After 2.5 months of traveling I was happy to be back home on Bonaire again , be a part of the Bonaire windsurf-events held at Te Amo-, Pink- and Sorobon-beach and catching up with family, friends and visiting competitors from abroad.
In the past 2 years due to the schedule of events in Europe I could not attend the Defiwind Caribbean, Dunkerbeck Speed-challenge and the Sorobon Masters, but this year it fitted perfectly into my 2017 tour.
On June 17 the registration for the Defiwind Caribbean took place at Sorobon Beach Resort who together with Philippe Bru , his team and Bjorn Dunkerbeck organised these 9 days of windsurf-spectacle on Bonaire. The registration followed with a great openingsparty right on the beach.
After the skippers meeting on sunday June 18th we all moved to Te Amo beach for the first long-distance races of the event in the Bay of Kralendijk. Good vibes and big smiles as the wind was perfect, the sun was shining and all had a good time.
Race 1. Good start, but had to watch out for the start-boat passing right in front of me. Result a 2nd place.
Race 2. What I was afraid of in the first race, happened in the second and crashed hard on a wave right after the start-boat passing, but could make up and ended in a 4th place.
Race 3 and the last race of the first day. All went perfect and ended again in a 2nd place.
The 2nd day of the event took place at beautiful Pink-Beach. The wind was perfect again for the Slalom85 and Reflex8 7.8 . I could earn a 5th and a 3rd place.
Luckily Aron Etmon CUR-2 had a extra sail ready on the beach before the second race as my mast broke just a few meters from the beach and shortly before the start. I could switch it rapidly and did not loose my race. Thank you Aron !!
Video from Day-2. With me on the Severne from Aron, but this video gives a good impression about the great conditions, the beauty of Pink Beach and the event.
Tuesday June 19th was a windy day again, and with Tropical Storm Brett heading towards the ABC-Islands we did not know what to expect. But again all riders came together on Pink-Beach and we all were ready to sail Day-3.
For me the first race was a bummer as another mast snapped right before the start and the rescue boat had to tow me in. No result, but could write this race number 6 of as a discard. Only 1 discard in this event.
Thanks to Jibe City and my mom who raced to the surfshop to get me some new masts I was ready for round 7 and 8 . I could add a 5th place twice.
Nice to have a battle on the water with the legend Bjorn Dunkerbeck. Amazing how he something accelerates out of the blue.
At night Tropical Storm Brett was turned a little to the North of Bonaire. We had some rain, power outages, but most of all some very strong wind gusts starting from 1900 until 0300 the next morning. Luckily there were no major damages, but on Sorobon-beach the storm-surge left it’s mark. The last day of the event, the Government forbade the event to race on open sea and so a Fun Race was organized in the lagoon of Sorobon followed by live music, dinner and the award ceremony.
Results : Defiwind Caribbean 1.Julien Quentel 2. Myself 3. Bjorn Dunkerbeck
Complete Resultsheet :
Note : My friend and Theislandboy Taty Frans won all 8 races. A real racing machine he is, but made some mistakes and got disqualified twice.
Fun Race 1.Taty Frans 2. Myself and in 3rd Aron Etmon
With the Defiwind finished , the action was not over yet. Thursday June 22 was registration for the Freestyle- and Slalom-event Sorobon Masters and the Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge. Unfortunately on friday the wind dropped and we all could enjoy another lay-day and went foiling with Julien Quentel
The wind returned strong on Saturday and with an early skippers meeting a action packed day started. First slalom-racing : 3 eliminations done and could earn a first and 2 x second place.
Good battle with The Legend Bjorn Dunkerbeck, next time ……. 😉
After lunch the freestyle single elimination started. Although there were not many competitors, we had a good time and had to compete against Taty Frans in the final and could take the win. Here a video by Kuma Movie of my heat against Ryan Richie from Curacao.
In the late afternoon the Dunkerbeck-speed challenge was held and with all having a GPS-tracker we sailed the course. With the wind getting gusty I was not at my fastest, but had a great new experience in this speed challenge.
The last day of the full week of competition was sunday the 25th. With an early start to race a few more eliminations in slalom I went out again on the Slalom71 and Reflex8 7.8. Good racing-conditions and twice a second and one 3rd place finish.
Unfortunately after lunch the wind died and no double-elimination was possible for the freestylers.
Another Speed-challenge was done at the end of the afternoon , but due to the shifting wind the course was not in a good position and the scores did not count.
Sorobon Masters Slalom-results
- Taty Frans
- Bjorn Dunkerbeck
- Juvanni Augostien
- Julien Quentel
Sorobon Masters : Freestyle
- Taty Frans
- Ryan Richie
Result Dunkerbeck Speed-challenge : 1. Bjorn Dunkerbeck, 2. Jurgen Saragoza (took the PAN-AM Speed-title) and 3. Taty Frans
All riders: young, old, beginner or pro, we all had a good time !!
Related websites or check their Facebookpages
A special thanks to the race-director, to Jan-Hendrik and Annette from Sorobon Beach Resort, Philippe Bru & team and Bjorn Dunckerbeck for visiting Bonaire and organizing this Speed-challenge , all volunteers and sponsors to make this great week happen for all competitors from Bonaire , the neighbor islands and from abroad. Thank you photographers: Roger Neve, Kuma Movie and Ruben from World of Windsurf for the many and amazing pictures and video-clips.
Bonaire once again showed to be a top spot for windsurfing !!
Congrats to all winners and all who competed. I hope to be on Bonaire again June 2018 for the next editions of the Defiwind Caribbean, Dunkerbeck-Speed Challenge and the Sorobon Masters.
Now time to relax a little and focus on my trip and participation at the PWA Grandslam (Freestyle and Slalom) on Fuerteventura from July 21-30.
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