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Aruba Hi-Winds 2019

Aruba Hi-Winds Continues its Legacy as Caribbean’s Longest Running Annual Sporting Event

In 1986, local avid windsurfers Anthony Blok and Ruben Croes wanted to share Aruba’s ideal conditions and weather for this then-up-and-coming sport.

The idea to host a world-class pro-am event quickly came to fruition, with the first Aruba Hi-Winds Pro-Am in 1987.  The event was successful out of the gate, with notable pro athletes of that era, including Björn Dunkerbeck , Robby Naish, Anders Bringdal, Stephan van den Berg, Jutta Müller, Britt Dunkerbeck, and Natalie Lelièvre, traveling to Aruba to compete. Year after year, the event's popularity grew, positioning Aruba as a premier destination for windsurfing on the water-sports world map.

The original venue of Eagle Beach provided challenging waves and wind for exciting competitions, but the event was eventually moved to the glassy waters of its current location at Fisherman’s Huts, making it more accessible for amateur athletes.

The largest amateur windsurfing and kite boarding competition in the world takes place every year in Aruba.   Hundreds of competitors vie for medals in various categories.  While most of the kite boarding competitions take place on the southern end of the island at Boca Grandi, the majority of the events take place at Fisherman’s Huts, just past The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba.  Hi-Winds is a great spectator event as well, with a full agenda of beach parties, fashion shows, and concerts to enjoy.

The amateur events became the cornerstone of Aruba Hi-Winds throughout the years, allowing local and regional athletes to participate and test their skills on an international stage.  Aruba’s windsurfing darling, Sarah-Quita Offringa—a 19-time World Champion--first tested her mettle and gained valuable competition experience on her home waters of Aruba before becoming a fulltime professional windsurfer traveling the globe and bringing further awareness to her island’s windsurfing scene.

In 2002, Hi-Winds expanded to add the sport of kitesurfing, with Boca Grandi on the southern end of the island as the venue for these competitions.  Today, Hi-Winds brings more fun on and off the water to the schedule, with competition categories including kite foiling, SUP, Sunfish sailing, and mountain biking. 

Aruba Hi Winds

Hi-Winds is now the longest running annual sporting event in the Caribbean, with 2023’s edition numbering in the hundreds for competitors and more than a thousand fans attending over several days of competitions and events. 

What makes Hi-Winds so popular is the beach lifestyle and sense of community that surround the competitions.  Comparatively, the world’s largest and most popular beach tennis event is the Aruba Beach Tennis Open, world-renowned for the ambiance surrounding the competitions, attracting thousands of fans that come for the energy and vibe as much as the exciting matches.  The Aruba Hi-Winds parallels this beach festival atmosphere with live local bands, deejays, performers, beach fashion shows, and pop-up local food vendors, for an ambiance that’s fun for competitors and local and visiting fans.  The 2024 edition of Aruba Hi-Winds is scheduled for May 8-13.

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