The beach at Sorobon is now quiet after hosting the island's largest international sporting event. 131 competitors representing 11 nations attended the 3rd Annual Starboard Pro Kids Freestyle Worlds, organized by the Bonaire Sailing Foundation.
From ages 0-42, the island was full of some of the best freestylers in the world. Brian Talma, the oldest competitor in the Class Freestyle Event showed the crowd that age does not deter one from having fun and pulling off some smooth moves. American Andy Brandt showed off his version of old school talent. The dual between old and new school was raging with locals Caesar Finies and Charlton "Chal" Soliano throwing some crazy maneuvers. Local rock star Kiri Thode returned from the PWA Tour where he is currently ranked 1st in the world of freestyle. This kid's personal repertoire of tricks is staggering. He is Energizer Bunny fast and furious with a smile that does not quit. The Baby Class of over 33 kids 0-7 charmed the crowds. The older kids wowed everyone with their talent and determinism. This year the female competitor categories grew in all age groups. It's wonderful to so many girls in the water showing off their freestyle skills.
Why is Bonaire the setting of the World Finals? How does a small island of 12k people turn out such windsurf talent? Is it the gin clear water or the shallow depths? Could it be the near perfect onshore trades that blow steady Dec.- July? Is it that there are many people on the island that embrace the windsurf culture that exists here? It's all that and much more. There is passion on this island. The entire community rallies around the team treating the windsurfers like heroes. Kids like Kiri, Youp, Chal, Caesar and so many trains hard and almost daily. The Frans Brothers put Bonaire on the map in the windsurf world. Not only is Bonaire recognized in the windsurf community but Curacao and Aruba both have teams now training hard and each having local competitions. Team Dominican has a presence each year showing off their windsurf spirit. The riders from Europe come weeks before the event to train knowing their time on the water will only enhance their performance at the event.
Five days of competition, up and down wind conditions, local entertainment, a diverse representation of International Press and windsurf action are now over but what remains are the memories, the trophies, the newly forged friendships and plans for next year's event.
The Pro Kids Committee wishes to thank the Bonaire Sailing Foundation, Starboard and all sponsors, parents, volunteers, riders and spectators for coming together to create a memorable event which celebrates the youth in sports. See you next year.
The magical five days of the ProKids Freestyle World's came to a beautiful end as Kiri Thode and Sarah Quita Offringa were crowned King and Queen of the event.
The closing ceremony included the debut of a new hip hop written by Kiri and event organizer Elvis, highlighting that their talents are not only reserved to the water.
For a full summary of the final day and a complete list off the winners, please see below.
Sunday was the finals as the best freestylers in the world set to face off for the big win. The heats were very intense with a high level of competition. The winds started off fresh for the heats. One of the best heats of the morning was the dual between Arthuro "Payo" Soleano and Kiri Thode. Their rapid succession of moves was almost too much for the announcers to keep track of. Some of the moves with crazy names included a Double Matrix and a Sleepy Hollow (clew first heli tack into a duck in the boom), Hoss Tacks, and some switch stance moves including Kiri's signature, the Gecko Flaka.
In the 10-11 year old boys final Amada Vrieswijk (BON) and Nick Von den Eereben (AUA) went off against each other executing some sick moves. Nick threw an Ankle Biter while Amado returned with Seated Tack. Nick attempted a Boomerang. There was a dizzy array of combinations including a Fin First Board Jibe with some amazing combinations including Nick's Clew First Sail Spin, a Combo Pirouette Hoss Tack and a flawless Body Sail 360 for Amado.
Youp Schmidt faced off against Dylan Robles. Youp displayed a Switch Stance Duck Jibe right around the bouy into a One Handed Gecko. Dylan threw back a One Handed Upwind Tack in the footstraps. The heat was adrenaline packed from start to finish. For the 13-15 year olds Dieter van der Eyken set off against Bonaire's own Bjorn Saragoza in the finals. Both evenly matched with same gear and body size had succession of supe moves including a Back To Sail No Hands for Bjorn with Dieter returning with a Sail Flip Gecko. Bjorn dazzled the crowd with a Rail Ride with No Hands.
