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Curacao’s Aqua Sports Triathlon – Third Times a Charm

The phenomenon Aqua Sports Triathlon is still young in Curacao, but after the third edition that took place on and around Spanish Waters in the second weekend of November, the event definitively swept the island’s annual sailing calendar.

It’s only two years ago that Captain Phil Jarman of sailing ship Insulinde launched the idea for the sporty competition on the water, just because he wanted to see his Centaur boats sailing and competing more often.

Jarman and Pro Sail manager Theo Freriks joined forces; sponsors were sought and participants were recruited in businesses and enterprises. Exactly the same was done this year–among the participants, many familiar faces showed up. The crew of Insulinde obviously was present as were the Sea Scouts and the companies Sanex and Banana Boat. Remarkably new was the Team Sharks, from the water polo club with the same name. The Sharks praised themselves very lucky having an energy drink on the island, also with the same name—thus, finding a sponsor was a piece of cake.

All activities were organized at Pro Sail Curacao’s place, the former Marine Water sports Center. Pro Sail has easy access to Spanish Waters and is also equipped with facilities for group activities on shore—the ideal spot for a day full of fun and action for more than a hundred water sport fanatics and their supporters.

From ten in the morning till sunset there was never a dull moment and the five teams hardly could catch their breath before the next activity started. During the day the winners of the shore activities were rewarded nice prizes provided by the sponsors.

In the morning session as well as in the afternoon the tri aqua sports started with lively Centaur relay races, followed by swimming competitions and kayak races, all focused on teambuilding. Two children’s life bands in the teams’ colors caused great merriment every time team members had to pass the bands on during the relay races. Just imagine a burly swimmer proudly raising his arms crying victory, wearing bright yellow or green bands, decorated with little dolphins and seashells!

The team spirit was excellent, culminating in the tug-of-war series, where tickets for ‘The Movies” for all twenty team members were at stake. This activity was won by the well trained Sea Scouts whose leader Jan Ackermans fiercely talked them into victory.  At the first Centaur races Team Sanex was a good sport and lucky, gaining every leg of the competition. They came in even ahead of the more experienced Sea Scouts and last year’s overall winner Insulinde.

The swim competition –of course- was won by the Sharks and in the crisscross jumble of the kayak races, team Sea Scouts took the win.

At lunch time no potential winner stood out which kept everybody up and going. In the afternoon races the odds were changing. Only the Sharks continued their victory in the swimming competition. They also did fine in the second Centaur races, ending up in first place as well. In both races Team Sea Scouts took second place, making their star rise to better heights than in the morning races. After taking the lead in the kayak races their second place overall was secured, close behind the almost invincible team Sharks, whose efforts were rewarded at the end of the day with a coupon for a daytrip to the island of Klein Curacao on Captain Phil’s sailing yacht Insulinde.

Team Banana Boat stayed in the middle and took the place they deserved: third. Team Sanex, which started the morning races so convincingly, had so much fun that they didn’t care ending up at the bottom of the score board. Their sporty attitude was rewarded by what is called in Dutch the “poedelprijs”: a visit to the world famous Hato Caves in Curaçao.

The fun filled day keeps a promise for the years to come and was a fine warming up for a new initiative of Pro Sail’s manager Theo Freriks: a sailing competition for the personnel of companies in Curaçao and beyond “who need some teambuilding, networking and fun”, according to the announcement of the competition which will kick-off on January 11 for six consecutive weeks, concluded by the finals on February 15th and the distribution of the challenge cup.

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