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Can you tell us in less than 100 words what your company does?

MANTA addresses social-ocean priorities (overfishing, pollution, climate change, also drowning, addiction, illiteracy), using the power of watersports, film, and translation, in circular model with UN global goals at core.
Taking fishermen off overfishing/ biodiversity destruction, translating existing ocean skills to watersports, as alternative livelihoods.
In turn, trained fishermen teach individuals/ large groups swimming survival and watersports progression workshops, as 6,000 Vietnamese children drown annually.
Fishermen, now Vietnam’s top watersports coaches/ athletes, cultivate community cooperation on different levels, having taught watersports to over 3,000 international/ local students, following governing body guidelines, modified for Vietnam.

Who are your customers?

MANTA’s customers are diverse:

Walk-in clients and large groups booking online – up to 80 individuals in a morning often up to 25 nationalities. A range of ages and backgrounds, including customers with 5 star needs and no previous knowledge of watersports or awareness of the ocean, and coaches/ athletes who have been in national squads.
Usually, large groups of international children are 10-12-year-olds and the large groups of local children are 5-15-year-olds.

Large group guests include:

  • International schools since 2014: American International School (AIS), Australian International School (AIS), European International School (EIS), Saigon South International School (SSIS), Saigon Star International School (SSIS), The American International School (TAS) – up to 25 different nationalities
  • Agents: Asia Motions, Camp Asia, Buffalo Tours, Exotissimo, DTP
  • Corporate groups: Corsair, Royal Haskoning DHV, and Platinum Viet/Mitek.

With sponsored workshops:
MANTA trains
– local children (some too poor for school and yet to read, write and swim) from marginalised fisherfolk families in Vietnam’s watersports capital
– Vietnam’s sports universities
with training in Vietnamese by Vietnam’s top watersports coaches.

With government:
MANTA’s founder receives pro-bono requests to
– help develop watersports
– draw the national watersports plan on an International Olympic Committee scholarship
– advise on ‘all things to do with sailing worldwide’ in international meetings in Dublin
– train national teams
– add sailing to Vietnam’s captains’ licenses.

N.B. MANTA throws in the need for
– Marine Protected Areas
– zero waste awareness campaigns and
– the opportunity of surfing in Tokyo Olympics with advice from Myanmar (2019 SEA Games host). Three finger salute.

International sponsors:

2020       Beyond Sport, Swedish Postcode Foundation, and Laureus Sport for Good (
2019       New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Charity of the Year.
2018       tve Global Sustainability Film Awards shortlisting (
2017       Beyond Sport Awards shortlisting (see above graphic).
2005      ADM Foundation: Fishery surveys for southern Vietnam.

Local sponsors:

Nam Chau Boutique Resort
Tropical Minigolf
Blue Ocean
Shona Schonning
Edith Schnitzel.

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

MANTA helps reduce drowning risks in Mui Ne, Vietnam’s watersports capital, where 6,000 Vietnamese children drown annually (

MANTA stands out as:

  • Vietnam’s 1st (and only official) sail training centre
  • Vietnam’s only:
    • Social-environmental enterprise and organisation addressing social ocean priorities
    • Watersports organisation
      • delivering
        – UN global goals at core
        – Sponsored programs
        – In Vietnamese and English (to help reduce marginalisation/increase inclusion).
      • upgrading unique objectives:
        – Watersports skills
        – Environmental awareness
        – Alternative livelihoods
        – Enabling government stuff
        – In-house skills.
      • monitoring outputs where possible with UN SDGs
      • collaborating with others while including local children
        – UNODC training when lockdowns are lifted with their program ‘Line Up! Live Up!’
      • offering healthy alternatives to addiction, including digital addiction.
  • Award winning videos (,
    • Advising national government (Ministry of Sports Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Transport, Border Police, and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE)). Receiving advice from Myanmar (2019 SEA Games hosts). Three finger salute.
    • Training large groups of children (from local and international schools), and corporates.
    • Supporting fisheries research (
    • Working with local whale temple keepers (in their 70s and 80s) – to help preserve the local culture with Small Scale Fisheries culture, before it dies out – with local whale temple keepers reverting passionately to kids as they remember surfing off Mui Ne peninsular before the war.