The Baby Class was the hit of the day. Sarginho Finies and Nathan Finies advanced after showing constant sail maneuvers including the ONLY jump thru the boom accomplished by Sarginho. The only US competitor was Nicolas Sanchez from Florida. This 7 year old is preparing for his windsurf career by attending his first freestyle competition. What a place to learn how to compete. The energy of the baby class was completely contagious. The bay was chock full of wee ones and their parents and coaches creating a dynamic energy. The Baby Class Fleet grew to 33 sailors this year. The Classic Freestyle Expression session featured some old school sailors showing off some old school moves, Brian Talma and Andy Brandt showed off their old school tricks whilst Bonaireans Caesar Finies and Charlton Soliano showed off their new school talent. There were lots of jumps, spins and laughs.
As the day progressed and the scoring was completed the crowd was treated to a concert by the popular Aruba Rap Band Basic 1. Event Director Elvis Martinus introduced a new rap song that was written Elvis and Taty for the Bonaire Team. The song was called Homber di lamen (Wind Warriors). Performed by the rap group Telento Skondi, the spectator crowd crew and the event site was jumping. A body building contest and fashion show provided further entertainment. The Award Ceremony featured the lead sponsors on hand to celebrate the win in all the categories. Handcrafted Starboard Tiki Plaques, Digicel goodies, Starboard Rash Guards, Dakine harnesses, Red Bull and other prizes were given to the winners. As the sun set with the Red Feather Drum Line playing the spirits remained high and new found friends exchanged information to keep in touch promising to meet back for next year.
AUA = Aruba
1st Hilde Tuinbeek CUR
1st. Caesar Finies BON
2nd Charlton Soliano BON
3rd Quincy Offringa AUA
1st Caesar Finies
2nd Andy Brandt USA
3rd Brian Talma Barbados
Baby Kids Girls 0-7
1st. Blana Veeris BON
2nd Chloe Da Costa Gomez CUR
3rd Alima Lageveen AUA
Baby Kids Boys 0-7
1st Nathan Finies BON
2nd Jules Van Der Horst CUR
3rd Sarginho Finies BON
1st Anais Pauletta BON
2nd Esther Van Zadelhoff CUR
3rd Noa Stomp CUR
1st Jurgen Saragoza BON
2nd Steven Lageveen AUA
3rd Mack Dylan Van Der Eerenbe AUA
1st Camile Van Zadelhoff CUR
2nd Isabelle Van Zadelehoff CUR
3rd Ana De Windt CUR
1st Amado Vrieswijk BON
2nd Nick Van Der Eerenbe AUA
3rd Jamil Jonis BON
1st Renee Kanaar CUR
1st Youp Schmidt BON
2nd Dylan Robles BON
3rd Mozart Sances BON
1st Mallory De Palm CUR
2nd Nadia Daboussi BON
3rd Monica Harmsen CUR
1st Bjorn Saragoza BON
2nd Dieter Van Der Eyken Belgium
3rd Felix Kervel AUA
1st Sarah Quita Offringa AUA
2nd Andrea Simal BON
3rd Andreina Figaroa BON
1st Kiri Thode BON
2nd Arthuro Soliano BON
3rd Archuendro Finies BON
Queen of Pro Kids 2007
Sara Quita Offringa AUA
King of Pro Kids 2007
Kiri Thode BON
Amado World Champion Freestyler and Slalomist (Boys 10-11y/o)
As the final results from the Bonaire Freestyle World's come in, Amdo Vrieswijk, fresh from winning the Under 13 ProKid's Slalom World's in Turkey, has won the equivalent category in the ProKids Freestyle World's in Bonaire. With these results at such a young age, we look forward to the day that we see Amado joining the other Bonairean's Starboard DreamTeam riders on the professional world stage.
The winds were light early in the day but spirits high as the competitors met at the daily skipper's meeting presented by Race Directors, Tinho and Susie Dornellas. A new course was set and the days plan established. The stakes were high as the rounds were double ladder eliminations enabling each competitor two chances to win their heats.
