Sometimes young kids have big dreams and want to challenge themselves. Nine Optimist sailors between 11 and 15 years of age challenged themselves to sail in an Optimist of 2 ½ meter from Klein Curacao to Curacao, a 30 km crossing on open sea with high waves and strong winds. On Saturday, June 13, kids and their boats embarked on the Mermaid and set off to the remote island of Klein Curacao.
Why did they want to challenge themselves? First of all to make the population more aware that around Curacao we have splendid waters, which we should use to the fullest. Secondly to show that children are able to do more things than one frequently thinks. Also to have an intensive training for the Optinam 2009, with an emphasis on the down wind technique. And finally to raise money to participate in the North American Optimist Championships, the OPTINAM 2009 in the Dominican Republic which were held in Boca Chica June 30th -July 8th.
After a briefing by coach Martin Jenkins, the sailors departed Klein Curacao around 11:00 accompanied by five rescue boats. The conditions were perfect, force 4 to 5 and waves between 1.70 and 1.90 meter. Without any problems, just a couple of capsizes and nosedips, all sailors reached the Lions Dive Hotel safely around 16:30.
Kevin van Otterdijk (14), Kevin Maas (13), Jarrik Bijsterbosch (13), Eugene (15) en Louis (13) Hendrikx, Deion (13) en Jorden (11) van Rooijen and Just (13) en Odile (11) van Aanholt can be very proud of themseleves. At the beach the team was welcomed by parents, family, friends, sponsors and the press. Mr. Millerson and Mr. van Wilgen of the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee presented the AHO flag to the team, congratulated them and wished them good luck at the OPTINAM 2009.
The OPTINAM 2009 team is sponsored by: ENNIA, Banco di Caribe, DAE, Lions Dive Hotel, CMTC, Curaçaose Wegenbouw Maatschappij, Elite Dry Cleaning, Firgos Bonaire, Firgos Curaçao, Hemingway, Livingstone, Mermaid, Onsoftarch, Sambal, Seaquarium, Wet & Wild & Willemstad NV.