Temperate climate enhances sporting appeal from golf to marathons and yachting to kiteboarding
Last year’s Tour of Hainan cycle race featured 20 professional teams from China and abroad
Haikou offers a vast array of sports events and activities for all levels, from enthusiasts to professionals. The island’s year-round temperate weather makes it an ideal destination for golf aficionados, so it comes as no surprise that the island offers more than two dozen top golf clubs. One of the city’s premier golf clubs is Mission Hills Haikou, one of the largest in the world.
Professional cyclists race through the city as a part of the Tour of Hainan, an annual road race that started in 2006. Last year’s edition featured 20 professional teams from China and internationally competing for US$350,000 in prize money. The nine-stage tour takes place in late October each year.
Amateur runners flock to the annual Haikou Marathon, drawn by the beauty of its course and pleasant January temperatures. This year’s edition featured more than 10,000 runners who tackled a course that began at the Meishe River Fengxiang Wetland Park and passed many of the city’s top scenic spots.
Sailing enthusiasts chart their course to Haikou to revel in the Round Hainan Regatta, which was founded in 2010 and is now one of China’s premier sailing races. The regatta includes races in eight different classes, with legs that take sailors to destinations such as Lingshui and Wanning. This year’s regatta featured more than 40 domestic and international teams.
Haikou is also a popular destination for teams at all levels of yacht racing. Up to 600 yachts participate in the port’s winter season, thanks to comfortable and mild local temperatures, and inviting sea winds.
Kiteboarding is another nautical sport that is enjoying an upsurge in popularity in Haikou. Each December, the city’s waters host the Haikou International Kite Surfing Open, which draws dozens of competitors in numerous categories. Amateur enthusiasts can also learn to kite surf while holidaying in Haikou. The most popular spot for kite surfing is Holiday Beach, which features minimal waves with winds ranging from 15 to 35 knots between October and February.