Archive for July, 2009

Dive News

July 27, 2009

Good News!

Dive Friends Yellow Submarine is NOT raising rates for 2010. All new clients and repeaters will have a 5% discount if reservations for 2010 are made before Nov. 1. Mention Nov. Sale Special.

Fall Frenzy 114.00 pp for 6 days air at Dive Friends/Yellow Submarine when booking a hotel and truck package.

Accommodations on Sale – Call now 800-219-0118

Coral Creation by Carlea and Geoff Bishop

Coral Creation by Carlea and Geoff Bishop

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Friends at Lac Bay

July 24, 2009
Photo Courtesy of Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo Courtesy of Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

I met Steve Thuell, a lovely Brit in 2001. He was working at Jibe City and sported a platinum blonde Mohawk and reminded me of Billy Idol. Jayson, well I met him the same time same place. We have hung out a lot over the years sailing during fool moons, talking shit on the beach and just hanging. He comes and goes but when he is back it’s always great to see him.

Steve was working press for the event and Jayson was just being Jayson.

Please note the hat I am wearing…a gift from another Elvis, this one the owner of Elvis’s Beach Bar in Sunny Anguilla, my next stop Aug. 1 for Regatta. See http://www.anguillabliss.com for updates on my next adventure.

This incredible photo reflects the talent of Marco Di Gianvito. Thanks Marco!

Freewinds is Back..and not in a good way

July 23, 2009

Sean Paton our environmental super sleuth has produced a new documentary on the return of the Freewinds. It’s not good news. Freewinds is a very old cruise ship used by the Church of Scientology. They have done some cool things for the locals. They have great concerts and once hosted our skipper’s meeting for one regatta in 2001. They take gear between the islands during our windsurf events and have a very nice crew. On the bad side, they contribute to the pollution of our island. See for yourself:

Grande Finale Day 2 Freestyle

July 20, 2009

Kiri Thode

Day 2 the final day of freestyle was a light wind day. The wind was truly disappointing but the ABC freestyle posse took it in stride and made the best of it, in fact some of the sailors excel in light winds putting on quite the show.

The crowd favorites are clearly the baby kids. For the girls Koleta Abrahamsz placed first and Faye Larlo Scheper of Curacao placed 4th. For the boys, Jursten Trinidad placed first, Nicolas Verploeg placed second, Terrence Anthony third and Harley David Jenkins 4th.

In the boys 8-10 category Bonaire rider, Rover Dullart won the heats. This young kid has been training and hanging with the pros and it shows. He is a rider to see at future pro podiums. Aron Etmon of Curacao placed second, Serginho Finies of Bonaire placed third and Christopher Thuis of Curacao won 4th. It was a fun heat to watch.

In the boys 10-11, Aruba’s Steven Lageveen won the title sailing his rainbow Hot Sail. He tossed a few Gecko Flakas, Vulcan’s and switch stance moves. Jurgen Saragoza of Aruba placed second. He performed a jump tack and other light wind moves. Mitchell de Palm of Curacao has been practicing at home as he placed third thanks to a few one handed tricks. Stepherd Gustowski placed 4th sailing for Bonaire. He also performed well in incredibly light wind.

Team Aruba was neck and neck when Nick van den Erenbeemt and Mathias Ver Ploeg duked it out. Kaj van de Lubbe was pulling off his moves early on and as the day progressed pushed it to the limits in the boys 12-13 group. Nick’s Spock 540 was impressive and Mathias pulled off a clean gecko.  In the end, Nick’s smooth moves won him the title. Nick left early to attend Cabarete Race Week.

In the boys 14-15 Amado Vrieswijk maintained his title throwing some clean Grubby’s, E Sliders and Spock 540’s. Rich was showing the judges some impressive 1 handed Spocks and heli tacks while Dylan was a sail flip wiz.

In the girls, Nicole Van der Velden from team Aruba won with her sail finesse. Iris Jasperse from Bonaire was a wiz at light wind sail flipping making the crowd dizzy with her display. Andrea Simal from Bonaire came in third after a set of nice sail flips and tacks.

In the boys 17-18 there was a showdown of some fierce freestyle moves. The winner, Bjorn Saragoza of Bonaire won the title thanks to a dazzling set of freestyle. A crowd favorite was his Cana Brabu named after the local band of Bonaire. Endro Finies placed second showing off some smooth moves including a nice switch stance Chacho.  Victor Wederfoort from Curacao has clearly been training hard and placed third. Hendryck Balentien a team rider for RRD placed 4th showing a nice display of freestyle in his heats.

