Bonaire worldcup: new Caribbean blood

Siestke, Tatja, Manou, Sarah-Quita and Mylene carry Femke Sarah Quita Offringa: 12 year old spock talent
ABC (wind)girls

The so called ABC islands Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are home to a bunch of promising and talented windgirls. Still sponsored by their parents, some equipped with only one single sail, their names are very likely to be heard in the future. Multiple world champion Karin Jaggi and freestyle pro Tanja Emig have met 6 girls during the last freestyle worldcup of the year, the king/queen of the Caribbean" on the island of Bonaire. Hard to believe: These young Caribbean ladies are just 16, 17 or 18 years old. And one of them is only 12 - and already performing perfect "spocks". Here is Karins and Tanjas incredible report! (photos courtesy of PWA/John Carter & Tanja Emig - Olympus)

1. Report by Karin Jaggi:

It’s all over! Bonaire was the last Freestyle worldcup of this year! The outcome? Two „brand new“, completely expected freestyle world champions, loads of new moves, and the average age of the worldcupper falling, and falling, and falling... Karin Jaggis report from the PWA freestyle finals...

Kids? Don’t expect to find anything here about another 2'000-no-name-no-future-but-endless-talented-boys. Girls rule! Looking at their dedication, the grace in their moves and all those big smiles out there on the water: They are the future. Here we stay with the prettier part of the world inhabitants – the female sailors.

Manou is the leader of the „Aruba gang“. Last year I watched her doing her very first ever volcan on Bonaire. And did she learn a lot! 17 years young – old enough that I probably have to concentrate hard in heats against her next year...

Femke: last year? Yeah she was around on the beach. Can you really learn windsurfing in one year? She not only proofed that but also entered the worldcup event. Ok, there are always free places in the girls fleet. I just say: Daida you were hell lucky you passed that first-round-heat against her in the last single elimination!

Mylene: „Curacao has pretty much the same wind than Bonaire and Aruba – just there I am always sailing alone. That sucks!" So she plans to start university in Holland next year – and I bet we’ll see her all over Europe’s windsurfing beaches soon.

Sarah-Quita: 12 years, spocks - but sailing is not really her number one sport... Talented, talented, talented.

Anybody missing? Oh, yeah – us – the 4 oldies. Standard stuff and stories - always in the finals – anything from bodydrags to flakas – boring as the boys – but if we were any inspiration for the younger ones: I would be proud.

Check the girls' brandnew pages at magazine for more details:


results "King/Queen of the Caribbean", Bonaire 2003


"windgirls" fleet in BonaireKarin, spock clew firstThe winners: Iballa, Daida, KarinDaida, spock

1. Daida Ruano Moreno
2. Karin Jaggi
3. Iballa Ruano Moreno
4. Tanja Emig
5. Sarah-Quita Offringa
6. Mylene de Vries
7. Tatiana Howard
8. Femke van der Valk
9. Manou Becker
"queen" Daida: "I am stoked. The event was really good for me. I stayed on top right through the event, and was happy to keep it that way especially with the level of competition being so high. Karin was right there all the way, she was sailing incredibly also Iballa and Tanja. Karin was pushing me really hard all the week and she demonstrated her intelligent sailing and her experience."

Karin after winning the 1st double elimination: "I did so many heats I can’t remember, it was hard work. I felt I sailed better and better as the heats went on. Winning against Daida is a job well done so I am pretty happy with that."


2. The "windgirls" from Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao

by Tanja Emig

Last november I visited the island of Aruba to meet the local woman windsurfing scene. There are 4 girls who are always windsurfing together and also best friends. One of them is Tatja Becker, she is 15 years old, is windsurfing about 4 years and is windsurfing on weekends and in holidays. Her favourite move is the duckjibe but she is training on the vulcan and pushtack. She would like to compete in the worldcup, but it's too expensive (200 US$ entry fee) and she doesn´t have any sponsors. Nevertheless she went to Bonaire to watch the competition and to be the "caddy" for her sister, Manou Becker.

