KRALENDIJK, WILLEMSTAD – Eleven young and talented windsurfers represented Curaçao in two international windsurfing competitions that were held at “windsurfing paradise” Lac Bay in front of Sorobon Beach, at our sister island Bonaire, from the 16th to 19th of June.
The windsurfers from Curaçao and more than 50 other participants from countries like Martinique, Guadeloupe, the USA, Spain, Aruba and Bonaire, competed in the “Sorobon Masters” Slalom and Freestyle competition, and in the 1st Caribbean version of the famous international windsurfing competition ” Björn Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge”. The Slalom races and freestyle alternated with the races of the Speed Challenge, making these days very intense for those who competed in all three disciplines.
Wind conditions were quite good for slalom and racing throughout the event, and also for freestyle until the 2nd day. On the third day the wind dropped and for this day the freestyle competition for men and youth 14+ was canceled, to the disappointment of many as only one elimination round could be completed in total.
Curaçao was greatly represented on the podium as our talented surfers won several prizes. In the Sorobon Masters for Slalom, Jean Patrick van der Wolde (20) finished right after top-ten slalom icons Taty Frans and Björn Dunkerbeck) and grabbed the third prize Men. Jean Paul Da Silva De Goes (17) claimed the 1st place among juniors U18 and a brave Stefan de Bell of only 13 years old managed to conquer the third position in the same category. In the Sorobon Masters for Freestyle, Faan Coenen (12) showed his best tricks and ended as 1st among the kids under 13 yrs. In this category Sebastian van Werkhoven (13) got a well deserved 3rd place. Ryan Richie (17) took the 3rd place U18, while our freestyle queen Anne Coenen (14) finished as 3rd among women. Kareem Naipal (18) grabbed 4th place men. In the freestyle competition, the elimination system was used: Stefan de Bell, Richard Richie and Christopher Pennock had to compete against the best freestylers right from the beginning, but even though they did their utmost best, as this was a single elimination system, there was no second chance.
The Dunckerbeck Speed Challenge is completely new for the Caribbean: each participant received a GPS that recorded position and speed for 45-60 minutes in each round. Spectators could closely follow the surfers and their speed (sometimes up to more than 50 km/hr) on a map on the big television screen which made it even more exciting. Windsurfing legend Björn Dunkerbeck was present in person to guide this event and stimulate all participants to break their own records. Surfers as young as 7 years were thrilled to give it a try and could hardly stop. For this Speed Challenge, Curaçao won an impressive 5 out of the 9 available medals among men and women: Jean Patrick van der Wolde (20), occupied the 2nd position among men (& overall), Jean Paul Da Silva De Goes (17) was best after Jean Patrick and got the 3rd place in this men category as well as the 1st place for youth under 20. Marjenka de Bell (16) was the fastest girl under 17 and her brother Stefan de Bell (13) was the fastest among boys under 17.
A special thanks to CurSailing, the Windsurfing Association Curaçao (WSV) and Windsurfing Curaçao for their support to the windsurfers and the windsurfing sport on the island. Thanks also to the Sorobon Masters and Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge management for organizing these great international events. Last but not least a special thanks to the sponsors and a big thanks to Don Andres for safely and timely transporting the windsurfing gear. For the complete results of both events and more information, please visit Sorobon Masters on facebook, or their website at www.sorobonmasters.com.
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