Mother nature is cooperating in providing the ideal conditions for the first day of slalom racing here at the 18th Annual Aruba Hi Winds. Slalom windsurfing was held at 1:30 PM AST under picture perfect weather conditions.
The kite surf competition being held at Boca Grande commenced at 3:00 PM AST. A stellar turnout of 11 kiters including the only woman, Zwanet (AKA Swa) Kooijm representing Holland all hope to face the challenging conditions at this incredibly windblown setting. Pieter Zweers, champion windsurfer from Bonaire returns in hopes of nailing the coveted first place notch in this kite surf event. Other competitors include Eef and J.P van de Eerenbeemt. J.P is the event director and proves he can run a stellar event but tonight’s results will reveal how he fares in the kite competition.
Team Aruba was in the house to defend titles on their home turf. In the women’s slalom division three Arubian shredding chicas battled it out for top place. Sisters Manou and Tatja Becker along with Sietske van der Wal showed their talent today. New comer, 15 year old Janet Zienkenoppasser showed her stuff leading the pack in the first day of heats. Mylene de Vries, NC-17 a multi time winner at local and regional regattas has been training hard in her home base in Curacao. She has competed against Team Aruba many times and is a solid opponent to watch.
In the Men’s/ Masters Division several top talent duked it out in gusty winds. Top world freestyler, Taty Frans showed he still has the skill and finesse to race in a slalom event but it was Daniel Badell from Venezuela who dominated today’s heats.
Race Director, J.P. recognizes the value of the junior sailor by offering the youth divisions. With the new emerging gear choices available in the industry, it makes good sense to offer a venue for them to show their stuff. These talented kids possess enthusiasm and spirit that truly enhances the mood of this high-energy contest. In the New Kids category, eight eager kids duked it out for the top 3 places. The most entertaining heats to watch were the four young guns in the Super Kids Division. Starboard and Hot Sails Team Riders Amado Vrieswijk, NB-11 and Jurgen Saragoza, NB-117 recently back from a promo trip in at Surf Fest in Italy were side by side in the 3 heats. Local kid Brunno Matarozzi, ARU-43 gave some tough competition proving time on local water makes for better sailing. He was one tough opponent.
The many local volunteers worked hard throughout the day serving delicious food and cold beverage provided by the many local sponsors who made this event happen. It’s clear that the Aruba community values this sport and this magical setting at world famous Fisherman’s Huts. The music was pumping throughout the day and the locale was ideal for a contest. Spectators lined the shore, waded in the water or sat under the yellow Corona Beer tent to enjoy the heats. Tonight everyone heads to Kokoa Beach Restaurant and Bar for another occasion of partying and celebration. Young and old look forward to mingling under the lunar light for a festive Arubian evening. Friday’s schedule remains the same.
The weekend brings a full moon, an American Holiday and the long awaited crowd favorite, freestyle competition. Kite surfing moves from Boca Grande to Fisherman’s Huts for a more convenient location. Local sponsor BULA will hold a sizzling Bikini Fashion show Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 P.M. AST. It’s looking like a wild and windy weekend here at the infamous Fisherman’s Huts on magnificent Aruba.
Day 1 Results:
Daniel Badell - Venezuela Taty Frans - Bonaire Ryan Lampe - Aruba
Masters results pending at press time
Choko Frans/Javier Sint Jago – Bonaire/Aruba 2. Quincy Offringa - Aruba
Janet Ziekenoppasser - Aruba Manou Becker - Aruba Mylene de Vries - Curacao
Kids results pending at press time
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