Taty Frans wins the 2009 Curacao Challenge

April 24, 2009 | Windsurfing

Taty Frans

The first day of the event started of with the usual registration for all who wants to participate: 85 windsurfers from Bonaire, Curacao, U.S, Holland in total registered from: Rookies, Junior, Sports, Women and Open Men.

On that same day we had a quick skippers  meeting plus a welcome speech from the organizers and the day ended with free beers and a small party as the wind prediction was good for the next day.. so everyone was truly looking forward  for the next day racing and went early to bed.

DAY 2: April 10th Skippers meeting began at 9 O'clock, The race director decided to make an 8 figure slalom as the sea bottom is about 600 meter deep it was too deep and too much work to adjust more jibe marks and it would be easy to just place two jibe marks and start the first possible race at 10 O'clock. Due to problems with the outside mark drifting away the races where started later at 12 O'clock.

With wind gusting from 20-25knots open sea, with swells 1 -2 meter it was a perfect day for rough slalom racing. Just what I like - 3 races were done back to back. I was very much under control on my Isonic 101 and TR5 6.6 and had great board speed with the sail feel pretty much comfortable in the gusts.

I won all three races with ease, Ingmar was really comfortable as he also knowing his home turf he was sure putting pressure on the on the other competitors,  finished the day in second place, While Kiri was going really fast and with perfect starts he finished the day in 3rd with his Isonic 86.

These are the top riders from day one as the other 15 sailors were having problems with their self's including crashing, out of control, falling in jibes etc. Junior race where also done as Amado another Starboard team rider just won all the races in his class and with 10 juniors competing… He's also pretty fast for his age. The day ended with wind dropping to 15 knots very on steady and not so much at the jibe marks.

DAY 3: April 11th 9 o'clock Skipper meeting for all sailor - about 15 mile down wind Long Distance race for all classes

10 o'clock first race started of with the Junior,
10:10am second start of the day for the Women.
10:15 am third start of the day for the Sports
10:20 fourth start for the Men.

Wind 22-26 knots average 20 knots. As it was going to be a fully down wind race a rigged my TR6 7.6 and still on the same Starboard Isonic 101 Kiri, Ingmar and many other sailors had a perfect gust and perfect start getting fully planing downwind going starboard while I had a light wind starting and couldn't bare as much down wind as them, Decided to make an early jibe to get some clean and stronger wind and that was perfect that jibe gain me a lot of board speed and with perfect wind heading fully powered up down wind felt great.

I made up 2 minute on that same reach while heading back starboard. I was leading because most all of them went to much on starboard side and had a bad wind bearing down wind to the port so I was just on track. With great board speed I went to the committee  boat way outside too for name and sail number confirmation because if you didn't stop to jibe this boat or let them see you, you will be DSQ.

To tell, you the truth I had no Idea where I had to finish because I haven't any Idea where this beach that we had to finish was. So I kind of had to slow down and see what Ingmar was doing so that I could have an Idea and to know where to go.

But as I was going more down wind and I saw these events flags I knew where to go. So I was full speed and just sheeted in and went fully down wind and wasn't scared of the big wave/swells. I kind reminds me of Pozo in these sea conditions here on Curacao, very choppy with big hollow swells in between.

With a bit of running and touching the organizers car was the finish and it was fun to do this as this is my first time doing this kind of races where you had to run to the finish by foot.

The day was ended with a 30 minutes freestyle show session for the public Kiri, Sarahaquita, Taty, and three other freestylers of Curacao made a great show and many where cheering while we where pulling our freestyle tricks J.. slowly but sure the windsurfing is growing here on the Island of Curacao, as I have been here three years ago and by then there was maybe 10 windsurfers and from then to now I can see more then 70 local windsurfing, which I believe is very positive and the island is really supporting and lives with the sport. This is a big smile and thumbs up for me.

Results from the Long distance race:
Men:  1st Taty Frans (Bonaire) - Mauisails, Starboard
Mini Junior: 1st Amado Vrieswijk (Bonaire) - Hotsails, Starboad
Junior: 1st Felix (Martina) - Hotsails,
Women: 1st Monique Meijer (Bonaire) - Northsails, Starboard.

Day 4: 12nd April The day started with a skipper meeting at 10 o'clock. Race director stated that there will be two qualifying races for the morning and the top 10 advances for the afternoon races. Wind was pretty light 18-20 knots very choppy and the forecast was looking to be great in the afternoon.

So we did two races back to back won them both. Then went back to the beach for a lunch break. 2 o'clock first races was started for the Junior, Sports and women and after that follow by the men. 3 races where done back to back for all gatergories and with the wind picking up to a steady 20knots was great.

I was using the Tr5 7.6 and I was really enjoying this sail in these medium conditions. I have won all 3 races but most of the guys were pushing harder by the starting line and were really looking forward to beat me but I kept it cool and looked for the perfect starts and with my great board speed I felt comfortable. So no pressure at all.

Day 5: 13rd April The last day of the Event. Race director was on to make 4 slalom races plus to finish before  2 o'clock, as the wind was a good steady 20knots. First race of the day was won by Kiri with a perfect start and clean air.

Kiri just blasted and was upfront the whole time I was stuck in the starting line with all the messy wind and went too much down wind so I had to sail upwind to catch  the mark but I still manage to came in second. 2nd Race I Had a great start and was way ahead of the fleet.

Then just 3 meters from the finish line I had a crash and many racers passed me. As I got back on my board and went across the finish line I was in 8th position.

That race was won by Ingmar from Curacao, Kiri in second, Patun in 3rd. a dutch guy in 4th. 3 & 4 race of the day: This time I said to my self no more mistakes I had two perfect start just at the horn. Kept my position in first the whole way thru the finish line.

As everyone was liking that I had two bad races I just made sure I didn't do anymore mistakes and went fully on to win both races and make it clear that I was fast and that I can come back up after small mistakes.

The biggest battle for the 3rd positions today was between Patun, Bjorn and Ingmar if one of them finish ahead of each other will win the 3rd podium place so by the end it was Ingmar that fought harder and finish the day with just 1 point lower then Patun and Bjorn to finish in 3rd.

Closing Ceremony 13rd April, 09
Long but great speech was given at the Closing ceremony to everyone that helped and supported and compete at this event. Great and very tasty BBQ was also on the house. Nice prizes where given to the top 3 sailors from each class: free flight tickets, prize money and gift certificate plus some very nice goody bags.

Here are the Overall results:

Mini Junior: in total there was 7 mini junior but here are the top 3
1st Amado Vrieswijk (Bonaire
2nd Steven Max ( Curacao)
3rd Jurgen Saragoza

Junior: In totaal there was 10 junior but but here are the top 3
1st Felix Martina (Curacao)
2nd Mark O'Donoghue (Curacao)
3rd Ezri Heymans (Bonaire)

Women: only 2 women compete:
1st Monique Meijer (Bonaire)
2nd Mylene de vries (Curacao

Sport Class: in total 16 top 3 results:
1st Nick Brouwer (Curacao)
2nd Wilco Faber (Curacao)
3rd Daan van der sluis (Curacao

Open Men: 18 in total top 3 results:
Taty Frans (Bonaire)
Kiri Thode (Bonaire)
Ingmar Schnitzler (Curacao).

Words by Taty Frans

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