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Sailboats of every size and type, from world-class yachts to working fishing boats, will compete in the Bonaire Annual International Sailing Regatta on the island of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles from October 13 to 20. Ashore, this four-day event becomes a continuous fiesta.

The Bonaire Regatta started in 1968 as a competition between local fishing boats and a few pleasure sailboats. Last year well over 200 boats competed. A major reason for Bonaire's popularity among yachtsmen is that it offers ideal conditions for sailing. The island, a 25-mile-long crescent, lies so that the steady trade winds, averaging 16 miles an hour, blow from the outside of the curve, making the inside a great nature-protected harbor.

Because the event has become so popular in recent years, tourists are urged to have confirmed reservations if they plan to visit the island during the regatta.

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