Focus (2)

Soualiga Newsday Focus (4113)

Free equipment transport for competitors travelling to St. Martin from Guadeloupe for the Caribbean Foiling Championships

SAINT-MARTIN (ORIENT) - Exciting news for competitors travelling from Guadeloupe to the Caribbean Foiling Championships. In a combined effort Compagnie des Iles du Nord (CIN) and Frigodom have teamed up to sponsor the shipping of a 20ft container to and from St Martin. This sponsorship ensures that competitors from Guadeloupe can transport their foiling equipment to and from the event free of charge.

Maxim van den Pol, the event organiser, highlighted the difficulties many competitors face when travelling with foiling equipment, especially on smaller inter-Caribbean flights. The offering of free equipment transport is meant to mitigate this challenge and attract more participants from the Guadeloupe foiling community. 

The conditions for the free transport are as follows

  • The container will be available for loading at the CIN dock in Guadeloupe on Monday morning 27 November.
  • On arrival in St. Martin, the container will be transported to the event site so that competitors can collect their equipment on arrival.
  • The return shipment will take place the week after the event.
  • Priority will be given to those under the age of 18.
  • Competitors will be required to provide a list of equipment for customs purposes.
  • For further details please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The organisation is extremely grateful for this new sponsorship. Sacha van der Wouden, organiser of the event, conveyed her excitement about the partnership especially for the benefit of the local youth involved in this exhilarating sport, “The event's purpose is providing an international platform for regional competitors, and by this amazing collaboration we will be able to welcome a more diverse selection of regional talents.” 

The Caribbean Foiling Championships, which will take place from 8 to 10 December, is now open for entries and welcomes wind, wing and kite foilers (recreational and professional). The event includes two days of course racing and a long distance race around the island. It caters for a wide range of participants, from adventure seekers to professionals. Those who register and pay before 31 October will also benefit from a special entry fee of €150. 

Secure your spot at the Caribbean Foiling Championships! Visit to register and gear up for an incredible spectacle in this tropical paradise.

FOIL ins1 thur21




Sint Maarten Yacht Club sets sail with Budget Marine for the upcoming annual St. Maarten Optimist Championship

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The Sint-Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) is pleased to announce Budget Marine as the new official title sponsor for this year's Optimist Championship. This collaboration will see the region's most promising young Optimist sailors competing under the banner of one of the Caribbean's most renowned marine retailers.

The Optimist Championship is a signature event of the SMYC, where young sailors display their skill and enthusiasm for sailing.

This championship has consistently attracted attention from regional sailors. Teams from Curacao, the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, French Saint Martin, Saint Barths, and St. Kitts and Nevis have expressed interest to join this year. Additionally, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Optimist Racing team will have six sailors representing. Altogether, an expected 35 competitors will participate, divided into an advanced fleet and a beginners-racing fleet.

Many of those sailors are well known with the quality, services, and products of Budget Marine, as their chain is represented on Antigua, BVI and Curacao as well.

"We are incredibly excited to be partnering with Budget Marine for the Optimist Championship," said Saskia Revelman, SMYC Manager. "Budget Marine's reputation for commitment to quality and their longstanding dedication to the maritime community makes them a perfect match for our championship. This partnership signals a brighter future for the event and our young sailors."

Over the years, the Optimist Championship has gained immense popularity, attracting a growing number of participants from the region and beyond. The event not only nurtures young talent but also promotes the spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie among the sailing community.

"Jolyon Ferron, Sales Manager at Budget Marine, commented, "Supporting the next generation of sailors aligns seamlessly with our vision at Budget Marine. We believe in fostering talent and contributing to the communities we are a part of. The Optimist Championship is a wonderful opportunity for us to give back and encourage young sailors to achieve their best."

The championship will kick off on November 25th, in Simpson Bay. Spectators can watch the Optimist sailors go out the Simpson Bay Bridge early morning from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant deck, a great moment to cheer them on and wish them well for their day of racing.

