Monday, May 16, 2011

New NS Warp F2011!!

Today I tested my new Warp F2011 7.0.

On St Joris we had high wind conditions so around 23 - 25 knots.
I rigged my new sail like it says in the rigging manual and it looked great! I used the 7.0 sail in combination with my Starboard Isonic 101L Wood Carbon with a 37cm Select S10 Vin.
When I was out on the water the first thing I noticed that the sail was really light.
I had a little competition with French guys who stayed a couple of days after the Worlds and I noticed that I had a lot more speed then I normally do. It's official; I love this sail! Back on shore people who watched said that I as going really fast....... Aruba here I come!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Curacao Challenge 2011

16-4-'11 Two years ago the IFCA world cup was at Bonaire (for me some good memories).
Now this year they are going to do the IFCA in Curacao. After two years of practise during the Curacao Challenge that had been held at Mambo beach they moved to St Joris bay.

Around 14.00 we packed the car and drove to ST. Joris bay with only one set of windsurf gear as it was go BIG or stay home wind. At the event side I met all the people I know from the other competitions. And of course locals, like Jean Patrick and his father, Ed and his wife, Fulco etc etc. One big family.
We had to stop a bit early, as we were going to pick up Patoun and Jurgen from the airport.
After we picked them up we had a nice dinner together in the Pizza place.

18-04-'11 After a very relaxing morning we drove to St. Joris bay. At the entrance of the area we noticed we could see Bonaire in the far distance. A little bit later on the dirt road we met Myles. One of the grand masters and we know each other already for a while. So it’s always nice to see windsurf friends.

* Jurgen NB-117,  ME CUR 2, Myles USA 213, Monique NB-28, Patoun NB-8

I took some time to organize my gear bags at the event side, there was not much place yet and no shade so it was a bit of a puzzle but at the end we put our gear in the container. In the afternoon I was doing some speed testing with Monique, Patoun, Amado and Wolfgang. The wind was still very light; guess about 10 knots and a lot of holes.

Just before going home my mom and Patoun lighted up the grill and we made a BBQ for all the people who were still there were some hamburgers, with tomatoes, salad and cheese. MMMM MMMM!!!!

19-04-'11 Last day to test, last day to practice before the World Championships are going to start. In the morning we checked our gear, talked with (new) friends etc etc. At 12.00 we went on the water .I was testing with Patun, Juan V103, Argentine and Wolfgang AUS 3. Not too long though as we have races starting tomorrow, so didn't want to get to tired and the plan was to go home and relax a bit before the opening ceremony.
The IFCA Slalom World Championships on Curacao has officially started with a grand opening ceremony. With 85 competitors from 16 different countries from 4 different continents, this is the biggest windsurfing event on Curacao since the 90’s.
During the opening ceremony there were various prominent speakers, such as Prime Minister Schotte, Minister of Education and Sports Lionel Jansen, President of the IFCA and main sponsors Albert Heijn and Insel Air. They all had a similar message: the unique accomplishment of the organization and the Curacao windsurf community to be able to organize such a big international event.
The ministers officially opened the Surf Town.
Afterwards there was a DJ and completely in style: a campfire on the beach.

Day 1- The weather forecast wasn't promising a lot. The trees outside our house where not moving. At 8.30 we were in the car to the event side. The skipper meeting was at 10.00
there haven’t been any races on Day 1. The wind stayed steady around 8 knots (a minimum of 11 knots is needed). Predictions for the next couple of days were looking good though.
The lay-day gave the volunteers and organization the time to relax after the big opening ceremony. The Surf Town has been perfected for the expected crowds this Easter weekend. The competitors enjoyed themselves with some wake-boarding and Stand UP Paddle-boarding (offered by local windsurf school Windsurfing Curacao).

Day 2-Back on the shore I heard Bonaire team won the SUP competition. Great job guys!!
It was a little hope of sailing this afternoon but it wasn't going to happen.
At 16.30 I saw Milles coming in with his 10m2 and 127 litres Starboard I sonic.
At 17.00 they cancelled the races and the race committee was going to pick up the marks. They checked straight the way the wind and where a bit in a shock when they seen me flying on the water.

Day -3 after a whole morning waiting we had a SUP board competition. We had 4 teams United Nations, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. First it was United Nations vs. Bonaire. Patun and Amado went very good. Curacao vs. Aruba was a easy win for Aruba. Then the final United Nations vs. Aruba. Aruba was too strong for United Nations.
We had a very short skippers meeting in the afternoon. Just to let us know that we were going to make an IFCA world cup start, but again not enough wind so we had a fun race. All the competitors together +/- 70. It was one big chaos. I had still one minute on the start watch when I show them pumping on the start line.
Results Fun race:
1 Open Class and overall: Ben Van der Steen - NED 57
1 Youth: Jocelyn de Souza - FRA 873
1 Junior: Amado Vrieswijk - NB 20
1 Master: Patrik Schmelzer - GER 127

Day 4- I was around 9.00 at the event side and waited till 11.00 for the skippers meeting. Not much news this time. Around 14.00 hour they tried to start us, but the starting area was really gusty and course wasn't correct so we were sent back to the beach. In this time they changed the course again and only kept 2 jibe marks in the water.
At 16.40 (last moment the A.P. flag) went down and we all run to get the gear ready again. I was also very surprised that we were going to start racing right now. I wasn't dreaming it was going to happen and right now. I had a bad start as someone bumped in to me and was in last position but finished in 6th.
So I went to the losers final.
But there I came in first easily

Day 5- The wind conditions were far from great, which is unusual on Curacao this time of year. During 5 possible days of racing, it was only possible to race one late afternoon. During the final day the wind predictions were great, but in reality the wind didn’t show up. On Day 4 all the classes, except one (the Masters), completed an elimination round. The final heat of the Masters could not be sailed on the final day. The competitors did go to the starting line for a last chance, but no luck. This meant that by official IFCA rules there are six World Champions in the Masters class.

1. Sergio Mehl (Argentina)
1. Monique Meijer (Bonaire)
1. Constantino Saragoza (Bonaire)
1. Joris Bosman (the Netherlands)
1. Nikaj Droop (the Netherlands)
1. Diego Domenianni (USA)

Youth – U20
1. Gutek Kurczewski (Poland)
2. Jocelyn de Souza (France)
3. Jordy Vonk (the Netherlands)

Junior – U17
1. Jean Patrick van der Wolde (Curacao)
2. Justin Denel (France)
3. Amado Vrieswijk (Bonaire)

Junior -U15
1. Ethan Westra (Aruba)
2. Coen Swijnenburg (the Netherlands)
3. (ME) Aron Etmon (Curacao)

Junior – U13
1. Delano Moreno (Curacao)
2. Alex Halank (Australia)
3. Jean Paul Da Silva de Goes (Curacao)

Thanks to everyone who made this event happening and a special thanks to all my sponsors.