CABARETE, Dominican Republic - After a tropical rain shower in the early morning, skies turned blue, letting the hot Caribbean sun rays shine to give way to an amazing day of fun with wind and waves for some of Dominican Republic’s most complete water sports athletes; mostly local, some international. Fun in the sun is the best way to describe this amazing event, the Master of the Ocean Festival.
At Kite Beach Cafe, located about two kilometers west of Cabarete, world-class water athletes surfed, kite surfed, wind surfed and stand up paddled, to the delight of hundreds of visitors, who came together to show their passion for the ocean, and sports.
Legendary Pedro Caba, ambassador of IndepenDance, the musical side of Master of the Ocean, took control of the festive mood, with his electronic beats. The morning conditions challenged the SUP and surfers, as the reef is located about 500 meters into ocean. However, the breeze that created less than ideal conditions in the morning picked up beautifully in the afternoon, making way for better conditions favoring Freestyle Kite and Windsurf on and off. An enthusiastic crowd mingled about kite and surf equipment basking in the lawn of Kite Beach Club; children ran about freely. Even mutts seemed to be having the time of their life; everyone knows Cabarete has evolved to a peace and love community for water sports lovers.
Photos: Norman Rochon
The end of the day brought a delightful surprise when the children of Fedujazz made an unexpected and impressive appearance. Fedujazz is a non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion of opportunity and musical education for young boys and girls of the North Shore of the Dominican Republic. Over 20 children amazed the public with a big band performance, grabbing the attention and hearts of all.
After the Fedujazz appearance, all eyes turned to the water for the late show, where we saw athletes frolicking and flying over the water, some in foils, showcasing an array of moves. Cabarete riders are proud of their knack, and love a good competition. Today, however, was just a happy occasion to show off their undeniable talent. Luminaries of the water sports such as Luciano González, Michael “Gebi” Gebhardt, Franzi Fix, Diego Anta and Alex Soto gave quite a show, while the women displayed sassy action on kites. Audrey Meyer, Carolina Comino and Suami Cavallo took the spotlight, among others.
Children of Fedujazz. | Photo: Carlos González
“The whales, which traditionally make an appearance every year during the Master of the Ocean, were missed this year,” said Marcus Bohm, the event founder. “We shall be expecting them during the competition next February.”
The Master of the Ocean Festival will come back three more times this year, as its vision is to bring the spirit of celebration every four months to this incredible destination. The events are just a reminder of what lays ahead, the main event, a 5-day competition, which will bring the planet’s water sports super heroes to battle it out over wind and waves for the prize of the Master of the Ocean 2019 title.
Moreover, expect more action during the water sports events ahead such as the DR Open, March 1st to March 4th, Pablito Guzmán Classic and of course the major happening that is Susi Mai Invitational, when the world’s finest kite boarders meet on the North Shore. Both events are in July.
Background information on Master of the Ocean:
Created by German waterman Marcus Bohm in 2003, the Master of the Ocean was originally conceived as the “Ironman of Water Sports”, featuring the four disciplines of surf, windsurf, kite surf and SUP. The much-anticipated competition will return on February 23, 2019, with a new format of 8 overall athletes and 8 teams of four riders (one for every discipline). The 8 overall athletes will master all disciplines, with all competing for the coveted Master of the Ocean title. The past three titles have gone to undefeated Zane “InZane” Schweitzer, world champion waterman from Hawaii.
Zane Schweitzer | Photo: Tony Roberts
The idea behind the event is to provide an opportunity for Dominican athletes to compete side by side with international professionals, and be catapulted to the limelight of water sports. This is especially on point at this moment, when surfing and kite surfing have joined windsurfing in the Youth Olympic Games to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018.
Cabarete was chosen as the best playground for this event as it presents ideal conditions year-round for watersports. Now Cabarete is proud to be a training ground for future Olympians. Things are looking up for this thriving community!
As the Master of the Ocean Festival is an event which serves the community, the event had the support of over 30 sponsors. To name a few: Ministerio de Turismo República Dominicana, Viralata Beer, Casa Linda City Sosúa, Millennium Resort and Spa Cabarete, Dakine, Jumbo, Ojo|Lax Club Cabarete, Encuentro Beach Cabarete, Hotel El Magnífico, Cabarete Palm Beach Condos, Villas Marinas, Carib Wind, Berges Law, Europcar and 321Takeoff Surf School.
More information about this event on www.masteroftheocean.com