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5TH YEAR OF PRO-KIDS FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIP AND FIRST IFCA SLALOM WORLD
Posted on July 12, 2009 by Elvis Martinus
CHAMPIONSHIP IN BONAIRE
Participants are welcome to the first IFCA junior, youth, master SLALOM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and 5th year of PRO-KIDS FREESTYLE.
Around 20 years ago we were trying to have SLALOM competitions here in Bonaire. We are very thankful for this year to the participants for the Pro-kids freestyle and junior and youths in slalom event. What happen in this beautiful sport of Windsurfing doesn’t happen in all sport where people from all ages can participate, daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, grandchildren and grandfathers competing for the world title in the same event. Something very personal is that more than 25 years ago we haven’t a lot of people practicing this sport in Bonaire, but the participants of Aqua Speed group had stimulate a lot of young Bonairean to practice this sport and today with a lot of effort the organization Aqua Speed Bonaire Windsurfing club together with BSaF had produce good windsurfers. We have Patun Saragoza who had participated twice in the Olympics games. What about the brothers Frans and Thode who are strong candidates for free-style world title. Tati Frans is getting a lot of success in slalom professional and titles for our younger youths like Jurgen Saragoza, Amado Vrieswijk, Youp Smit and Bjorn Saragoza. Even Sarah-Quita Offringa got contagious with the sport of Windsurfing because of the Boniarean Kids. Representing Aruba today she is a Professional World Champion.
What makes us more proud today of the windsurfing sport is that a lot of people don’t know that the categories Pro-kids were created here in Bonaire and today are popular around the world. Combine with masters this is a guarantee that the windsurfing sport has a lot of future. This week when the youths are competing together with the masters is a good opportunity for them to learn from the grown ups. Bonaire with only 15.000 habitants has at least 3 windsurfers in the top 10 of professional freestyle. In slalom we have a world champion in kids less than 13 years and this year competition at our home Island Bonaire, we are inspire to have various title in different ages. Windsurfing sport became a national sport here in Bonaire and Windsurfing is the only sport that had organized a world championship here in Bonaire. In 3 occasions PWA had organized world championships and IFCA one last year in freestyle and this year slalom world championships.
The Aqua Speed Windsurfing organization and Bonaire Sailing Foundation (BSaF) are more than thankful to all the sponsors and also to the volunteers. Without them is impossible to organize this magnificent event. And a special thanks to all the participants visiting, we know is not easy to get to Bonaire with all their equipment. But in spite of all this they are here and we hope they can enjoy them selves with the sea, the wonderful breeze that Bonaire has to offer and it’s nice conservative nature. Our local athletics had been training for a long time and almost every day. Bonaire is very proud today of our athletics and additionally this year in this event we launch a new style of competition which had been created by Bonairean Cesar Finies. The style of this competition is called FLOWSTYLE. What makes this style more special is that, the competition can be done with wind or without wind.
Once more WELCOME AND ENJOY THIS TROPICAL PARADISE BONAIRE.
President of Bonaire Sailing Foundation,
Bonaire has a long seafaring history. This Dutch Caribbean island is situated 70 miles from Aruba, 30 miles from Curacao and about 50 miles from Venezuela. The island enjoys year round trade winds and is out of the hurricane belt making it a lovely year round sailing and watersports destination. Locals have fished the waters for hundreds of years sustaining their lives living off of the sea. Boat builders still live on island preserving their lifestyle and culture crafting and maintaining their traditional Bonairean boats. About 20 years ago a few locals took to the water on different sea vessels. The first windsurf board may have been brought to the island thanks to a Dutch sailor. He lent the board to an Antillean fisherman, Erwin Muller. The rage caught on and others became windsurfers. These sailors included Elvis Martinus, Ernst Van Vliet, Bob Meldebom and Constantine Saragoza to name a few. They sailed offshore at the former Sunset Beach Hotel. There were races to Curacao and even a few hardy souls windsurfed to Venezuela. Since the advent of windsurfing on this island of 14,000 people windsurfing is now big. The island is proud of their pro windsurfers who travel the world to compete and represent Bonaire. The island hosted several PWA windsurfing events in recent years. The island has also been the site for the Annual Starboard Pro Kids Worlds held each summer. As the sport grows and expands it makes sense to bring slalom windsurf racing back to Bonaire. Bonaire is proud to welcome the IFCA slalom Pro Kids Junior Worlds and Youth and Masters World Championships. The event will be held on Sorobon Beach, Bonaire from 12th to 17th July 2009. The island is proud to add slalom racing to its annual event. Bonaire offers perfect race conditions with water temperatures in the low 80’s. Lac Bay is a protected area affording all racers safe and challenging courses. Bonaire has great pride for the unofficial national sport, windsurfing. The entire island warmly welcomes freestyle and slalom competitors in July.