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Aruba Hi-Winds Kicking Off Its 33rd Edition!

The month of July is here, and so locals as well as international windsurfers and kiteboarders are getting their gear ready for the annual Aruba Hi-Winds, the largest watersports event of its kind in the Caribbean. This year, the event is celebrating its 33rd anniversary. A lot of things have changed since the early years, in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, when professional windsurfers used to come to Aruba to compete. Aruba Hi-Winds, however, has always managed to follow the latest trends. In the past 20 years, it was a popular amateur event, bringing in participants from the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean. Kiteboarding has become an important part of the event, as has the mountain bike competition. Aruba Hi-Winds has moved with the times and it is here to stay, so expect the beach of Fisherman’s Huts to fill up with colorful sails and enthusiastic athletes once again in the first week of July.

The event is important for Aruba’s tourism, but also for the island’s locals. Through the years, several disciplines have been added—a mountain bike race and the Windpark Vader Piet Big-Air—and kitesurfing now attracts spectators and participants alike. Each year enthusiastic volunteers and sponsors strive to make the Hi-Winds an event with “hopi ambiente.”

Aruba can boast several talented windsurfers, including Sarah-Quita Offringa, multiple world champion in freestyle and slalom. She was born and raised on this island and has been a participant at the Aruba Hi-Winds through the years. The same counts for Ethan Westera, who just claimed the title of IFCA Slalom World Champion in 2017.

This year the Aruba Hi-Winds event is shortened, but more than ever is offered. More action on the water during the day is guaranteed with a full schedule. In the weekend of July 5 till 7, the windsurfers and kiteboarders will start their competitions over the course of three long-distance races. In the meantime, kitesurfers will battle for the Windpark Vader Piet Big Air trophy on Saturday and Sunday in front of the Fisherman’s Huts. The competitors will try to make their highest jump, and it will be measured electronically with a WOO device!

The renewed beach provides an open look and creates a nice festival atmosphere, with action on the water, live music from bands and DJs, and good food provided by Asu Mare, Arucamba, and Pofferdorie. The event’s host DJ, DJ CJ, will provide the best tunes during the day. A new band, The Night Angelsz, will be performing Friday. On Saturday, Honeypot and DJ 101 will perform. On Sunday, the awesome tunes of Mystical Connection, Tsunami, and DJ Nutzbeatz will fill the air. On July 8, the traditional awards ceremony will be held at Paseo Herencia.

For the first time ever, Aruba Hi-Winds will be live streaming. Two fixed cameras and a drone controlled by someone in a boat will cover the live stream. The public on the beach will be able to follow the races on a screen!

Together with the Aruba Hi-Winds committee members, the organizers of the event, Harm Kruize and Jordi Hoekstra, have worked hard to put together a great event. They are inviting everyone who loves sun, sea, watersports, cold beer, and live entertainment to come enjoy the Aruba Hi-Winds at Fishermen’s Huts, July 4 till 8.

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