The Aruba International Regatta, slated for August 20th & 21st

Aruba’s most important life-partner is the ocean around us.
Ask yourself: When was the last time you went to the beach? Swimming? Snorkeling? Sailing? ArVisitors pay fortunes to come to Aruba to swim with the turtles, while most of us are indifferent to their existence.

The upcoming Aruba International Regatta, wants to remind us that the Blue Highway is open and available, not just for business, but mainly for play.

The regatta aspires to bring us out to the beach, to enjoy a free, physical and emotional activity, mostly powered by wind.

Think about this happy marriage of ocean and wind, ever-present, hugging Aruba on all sides, a forceful, eternal wonder with the power to lift our spirits up, and allow us to soar, literally, above all.

We need to think more about the ocean, it is the cradle of our livelihood, our partner in tourism, not just a food reservoir, but also medicine for the soul. It soothes and consoles us, invigorates and inspires. And as such it deserves protection, we must mend our ways when considering the ocean, how we use and abuse it, and the impact this has on our life on the island. It must be a give and take.

What happens if we do nothing to protect and conserve our ocean?

For ARF, Aruba Regatta Foundation, the boat races are just an excuse to get us out of our homes and offices into flipflops and bathing suits. The races are planned on Saturday August 20th and Sunday August 21st, 2022, in different categories, two exciting days of sailing and fun at Surfside Aruba. The race is headquartered around the popular beach bar.

The Regatta will welcome regional sailors from Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, after a two-year hiatus. The last successful meet unfolded in 2019, and you can view the gorgeous pictures by Chibi van der Hans at @arubaregatta.

Expected to participate: Mini sailboats, Beachcats, Optimists, Kites, IQ-Foils, Windsurfers, Sunfishes, Lasers and Yachts, all racing right in front of the Oranjestad waterfront in what promises to be a beautiful spectacle.

Eric Mijts was chief organizer of the Aruba International Regatta, for eleven years, this year’s events will be handled by Rik van der Vaart and Anthony Hagedoorn.

Rik, his own company, with wife Pamela, has always been involved with the Regatta. Besides sponsoring the Regatta, they drive its higher purpose of sustainability. As Eric stepped down from the presidency, Rik will be handling most of the strategic organization. ARF is grateful for his significant, continued support!

Anthony Hagedoorn? No one knows our waters better than Anthony, who at the age of twenty started his professional career as a charter boat captain, and sails our waters every day!

Rik reports he learned to sail from his father, and I am asking myself how many contemporary fathers are taking their kids to the beach weekends, to teach them how to sail?

Rik sees the Regatta as an opportunity to wake up the island to the importance of our harmonious sustainable co-existence with the ocean around us, and collaborates with FPNA to educate all participants about the upcoming Aruba Marine Park, now part of the national park.

The goal is to attract as many young sailors as possible to the Regatta, instilling love for sailing in the young generation and connecting Arubans and visitors to Nature, in order to grow awareness and encourage care for preservation of the single most important resource have, and depend on.

ASD Aruba has also been working with the Regatta on the shift from disposable plastics to sustainable solutions, pioneering alternatives for single-use plastics, at hotels and restaurants and on the beach.

The ARF opening event will be held on Friday, August 19th, at 5 pm, at the University of Aruba, and the first races run on Surfside Beach from 9 am, August 20th & 21st.

All captains, crew, volunteers, sponsors, sailing clubs such as WRCA and SYWA, Clifford Rosa and Stichting Rancho, and anybody interested in the Aruba International Regatta can register here to get all necessary information.

The award ceremony is scheduled for 6 pm, on Sunday, August 21st, and you are invited.

For more information visit

Article written by Rona Coster