The 18th Annual Aruba Hi Winds commenced on a typical windy Arubian day. Coincindently it was also the day of the Eurocup championship between Holland and Portugal. While Holland were not the victors, the patriotism and enthusiasm ran high as the officials postponed registration to watch their national team. There is a good mix of talent representing eight countries including Spain, Brazil and Argentina. The race director, Oscar Martinez adds to this mix hailing from far away Chile.
Local favorites include Javier Sint Jago ARU-21 who has attended the 2002 King of the Cape (Boston) event and two PWA events in Bonaire. As he prepares to move to Holland for his education he has trained hard for what will be his last Hi Winds for several years to come. Over 30 Bonairean sailors are in the house, some hoping to defend previous titles. They include light winds champion Demenson (Kiri) Thode (Starboard), cousin to the dueling due Taty and Tonky Frans. Venezuelan favorite, Alex Zabala, V- 41 (Mistral, North, Chiemsee, Red Bull) is on a hiatus from the PWA 2004 in hopes of defeating top sailors such as Ryan Lampe, ARU 5 ( Dunkin Donuts Aruba) from Aruba and top world freestyle competitor Bonairean Taty Frans, NB 7 (Starboard, Gaastra, Curtis, Fiberspar). While the event has less international attendance as the earlier years, local and regional sailors take this event very seriously as they prepare to compete in one of the most successful and oldest Caribbean windsurf competitions. Event Director J.P. van den Eerenbeemt knows how to throw a party and that’s the mood of this lively setting. The water is a rainbow of blues and the colorful sails lining the horizon create a magical setting for spectators and sailors alike.
The twillight kick off party was held at Pelican’s Nest on spacious Palm Beach. An entertaining local band performed pulsing meringue and regional music while guests dined of superb cuisine including local Arubian fish. The party ended early as most riders wanted to get rest for what is expected to be an adrenaline packed week of competition.
Sponsors: Corona Extra, Aruba Tourism Authority, Dunkin Donuts, Coca Cola, Sailboard Vacations, Aruba Boardsailing Productions, Zenitel, Aruba Aloe, BULA, Kukoo Kunuku, Tango Argentinean Grill, The Pelican Nest, Salt & Pepper, Fishes and More Restaurant, Koninklijke Marine, Adventure Golf, Moomba Beach, Taco Bell, Tattoo Party Cruises, Columbian Emeralds, Dufry, More for Less, Super Food