SMYC thur pix2 ins





SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) today announced the tender for landside concessions. This next phase, which covers the concessions in the Check-in and Arrival area of the terminal, provides local - and international businesses with an opportunity to be part of a comprehensive upgrade to enhance the passenger’s experience.

PJIAE, via this tender, extends an invitation to qualified and experienced companies and brands to submit proposals for the operation of various concession spaces on the landside of its state-of-the art airport terminal. 

Key dates 

The new RFPs for this concession program, which is being publicly tendered, will run from September 19th, 2023, until October 19th, 2023. The RFP documents are available, based on interest, on PJIA’s website Upon receipt of the expression of interest, the requested document will be provided within 48 hours.  

A vision for the future 

As we step into the future, PJIA commits itself to being a beacon of world-class service, a catalyst for economic development and an inspiration for the whole region. Based on this vision, it has developed an ambitious concession program. The new and state-of-the art terminal will include modern facilities.

There will be 23 concessions on the airside (Departure Hall) and 9 on the landside (Check-in and Arrival Hall) including a wide array of local and international food & beverage concessions, duty-free-shops offering a diverse selection of luxury goods and locally inspired products and services to give an authentic experience of St. Maarten from arrivals until departures.

With this new RFP we aim to expand our current concessions with more options including a healthy store and a coffee bar.


First shoulder replacement surgery performed at SMMC

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Frank Boekhout, a patient at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), was the recipient of the first (reverse) shoulder replacement surgery performed on the island. The surgery lasted 90 minutes and was performed by Dr. Ron Onstenk and the Orthopedics and Operating Room teams.

Dr. Onstenk is part of a group of eight rotating orthopedic surgeons from Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda, The Netherlands, who have worked at SMMC since the opening of the Orthopedics Clinic in 2020. Each surgeon has their own subspecialty such as hip, knee, spine, and upper extremity, which has allowed SMMC to expand Orthopedic services offered to patients.

Since the start of the clinic and the expansion of the operating facilities with two brand new class 1 operating theaters and the upgrade of the existing operating theaters, SMMC has also been able to perform total hip and total knee replacements, having them recover close to home, limiting the need to travel and stay abroad for extended periods.

The main goal of a total shoulder replacement is to provide less or no pain after surgery and regain full function of the shoulder. In a standard shoulder replacement procedure, a metal ball is attached to the upper part of the humerus (arm bone), and a plastic socket is attached to the shoulder blade, following a patient’s real anatomy.

In a reverse shoulder replacement, the metal ball is placed on the socket side of the joint and the socket is placed on the arm side where it is supported by a metal stem in the humerus. While most patients will receive standard total shoulder replacements, reverse total shoulder replacements tend to work better for patients with injuries such as rotator cuff injuries.

Speaking on the addition of total shoulder replacement surgeries at SMMC, Dr. Onstenk said “We see a large number of patients with shoulder problems such as tendinitis and osteoarthritis at our clinic on St. Maarten. For patients with osteoarthritis or severe fractures and breaks, shoulder replacement is a viable option if physical therapy and painkillers are no longer suitable for managing the pain.

This type of surgery has gained popularity due to its excellent results after many years of development and innovations such as the “reverse” shoulder replacement that we recently performed. I am happy to be a part of SMMC’s ambition to continuously expand the medical care offered to patients on St. Maarten and surrounding islands”.

SMMC congratulates the Orthopedics team, the Operating Room team and all other teams involved in the performing of this successful surgery. The patient, Mr. Boekhout, was very pleased with the results of his surgery and the care he received at SMMC, and his post-operation results were favorable. He will undergo physical therapy for three months and is expected to regain the full function of his shoulder.

Total Shoulder VS Reverse Shoulder Replacement

A Standard Shoulder Replacement and a Reverse Shoulder Replacement (Source: John Hopkins Medicine)



King’s speech focuses on tackling financial and global security

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Netherlands’ prosperous image should not obscure underlying problems such as poverty, discrimination and the shortage of affordable housing, King Willem-Alexander said as in his speech to open the parliamentary year on Tuesday.

