Coming into Mui Ne in the taxi, I’d noticed a banner strung across a hotel. About all I could understand was Windsurfing Competition and March 1-5, the rest being written in Vietnamese. Well this was fortuitous. Once situated in hotel number one, I cruised the internet for details. Yes, there was a PWA, (Professional Windsurfer’s Association), contest going on right here in town. The problem was that the PWA site didn’t list where in Mui Ne it was happening.
Once in hotel number two, I continued my search for windsurfing details and was just about to go out on the street to flag down surfer-types when I stopped to chat with another hotel guest sitting in the shade in front of her room, five-month-old baby on her lap. We talked about the kid and I noticed a surfboard lying to her right. It turned out that her husband was in the competition and she told me to go down to the Full Moon Resort to watch.
A little background on me and surf related sports; had I grown up at the water’s edge, (and not across a bay that lead to the Pacific Ocean), and had that shoreline been in a hot weather location, (and not frigid Northern California with its 50°F/ 10°C water), I would have been a surfer.
Even growing up turning blue in order to romp in the waves of Stinson Beach didn’t deter me from the dream of catching a few waves on a board. (But access and equipment did.) It wasn’t until I jumped into the warm waters in Southern California at around 14 that I realized I had been tricked into thinking one must endure pain in order to play in the ocean. From that time forward I think I only tested the arctic waters of the north a few more times. I knew what was available and I was holding out.
Maybe I was past the age of developing water and sailing skills. My friend kept telling me to snap up the sail and make sure the wind was at my back. I tried and tried but just couldn’t manage to hold that contraption in the right position to catch the wind. I don’t know how long I was out on that little lake when I finally gave up, lay down on the board, and began to paddle towards shore which was taking a long time. My friend easily sailed out on his board and towed me back in.
This is my one winsurfer shot; a speck on the landscape. I took a peak at the same shot done by one of the real guys with the big lens, and you can read the name on the riders sunglasses.