The first heats of the morning included the 16-17 year old sailing fleet. There was a tough first round for German Max Droege who faced off against number 1 pro of the world, Kiri Thode. Kiri won the round but Max later had another opportunity to try again against another opponent. Team Curacao and Team Aruba were worthy opponents against the Bonaire Team. Young sailors and the teams were trying their best to show off some moves in the non planning winds. As the day progressed the winds ramped and big long boards and wide boards were replaced with shortboard freestyle. Victor Wederfort from Curacao was pumping into a plane throwing some tricks. Caesar Finies and Chal Soleano took turns wowing the crowd with Hoss Tacks, Flakas and Diablos. Quincy Offringa from Aruba dazzled the crowds with his winning smile and his sick freestyle moves.
The Live Streaming Video is being run by Tom Grey (www.webcast-tv.com) assisted by Andy Brandt of ABK Boardsports. Josh Sampiero from Windsurfing Magazine (USA) is also on hand for commentary assistance as well as the windsurf ambassador, Brian Talma. This is a unique opportunity to see the action live via www.prokidsfreestyle.com.
The day ended with a beach BBQ and a reggae beach party. Sunday is set to be a jam packed day with the finals, Baby Class at 12 PM and the Classic Freestyle Session at 1 PM. The awards ceremony will he held at 5 and then the closing party.
Pro Kids' Official Weather Site, www.windguru.cz predicted winds hovering around 16-20 knots and they were right on. The fresh trades made for lively freestyle early in the day. UK Nic Hidbrige traveled to his summer home to compete in the event. He attempted a few Gecko Flaka's and some sail spins earning him a chance to advance to the semi finals Sat. The 8-9 year old girls were the sweethearts of the competition. Rebecca De Winter (CUR), Anais Paulette (BON), Noa Stomp (BON), Tati Suriel, (DOM) Esther Van Zadelhoff (CUR) and Mavelly Velandia (BON) followed each other around the course showing up off some emerging freestyle tricks. By mid day the winds dropped considerably creating a totally different sailing situation. The 18+ category was the high spirited high adrenaline heats with Caesar Finies (BON) throwing the first light wind forward loop of the competition dazzling the crowd. The only adult female Hilde Tuinbeek (CUR) showed off her light wind talents with some impressive moves. Charlton Soleano (BON) showed up a brilliant smile as he wowed the crowds with his light wind finesse.
Irieman Brian Talma, windsurf celebrity, arrived mid day checking out "de action". He is on island to MC the event and to support the island culture and youth in windsurfing. Talma, a team rider for sponsors Starboard and Hot Sails Maui is the ultimate windsurf ambassador. Pro Kids 2007 welcomes Brian back to the shores of Bonaire.
Race Director Tinho Dornellas organized a "windsurf snake" where about 75 kids followed each other around the bay posing for the international press. It was a spectacle of color and windsurf artistry. Later, DJ Paco from the famous Mambo Beach pumped out the late day music to herald in Pro Kid's daily Happy Hour. The sun was setting as everyone headed off the beach.
The day started off with the officials noticing what has been called "the blob" on the weather radar. A tropical system passed to the north of Bonaire this morning drenching the island with intense rain showers. Despite the inclement weather volunteers set up the press scaffolding in the water and the entire crew prepared for the first day of heats. By 12 the rain had passed and a skippers meeting was held by race officials Tinho and Susie Dornellas and local race assistant, Franklin "Paco" Veeris. The Judges comprised of an international mix of windsurf experts met to discuss the scoring system. The bay was a riot of color as over 100 kids trained their tricks in preparation for the upcoming heats. From 1-4 PM heats were held for the boys. A course was set up and despite very light winds the competitors brought on some funky freestyle moves. Some of the leaders of the heats included the international delegation including Dominik Kovarik from the Czech Republic and Max Droege from Germany. Dieter van der Eijken from Belgium also shined today in the heats. Arubian hot shots?? twins Quincy and Wesley Connor led the pack representing Aruba as did Felix Martina from Curacao. This kid had an infection non stop smile on the water. These kids were full of island spirit during their heats. Local heroes included Bjorn Saragoza, Arturo Soleano, Youp Schmidt and Archuendro Finies. Other Bonairean hot shots showing a dazzling display including Hendrick Ballentien and Rodderick Boekhoudt. The day ended with vibrant happy hour and music by the Silver Bullet Steel Band.
