After 4 windy days of slalom and long distance marathon races in the divisions of Open, Youth, Juniors, U15 and U13 the Champions could be awarded.
The 2022 IFCA Pan-American & South American Slalom Championships ended successfully with thanks to Wind Racers Club Aruba (WRC) and the Aruba Hi-Winds event’s their entire crew, volunteers, set up and the sponsors, which brought a mixture of sports and artists to the 34th edition.
Storm Nicolai is 2022 IFCA Pan-American Slalom Junior Champion: I am windsurfer from Bonaire, I started windsurf in Sorobon at the age of 10 and I am now 13 years and I just participated in the Aruba Hi-Winds Pan-American Slalom Championships. Windsurfing is cool because you can go super fast and pass a lot of people. Most of my windsurfing friends are also here and we had a great event experience.
My dream is to – one day – be as good as Sarah Quita and I also mostly look up to Athletes such as Taty Frans. I also practice freestyle and it is going well and will be trying foiling soon.
Here in Aruba I learned a lot during the races and it was fun, but it was a little tricky in the beginning because of the different type of winds compared to Bonaire.
I am happy with my Title – 2022 IFCA Pan-American Slalom Junior Champion – and hope that this will help me to go further in windsurfing.
Also thanks to the local sponsors who have been supporting me (Huppe Herman, SWAKikO, PayForUse and QVillas). Unfortunately I have no equipment sponsors but one day I would love to ride for Duotone, Fanatic, FutureFly which also looks pretty nice and Point7.
Race Director Bonaire’s Bjorn Saragoza: Well I am happy, everything went well and we all had a pretty nice experience here in Aruba. It was great to see some great performances from the local kids, especially Nathan Westera who is pretty much already known in the scene and also the Bonairians who were giving their best.
This is not my first IFCA event as a race director. Back in 2019 I was part of the whole ABC Tour on the 3 islands. This time its a different experience, its really challenging but also fun, its really important to have a good team behind you and make sure they got your back to make sure you can do your work. For me its all about having fun and trying to stay connected to the whole windsurfing community and that is the most important thing for me, We have about 30 something kids in Bonaire and its more about trying to contribute and keep the sport alive, therefore I am aiming more towards the race director part and try to learn more and become better.
I would deferentially enjoy to one day do some international events in the future, if the opportunity arises. The thing is that Europe is much more different then here on the islands, we are more softer and easy going, so its good to have some international experience as well to push myself further and learn even more about this side of the sport. Its not that I don’t know (smiles) I have been a professional windsurfer for a long time and now its also great to know the different side of windsurfing; rules, judging part and all this race management stuff.
At the end I am very satisfied and look forward to join some events in Europe to experience more and to learn some new places and meet new athletes.
Sarah-Quita Offringa is 2022 IFCA Pan-American Slalom Open Champion:
It was a pleasure to compete back at home. the last time i competed at home for an international event was in 2011.
The Hi winds was the event that got me interested in windsurfing and since then has been my standard for windsurfing events. It’s about tough competition on the water but friendship and good vibes on the beach.
And this is exactly what I felt this whole week again.
I was just happy to be home. The wind looked great for the week and it was also my chance to compete in different sports like kiting and winging. My main focus was slalom. I was registered in the open division and my goal was to nail the starts basically 🙂
The first day was the windiest and I had to hang on to my 6,6 for the first 2 races before I could go down to my 5,8 for the afternoon. I think it was great for me to find ways to stay in control of my 6,6 and it was great to be challenged like that. The longdistance was also a challenge because that is something that I don’t do much. The trick here is to be comfortable on your gear. And when you are comfortable you can go fast for a longer time. In the first longdistance I was happy to finish 4th but I was struggling quite a lot with some pain in my back. For the second long distance I tuned my gear a bit better, was more comfortable and finished 2nd after Nathan.
I was most inspired by the junior division! It was such a big fleet. The girls and boys were competing against each other and it gave me major flashbacks to when I competed when I was younger.
These kids are so talented and very motivated and I was impressed by there fair play and sportsmanship. They wanted to wind but I could also feel that they were having fun while doing it. At some point we were all sailing pretty far out but all the juniors handled it very well and I thought it was amazing to see how much they learned, adapted and progressed !
Shout outs to: Definitely my parents. They haven’t seen me compete in a while and competing at home is even more special. Big thanks to the organization for making it possible to get my dad to join at the beach and for my mom making so much effort also caddying for me during the other events at the hi winds
Nathan Westera is 2022 IFCA Pan-American Slalom Youth Champion:
My event experience was way more laid back. I was at home so i knew the conditions and i wasn’t necessarily focused on winning I was hoping to have some nice battles and have a good time. I remember the last day of slalom racing I didn’t have my start watch which meant my starts were a bit later which meant i had to fight my way from the back to the front.
I certainly had no plans this season at all. When Covid 19 hit it basically put a halt to my windsurfing career. Events were being canceled and I was needed back home to help the business. Right now I am busy working in the family business and studying on the side. I would love to pursue my goals in windsurf but for now its on queue.
Since The Hi-Winds was canceled for approx the last 2 years, I just had to join in and defend the title this year. And what better way to compete than competing on your homespot. Also I have not been windsurfing competitively in those two years so it was also a sense of whether i still had the skills to challenge for podium. Which I think was made clear by my results.
Shout outs: I would have to give a huge shout out to my friends Tom and Melvin for delivering my board in the middle of the night to schiphol so Pascalle could bring it the next day to Aruba. Without them I wouldn’t have had the board that got me the victory!
Podium Results 2022 IFCA Pan-American Slalom:
unfortunately there were no South American born Athletes during the championships this time.
JUNIOR U13 2022 IFCA Pan-American
- BARRIE SASSEN NB-0607 | Champion
- JOSHUA ALBERTO NB-9 | Vice Champion
- KIT DE JONG NB-92
JUNIOR U15 2022 IFCA Pan-American
- STORM NICOLAI NB-2008 | Champion
- TYCHO SMITS NB-1111 | Vice Champion
- KICK SCHUT NB-168
JUNIOR U17 2022 IFCA Pan-American
- STORM NICOLAI NB-2008 | Champion
- TYCHO SMITS NB-1111 | Vice Champion
- LOUISE VAN DER MEULEN ARU180
YOUTH 2022 IFCA Pan-American
- NATHAN WESTERA ARU-8 | Champion
- TERENCE CLAPPERS NB-99 | Vice Champion
- JORT HARTMANS ARU-30
MASTERS 2022 IFCA Pan-American
- WICHARD VAN DER MEULEN ARU1111 | Champion
- MARCEL NOBELS ARU-27 | Vice Champion
- REINIER VAN SISSEREN ARU220
OPEN 2022 IFCA Pan-American
- SARAH QUITA OFFRINGA ARU-91 | Champion
- WICHARD VAN DER MEULEN ARU1111 | Vice Champion
- ARTHUR VAN AALST CUR-40
Once Again Congrats to all the participants, this event sets a unique tone for the Class opening event of the season. IFCA continues to try and work with motivated and great people to bring great event experience to athletes and especially with the focus on the new generation of competitive windsurfing. Aruba has been very windy with a great set up for Hi Wind Slalom Racing. We want to keep windsurfing competition activities active in this part of the World – South & Central Americas including the Caribbean and we thank Wind Racers Club Aruba (WRC) and the Aruba Hi-Winds Organizing committee for contributing.
The Class focus shall now be on the JYM Europeans scheduled for 8 to 12 June in Sardinia Italy where athletes will compete for the European Windsurfing Slalom Titles .