Master of Style

Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails) is one of the veteran Bonaire style masters leading the way in cutting edge freestyle. A known innovator, and always seen out sailing with a big smile on his face, Taty and his brother Tonky are national hero’s in their Caribbean home. This season Taty impressed more than ever with his freestyle sailing, currently sitting in second on tour, and surprised many with his performance on the Slalom 42 course too. But this Dutch Antillean is no stranger to racing, having been two times Junior North American IMCO champion long before modern freestyle got the spotlight on the pro scene. Here Taty tells us all about racing, Bonaire and the pool of talent he’s nurturing at home ready to take the freestyle world by storm!


 ‘Well this is my 5th season competing on the PWA World tour now, and to date I seem to have multiple 2nd place finishes  - these were at Fuerteventura, Pozo, Lanzarote and Bonaire, and my best end of the year result so far was 5th in Freestyle.

My targets for 2006 were just to compete in all the disciplines - Freestyle, slalom, Super-X and waves, and so far I am doing pretty okay.

Some people are telling me that I’m ripping this year and that something is different about the way I’m sailing, but I don’t know if I did anything different in the off-season really. I spent most of the year training on Bonaire, and before I went back on tour I did a lot of formula racing with some friends here on Bonaire that maybe helped me with Super X and slalom.

I did most of my freestyle sailing with Kiri, and we are pretty much pushing the limit now at Lac Bay. There's nothing specific that I can describe that’s prepared me for competition - all I can say is that it's just love for what I like to do and to do it the best I can! In fact that love for the sea and just being out on the water doing all kind of crazy stuff is the main thing that motivates me, especially when you see the little kids that look up to me and they always tell me ‘I want to be like you Taty!’

Bonaire is the only place I train for the whole PWA tour. Here at home we can have all kinds of conditions with about 8 spots where I can train with different sea and wind combinations, so as much as I love travelling, I guess for now Bonaire will remain my place to train.

After starting the Slalom 42 this year I would really like to keep doing it. Kevin Pritchard sorted out some race sails for me for Pozo and Fuerteventura, and at the moment I’m talking to MauiSails to get me some more Race sails to compete in Sylt. If this works out then next year I will definitely compete in Slalom again. I’ll also be sure to go with faster better boards, as so far this season I was on the Starboard STYPE 104, which just wasn’t quite fast enough, but I still did pretty okay against the bigger guys... haha! I really need and appreciate all the support I can get, as basically I survive from the help my grandparents, Starboard, MauiSails, Gsport, Fiberspar, and Sola give me.

So who else is up and coming in Bonaire? Well by now you’ve seen Choco, Kiri, Clay, and Ruben on tour. The truth is we have two young guys who've been sailing for about 2 years now, and they are doing most of the new moves, but they need more sailing experience and to come on the PWA tour just yet would be a mistake. Only when they’re ready will I tell you who they are and all about them, and then hopefully they’ll get support and you guys will see them ripping in competition!’

Thanks Taty!

© PWA / Brian McDowell