The 2003 PWA world tour is set to conclude its season on the sun drenched beaches of Bonaire for the final freestyle event on the tour calendar. Commencing with Registration on 2 December the event will run through until 9 December at windy Lac Bay.
The small Island of just 12,000 people is fast becoming one of the premiere windsurfing locations in the world with almost constant trade winds and mirror flat turquoise water providing perfect conditions for the freestyle discipline.
Bonaire is home to local brothers Tonky and Taty FRANS who are both currently ranked in the top ten on the freestyle tour and more importantly a whole host of young hot shots who revel in the year round training conditions at their home spot. Tonky FRANS (Gaastra, AHD)) stole the show last year at the King of the Caribbean and won the event ahead of Matt PRITCHARD (Gaastra), Douglas DIAZ (Mistral, North) Venezuela and Ricardo CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde) of Brazil. At the event Matt PRITCHARD, from the USA and Swiss Karin JAGGI were named freestyle world champions for the 2002 season. Matt PRITCHARD went a step further and proposed to his fiancée Erin COLGATE after the event and the happy couple married in California this summer.
This years battle for the men's title is a clear cut race between Brazilian sailor Ricardo CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde) and British top ranked freestyler Robby SWIFT (JP, Neil Pryde) Campello cleaned up at the opening event of the season in Pozo Gran Canaria but Swift fought back to steal the show on the windswept beaches of Fuerteventura two weeks later. They now both hold equal ranking points after two events so whoever wins in Bonaire is likely become the 2003 overall freestyle champion. Also in the running for the end of year podium positions are Kauli SEADI (Naish AHD) of Brazil, Diony GUADAGNINO (Neil Pryde) of Venezuela and Colin SIFFERLEN (Starboard) of New Caledonia.
In the women's title race the battle is a three horse race between Daida MORENO (Mistral, North) of Spain, Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland and Iballa MORENO (Mistral, North) of Spain. Daida MORENO currently leads the rankings after placing first in Pozo and second in Fuerteventura but both Jaggi and Iballa are hot on her heals after securing podium finishes at both events.
In addition to the competitions there will be island wide parties throughout the week, featuring the music, the food exposition 'A taste of Bonaire', a culture fair in the town of Rincon and water side parties.
KLM from Europe and Air Jamaica from the USA and London will again be offering special packages for competitors and spectators. KLM now has two daily flights to Bonaire from Amsterdam and Air Jamaica flies to Bonaire three times a week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in December.
Stay tuned to the PWA web site for daily news, pictures and results when the 2003 concludes at what is tipped to be the hottest event of the season!