Posts Tagged ‘Tonky Frans’

Children of the Wind – A Documentary

February 14, 2010

I became a windsurfer in the late 90’s. It was all I thought about and encompassed all aspects of my life. I thought and lived wind. In the late 90’s I spent many a cold winter nights watching instructional windsurf videos. My favorite videos were the productions of my now friend and colleague, Dasher. Dasher made these cool videos of some kids n Aruba’s sister island, Bonaire. They were crazy hot shots on Bic mini rigs. I had heard whispers of this island in the windsurf community but never made it there. One day in cold February 2001 my colleague and friend Tinho Dornella told me the team from Bonaire was coming to his event, Calema. I had been to Calema twice and thought there was no better way to see the team then to scout them out.  I was the co founder and event coordinator of King of the Cape with my then colleague Marc Lefebvre and we wanted them at our event for June.  We flew down early March and met the team. Tonky Frans has a face full of piercings and a killer smile. He had red hair too. It was electric. He later told me Andy Brandt tutored him to stand out and that’s how the red hair came to be. Me, I don’t think he needed the red hair. He stood out, that’s for sure. Little Kiri Thode stood on the shore shivering in the March air. Chris Bernabella was there as laughing with his friends. He told me he loved Florida but did not love the cold. I asked around who was in charge. I then met Byron Tromp. Byron and I spoke and agreed they would try to come to King of the Cape, a PWA sanctioned event. They worked hard at their end finding sponsorship through many sources including Air Jamaica. Back on Cape, Marc Lefebvre and Nevin Sayre (Fiberspar) connected and agreed to sponsor the team any way we could. Nevin and his wife Stina took in a crowd. I had a group at my house. The rest is their history. They dominated the event blowing away the pros in attendance. I recall Martin van Geehoven being astounded with Taty Fran’s flat water loop that sealed the deal for his win. Brian Talma was in attendance meeting little Kiri Thode who we called the “mini Irieman”.  That was the start of a very special friendship; Kiri barely spoke English back then.  The team went back to Bonaire but Ro Mayer and Tonky went on to the Gorge.   Tonky dominated the Gorge Games and Ro was a force to be reckoned on the water. My daughter I traveled West to join them and witness windsurf history. Windwing saw something in the guys and sponsored them. Bill Morrisey from Dakine also took on the team as riders. Nevin hooked the guys up with Fiberspar gear and AHD boards.  After Cape Cod, the Gorge was the second part of the world to catch a glimpse at their brilliance. This was just the beginning..it all exploded that year, 2001 but it started wayyyy before that.

World reknowned producer Peter Robertson and his colleagues, Daphne Schmon and Robert McCormick are documenting Bonaire’s windsurf history.Take a glimpse at their story as shown in the trailor in “Children of the Wind”. This soon to be released production will warm your hearts, expose you to a culture and introduce you to young people who have a passion that breaks through all barriers.

http://www.childrenofthewindmovie.com/index.htm

Photo Courtesy of Children of the Wind

Please note the trailer is not part of the actual production by Peter Robertson. It is short promotional preview that was shot by Robert McCormick and Daphne Schmon. Production continues on island in May. Join Children of the Wind on Facebook and Twitter. This is such an important documentary on so many levels. This is a tribute to a village and community who believed and the kids who dared to dream…

PWA Bliss

October 8, 2009

Bonaire Rock Stars - Photo Courtesy of Sara Quita

Bonaire Rock Stars - Photo Courtesy of Sara Quita

Colgate World Cup Sylt

The setting was chilly brisk Westerland Beach in Sylt Germany. Windsurf pros have long flocked to the windy cold shores of Sylt to compete for the final PWA event of each season. Full suits and small sails are usually the order of the day. Early on Sylt lacked the wind needed for a successful event but on day 3 it went off. Duncan Combs head judge called for single and double ladder eliminations. Bonaire was up. The one to watch was Gollito, last years Venezuelan. No stranger to Bonaire, Gollito is a crowd favorite hailing from El Yaque. Team Bonaire made it to the semi throwing Shakas and Back Loops. Kiri bested his team mate Nicolas French rival Akgazciyan who also rides for Starboard. Next he was up against Tonky in Single Ladder Eliminations. In the finals it was Taty against Kiri. The winner after scoring higher points in a very close heat was Taty Frans. 1,2,3, Bonaire dominates Sylt.

Scores

Men’s Freestyle

1st Elton ‘Taty’ Frans (Starboard, MauiSails)

2nd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)

3rd Everon ‘Tonky’ Frans (F2, Gaastra)

4th Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)

5th Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun Sails)

Taty and Kiri Photo Courtesy of Sara Quita

Taty and Kiri Photo Courtesy of Sara Quita

Freestyle Heaven…

May 2, 2009

Video Courtesy of Matowind

I first heard of these guys whilst watching a Dasher video one cold winter night in 2000. I had dreams of sailing and it was as close to sailing as I could get.  I heard the “Bonaire Kids” were going to Tinho and Susie’s event, Calema so my event partner and I headed to Merritt Island to scout the team and invite them to our event, King of the Cape 2001. The rest is history ..here’s a peak at their talent. It’s mindblowing, actually.

What To Do In Light Wind

January 30, 2009

One of the most often asked question I get as a windsurf travel specialist is, “when is it windy in Bonaire”.  Who knows, right? Sometimes to illustrate the answer I explain that I once was skunked in The Gorge (when I was there with my Bonaire buddies Tonky and Ro).  The real answer is Nov. – July our winds are best but we can have a wicked windy Sept. and a dead lull in January. It’s a bummer to book a week holiday and have light winds, I know. Never fear, a real windsurfer will find something to do on the water when the winds are light. Here is a little video of one sailor who makes it work no matter what Mother Nature Offers. Meet Caesar Finies, our light wind wiz. Caesar is my hero.


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