Professional and amateur windsurfers from around the world will meet on the island of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles (Dutch Caribbean) December 11 to 18 for the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) World Championship Freestyle Finals 2002.
The event, also designated as the ³King of the Caribbean Pro-Am,² will offer a total purse of US $65,000, with $55,000 for the men¹s category and $10,000 for women.
The ³King of the Caribbean² Championship Finals will be the World Cup Finale to the 2002 PWA World Tour. The event will also include competitions for all levels: Professionals, Amateurs, Novices and Juniors with eight categories for competition. The Professional winners will be crowned ³King and Queen of the Caribbean² as well as PWA Freestyle Champions for 2002.
In addition to the competitions, there will be island-wide parties throughout the week, featuring the music of the band ³Sugero² from the USA, the food exposition ³A Taste of Bonaire,² a Culture and Christmas Fair in the town of Rincon, and water-side parties almost every night. Qualifying heats for Professionals will be 12 December with competition for Professionals and amateurs beginning on 13 Dec. Final event for Professionals will be 17 December.
Windsurfing competitions will be held at windy Lac Bay of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles. This small island of just 12,000 people is fast becoming one of the top windsurfing locations in the world with almost constant on-shore trade winds that usually average 17 to 22 knots. For years Bonaire has also been known as one of the top dive destinations in the world and has often set the world standard for ocean and reef protection
Bonaire is the home of Tonky Frans currently ranked sixth overall in Freestyle on PWA World tour, as well as his brother Tati Frans, who is ranked 31st and Keke Dammers, ranked 27th. All three are still in their teens and have just recently become professional competitors. Now the entire sports community can see where these new hot shots live and train.
Divisions for competition for the December event include:
Pro Division -- for those who can perform AERIAL freestyle. There will be a Men¹s Pro Division with a $55,000 purse and Women¹s Pro Division, with a $10,000 purse.
Amateur Divisions -- for those who can perform PLANING freestyle. There will be a Men¹s Amateur Division, a Masters Amateur Division for men over 35, a Women's Amateur Division and a Junior Amateur Division for boys and girls 16 or under.
Novice Division -- for those who can perform NON-PLANING freestyle there will be an Open Competition for men and women competing in the Novice Division and a Junior Novice Division for boys and girls 16 or under.
Special travel packages have been arranged by Air Jamaica, the official carrier for the event and also with KLM from Europe. Both have offered a special promotional rate for competitors as well as spectators. There is also a discount rate for shipping competitors¹ gear. However, the number of discounted seats is limited so travelers are urged to order their tickets early.
The special Air Jamaica fare may be accessed by calling Air Jamaica at 800-523-5585 and referencing "Maduro and Curiel's Bank King of the Caribbean". Reservations must be booked in B or M class using ticket designator GD20. Last ticket date 20 November, but competitors and spectators are urged to purchase tickets earlier due to heavy travel during December.
KLM (Royal Dutch Airline) is offering special group rates to competitors and spectators from Europe. Contact for these rates and reservations is Emile at Maduro Travel, telephone: +(31) 70 356-2850 or e-mail: email@example.com
If the Air Jamaica and KLM flights fill, American Airlines and American Eagle have daily flights to Bonaire via San Juan Puerto Rico but do not offer cargo service for competitor¹s equipment. If all direct Bonaire flights fill, Curacao and Aruba can be used with connections to Bonaire via Dutch Caribbean Express, Divi Divi Air and Chogogo Fast Ferry from Curacao or Avia Air and Aruba Royal Airlines from Aruba.
Hotel accommodations, car and gear rental can be arranged by contacting Ann Phelan, event coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-219-0118 or 508-385-8174
Preliminary schedule for the weeklong event and island-wide party starting on 11 December is as follows:
" Day 1: Press conference and opening ceremonies with ³A Taste of Bonaire² party featuring the USA band ³Sugero². " Day 2: Competition for professionals in the day, Cultural Night at Hollandse Grill in the evening. " Day 3: Competition for professionals, amateurs and juniors in the day; Caribbean Beach Dinner and Party at Plaza Resort at night. " Day 4: Competition during the day, dance party at City Cafe at night " Day 5: Competition in the day, Amateur and Junior Awards Ceremony at night followed by an all-island party at Karels Beach Bar with the Sugero band. " Day 6: Professional competition in the day with a Culture and Christmas Fair in Rincon in the evening featuring local bands. " Day 7: PWA World Cup final competition for King and Queen of the Caribbean, the World Freestyle Champions. Followed by Coronation Ceremony and party at Sorobon Beach.
The Bonaire Sailing Foundation, a non-governmental organization on the island, is organizing the event and Maduro & Curiel¹s Bank is the primary sponsor. The event is a Professional Windsurfing World Cup event and other sponsors include Reda Sosial, the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association, Bonaire Hospitality Group, Bonaire Tourism Corporation and many more local companies and organizations.