A record has been set. Today at registration, the Pro Kids Committee greeted and registered 131 competitors for the event. Team Aruba and Team Curacao brought over 65 kids combined. Their spirit and enthusiasm added to the positive island vibe. It took over 3 hours to register the masses including the teams from Aruba and Curacao. During registration, lively music played?? as the event site reached completion. At 6 PM a press conference was held with dignitaries and event officials welcoming all. Happy Hour followed adding to the festive mood of the many sailors and spectators.
The rock stars have arrived in Bonaire!
The Third Starboard ProKids World's event is now in full swing on the Carribean island of Bonaire. Amongst the record setting 151 registered competitors (the largest ever for a ProKids event!) a number of windsurfing celebrities will also be attending, including the current leader in the men's PWA Freestyle World Championship Kiri Thode. This will be Kiri's first time home since taking the lead at the PWA and he will no doubt be receiving a lot of praise for again placing the Carribean island of Bonaire in the international spotlight. Kiri will be joined by fellow Starboard PWA freestyler, slalomist and world number two Sarah Quita-Offringa. Together Sarah-Quita (16) and Kiri Thode (17) are amongst the youngest competitors on the PWA tour, for them to be among the best alongside older, more experienced riders is a considerable achievement... and that is exactly what ProKids is all about- building the next generation of international windsurfing professionals, in a chill, fun and pressure free environment.
We will be adding pictures and results of the event as soon as they become available.
The official event website will also be broadcasting live video of the event on Saturday and Sunday. So if you have a good connection, be sure to check it out at http://www.prokidsfreestyle.com/
New Records at Bonaire
A record has been set. Yesterday at registration, the Pro Kids Committee greeted and registered 151 competitors for the event. This is clearly one of the best freestyle turnouts. It took over 3 hours to register the masses including the teams from Aruba and Curacao. During registration, lively music played and the event site was completed. At 6 PM a press conference was held with dignitaries and event officials welcoming all. A Bonairean style Happy Hour followed adding to the festive mood of the many sailors and spectators.
Today a tropical storm is passing the north of Bonaire creating heavy rains and wind. As soon as it passes a skipper's meeting will be held and the first day of competition will begin. Dasher's in the house as well as Mark French an Emmy winning producer who will do a documentary on the event .There are press from the US, Canada, the ABC islands as well as South America.
Just 2 days till deAction starts!
Bonaire-Two days until "de action" and the event site is buzzing with activity. Local hotshots and visiting sailors are training hard under some decent wind conditions. Starboard's Belgian qualifier winner, Dieter van der Eyken has really made some huge strides in his sailing ability since last year. He will worthy opponent in this year's event. Team Dominicana arrived last night with youngsters,Tati and Nic Suriel set to compete for their first time. The huge news is that last year's Pro Kid Kiri Thode, local home boy will be coming home to compete. Kiri is currently number one on the PWA Freestyle Tour and is a shining star in the eyes of all back home in Bonaire. He leaves Europe today and upon arrival will have a hero's welcome for sure. Kiri's undying dedication and hours on the water has proven that passion and drive surely lead to windsurf excellence. Sara Quita Offringa (Aruba) is 2nd in the world for Women's Freestyle and also flies in to compete. The windsuf rock stars are arriving and the stage is set for one of freestyle's hottest competition. With over 110 competitors 2-25 years of age, Bonaire is the place to be. Registration commences tomorrow on windy Bonaire.
