- PWA Quick Start
- by Femke van der Valk
As you all might know, Bonaire is becoming more and
more interesting for windsurfers. The reason for this is are steady winds and the sunny,
warm climate. I have been living on Bonaire for over two years now and still it is the
best thing that ever happened to me. I started windsurfing, I met great people and learned
some great lessons about life. For me windsurfing has become a passion. It makes me feel
free. The only way to get to know this feeling is by trying it yourself!
- Sorobon & Lac Cai
Most people know Sorobon from
the magazines or from the PWA. Sorobon is the shallow bay on the east side of the island.
The water is between your knees and waist, which makes it really easy and fast to learn.
It is a one of a kind place. This is where I learned how to windsurf. Still day in and day
out I go here to train. Also there are waves breaking outside the bay. Before joining the
PWA tour I never really sailed in waves. I was at my best in water as flat as possible.
Nowadays I try to go to the waves with the others as often as possible. Whenever the wind
is coming from the northeast and blowing strong, well all go to Lac Cai. There are
days with mast high waves! I even like riding the waves now. It is a whole different
feeling and once again indescribable.
- Some of my experiences with the PWA
- This year in May the PWA will once again
return to Bonaire. After having the event in December for two years in a row, they have
now decided to have this event in May, due to stronger and steadier winds. This season is
my favorite, because it is really windy and sunny too! By the way: The first time they had
a PWA freestyle world cup on Bonaire was when I saw windsurfing for the first time. I had just moved to Bonaire to teach scuba diving. After the first day
I met some guys who where joining the competition and one of them, Ruben Petrisie, NB-50,
asked me to come and try it. I was like, sure I can do that. Well it wasnt as easy
as I thought, but I kept pushing it hard and after a week or so I was in the footstraps
and using the harness. Man did I enjoy that! After that I kept coming day by day out after
work, every day after 5 PM till like 7PM. And the next year the PWA tour was back.
And this time I was in! This was amazing: within one year I joined the competition I was
looking at the year before. All the people you can see in the magazines were there. I was
so incredibly nervous!
After this I went to the Canaries in 2004. First
Lanzarote, the conditions were so incredibly hard for me. I didnt perform well. Then
Fuerteventura. I loved it there, although in the competition I didnt perform well
either. We had one day of sailing after the competition and this was the best day ever in
my enormous windsurf life. The water was as flat as in Sorobon but I was
sailing a 3.3 sometimes even overpowered.
Than came Gran Canaria. After I didnt perform
well any of the contests before, I didnt really look forward to Gran Canaria. All
those stories that go around about the strong wind and waves. But when we came to the
island the conditions were really mellow. Even in the competition it wasnt so bad
for me and for the first time every day I would at least advance one heat! I was so proud.
I had broken something in my thumb a week before the competition and therefore I was so
busy with how to put my hand on my boom without putting pressure on it during my heats. I
was not even worrying about the competition. I was actually laughing in my heats.
This year there were a lot of girls. I think in
Fuerteventura there were even 17. This is great. The girls on the tour helped me so much.
Nayra Alonso lend me one of her masts for my small sail. Karin Jaggi lend me a board so I
wouldnt have to sail with my 90-liter board the whole time. Daida helped me when I
had to go to the hospital with my broken thumb. These were just some examples. I think it
is great that they help you like that. I hope one day I can do the same for others. The
whole tour was such an experience. If I can make it possible, I will for sure try to go
again this year.
- Girls on tour
I hope to see you on Bonaire!!!
Keep rippin !!!!
Femke van der Valk (NB-05)