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Derek Bongaertz Wins Curaçao Sunfish Championship

On the Podium (from left): Tijn van der Gulik (2nd), Derek Bongaertz (Champion) and Darius Bérénos (3rd)

The 43rd National Championship for the Sunfish Class, organized by the Curaçao Sunfish Sailing Association, was held the third weekend of September. Sunfish sailors battled over two days for the prestigious title of Champion of Curaçao, both days with plenty of wind, competing on long distance courses in the morning and short ones in the afternoon. This traditionally popular class on Curaçao has produced a couple of world champions for the island in the past. The National Championship is certainly one of the more important races during the year, where younger and more experienced sailors, including four former champions, competed and did their utmost to finish at the top.

The local sailors were joined by six fierce competitors from Bonaire, all of whom sailed downwind for seven hours on Friday to be there for the start of the regatta.

Derek Bongaertz dominated the competition finishing tops with an 11 point advantage and sailing a total of five bullets. Sipke Stapert, from Bonaire, ended the weekend in second place while multiple former champion Jürgen Schneider took third place. Bongaertz (17), also won the Youth title followed by youngsters Tijn van der Gulik and Darius Bérénos.

During the prize giving, CSSA President Alex Roose announced that Bongaertz, van der Gulik and Bérénos will represent Curaçao in November at the Sunfish Youth World Championship in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

Editor’s note: Competing in the Senior division will be the masters Cor van Aanholt a former Olympian and the 1980 Sunfish World Champion, and Jan Burgers.

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