Sunfish sailor Jurgen Schneider from Curaçao won the Budget Marine Cup during the fourth edition of the Aruba Rembrandt Regatta. Thirty-three sailboats competed for the cup at Eagle Beach, while about 50 Optimist sailors, wind surfers and kite surfers competed in their own divisions.
Challenging conditions tested competitors during 50 races sailed from August 10th to 12th.
The first day of the regatta started in gale force winds with the traditional Round Aruba Race. The race was won by Captain Remco van Dortmondt’s Dash from Curaçao, making it a repeat performance of 2010. Only two other yachts managed to finish the course, the Aruban yacht Eva Luna, captained by regatta organizer Eric Mijts, which finished in second place, and Captain Svan Schneider and Screaming Eagle, which finished third.
On Saturday and Sunday, yachts, Sunfish, beach cats, Optimists, wind surfers and kite surfers took to the water. For those who still had the energy, there was a 5K running competition organized by the Aruba Roadrunners and Walking Club (ARRUWAC), and a 1K and 2K swimming competition.
Saturday’s sailing conditions were described as ‘ideal’ with a strong and steady wind. On Sunday the weather changed and the remnants of a tropical depression brought rain and gusty breeze interspersed by calms. The fluky conditions guaranteed a few surprises out on the course.
Over 160 participants from Aruba, Curaçao, St. Martin and the U.S., took part in the regatta, and hundreds of people followed the competition from the beach. The regatta beach tennis competition was a success with about 300 participants competing for their ITF ranking. Regatta organizer Eric Mijts said he was pleased to hear from several tourists who told him they came to Aruba especially for the Aruba Rembrandt Regatta. He added, “This was a good sign as it illustrates the great value of the event for Aruban tourism.”
Competition in the dingy and beach class divisions was fierce. The father and daughter team of Martin and Nicole van de Velden grabbed first place in the beach cat class. Francis van Baaren and Henk Hankart finished in second place and Rob and Sil Grijpma finished third.
Jurgen Schneider, from Curaçao, convincingly won the Sunfish competition, with second place going to well-known Aruban sailor Richard van der Wal. Curaçao’s Gareth Weber finished third. Schneider was so impressed by the regatta that he generously donated his prize of 1000 Aruban florins (557USD), sponsored by Budget Marine, to the Aruban Sunfish Club.
For the second time the regatta also featured an Optimist competition, organized by sailing school SYWA (Stichting Youth Watersports Aruba). First place in the starter group went to eight-year-old Vivian Hankart. She was followed by Ivan Nora-Delgado and Alaxander van der Velde. The advanced Optimist races were won by Matthijs de Kool. Jort Hartmans finished second and Nathan Winterdal was third.
Pechi Pechacek completed a hat trick, winning the windsurfing competition for the third year in a row. Maki Wiggins and Philip Kervel finished second and third, respectively.
Ethan Westera sailed to victory in the Pro Kids wind surfing ahead of Aron Etmon and Matthias Verploeg. In the Super Kids wind surfing competition, first place went to Curaçao’s Jean-Paul da Silva. Sam Keffener was second and Sjoerd Hoek third.
Regatta organizers claim they were delighted with this year’s event, and noted it will be remembered for the number of international participants and good competition. They said about twenty volunteers put all their energy into making the event a success and that everyone looks forward to the Jubilee Edition in 2013.
Full results, photos and list of sponsors can be found at http://aruba-regatta.com
Report submitted by Eric Mijts