Despite the cabinet’s resignation in July, ministers were still committed to dealing with pressing issues such as compensating the parents affected by the childcare benefits scandal and the victims of earthquake damage in Groningen.

The king began his 10th speech from the throne by looking back on on his decade as monarch, marked by “intense and raw” events such as the shooting down of flight MH17, the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Foreign policy, where Mark Rutte’s government is less restrained by its caretaker status, featured prominently in the speech. Russia’s “illegal war of invasion against a sovereign neighbouring country” meant Europe needed to become less dependent on countries such as China and Russia for its energy and resources, the king said.

But the main focus of the speech was the need to generate “perspective” at home through better job opportunities, education, culture and support for the most vulnerable.

The speech in the Koninklijke Schouwburg theatre reflected wider concerns about the rising cost of living, voiced by protesters who booed the royal carriage as it travelled from Noordeinde palace for the ceremonial opening of parliament.

Positive image

“The first impression of anyone looking at Dutch society from outside is an attractive country with good facilities and a strong economy, embedded in robust international structures that bring wealth and protection,” the king said.

“But this positive image conceals the permanent task of working for equal opportunities, security of existence and perspective. Not everybody can take a decent home, good health and a safe domestic situation for granted.”

Willem-Alexander also cited this year’s apology for the history of slavery as a moment when “emotion went hand in hand with healing and connection”.

“There is still discrimination and racist exclusion in our society,” he said. “Because of that the processing of our history of slavery, especially after this year of commemoration in the whole of the kingdom, will remain high on the agenda.

Financial restraint

Uncertainty in the global economy and the loss of the government’s mandate meant “restraint” was unavoidable, but the government was still spending €2 billion on measures to boost spending power “so that poverty does not increase”, the king said.

Benefits to help poorer families would be increased, the emergency fund to help people pay energy bills was being extended for a second winter and the Caribbean nations would receive extra money to help them combat poverty.

On the war in Ukraine, the king said the conflict “touched on our own security and future”, adding that support for Ukraine was “undiminished”. “And that is important, because the longer this war lasts, the more urgent the humanitarian, military and financial support for Ukraine becomes,” he said.

The king said threats to democracy around the world underlined the need to support it at home through measures to combat the “unacceptable” influence of organised crime “in our streets, neighbourhoods and companies”.

“Democracy is much more than casting a vote: it is an attitude,” he said.

Farming and climate

The government would also bring in measures to support vulnerable people through better education, job opportunities and culture – including bringing back public libraries “in as many places as possible”.

Measures to improve job opportunities and reduce discrimination in the labour market had been agreed with employers and unions so that “as many people as people have the chance of a job, both for their personal development and because our country needs them.”

The king also mentioned the continuing need to reduce nitrogen pollution while ensuring “future perspective and clarity for the agriculture sector.” And the government had embarked on an “ambitious climate policy” to mitigate the problems of extreme weather and rising energy prices, with subsidies and other measures “to help citizens and companies make sustainable choices”.

Read the complete speech (in English)



“Territory”: Dominican Film wins Best Documentary at Canadian Film Festival

SINT MAARTEN/CANADA (TORONTO) - “Territory,” a short film focused on the indigenous people of the Eastern Caribbean Island of Dominica- the Kalinago, wins Best Short Documentary at the 18th annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival (CTFF) and is the first submission by Director Jael Joseph to the festival, taking place in Toronto September 6-22, 2023. “Territory” tied for the title with “Negra, Yo Soy Bella,” a film by Puerto Rico’s Vashi Korin. 

“To win on my first try, it’s just an incredible feeling and I dedicate this win to my late parents and the Kalinago people of Dominica, who are still navigating how to best protect and retain their culture, traditions and identity and whose trust and openness allowed me to share their stories.” 

In her acceptance speech Jael thanked family friends, colleagues and mentors singling out CTFF founder, Frances-Ann Solomon from whom she drew “inspiration and influence.” 

