Heineken Windfest Barbados 2008
The Heineken Windfest Barbados 2008 is a celebration of the excellent wind and wave conditions that are experienced in Barbados for wind and kite surfing. The Windfest is now in it’s third year and will take place over two days from Saturday May 31st & Sunday June 1st from 9am until 5pm on both days on Accra Beach, which is located on the south coast of the island.
Last year’s event was held over a three day holiday weekend at Silver Rock Beach and saw competitors from Barbados, Italy, Germany, Poland, France and the UK.
Last year’s Windsurfing Slalom racing was won by French man Dupont, the Windsurfing Expression Session was won by Barbadian Gregg Howard, the Kite Surfing Expression was won by fellow Barbadian and local kite surf instructor Junior and the Grande Finale Downwind Race was a tie between local kite surf instructor Steve Campbell from Redeye Kite surfing and Junior again.
This year there will be plenty of activity over the two days out on the water as competitors from all over Europe, the UK and Barbados showcase their talents in Wind Surfing and Kite Surfing competitions.
Boards Magazine in the UK also ran a competition in association with Virgin Holidays, which gave one lucky winner the opportunity to travel to Barbados for the event. This prize was won by Jeremy Diamond from England. Virgin Holidays also offered a special rate for UK wind sports enthusiasts to get to Barbados for the event.
On the beach there will be beach games such as volleyball and tug of war, and Zed’s Surfing Adventures will be running paddleboard races throughout the two days. The event is very family orientated with plenty to keep the whole family amused with a two day beach party with a BBQ, entertainment and a fully stocked bar. There will also be daily prize draws for the spectators with prizes from Diamonds International.
On the Saturday night there is an after party at Surfer’s Café in Oistins with live entertainment from Jomo Keita Lord and the prize draw will be held.
Competitors will race in four categories and they are:
The Diamonds International Fossil Windsurf Slalom Racing where four competitors race in a figure of eight around two buoys. Each competitor will be given the same equipment on which to race. The start and finish line is on the beach, with a Le Mans style start where racers run to their equipment, beach start and sail to the first buoy, jibe and then back to the second buoy, jibe and complete the figure of eight, then race back to the finish line on the beach. This will be run on a simple knock out ladder system, whereby first and second of each heat go through to the next round and the bottom two sailors get knocked out. This event is the main basis for the entire competition and will run over the two days to ensure competitors get the best opportunity to showcase their talents. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place overall in the two-day event.
The Diamonds International Fossil Windsurf Expression Sessions
will be held over the two days as and when wind conditions are at their best. The event is for wind surfers to show off their freestyle and wave maneuvers. Competitors will use their own equipment and the crowd will judge who they think is best. The heats will feature between four and eight competitors depending on the wind conditions, and there will be a time limit of 10 minutes per round. Points are awarded on a less is more basis i.e. if a competitor comes first that is 1 point, and if a sailor comes fourth that is 4 points, then over the two days the sailor with the least points is the winner. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place overall in the two-day event.
The Diamonds International Fossil Kite Surfing Expression Sessions
will be held over the two days as and when wind conditions are at their best. The event is for kite surfers to show off their tricks and acrobatics. Competitors will use their own equipment and the crowd will judge who they think is best. The heats will feature four competitors and there will be a time limit of 10 minutes per round. Points are awarded on a less is more basis i.e. if a competitor comes first that is 1 point, and if a competitor comes fourth that is 4 points, then over the two days the competitor with the least points is the winner. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place overall in the two-day event.
The Diamonds International Fossil Grande Finale Downwind Race
This event is the grand finale of the Heineken Windfest 2008. All competitors are invited to race from the Long Beach back to the finish line at Accra Beach. The event is for all wind crafts – wind surfers, kite surfers or any other wind craft! Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third racers over the line.
If you would like to enter the competition to win great designer prizes from Diamonds International then please come along to Surfer’s Bay Beach Bar, Silver Sands on Friday May 30th 2008 at 8pm. The entry fee is $25 BDS.
After the final race on Sunday, there will be a closing ceremony and prize giving to the competitors along with the final prize draw for the spectators.
For more information on Wind and Kite Surfing in Barbados please read our article below.