Breaking ground at Caribbean Foiling Championships
Published on February 21st, 2020
Orient Bay Beach, Saint Martin (February 21, 2020) – A new event kicked off today as 40 motivated competitors gathered to race in the very first edition of the Caribbean Foiling Championships. Racers were a mix-group of seasoned kitefoilers and windfoilers from neighboring Caribbean islands and abroad, together with young riders who were eager to show their skills in foiling.
The first race planned was the Around the Island Race, with the record held by Sebastien Queney from Guadeloupe who completed the tour in 1 hour and 29 minutes last year. As the championships has two categories, a professional and a leisure category, many professional riders were driven to break this record.
Most of the younger riders, as young as 14 years old like Ella Geiger from Antigua and 15 years old Justin Pieterse from Sint Maarten, had never raced in a long distance race before. Nolan Bourgeois, 14 years old windfoiler from Guadeloupe said: “I am a bit nervous but I really want to make it to the finish line, and I think I can even challenge some of the adults.”
Female riders were also in the starting blocks, well decided to show their skills and have fun. “It’s not my first time in Sint Maarten but first time foiling here” said Cora Maziere from Martinique, backed up by her team of supporters.
Contestants were coming from as far as Greece, the Netherlands, France, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Antigua & Barbuda, Martinique, and the Guadeloupe windfoiler team even chartered their own plane to come down due to the large volume of their gears.
A postponement was needed as the wind was too low, and when the delay continued, the course was changed to go around Tintamarre. Windfoilers started first, followed by the professional kitefoilers. The strength of the wind remained a challenge and a couple had to drop out, helped by the rescue boats. The leisure category race was cancelled as it would have been too difficult for contestants to go upwind.
The inaugural event continues tomorrow and concludes on February 23.
Source: Sacha van der Wouden