Wind surfers at Sorobon - Photo Inge Poorthuis
This weekend marks the start of the Regatta 2023. This sailing event is one of Bonaire's most popular and well-attended events. Besides various sailing and surfing competitions, the event is also full of other festive and sporting activities. In this blog, we'll let you know what's on during this event from Sunday, October 8 through Saturday, October 14.
The Regatta attracts many visitors every year. Both residents of Bonaire and residents of the surrounding islands, such as Aruba and Curaçao. Local airlines respond to this by offering extra flights between the islands. Local businesses on Bonaire often have special offers and rates during this week. A good time to do some shopping.
Swim to Klein Bonaire
Traditionally, the Regatta opens with the Swim to Klein Bonaire, which we wrote this blog about earlier. This sporting event is organized on Sunday, October 8. In the early morning, hundreds of participants dive into the water to swim from Bonaire to Klein Bonaire. Something that normally, due to the busy shipping traffic, is not allowed. An extraordinary experience.
Sunfish boots at Kas di Regatta - Photo Inge Poorthuis
The Regatta is, of course, dominated by various sailing and surfing competitions. On Sunday, Oct. 8, windsurfing competitions will be held at Sorobon. The races start at 9:00 AM and last until 6:00 PM.
The sailing competitions in downtown Kralendijk start at Kas di Regatta on Thursday, October 12 and last until Saturday, October 14. From the promenade you will have an excellent view of the races. The races are those days from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, except on Saturday, when the races last until 5:00 PM. After the races on Saturday is the awards ceremony.
If you want to participate in the races you can register on Friday, October 6, from 5:00 - 8:00 PM. Then from 7:00 - 8:00 PM the SKAL opening ceremony will be held. Participants who want to compete in the races with their yacht can register on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
The boulevard in Kralendijk - Photo Inge Poorthuis
In addition to a swimming event and the sailing races, there will also be a running event organized by COMCABON, the Regattaloop 2023. This will take place on Wednesday, October 11 and will start at 5:30 PM from the stadium in Kralendijk. The distances that can be run are 2 or 5 kilometers. Registration for this run can be done on Friday, October 6 from 5:00 -7:00 PM or on Saturday, October 7 from 3:00 - 7:00 PM at the sports hall at the Kaya Amsterdam. For children under 16, participation is free. If you are older, you pay USD 5 per person.
Entertainment during the Regatta
During the Regatta, DJs and local bands provide music every night. From Sunday to Tuesday several DJ's will play music on the stage at Wilhelmina Park in the center of Kralendijk from 6.00 to 11.00 PM. Local bands will also perform and provide the audience with a dazzling show.
Starting Wednesday, October 11, the musical activities will move to the Main Stage in the parking lot of the Bestuurscollege. This parking lot is located next to Wilhelmina Park. Wednesday night starts with a flag parade, which always attracts many spectators. Through Sunday, Oct. 14, there will be performances by DJs and bands every night. These performances begin at 6:00 PM and last until 1:30 in the morning.
Boat Party at the North Pier - Photo Inge Poorthuis
On Saturday, October 14, the closing of the Regatta, there will again be a Boat Party in the center of Kralendijk. This splashing party is organized around the North Pier. From 10:00 am you are welcome with your boat or floatie. Of course the DJ's will entertain the public during this party on and in the water.
During the Regatta many eateries, bars and even a few food trucks will be present on the party grounds. There will also be several booths with art in Wilhelmina Park during the event.