In the boys 19+ Kiri Thode came away as the reigning champion. Despite hardly any wind, he wowed the crowd with some sick aerial freestyle including Ponch’s, Funnels and more. Caesar Finies, the star and creator of Flowstyle sent the crowd to their feet with his sail dynamics. He placed second. Jaeger Sint Jago from Bonaire placed third showing off some rail rides and other light wind techniques.  Aruba’s Sara Quita Offringa flew Sunday to Fuertaventure missing her second day of heats.

The awards ceremony was an incredible event. Recognition was given to Jopi Soleano who hand crafted the lovely trophies. All the sponsors were present to present awards including Hot Sails owner Jeff Henderson who flew in from Hawaii to see his team. Lt. Governor Thode, a windsurfer himself presented awards as well. The Bolas champions won prizes for their weekend competition. After, Rincon Boys serenaded the huge crowd into the night. It was a wonderful weekend of freestyle and beach culture on Bonaire.

Pro Kids Freestyle Day 1

July 19, 2009
Photo Courtesy Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo Courtesy Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Day 1 of the 5th Annual Pro Kids Freestyle follows on the heels of the IFCA Bonaire World Slalom Event. It seems like the winds shut down a bit making the order of the day, light wind freestyle and flowstyle.  There were 23 competitors from the ABC islands ready to compete. The sailors were tossing between old school moves and new school with the Bonaire Flowstyle, crazy unique moves. Kiri Thode is back from the PWA Tour to defend his title. He and Caesar Finies, the light wind freestyle kind duked it out with two very different styles. Kiri was throwing Funnels. Grubby’s, and Ponch’s making it look effortless to get into a plane in light winds. Caesar was up to his old tricks with his classic sail creations flowstyle. His sail was in the air more than it was attached to his board. He is the master of this technique. Sara Quita Offringa from Aruba went up against her teammate talented Nicole van de Velden. Nicole was doing some old school gymnastic type moves with sail spin combinations. Sara was able to pump into a plane and push out some Spocks and Vulcans. Andrea Simal Nava stuck with her classic freestyle moves to impress the judges. Bonaire’s Bjorn Saragoza and Victor Wederfoort  from Curacao duked it out in a heat with Archuendro Finies and Hendryck Balentien. Archuendro had some smooth moves and Hendryck followed but Bjorn and Victor dominated the double eliminations for day 1 tossing some swift planning moves.  In the 14-15 grouping Bonaire’s Amado Vrieswijk dominated over Rich Cicilia from Aruba and Dylan Robles of Bonaire. These three talents showed off their planning freestyle in incredibly light winds. Amado took the top spot today. In the 12-13 category it was neck and neck Aruba with Nick van de Erenbeemt vs. Mathias Ver Ploeg. Mathias has been training but it was Nick who took over to place first today. Kaj van der Lubbe from Curacao put forth an admirable effort. In the 10-12 age group Steven Lageveen held the reigns in the top spot. This talent from Curacao has been on tour 6 weeks competing in Holland, Sardinia, Aruba and now Bonaire. He’s not done yet and has his eye on the top spot for his age group. He was seen chatting with Jeff Henderson from Hotsails, his sponsor. Jurgen Saragoza from Bonaire has been training and it shows. He was throwing some aerial freestyle with Curacao’s Mitchell de Palm choosing old school techniques to follow. Rover Dullart from Bonaire is the one to watch in the youngest group. He was showing some smooth moves including a few flawless gecko flacka’s the trademark Bonaire move. Oscar  Etmon from Curacao was also on fire today. Serginho Finies shows off the Finies tradition with his freestyle finess. Christopher Thuis from Curacao was not giving up and stayed with the heat showing off his talent.

At the end of the day there was Bolas competition and music into the wee hours. Today is day 3 of competition and a grande finale party at Sorobon.

Photo Courtesy of Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo Courtesy of Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo Frenzy

July 18, 2009

Pump

Take a peak at some amazing photos by my colleague Steve Thuell.  We worked the press boat together. You may remember Steve from Jibe City or Havana here in Bonaire? We had  a blast during the event this past week. Two more days of freestyle. Last night at Wilhelmina Park was outstanding. The awards ceremony was kick ass . The youth winners, Malte, Enes and Sebastian took over the event removing their shirts after their win and dancing on the stage. The finale was an amazing fireworks display over the harbour.  Tugboats and cargo boats tooted their horns in unison. It was quite a night.

