The story of the Bonaire freestyle windsurfing stars

October 9, 2013 | Windsurfing
Children of the Wind: meet Tonky, Taty and Kiri

"Children of the Wind" is a windsurfing documentary that tells the story of two brothers and a cousin, who journey from poor fishing families on a tiny Caribbean island to become three of the best freestyle windsurfers in history.

The film focuses on brothers Tonky and Taty Frans and their cousin Kiri, who began windsurfing before the age of ten, using whatever broken or discarded equipment they could scrounge, and who are now, 20 years later, global superstars.

Tonky, Taty and Kiri burst onto the international scene in 2001 when, along with thirty or so other Bonaire sailors, they attended windsurfing's North American Championship, in Florida.

Given the island's economic status, just getting to Florida was an achievement in itself. Once there, they caused a sensation, taking home twenty trophies between them.

Given that Bonaire has a population of under 15,000 and had, at the time, no way to fund formal training facilities, provide equipment or pay for travel to events, this accomplishment was simply astonishing.

The Frans brothers and Kiri are now among the top five freestyle windsurfers in the world and have become local heroes on their island.

"Children of the Wind" is directed by Daphne Schmon.

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