8 GIRLS ENJOYING RACING, SUN AND BEACH IN FAR AWAY
"LADIES CHALLANGE" DECEMBER 5-9TH, PATTAYA, THAILAND
Warm sea, nice wind and hard working organizers welcomed the 8 girls from 4 nations that in the end made it to the Ladies Challenge in Pattaya, Thailand. The Formula Experience Charter boards already waiting on the beach made traveling a breeze.
About the event…
The competition hit of with some light conditions, but the trade wind showed it force and hit the second day inviting the girls to some fun action on the water. For the girls in top-3 it was a challenge and close head to head racing to the very end. The girls knew that if they just relaxed 2 sec, did a small mistake or hit one of the many plastic bags in the water it was win or loose. Karen Marriot (USA) and Lill Hollstedt (NOR) continued their close fight from the women cup in Canada and this time also had to do their best against the incredible local sailor Amara Wichithong (THA). The local power proved in the end to be unbeatable. Further down the list the battle was also hard, the young talented Sunisa, also from Thailand progressed with every race. And traveling all the way from Holland, Marlies Schepers really enjoyed the racing when the wind started to show force. Ellen Faller from the USA took the challenge and is enjoying racing more and more. And young talented Angela Hurley and Joanne Marriot took to the waters and pushed their limits!
After 4 days of hard work; result being bleeding hands, red faces and fun racing on the water the girls picked up their crystal elephants and where happy with the thought of spending the next day sunbathing on the beach and to enjoy a local massage.
The idea and the future…
In summary a race like this for women is just a great initiative, fantastic opportunity and a great experience for the girls showing up. And racing on the same boards, and having the same fins makes the racing more fun and enjoyable for more girls.
And personally I will say that more of the girls out there should have put more work into taking this challenge that was offered in order to lay the future for women racing. The importen question that stands after the event is why the more than 17 girls that said they would come, in the end did not show up? If girls don’t participate we can not expect people to keep working for us. Women racing needs to be about more than high-tech equipment and price money. We need lots of women on all levels coming to events and race, because of racing and being together is just a lot of fun! And after using the alu booms, ASA boards and standard fins for a race I personally will say that this equipment is just plain fun and affordable to everyone! A great way for the young and new girls to start racing on and just less worries, frustration and more fun for the rest of us! Racing for every girl of all levels and skills!
Big thanks to Tor and the rest of wonderful people at StarBoard, local organizers and the enthusiastic people working for the Formula Experience class for putting up a great show for the 8 that in the end took the challenge… And who knows maybe we will get invited next year?
Lill Hollstedt, NOR-84
Marlies boyfriend Roger took lots of great photos. Check out their gallery.
Head to head racing for the girls in top-3. Local sailor Amara and Lill fighting it out.
The lukcy winners with their trophys. Mistral Imco and Ladies challange.
Happy Norwegian girl enjoying the nice breeze with 10.5, FE
board, alloy boom and sailing in shorts!