Enes from Turkey

Enes from Turkey

Perfect Jibe Wojtek from Turkey

Enes the wild one from Alcati

Point 7 Sail

Point 7 Sail

Beth Winkler Grand Master 3rd Place - my hero

Beth Winkler Grand Master 3rd Place - my hero

Slalom Showdown and Finals

July 17, 2009
Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Today was day 5, the final showdown of the 2009 IFCA Junior, Youth and Masters Slalom World Championships in sunny Bonaire. After a 10 AM skippers meeting the IFCA committee commenced racing at 11 AM sharp. The Masters Division was a highly competitive group of skilled athletes. Markus Poltenstein earned 1st place sailing for Austria. Markus is a passionate and dedicated sailor who came to win. Thomas Fauster was neck and neck with Markus much of the event but fell in the last lap of the final heat putting in second.. Thomas sails for Italy. Sergio Mehl A 21 placed in the 3rd position. This man is a speedy force blasting around the course with his trademark white face thanks to some much needed Zinc Oxide. He was very happy for his place representing Argentina.  Bonaire’s own former Olympian Constantine Saragoza placed 4th. His island is proud of his efforts. Next he travels to Cabarete to compete.

The Junior Division had many talented competitors. Gutek Kurczewski POL 75 stayed on top throughout the event putting on the top for first place. This highly dedicated young man really earned his top spot as he sailed flawless throughout the course. Following Gutek was 15 year old Luigi Romano ITA 911. Luigi has been a very positive addition to the competitor’s fleet. He always has a smile and is confidant for a young man. On the water he is tough flying around the buoys and planing to the next round.  Morane Demont FRA 59 stayed with the pack placing a well earned 3rd in the Junior Division. She loves racing with the boys and feels she earned her place. She was disappointed she did not place in the 2nd position but is looking forward to future events.  Hawaii’s champion Connor Baxter US 333 placed 4th and local Amado Vrieswijk placed 5th in U 17 and first in U 15.  Nik Van den Erenbeemt ARU96 placed 2nd in U 15 and Jean Patrick Van der Wolde CUR 191 placed 3rd in U 15.  Jurgen Saragoza from Bonaire placed 1st in U 13, Mathias Verploeg ARU 20 placed 2nd and Steven Max Lageveen placed 3rd sailing for Curacao.

In the Youth Division Enes Yilmazer TUR 2 stayed on top throughout the event placing him in the well deserved first place. He came to win far from Turkey with many travel woes but made it here and left his mark. German Sebastian Kordel placed second after sailing well during all of his heats. His parents were on site cheering him on throughout the event.  Malte Reuscher ITA 7777 won 3rd place. His black Point 7 sail was seen clearly contrasted against the Caribbean blue and his smooth sailing and beautiful jibes earned him this spot in Bonaire.  It should be noted 4th place went to Turkish sailor Ege Kurt. He was very proud of his place and hopes to continue slalom course racing.

It was very challenging for the Europeans, Turkish sailors and South American sailors to come to Bonaire. Air travel was costly as well as gear transport. They all persevered lending a part in creating a new piece of Bonaire’s history. This was the island’s first professional slalom event. The camaraderie amongst the riders was astounding. By day they shared gear as some had missing luggage. They helped each other rid and de rig. Rides were shared in vehicle for the underage competitors. At the parties they danced and sang. There was exuberance in the mood as well as competition. At the end of the day they sailed. Gutek was last seen taking photos of British sailor Richard Jones, a great talent. Enes spent time sharing his windsurf story to me. He wants the world to know about the Turkish windsurf community and share his national pride. Sergio’s son Yannick walked side by side with his Dad quite proud. And as always the Bonairean island hospitality shined throughout the event.

In the grandmaster’s division some amazing seasoned veterans took to the water and added to the incredible racing comraderie. Patirk Schmelzer from Germany lead the pack winning first place. He was followed by his friend, Andreas Tezzele from Austria. The shining star of the event was one time Windsurfer of the Year (USA)  Beth Winkler. Beth owns a windsurf school in the US has been racing and coaching her entire windsurf life. She now calls Bonaire home and took to the water to place third.

The darlings of the event are the Superkids, emerging talent putting out their best in their heats. The winners were Stepherd Gustowski from Bonaire in first, Sam Timmers from Bonaire in second and Sam Dem Besten also from Bonaire in third. In group B Sven Scheper from Curacao took first place, Tuur Buendts from Belgian took second and Tim Den Besten from Bonaire placed third. We are sure to see these kids in podiums in future years.

Freestyle is the order of the day, tomorrow July 18.

The committee, Aquaspeed  that puts together events on island is a full on volunteer group. Many use vacation time to be available to stand in the blazing sun scoring points, setting up and running the various aspects of this huge infrastructure. The committee wishes to thank IFCA for believing in Bonaire and sanctioning the event.  Bonaire welcomes everyone back next year for more sailing and beach culture.