CTFF celebrates the talents of established and emerging Caribbean and African filmmakers, presenting a multi-ethnic mix of exciting and dynamic films that showcase diverse and shared cultural stories.  The 2023 submissions surrounded the theme Eco survivors bringing to focus the impact of climate change on Caribbean Small Island States (SIDS) and Canada.  

Films selected into CTFF are reviewed by a programming committee (composed of film industry professionals- actors, producers, critics, tech), representing a mix of Caribbean islands, who determine winners in various categories. 

For CTFF Festival Director, Diana Webley, “Territory” was awarded Best Short Documentary as it “provided a rare peek inside the Kalinago Territory in Dominica.” 

“It is a film that reflects the current political situation and we wanted to shed light on it, she adds." 

In “Territory,” Jael and her film crew, spent ten days following Anette Sanford, Samoza John and Natasha Green, descendants of the island’s first people, who gave their take on the individual and communal challenges they faced as residents of the 3,700 acre Kalinago Territory- an area on the island’s northeast that was ceded to the Kalinago 120 years ago. The film delves into the political struggles they face and focuses on the loss of their language and inability to use their land for economic development.  The issues of the Kalinago were further juxtaposed against their recovery from Category 5 Hurricane Maria and the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The film also featured guest appearances by Kalinago Chief Lorenzo Sanford and Hon. Cozier Frederick, parliamentary representative for the area.  

Jael, a media entrepreneur and communications consultant, who splits her time between Dominica and Canada, is a Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) graduate, and was inspired to create this film alongside her research paper entitled, “Territory: Commonalities between the Reclamation of the Kalinago Language and Connection to Land.” For the paper she interviewed over 25 persons and developed some of the interviews into a 10-minute podcast called “Woryijan; Kalinago women and Intersectionality.” 

While the award also signifies a personal achievement, Jael sees its wider impact as a testament to the incredible power of storytelling.

“It’s my hope that territory continues to serve as a beacon of the storytelling tradition, shining a light on untold narratives and fostering understanding and unity in our diverse world,” says Jael. 

This experience has solidified her mission to champion the Kalinago people; and so far she has given support to events such as the Kalinago Spelling B competition through her brand Black Island Girl Multimedia, and has served as a vocal advocate for other initiatives within the community. 

“I am really rooting for my Kalinago brothers and sisters,” says Jael. This documentary is just the start. I want to bring positive change to the community and commit to using my platforms to share their story and to impact their lives for the better.”   

“Territory” was funded with support from an anonymous donor as well as the proceeds of prize won from The Creative School’s 2022 Johnny Lombardi Award for Creative Endowment. The film can be viewed online till September 22nd as part of CTFF, and will be screened at more film festivals worldwide. 

The CTFF Award ceremony was held on Sunday 17th September 2023 at the Studio Theatre Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. Here is the list of winners below: 

Best Feature Documentary

“It is Not Past 08 12 1982”- Ida Does (Suriname) 

Best Short Documentary (TIED)

“Territory”- Jael Joseph (Dominica)

“Negra, Yo Soy Bella- Vashni Korin (Puerto Rico) 

Best Short Film

“Here Ends the World We’ve Known”- Anne-Sophie Nanki (Guadeloupe) 

Best Comedy

“My Maxi”- Andrei J. Pierre (Trinidad & Tobago) 

Best Animation

“It’s Nice in Here” Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (Curaçao / Amsterdam)

Caribbean Spirit Award

“Tabanca”- Lauren Marsden (Trinidad & Tobago / Canada) 

Intersect Award

“My Lady of the Camelia”- Édouard Montoute (French Guiana) 

Impact Award

“Powerlands”- Ivey-Camille Manybeads Tso (USA) 

Innovation Award

“Yubism: Life and Art of Yubi Kirindongo”- Corry van Heijningen (Curaçao) 

Best Cinematography

“Eden River”- Jack Evans (Belize)

Watch “Territory” HERE.

