TONKY FRANS - NB 7
The first Freestyler from Bonaire.
On 30th of March 1983 family Thode-Frans was blessed with a baby boy: Everon Bryan Frans. Everon was a very content boy who was fascinated by Tonka Cars.
It is because of this passion that his aunt gave him the nickname Tonky. Tonky grew up with his grandma and grandpa in the well known neighborhood of Playa Pabou, two streets away from the ocean. He was a genuine ocean boy: he had perfect swimming and fishing skills.
As an 11 years old boy, Tonky used to sit along the ocean in Playa and look at Elvis ‘Piskechi’ Martinus sail from north to south on a board. He approached Piskechi and was introduced to the sport of Windsurfing. Tonky was practically hypnotized by the sport. He received a board from Piskechi and used the board to train in the waters of Playa. He fell in love with windsurfing the moment he windsurfed for the first time in Sorobon. From that time on he was inseparable from his windsurf board. Nothing could keep him away from windsurfing. He would walk to Sorobon from his home if necessary to go windsurfing.
Tonky participated very successfully in all our Bonerian Regatta’s. However he had an urge to participate at events outside Bonaire. At the age of 16 years Tonky participated in Aruba Hi-Winds where he was crowned King of the Huts. The crowd was pleased with his dynamism, his clean style of doing the same moves other riders do and most of all his friendliness. At the age of 17 years he got the opportunity to participate for the title of King of the Lake in Boston. This would be his first international event in very cold water. Nonetheless Tonky managed to get in the top three of this event. Tonky left Boston with a board sponsorship, a sails sposorship and a fins sponsorship!
One year later Tonky participated for the first time in the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) Tour. It was a very successful year for Tonky with an extraordinary final when Tonky was crowned King of the Caribbean in his backyard at Sorobon (Bonaire) where PWA held their last competition of tour year 2001! Since 2001 Tonky Frans with sail-number NB-7 has proven to be unstoppable!
The windsurfing world is well aware that he has won a much more difficult title to achieve: Tonky Frans is definitely the people’s champion!
Tonky Frans NB-7 is an inspiration for our youth that if one perseveres and work hard everyday on making a dream come true, one can achieve ones dreams.
“I started windsurfing when I was about 10, I saw a board by the water where I grew up, and wanted to ask if I could use it. But I was shy and it took some time, but I finally asked, then everything happened so fast. I started going out every day after school and every time I learned something new.
When I won the King of the Caribbean it was the first time I felt like a real pro, it was the first competition that I won so far, it was like a movie – at the end all the good stuff comes. The crowd gave me so much strength, I felt that the people on Bonaire were with me and I could do anything.”