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 18th 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.
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