Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

ABC – Slalom Windsurfing Team finishes in top 10 at World Championships in Spain

Surfers Racing IMG_9862 (1)WILLEMSTAD - From 17-21 June 2014 the IFCA Junior, Youth and Masters Slalom Windsurfing World Championships were held in the bay of the beautiful town of Roses, in Costa Brava-Spain. The ABC islands were well represented by windsurfers in all age categories. Perry van der Wolde (Cur-19) from Curaçao participated in the Grandmasters class (age 35+), Nik v/d Eerenbeemt (Aru-9) from Aruba, Jean Patrick van der Wolde (Cur-191) from Curaçao and Milan Gielingh (Cur-28) also from Curaçao participated in the U20 class (youth under age 20), Aron Etmon (Cur-2) from Bonaire and Jean Paul Da Silva De Goes (Cur-914) from Curaçao participated in the U17 (youth under age 17), Oscar Etmon (Cur-21) from Bonaire participated in the U15 class (youth under 15) and Stefan de Bell (Cur-87) from Curaçao participated in the U13 class (youth under 13). Of the 5 scheduled competition days, only the last 3 days had sufficient wind to race. Most of the participants needed some time to get used to the varying local wind conditions: the famous ‘Tramontana’, the capricious northern thermic winds blowing from the Pyrenees, which caused unpredictable weather and as a consequence long ‘stand-by’ periods for the participants.

ABC Islands' Team IMG_0345The elimination races were divided into two groups: the ‘Masters’ and ‘Grand Masters’ eliminations and the ‘Youth’ eliminations. The ‘Masters’ and ‘Grand Masters’ had 32 participants from 11 countries, and the ‘Youth’ (9-19 yrs) eliminations had 44 participants from 15 countries. Each full elimination heat consisted of 4 qualification rounds, 2 semi-finals, and a ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ final. The best 5 out of the semi-finals competed in the ‘Gold’ final. In particular for the younger kids the races were very hard, because their competitors were considerably older and stronger. In total, 3 elimination heats were held.

LAST DAY: On the last racing day, surfers as well as their supporters needed nerves of steel, not only because the results of this final race would be decisive, but also because the wind was behaving and turning capriciously and the start time of the race was postponed a few times. Ultimately, the spectators witnessed rather nerve-wrecking but spectacular finals. In the ‘Silver’ finals, Nik conquered the second place, and Jean Paul the fourth place and first in his U17 category, an excellent result that helped Jean Paul climb some positions in the general scoring. Jean Patrick, Aron and Milan raced in the top ‘Gold’ final, whereby Jean Patrick excelled by finishing second.

RESULTS: During this event, with a strong field of participants consisting of international top windsurfers, our small U-13 Class at Podium IMG_0496islands again showed how to be grand. Over the past few years the Curaçao team managed to conquer the following titles: Jean Patrick World Champion U-17 in 2011, Aron World Champion U-15 in 2012 and Jean Paul World Champion U-15 in 2013. This time it was rookie Stefan de Bell, participating for the first time in a big international event, who attained the very popular title of ‘World Champion” 2014 Slalom U-13. Aron Etmon received the honorable title of Vice-Champion U17. Nik van den Eerenbeemt had a formidable 4th place U20 (with the same number of points as the second runner up). Aron Etmon, Milan Gielingh and Jean Patrick van der Wolde also scored top 10 in the U20. Jean Paul Da Silva De Goes scored 9th in the category U17. Oscar Etmon finished 7th place in U15 and Perry van der Wolde finished 8th in the ‘ Grandmasters’ category.

With thanks to parents, trainers and sponsors without whom their team’s participation would not have been possible! Special thanks to: Infocus, Guardian Group, Insel Air, DHL, Florida Express, The Challenge, Bsure, HICC, Perogi Bouw, Goisco, Windsurfing Curaçao, CurSailing, Netvision, KLM, ArkeFly, Patrik Diethelm, Point Seven, Ka Sails, Ifju fins, Starboard, Severne Sails, Dunkerbeck Eyewear and Princess Traveller. For more information see http://ifca.internationalwindsurfing.com and the IFCA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/IFCA

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