Territory official poster

Director Jael Joseph

Director Jael Joseph



Latest Dutch opinion poll shows gap between top three closing

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Three parties are running almost neck-and-neck in the Dutch election race, according to the latest opinion poll by I&O Research.

Nieuw Sociaal Contract (NSC), the party founded by former Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt, has seen its lead slip to less than 0.5% of the vote over the left-wing alliance of Labour (PvdA) and GroenLinks.

The right-wing Liberal party (VVD), led by justice minister Dilan Yesilgöz, has closed the gap in third place, running 1.5% or three seats behind NSC, with just over nine weeks remaining until voters go to the polls.

The VVD appear to have been the main winners from the collapse of a smaller right-wing party, JA21, two of whose MPs defected earlier this month to the farmers’ party BBB. JA21 has gone from three virtual seats to one.

The poll was taken before the conflict within the animal rights party PvdD broke through the surface, which saw party leader Esther Ouwehand deselected and then reinstated after the party’s management board resigned. According to I&O’s research PvdA/GL is best placed to pick up any voters who switch from the PvdD.

On I&O’s projection NSC would win 28 of the 150 seats, three fewer than in the previous poll on August 24, after taking 18% of the vote. PvdA/GL would take 27 seats (17.6%) with the VVD on 25 (16.5%).

The next largest parties are the anti-Islam PVV led by Geert Wilders on 14 seats (9.1%), the BBB with 14 seats (9%), the PvdD with 7 seats (4.9%) and coalition party D66 on 6 seats (4.1%).

Coalition halved

The four parties in the coalition – VVD, D66, the Christian Democrats (CDA) and ChristenUnie – would win just 39 seats on I&O’s projection, half the number they won in 2021.

The poll also shows just one in six voters have made up their minds about who to vote for, with 59% undecided but leaning towards one party and 24% defining themselves as “floating voters” with no clear preference.

Housing is seen as the most important campaign issue by voters, with 41% seeing it as significant. Poverty, healthcare and immigration were all cited by between 33% and 35%.

Omtzigt was seen as the best candidate for prime minister, even though he has insisted he would reject the job to stay in parliament. More than half (54%) of all voters regarded him as a reliable leader, followed by Yesilgöz on 48%.

Frans Timmermans, the leader of the PvdA/GroenLinks combination, is popular among left-wing voters but only three in 10 of all voters backed him and just 21% believe he “understands ordinary people”, compared to 71% for Omtzigt and 39% for Yesilgöz.



Tiger mosquitos are spotted in eight Dutch provinces

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Tiger mosquitos, which can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, and the Zika virus, have now been spotted in eight of the 12 Dutch provinces, according to product safety board NVWA.

The spread of the mosquito, first seen in the Netherlands in 2005, is monitored by the NVWA, which has recorded a total of 65 sightings so far this year.

Tiger mosquitos, which originally come from southeast Asia, have already made their home in southern European countries such as Spain and France. They were first brought to the Netherlands in car tyres and bamboo plants but are now hitching in cars and caravans which have been to the Mediterranean.

However, the chance that people here will get dengue fever, for example, is negligible, based on the current number of tiger mosquitos, the NVWA said earlier this year.

Public health institute RIVM says people who have spotted the tiger mosquito, which is smaller than a normal mosquito and has a distinctive white stripe on its back and hind legs, to get rid of anything that might be used as breeding places, such as containers with water in them.



Collaboration between DCCG, Aruba Police Force, and Venezuelan Coast Guard leads to apprehension

CURACAO/ARUBA - On September 15th, a rental company in Aruba discovered that two of their jet skis had been stolen.

They contacted the Aruba Police Force, who, in collaboration with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG), immediately took action, the DCCG said in a press statement on Friday.

Both authorities instantly reached out to the Venezuelan Coast Guard, as the two vessels were heading in that direction.

The Venezuelan Coast Guard successfully seized both jet skis and arrested one individual. They are currently working in close coordination with the DCCG and the Aruba Police Force, to safely return the vessels back to Aruba.

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Soualiga Radio