Manou is 17 years old and she did the worldcup in Bonaire. She is windsurfing about 4 years and freestyle sailing for 2 years now. Her favourite move is the vulcan and she is training on the grubby, sailtricks and shove it. Her plan after school is to go to Maui or Bonaire for one year and then to study in Holland. She wants to compete next year in Bonaire again and also outside of the caribbean. Manou: "The competition was a very good experience, I had a great time, I really enjoyed it. The girls are all very nice and friendly, and the parties were great, but I hoped even more of those hahahaha :) The organization was very good, but I think the judges were not fair to me and the other girls. I was a little disappointed about the unfairness, I heard a lot of stories!! But the important thing is that I had fun."

Manous homespot in Aruba is completely flat because of the offshore wind, but if you go a bit more outside, then you will find a nice chop. Manou is always surfing with the 5.2 which is her only sail – so mostly low wind conditions. If there is no wind at the weekend, the girls are hanging arround at the surf station or they love going for a swim in cristal clear Arubian waters. Including jumping!

Siestke van der Wal is 18 years old and she already has a drivers licence. Therefore she is always driving with Manou and Tatja to the spot because there is no bus going there. Sietske is a good windsurfer too, but she couldn´t compete this time because of an infection on her arm.

The youngest of this 4 girls is Sarah Quita Offringa, she is only 12 years old, but did 6 competitions till now and also the worldcup in Bonaire where she was able to take an excellent 5th place. Her only sponsors are her parents right now, but she tries to get more sponsors to make more PWA competitions.

Sarah Quita started windsurfing when she was only 3 years, then she stopped and actually re-started at the age of  9. Sarah Quita: "The people were very nice and we had good food. But the competition was a little unfair and a lot of people know that!!!!!!" Her favourite move is the vulcan and the spock 540, but Sarah Quita is already training on the grubby and Willy Skipper. Another Question for the 12 year old: "What do you think about the Ruano Moreno twins and Karin Jaggi: "The twins are good surfers but still they have to control their temper. They have to learn to deal with losing!!!! Karin is very nice and she helped us a lot. It's fun to hang out with her!"

I spent one week in Aruba and I really liked to meet the girls and to see their island. Its really a nice place and a great place for windsurfing. Manou offered me to sleep in her familys house and I also met her nice parents. My journey to Bonaire started with some troubles to get my boardbag on the aircraft. After we had arrived in Bonaire, there was no wind for two weeks, but it was nice anyway.

From Curacao, there is only one windsrufing girl, Mylene de Vries, who is 16 years old, sponsored by her parents. Mylene did 6 competitions at the islands till now and also the worldcup in Bonaire where she did the 6th place. "It was great but I was a little bit nervous during the first heats but then it was ok. It`s a wonderfull experience." Mylene would like to join more worldcup events, but the wind in Curacao is very light, so she cant train a lot. She started windsurfing 3 years ago in Bonaire, when she was there for a vacation. She startet because her dad is windsurfing. Her favourite move is the duck tack and up wind 360, she is training on the vulcan, but its hard to learn something with the light wind conditions. Mylene thinks that not so many girls are windsrufing because a lot give it up very quickly and the equipment is too expensive.

Tanja Emig, body drag clew first

Femke van der Valk, 20 years old, is sponsored by van der Valk hotels and restaurants. She is from Holland but has been living in Bonaire since one year. She did 3 competitons till now and her first worldcup was very exiting for her. It was a "cool experience" she said and she wants to join more competitions! "I think it was great to meet Karin Jaggi and the twins, and I learned a lot from looking and listening to them. Not only in for the windsurfing but also their experience in general - eg interviews." Femke works in the morning as a diving guide and in the afternoon she has a lot time for windsurfing.

When the girls where windsurfing and competing, I found that they are really motivated and they all give their best. They are the future in this sport and I hope that they all get sponsors to join more competitions!


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   text: K. Jaggi/T. Emig/A. Aichinger, photos: PWA/Carter, T.Emig (Olympus) © windgirls 2004