DENPASAR, Bali (JP): Although there are still three months to go before the Aerowisata Windsurfing Championships begin, the event has received an enthusiastic response from windsurfers throughout the world.
Following an announcement on Monday that the tournament will be held at Sanur Beach, Bali, for four days starting Jan. 26, organizer Giancarlo Avancini told The Jakarta Post that hundreds of windsurfers from overseas and Indonesia had already indicated their participation in the event.
So far the number of participants is in the hundreds. Considering that the beach could not accommodate that many, we had to limit the participantsto 100 people only, Avancini said.
He said the enthusiastic response from the windsurfers was mainly becauseof the beach's big waves suitable for windsurfing.
He said a Japanese delegation, including two of their top windsurfers, Tomoo Ishihara and Yoshitaka Ikeda, had a test run at the beach and were satisfied with the waves. He said six articles on the event will be published in their windsurfing magazines Hi Wind and Windsurfing Club.
The Japanese delegation will also help popularize Bali in their country.We hope the event can attract as many Japanese as possible, Avancini said. The 100 windsurfers comprise 80 foreigners and 20 Indonesians. The foreign windsurfers come from Asia, Australia and Europe.
Oka Sulaksana, a world-class windsurfer from Bali, will take part in the competition.
The tournament will feature the Downwind Slalom Open, Masters, Rookie andFree Style events.
A cash prize of US$2,200 (Rp 186 million) and the Indonesian Windsurfing Association (Porlasi) trophy will be up for grabs.
The competition is organized by state-owned tourist company Aerowisata, Porlasi and the Blue Oasis Beach Club, a local windsurfing club.
Aerowisata, a subsidiary of national flag carrier Garuda, manages the Hotel Sanur Beach in Bali, Hotel Senggigi Beach in Lombok and Hotel Grand Preanger in Bandung. As well as owning the Satriavi travel agency, it also runs catering services in Denpasar, Jakarta, Medan and Surabaya.
Referring to preparations for the event, Avancini said that work had begun on the event in April this year.
It all started in January when I competed at the Mana Mana Windsurfing competition on Bintang Island together with Oka. We then discussed the possibility of holding a similar competition in Bali and at the same time open a professional water sport center.
I also proposed the idea to the general manager of the Sanur Beach Hoteland to Neil Pryde (the largest sailsmaker in the world). Both of them showed enthusiasm for the idea. From there on I set up an organizing committee and worked together with Arifin Hutabarat from the Ganesia publicrelations company, Avancini said.
He said the event would be promoted through posters and pamphlets at outlets both in Indonesia and overseas. Our other mission was to promote windsurfing in Bali, because not many people know that Bali has good waves for windsurfing and surfing.
Avancini said the organizer would begin registration of interested participants in November.
The registration fee is $100 per person. For local windsurfers, we will give a special fee. The participants may bring along their families as longas they pay the individual $100 fee.
Avancini said the Blue Oasis Beach Club would provide registration information. The club may be contacted on phone 62-361-288011 extension. 1792 or fax 62-361-288106. E-mail registration is also available at email@example.com.
Avancini, 33, comes from Italy and is a keen windsurfer. He told the Post that he started windsurfing at a young age but insisted that he was only an amateur in the sport.
In 1990 I wanted to become a professional, but it is not easy since you need a lot of practice. I later went to Bali and have been on the island for nearly three years. Oka helped me a lot in my training.
The general manager of the Hotel Sanur Beach, Juergen Fischer, said the hotel was keen to help make the event a success.
For the participants staying at the hotel, we will give a special package which includes free breakfast and dinner (excluding beverages) and low room rates, Fischer said.
Fischer also said the hotel would be opening new facilities for guests, which included the Mandara Spa (facial, massage, body treatments and aromatherapy baths), the Peppers Latino Grill & Bar, and the Smart Cafe, which would offer Internet communications.
Early next year, the hotel will embark on a room renovation (project), expansion of the lobby and pool restaurant renovation.
Fischer said he hoped that after the Aerowisata Windsurfing Championships, other sporting competitions would also be held on the island.
Prior to the event, Bali will host on Oct. 24 the marathon. We hope manyparticipants will be at the marathon. The hotel is ready to serve all the needs of the runners, he said.