2011 Aruba Grand Slam
Event Preview: Gear up for some explosive action as the world’s finest freestyle and slalom sailors assemble in Aruba for the second leg of Caribbean competition.
The dazzling island of Aruba has a rich tapestry of windsurfing history, having previously hosted PWA (then PBA) events for ten consecutive years. After a 13-year break the PWA will be making its return to the island for 8 days of exhilarating action. From the 19th – 26th June the world’s most outstanding freestyle and slalom sailors will take to the crystal clear water, to fight it out for all important ranking points and a share of the €90,000 prize purse.
Due to its tantalizing trade winds and relaxed Caribbean culture, Aruba has established itself as one of the most idyllic windsurfing locations in the world, and therefore the perfect spot to host the next stop on the world tour. The action will take place off the white sands of Palm Beach, marking the 4th Slalom and men’s freestyle event of the season and the 2nd women’s freestyle show down.
Aruba has previously seen many windsurfing god’s confront their demons on its shores including the speed machine, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear), and the world famous ripper Robby Naish.
Aruba: The low down
Local legend and three times world freestyle champion Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) has provided us with an insight into why Aruba is the perfect spot for the next stop on the world tour.
“The moment you step out of the airport you will slip into the relaxed, laid back atmosphere of the island. Competition will take place at the Fisherman’s Huts, where the water is shallow, blue and perfect for freestyle. As you go out a little deeper into the slalom area it gets a bit choppy, but not too much because the surrounding reef keeps it relatively flat. The trade winds blow from the north east usually between 15-25 knots but it can get up to 30 when it’s really going for it. Aruba is an amazing place and there are loads of things to keep you entertained.”
Dates to Remember
19th June: Freestyle registration and start of freestyle competition.
22nd June: Slalom registration / Possible first day of Slalom competition
23rd June: Final day of freestyle and Freestyle awards.
6th June: Final day of slalom and slalom awards ceremony.
Keep an eye out
Forty of the world’s fastest men have signed up to take on the fourth stop of the 2011 slalom tour. Big names Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear), Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) and Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North) will be fired up after the disputes in Costa Brava, and ready to defend their positions as current leaders on the tour.
After spectacular performances earlier on in the season, Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic), Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun / Dakine), Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails) and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) will be pulling on the power in an attempt squeeze out some extra speed, in order to ruffle some feathers at the top of the rankings ladder.
Also in the mix Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) and Finian Maynard (RRD) will be looking to deliver perfect performances in Aruba to cover up any mistakes made early on in the season. These racers are big contenders to make some changes to the top of the scoreboard.
Entering round three of the women’s slalom world tour, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) currently holds the top spot. As competition moves onto her playground she will be more inspired than ever to claim this event for herself, in front of her home fans.
However Offringa has some tough competition and these ladies won’t let her take it without a fight. Korea’s winner Valérie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) looks to be back on form having suffered from a shoulder injury this winter, her second appearance this season in Aruba is sure to put her in a strong position at the top of the table.
Former world champion Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) will be re-joining the tour in Aruba having unfortunately missed out on the competition in Korea. She will be ready to reinstate her position back at the top of the podium.
Rapid racers; Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) and Lena Erdil (Loft / Mystic / AL360) and Lise Vidal (Exocet / North) have each scored consistent positions so far this season and they will be on the hunt make their way to the front.
The freestyle fleet will be making the small hop from Bonaire to commence round four on the 2011 tour. Fresh from his second event win of the season, Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) will be hungry for more, and ready to fight off the attacks from the European freestyle wizard Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra), and fellow Bonaire boys Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic) and Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra).
Three times world champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North), is yet to claim an event victory this season, he will be looking to give everything he has got in Aruba to make his mark on the 2011 world tour.
Also bidding for the top spots Canadian Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine), and Dutch whiz kid Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra) who will be taking full advantage of Aruba’s super flat water to work their way through their most radical moves.
Standout sailors Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails), Choco Frans (F2), Dieter Van Der Eyen (Starboard / Severne) and Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde / Dakine) will also be making an appearance in Aruba where they will continue their rampage towards the top of the rankings.
Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde) will also be making his 2011 debut freestyle appearance, expect to see massive moves as three times world champion makes his way through the heats in a bid to get his claws back into the top spot.
Aruba will see the female fleet enter round number two of their 2011 tour, multi-talented Offringa is likely to have the upper hand having been raised on the turquoise waters of Palm Beach.
Hot on her heals Swiss styler Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North), will continue her campaign to take lime light away from Offringa. Having challenged Offringa in the four finals in Bonaire, Treboux’s motivation looks to be at an all-time high.
Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Dakine) and Yoli De Brent (Fanatic / North) currently sit slightly further down the ranks, they will be looking to make the most out of their time in Aruba to prove themselves worthy of a position on the podium.
Keep your eyes peeled from June 19th as the world’s finest freestylers promise to shake up the Caribbean culture with an array of acrobatic excellence, followed by pedal to the metal, edge of your seat action, from the slalom fleet.
Scope the Action
The PWA is proud to announce that the entire 2011 Aruba Hi Winds Grand Slam Pro-Am will be streamed live via PWA TV on www.pwaworldtour.com. Weather depending, coverage of day one of competition is scheduled to begin at 2pm Sunday 19th June (UTC -4), when the sailors will take to the water.
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
Here you can use our:
- Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
- Check live elimination ladders
- View results
- Read daily news summaries
- Browse awesome action photo galleries
- Follow the event live, with top class commentary from pros and industry insiders.
There’s also a dedicated event website which can be found at http://hiwinds-aruba.com/
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org