Every year Insulinde Challenge, a Curaçao-based non-profit organization, hosts an event which challenges youngsters, drawing upon their resourcefulness, motivation, spirit and enthusiasm.
The challenges began in 2005 with the Aquasports Triathlon held at the Asiento Yacht Club. The triathlon involved five, 20-man teams competing in swimming, kayaking and sailing tournaments. A successful first edition attracted 250 spectators and stretched competitors to their limits. The Aquasports Triathlons were repeated in 2006 and 2007, hosted by Pro-Sail at their Marina in Spanish Water.
In 2005 and 2008 Insulinde Challenge also hosted the Klein Curaçao 'Clean-Up'. A challenge involving 160 young people intent on restoring Curaçao's little sister island to its original pristine condition. These events were remarkably successful in fulfilling their aims: to educate the youth of Curaçao, to heighten their awareness of ecological balance and the environment in which they live, and to do it in a fun way. The organization is looking forward to a repeat performance next year.
On February 27 2011, Insulinde Challenge held their fifth Aquasports Triathlon, this time involving five, 12-man teams, hosted by the Sea Scouts Mgr. Verriet group at their base in Spanish Water.
Two sports have been added to the program, justifying the name Pentathlon, which means 'an athletic contest consisting of five different events'. And the challenge now features sailing, swimming and kayaking relay races, plus a road relay race, and, of course, the Tug O' War.
Although 'organized chaos' came to mind, the event was a lot of fun with remarkable sportive performances by participants as well as organizers. Rain showers failed to dampen a great team-spirit, one that was further enhanced by the fantastic catering of the Sea Scouts, who also made up the majority of the participants, along with the sailing ship Insulinde's captain and crew.
Local sponsors generously donated goods, prizes and funds to cover the expenses.
Els Kroon is a Dutch former teacher who now lives and works as an award-winning freelance photojournalist in Curaçao.