The night at Taste of Bonaire was simply magical. There was a food extravaganza with local restaurants spotlighting local and ethnic cuisine. Local music entertained all and then the awards ceremony was held for the Slalom series. The treat of the night was the most spectacular fireworks display. The entire audience was wowed by the finale.

Photo by Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo by Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photos Not To Miss

July 17, 2009
Photo by Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo by Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

In the first image see Victor Wederfoort from CUR and Endro Finies from Bonaire. I cannot make out the two on the left.  The dog ate my readers, seriously.

Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Day 4 Winds Up

July 16, 2009

What a difference a day makes. The sun was shining brightly and the winds were blowing creating a nice day of sailing. Heats were postponed when I left at 4:30 to change the course. The winds kept shifting creating some stress on the marks. Twice today the committee members moved buoys around. Luigi Romano and Nicole Van de Velden, from Aruba both expressed frustration on the course. The winds kept squirrelling around making it a challenge for riders and committe members. The IFCA officials did a great job running the heats for day 4.

In the Master’s Division, heat 1, afternoon session,  Argentinian Sergio Mehl had a great day of sailing. Diego Domenianni sailing for the US raced well placing third in this heat of the afternoon. In  heat 2 group, Marcus Poltenstein took first and Italian Thomas Fauster blazed a close second. Former Olympian Patun Saragoza followed a close 3rd. Event organizer Elvis Martinus took to the course after a long day of work and organization.

Enes Yilmazer a Turkish student studying in Corpus Christi continued to reign today in the afternoon heats. Malta Reuscher from Italy commanded the heats and came in second in heat 2 this afternoon. Richard Jones, despite a heavy night of dancing and partying was rising to the ocassion placing third. In the other group Sebastian Kordel from Germany was top sailor in his heat sailing on a 7.8 sail.  He was far from the packing leading the way to the finish. Ege Kurt from Turkey placed second and Sara Quita, the shining star of Aruba came in third.

The Superkids were getting ready to sail as the day came to an end. More results will follow tomorrow. Tonight at Sorobon is DJ music and dance. Tomorrow  is the final day of the Slalom Series. Look for results and action photos from Marco Di Gianvito, a free lance photographer.

A special thanks goes out to all our sponsors and the many volunteers who make this local event happen.

Please see today’s results at http://www.bonaireslalomworld.com. The above commentary does not reflect standings but merely heat updates.

Photo Courtesy of Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo Courtesy of Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO


Day 3 Wed. Squalls and dead zone

July 16, 2009

The weather contrast from yesterday to today is vastly different.  An 11 AM squall during the heats created a wild frenzy on the course. Then, the wind was gone. The winds are well below the wind minimum for racing so heats were postponed. The riders are taking a break from two days of course racing working on email correspondence, listening to music, catching up on windsurf news and tuning gear. Many are taking to the sea to enjoy the Caribbean blue.

In the Master’s Division Sergio Mehl A 21 is creeping up to the 3rd spot.  Thomas Faust ITA 106 still earns top spot but Markus Poltenstein, AUT 30 knows it’s not over yet. In the Youth Division Enes Yilmazer TUR 2 is determined to hold the top spot in his division. He is a confident talent riding for JP Australia and North Sails.  Sebastien Kordel GER 220 is focused on remaining in the top 3 positions. Malte Reuscher ITA 7777 is the most easily visible sailor with his black Point 7 sail. He is a worthy opponent to watch in future heats.  In the Junior Division Luigi Romano is still on top despite a disqualification. Sail ITA 911 is riding for RRD and Simmer Sails.  Gutek Kurzewski POL 75 was resting during todays no wind afternoon in preparation for future heats. He is confident and determined.  Morane Demont from France is a driving force staying in the top 3 against her male opponents. Morane rides for Starboard and Severne Sails.

Everyone is gearing up for the big night in Rincon tonight. At 5 PM the Paranda Party Bus leaves Sorobon for an island tour. At 7 the villagers of Rincon will host a night of music and culture at Magazina di Rei. Once the site of grain and food storage in the days of slavery, this is a historic building steeped in history. There will be traditional fire dancing, local food and music.

Tue. night the freestyle under the stars was phenomenal. This a fun informal event spotlighting local talent. It was a brisk windy night. Judges Ro Mayer, Mac, Jaeger and Elvis coordinated single ladder 3 min heats to see who would be crowned King of the Night. Kiri Thode won the title King of the Night for planing freestyle while Caesar Finies won the title for non planing. There was a lovely chicken BBQ and local music.

Photo by Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO

Photo by Marco Di Gianvito - ACTIVEYEPHOTO