The stars are on their way as the one countdown begins
Bonaire-The countdown is on when in one week the hottest kids freestyle event hits the shores of windy Bonaire. Kids from around the world are flying in to compete in this popular windsurf extravaganza. Max Droege, the winner of the German Qualifier has been here all month training daily. Tonight Dominik Kovaric from the Czech Republic arrives. He won the Greek Qualifier this month. Local hot shots Taty Frans and Kiri Thode will depart from the PWA Tour to attend their home event. Tonky Frans will return to support his local team mates. Jose "Gollito" Estrado from VEN is slated to arrive to compete. He is currently number 1 in the PWA Tour. Sara Quita Offringer is ripping it up on the PWA Tour and will join over 20 Aruba teammates to represent their island, Aruba. Team Curacao has grown to huge proportions thanks to the dedication of Hilde Tuinbeek and Ingmar Schnitzer. They are bringing over 20 kids to compete.
Elvis Martinus, the brainchild of Starboard ProKids and his volunteer committee have a huge event planned. Hot featured items will be a Classic Freestyle Expression Session. ABK Guru Andy Brandt will be competing against local light wind freestylers Caesar Finies and Ronald Mayer. Dasher will be in the house documenting the entire show in the usual Dasher fashion. Guest judges including Mac from Vela in Aruba and Owen Waters from Sail BVI. The guest MC for the weekend will be none other than the Irieman, Brian Talma flying in from sunny Barbados to support the event. It???s going to be a high adrenaline fun packed weekend on this windy Dutch Caribbean island.
Gret ready for the action August 1-5 or visit http://www.prokidsfreestyle.com/ to complete your registration
ProKids 2007 Freestyle Worlds
Prokids Bonaire-coming soon
After a success ProKids Slalom Championship in Turkey, our focus now shifts to Bonaire (in the Carribean) for the ProKids Freestyle World's on August 1-5. As you can see from the photos, the event is full of laughs, enjoyment and action for all. To register on line, please visit http://www.prokidsfreestyle.com/
Bonaire-Summer soon returns and on her heels returns one of the hottest windsurfing events, Starboard Pro Kids Freestyle World. This annual event is set for Aug. 1-5 in windy Bonaire located in the Dutch Caribbean. International freestyle qualifiers are running all Spring and into the Summer with young freestyle talent competing for an opportunity to fly to Bonaire for the Starboard Pro Kids Worlds.
The Bonaire Pro Kid's Team will be heading off island early this summer to compete in several events and to promote the August Freestyle Event. The first stop is in Aruba at one of the sport's oldest ongoing windsurfing events, Aruba Hi Winds. Over 60 Bonaire sailors will head to their sister island to compete in the freestyle and slalom action. This windsurf delegation will promote the Starboard Pro Kids Worlds while enjoying the Arubian hospitality and hot windsurf action. A group of Pro Kids head to the Slalom Pro Kids Worlds in Turkey later in July. The team is comprised of nine year old Jurgen Saragoza, ten year old Amado Vrieswijk, twelve year old Dylen Robles, fifteen year old Bjorn Saragoza, fifteen year old Clifton Pier and his older brother Harvey and the adult chaperon will be former Olympian Constantine Saragoza who will also compete in the Master's Worlds. Traveling with the team for support will the families of these talented hot shots. Pro Sailor Ruben Petrisie will be on hand to help raise the Bonaire flag at the opening ceremony.Ruben has been on the European Freestyle Tour for several years representing Bonaire. Later, Bjorn Saragoza a Starboard and Hot Sails Team Rider will head to the EFPT Turkey event celebrating his rise to Pro status.
Rumor has it Team Aruba has over 20 sailors flying in for the Aug. show. Sara Quita Offringa, one of the world's best women freestylers will be on hand along with her equally talented brother Quincy. Other Arubian wiz kids will be in the house to represent their island. Sailors from Germany, France, Belgium , Dominican Republic and beyond have already bought their air tickets and start arriving mid July to train for the finals. The heat is on and the place to be in Aug. is windy Bonaire.
For event details contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations will arrange discounted accommodations, gear and vehicle rental as well as hospitality support. Visit our website at www.prokidsfreestyle.com.