Mar 19, 2010
This blog report is from Tom Lepak who works for Vela Aruba, ABK Boardsports and tests gear for Windsport Magazine.
The season is getting into full swing, with many old friends returning and a lot of tourists resulting in really full beginner classes. Winds were heavy early in the week (footstrap, water start and jibe lessons), light wind with big sails for a couple days (it’s good to also be giving leeward side sailing and Heli-Tack lessons), and back to high winds. We even had Vulcan and Loop lessons!
Fix of the year – one of our guests accidentally brought his old harness. The spreader belt was always slipping! His solution was he wanted to drill a hole through the buckle and put a bolt through it! I thought this strange, but in the spirit of ‘the guest is always right’, found a bolt, drilled a hole, and after sailing he was happy as could be! Fortunately the fix was only needed for one day.
On one of my days off, we finally did a tour of the island – it’s been almost 20 years since the last one, guess it’s about time! Boca Grande is a secluded spot on the southwest (windward) part of the island. It is an unpopulated beautiful wavy bay and nice sandy beach and windsurfers have been going there for some wave sailing. I’d love to get over there before I leave.
Back on Aruba’s north side, Arashi Beach has been totally refurbished with paved parking, and many free Palapas. This is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the sun when the wind doesn’t cooperate or the body just needs a little break. On wavy days, just north of Arashi is a nice surfing and body board venue.
Upcoming Events In Aruba!
Everyone is looking forward to this weekend (March 20-21) ‘Sail Wind Kite Beachfest’ event at the Fisherman’s Huts. Taty Frans and Aruba’s own Sarah-Quita Offringa (on her new Gaastra sails) are among the ‘local’ pros attending. This should be a real fun two days with windsurfing events including slalom and freestyle, beach tennis, food, and drinks. Vela instructor Enry’s band will be playing.
June 30 – July 5 is the annual Aruba High Winds just north of Vela at the Fisherman’s Huts. Last year around 70 windsurfers attended a very successful event. This year’s windsurfing disciplines include Racing (Slalom and Long Distance) and Freestyle (single elimination ladder) with Men and Women’s various age divisions and a Sport Fleet. For more information see http://www.hiwinds-aruba.com. Several of the Vela instructors have been seen training for the event.
Something new for this year, Aruba has just been added to the 2010 International Bodyboard Association (IBA International) World Tour. The Arubian Aruwak Pro will be held June 15 – 20. Bodyboarding is becoming popular in Aruba, and the locals are excited to welcome entrants from all over the world. See http://www.ibaworldtour.com for more details.