MANTA follows international guidelines and helps train national teams, with alternative livelihoods for fisherfolk. MANTA welcomes girl power in the industry!

What are the current trends within your business area, and how are they affecting how you work and how you deliver on strategy?

Trends include:

Increased Covid creativity to navigate 1/2020 border lockdowns in Vietnam.

Increased climate change impact with the world 75% water and rising.

Increased infrastructure/building work: Vietnam’s Prime Minister called for more building work (roads, local airports), during border lockdowns, to facilitate growth of tourism after lockdown.

Covid lockdown customer shifts: Despite an end to foreign visitors in Mui Ne, Vietnam’s watersports capital and global kiteboarding hotspot, there is an increase in Vietnam visitors and city expats (with Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) 5 hours away by road) – in particular, people who may have otherwise travelled overseas for holidays, or those worried about recent outbreaks of Covid at HCMC airport.

Appreciation of sponsorship: MANTA was blessed in 2020 with sponsorship from Beyond Sport, Swedish Postcode Foundation, and Laureus Sport for Good
– allowing MANTA to pivot watersports training workshops from international school children to local marginalised fishing family children, with swimming survival for climate action workshops to help reduce drowning risks – developing watersports skills with environmental awareness locally
– allowing increased community collaboration: Bringing on board Vietnam’s best watersports coaches/ athletes for large group training in Vietnamese
– allowing development of employability skills and strengthening of networks in Vietnam’s watersports capital.

Strengthening resilience: MANTA uses local fisherfolk solutions to rebuild seawalls in the face of storm damage (rather than other measures used in the bay that have significant negative impacts and costs).

More requests for partnership from other watersports organisations in the bay:
– MKS for large groups of children kiteboarding
– Source kiteboarding – with the new/revamped sport of wing foiling, which didn’t initially catch on with purists in board sports, but now makes sense when people have small windows in which to get out on the water.

Given the positive impact, MANTA now looks for more sponsorship!
– Without knowing anything about the world of Sports Sponsorship, or Sales.

MANTA’s founder signed up to the April 2021 ESA Sponsorships Sales Certificate course to help navigate the new world of Sports Sponsorship and delivery of strategy.

Win Stan – Vietnam’s top kiteboarding wave rider, for the past 3 years. Photo by Tam Nguyen

How are you harnessing and executing on digital strategy, and what problems/ opportunities has this created?

MANTA’s digital strategy is relatively simple: using website, email, posting flyers on social media to advertise watersports services and photos/videos after a workshop to prevent sabotage.

Opportunities: MANTA can possibly use digital more to source new demand and reach in Vietnamese and English languages across the country, perhaps with wider reach after border lockdowns are lifted – though we cannot yet reimagine safely switching delivery of watersports to robots.

Using the power of watersports, MANTA offers a healthy alternative to digital addiction, with balancing the elements to navigate, while delivering UN global goals.

Other digital marketing opportunities: It is a PhD marketing thesis: ‘Why Vietnam has football and not yet sailing along its 4K km coastline’ – like Croatia – although government is keen to develop tourism and national pride with stronger borders etc.

What challenges have you encountered, and how have they been overcome?

Corruption (local and international): MANTA stands back to navigate around obstacles.
Ministry of Sport has drawn up decisions ‘to protect’ its national coaches where possible.
The paths of least corruption are via training rather than events and dinghies rather than superyachts.

We never stop learning! Happy to be alive and kicking, with very small turnover of staff.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

MANTA is happy to collaborate with others – for health/wealth of people/planet!

The cost of a swimming survival workshop for climate action, or a watersports progression workshop for large groups is in the order of USD3K-5K and can be arranged at a week’s notice if schedules allow.

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Visit us

We are located in Muine bay, an ideal location for sailing, with a gentle beach gradient, minimal beach break and protected inshore areas from the northeasterly winds.

108 Huynh Thuc Khang,
Mui Ne
Phan Thiet

T (EN): +84 (0) 908400108
T (VN): +84 (0) 984771047
E: [email protected]