Aruba Regatta 2013

Oranjestad – The Aruba International Regatta 2013 was held on August 10 & 11. As previous years the event compassed competition in a wide range of sailing classes including yachts, beach catamarans, Optimists, Windsurfers and Sunfishes. Competition in the Sunfish Class was fierce with Richard van der Wal ultimately claiming first place.The Regatta was held at Surfside Bay at the heart of Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital. On Saturday winds averaged 15 knots, being moderate for Aruban standards. On Sunday winds increased to 20 knots with higher gusts.The standard Sunfish racing course entailed a start mid-way the bay, then a short windward leg towards the beach followed by a narrow reach across the beach before heading downwind to the leeward mark. The reach across the beach provided splendid viewing for spectators. A total of two windward legs had to be completed before crossing the finish line across the Regatta Centre tower. The extended Sunfish racing course included a leg out of Oranjestad harbour into open water. Each day two standard races and one extended race were to be completed.On Saturday morning the fleet headed out to enjoy racing on Aruba’s crystal blue waters. Soon the Sunfishes were engaged in fierce competition with the sailors pinching hard to get to windward as effectively as possible. On the downwind leg the quest for speed, and determining the right time to jibe were key. After a few races it became clear that the battle for first, second and third would be fought between Ton Nuijten of Bonaire (2011 Sunfish Worlds, place 51), Robbie Ferron of St.Maarten and Richard van der Wal (twelve fold Aruban National Sunfish Champion and 2011 Sunfish Worlds Grand-Masters winner). After two days of sailing Van der Wal claimed first, Nuijten second and Ferron third. In the end everyone was satisfied with two days of splendid sailing and an animated prize-ceremony and awards dinner illuminated by sunset on the beach.The Aruba Regatta Foundation and the Sunfish Club Aruba congratulate the winners on their result.

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