BINTULU: Team Silat of Bintulu Kite Flyer (BKF) is heading to Berck-sur-Mer, France, to represent Malaysia in the 10th World Sport Kite Championship (WSKC) from April 10-17.
The six-member team will be led by BKF president Azman Drahman, who will also be the team manager. The others are Abu Hanifah Ismail (as team leader), Sofian Suhaili, Adam Ahmad, Roslan Omar and Mohammad Matni.
The WSKC is the most prestigious competition in the sport-kiting world. Currently, it is held biennially and only for dual-line teams.
Seven countries, namely China, Colombia, France, Malaysia, Russia, United Kingdom and United States of America will be taking part in the championship.
The competitors from these countries include Team Win Sky Shanghai, Dalian Storm (China); Equipo Andesky, Equipo Atemoc (Colombia); Start Air, CV Folie, Les Mademoiz’Ailes, Panam’Air (France); Red Alert (Russia); Team Flame (UK); and Air Zone Flight Team, FourCE (USA).
Scratch Bunnies from UK won in the 2010, 2012 and 2014 editions.
Participating teams are selected by the three main sport kiting organisations: American Kitefliers Association (AKA), All-Japan Sport Kite Association (AJSKA) and Sport Team And Competitive Kiting (STACK).
The competition uses the International Sport Kite Rule Book. It consists of three days of full competition—precision and ballet disciplines.
The Team Silat members yesterday paid a courtesy call on Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) at Wisma Bintulu.
Azman said this would be their second time competing in the prestigious event. They were placed ninth in the 2014 edition.
“Of course we aim to be a champion, but let see how it goes in France because we are competing against the world champions in kite flying.
“Basically in this event, it depends on the winds. There will be very strong winds in France, which are quite different from those in Malaysia. Physically, we are prepared for this championship,” he said.
He thanked BDA for its strong support and promised to do their best in France.
Meanwhile, BDA deputy general manager Mohd Bohari Kipli wished the team all the best.
“Besides participating in kite flying event, you actually promote the good image of the country in the eyes of the world. You are promoting Malaysia even though the sport is not under any ministry,” said Bohari.
He complimented BKF members for their commitment in the sport. Even without financial support from the government, they still compete internationally.
“You should be proud of yourselves,” he added.
Kite flying, he said, is able to bring the people together.
A good example of this is the Borneo International Kite Festival here.