As Sunday, December 10 approached, anticipation filled the air for the renowned Around the Island Race—an event that promised a spectacular showcase of skill and determination.
Mahe Thebault (Guadeloupe, Wingfoil Pro) engaged in thrilling competition with Anthony Smith (Martinique, Wingfoil Pro) over the past three racing days. Mahe clinched first place after a remarkable performance in the ‘Half Way Around the Island Race.’ Not stopping there, he continued the race, completing a full circle of the island. Mahe shared, “I really wanted to fully go Around the Island, and I made it! Lots of muscle soreness, but it was worth it!” . He secured the title of the second Wingfoiler ever to complete the full Around the Island Race, setting an ‘unofficial new record’ for his discipline at 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 40 seconds.
Manon Dupe (Guadeloupe, Wingfoil Pro), accompanied by her father, Frederic Dupe, participated for the second time in the event. Braving the wind, Manon finished at Belmond – La Samanna, Baie Longue, ranking 7th in her class. Manon expressed, “This was a cool race and great to practice different skills. I am very happy as I was the first woman to cross the finish line!” Manon Dupe received the award for the best female foiler of the event, thanks to her long-distance result.
Wingfoil Leisure Class
For the Leisure Class, reaching the finish line was an achievement for most, as 7 out of 26 wingfoilers did not make it. Valerie Boyer (St. Martin, Wingfoil Leisure) shared her experience, saying, “This event has been an amazing experience, and I have learned so much! Next year I will make it to the end of the long-distance race—a great goal to practice lots.”
Julien Quentel (St. Martin, Kitefoil Pro), the record holder of the Around the Island Race set in 2021, entered the race with caution. He stated, “I will try to win this race, but I am not sure if I can beat my previously set record. The weather conditions are different, and top priority is to keep everything intact so that I can win this race!” Julien came in first over the finish line in 1 hour and 15 minutes, falling short of beating his own seemingly unbreakable record by 3 minutes.
In the Windfoil Pro Class, Lucas Marot (St. Barths, Windfoil Race) emerged victorious. Despite being in the middle of the pack after Friday and Saturday’s races, Lucas expressed, “The Around the Island Race is the race where I am coming for, and I have something to uphold as in 2021 I came in first in my class as well!” He delivered on his goal, securing the first position during the Around the Island Race.
Maximum Security for the Around the Island Race
Ensuring the safety of all riders took precedence. Safety boats were strategically placed around the island, and all riders were geolocalized in real time with a sim card provided by Dauphin Telecom. Two riders had to be rescued due to gear issues and fatigue, but no physical incidents were reported.
Sacha van der Wouden and Maxim van den Pol, the organizers, extend their heartfelt gratitude to all sponsors and supporters for their invaluable contributions that brought the fourth edition of the Caribbean Foiling Championships to life. They express thanks to those who played vital roles in managing logistics and safety, the dedicated volunteers, competitors who traveled from various islands and countries, and Club Wind Adventures (Orient Bay) for providing an incredible location. With conviction, they believe that this event brings positivity not only to the island but also to the Caribbean at large!
Results can be found here: https://caribbeanfoiling.com/st-martin/results
Official event photo’s by Agnès Etchegoyen
- Download High Resolution Pictures: here
- Download Press Release (English) here
- Download Press Release (French) here
The Caribbean Foiling Championships is an annual foiling event that brings together foiling athletes throughout the Caribbean and from around the world. Hosted in the idyllic setting of St. Martin, the championships offer thrilling races in multiple disciplines, including Wingfoil, Windfoil, and Kitefoil, showcasing the beauty and excitement of foiling sports. With a focus on camaraderie, competition, and exceptional racing conditions, the Caribbean Foiling Championships have become a must-attend event for both professional and leisure foilers. For more information, visit www.caribbeanfoiling.com.