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2023 Caribbean Foiling Championships Kick Off in Style

by Caribbean Foiling Championships 8 Dec 2023 11:44 GMT December 8-10, 2023
Caribbean Foiling Championships kick off in style © Thirty Zero Thirty

Orient Bay came alive on Thursday, December 7, as the registration day marked the commencement of the highly anticipated 2023 Caribbean Foiling Championships. This edition follows a windless hiatus in 2022, making the return even more thrilling.

Participants from the Caribbean and beyond have flocked to the event to showcase their skills in the increasingly popular discipline of foiling board to limit water resistance which elevates the rider above the water. As such, foilboarders seem to be floating above the surface in a fast, free and fluid movement. With the inclusion of foiling in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the sport has gained tremendous popularity.

This year, the Caribbean Foiling Championships has 43 registered riders making it the largest foiling event in the Caribbean. Foiling hailing from various corners of the region including Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Antigua and Puerto Rico. It promises to be an unforgettable showcase of the rapidly growing sport of foiling. The competition is set to be fierce, with riders from diverse backgrounds converging to push the boundaries of the sport and make this edition a historic and thrilling experience for all involved.

Wingfoiling, a recent addition to the discipline, has garnered significant attention. The triangular-shaped wing, handled directly by hand without lines (as in kitefoil) or a boom and mast (as in windsurfing), has become a favorite among participants.

Manon Dupe (14 years old) from Guadeloupe, an enthusiastic young wingfoiler, shares, "Wingfoiling is such a fun discipline for young people like me but also for older people like my father. Last year I participated for the first time, and I liked it a lot. With more wind scheduled this year, I will do my utmost best to keep up with the big ones."

Sacha van der Wouden, one of the organizers, notes that the broad appeal of wingfoiling has made it the largest category in the event, with 27 wingfoilers participating!

Windfoiling takes the spotlight this year, with a surge in participation thanks to sponsor CIN/Frigodom. Offering free shipment of gear in their container for participants from Guadeloupe, this convenient solution eliminates the hassle of inter-Caribbean flights and attracts a substantial group of windfoil fanatics.

As the Caribbean Foiling Championships kick off tomorrow, December 8, racing enthusiasts and participants are gearing up for three days of intense competition in Orient Bay. As the championships unfold, all eyes turn to the upcoming Around the Island Race scheduled for December 10. In 2021, local rider Julien Quentel set a breathtaking record of 1h 12m 17s, surpassing the previous record by over 20 minutes.

Julien Quentel, local rider from St. Martin, shares, "I have not been practicing as much as in previous editions, but I hope that my local knowledge of the area, will push my limits."

This year, the competition is even fiercer as riders vie for the coveted title and the extraordinary prize—a luxurious 2-night stay at Belmond - La Samanna, valued at $3000.

The weather forecast holds the promise of optimal conditions, raising the tantalizing question—will this year witness a new record, surpassing the remarkable feat achieved in 2021?

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