT to publicize (IN HUA HIN) events being held in Hua Hin. Whether it be a music festival, food festival or special concert held in a local hotel, there have been many occasions where residents of Hua Hin first learn of something going on in town when the traffic builds up on Friday afternoon with cars from Bangkok asking where to find so and so.
The Intercontinental Hotel has only been in Hua Hin a few months but have already held two international scale events and the local publicity has been nothing short of amazing. They’ve done a excellent job of keeping locals in the loop and that effort should be commended.
[editorial mode OFF]