On March 28, top windsurfer Elton “Taty” Frans from Bonaire sailed from Bonaire to Curaçao in only two hours and fifteen minutes, a new record. The attempt was also a fundraiser for windsurf legend and fellow islander Erwin Muller, who recently suffered a severe stroke.
Many years ago Muller was the first to bridge the 40 miles from Bonaire to Curaçao on a windsurf board in about four hours. Taty, who is considered the fastest windsurfer of the ABC islands, just needed a bit more than half the time to do the same.
The former fisherman and now dive master Muller awaited him on Zanzibar Beach, accompanied by Prime Minister Emily de Jong-Elhage and many supporters and media representatives. Taty didn’t even show a sign of weariness after greeting all present on the beach.
“My first goal was to draw attention to Erwin’s rehabilitation. That I broke the record is of minor importance,” Frans said. De Jongh-Elhage fully agreed: “This is what sport is all about! Friendship, commitment and showing character is more important than the outcome of the game.”
Three weeks before, Taty had to postpone the attempt because of the strong winds—not a problem for the windsurfer, but for the accompanying boats!
On March 28, winds were still strong and unpredictably coming more from the north than usual. “In optimal conditions Taty could have set the record within two hours without the now necessary jibes,” windsurf master Elvis Martinus from Bonaire said. “At certain times Taty’s speed was close to 35 knots!”
“We’ll repeat the record attempt in the future” Frans added. “But for now it’s important that Erwin gets well again soon. Thanks to organizers Ivo Stomp and Cedric Jones, we could raise some money to cover costs and give his wife the possibility to stay in Curaçao during his recovery, close to him. It’s also a moral support.”