There were many memorable moments during the Curacao Challenge windsurf slalom races that were held this Easter weekend. Competitors sped over the open ocean and tried their best to conquer that very much wanted first place. Sails in all the colors of the rainbow could be seen in front the Sea Aquarium Beach. An unbelievable 83 participants took part in the first International Curacao Challenge, ranging in age from 6 to 60, hailing from many different countries like Holland, Bonaire, Aruba, the US and Canada.
All day Friday and Sunday, figure-8 races were held in very choppy seas with very strong winds, which was every windsurfer’s dream come true.
On Saturday the downwind long distance race took off from the beach at Wet and Wild and participants landed on the beach next to Curacao Marriott Resort after rounding a buoy a mile off shore in front of the Ana Baai. It was a true challenge. Once they arrived on land competitors had to run and touch the yellow promotional Curacao Challenge Pick-up truck parked on the beach.
On Monday four more Slalom figure-8 races were held and everyone agreed that the wind and ocean conditions were superb.
The elegant award ceremony was held during a fabulous BBQ dinner Monday evening, where the winners were awarded well-deserved prizes.
In the category Open Men first place went to the unbelievably fast and skilled Taty Frans from Bonaire, who received an Insel air ticket to Miami, Champagne from Albert Heijn and a 1,000,- Naf cash prize.
Second place went to Kiri Thode from Bonaire, he received a cash prize of 750,- Naf. Third place went to Curacao’s one and only Ingmar Schnitzler, who received a cash prize of 500,- Naf.
All award winners received a very well stocked goodie bag and a very special towel with the Curacao Challenge logo embroidered on it, from head sponsor Albert Heijn.
In the sport division first place was taken by Daan van der Sluis (Curacao), second place by Nick Brouwer (Curacao) and third place by Wilco Faber (Curacao).
First place in the Women category went to Monique from Bonaire.
Felix Martina from Curacao won first place in the Juniors category (17 and under), Alex Da Costa-Gomez from Curacao won second place and Ezri Heymans from Bonaire, won third place. It’s fair to mention that the competition was really tough and it was a very exciting race to watch.
In the category Mini-Juniors (13 and under) first place went to Amado Vrieswijk (13) from Bonaire, second place was won by the youngest competitor of the Curacao Challenge races on the ocean, Steven Max Lageveen (10) from Aruba and third place went to Jurgen Saragoza (12) from Bonaire. These guys showed unbelievable talent, so watch out for these water-babies. Every single competitor agreed at the end of this well organized, excitingÂ and especially fun event; they all want to come back to compete in the Curacao Challenge 2010.
Enclosed pictures by Els Kroon.