The project began getting into shape in 2002, when he decided to help Dulter Manhãs, a sailor from Búzios, who soon began to do well in major championships. Other boys from Búzios who already sailed but had never thought of competing, then noticed. These were talented learners were wasting their time on the beach sailing whenever they wanted with no proper schedule or aim in view.
With a proper training programme, they have improved their grades at school and now have the chance to learn English and Spanish as well as train with the best sailors of the world who go to Búzios to train with Bimba.
In 2005 the project began. The Olympic equipment had changed to RS:X. Bimba decided to make it more popular although it would cost a lot. He raised more than U$20,000.00 thereby giving the project credibility.
Because Windsurfing is not a cheap sport, only a few sailors were selected to be trained in a professional way. The results were great, three of them already went to world wide windsurfing championships and were amongst the best in their categories.
- Albert Carvalho, 5th in the 2007 ISAF Youth World Championship, Canada and spare athlete on the 2008 Brazilian Olympic Team;
- Renato Amaral, 7th in the 2008 ISAF Youth World Championship, Denmark;
- Patrich Santos, 3rd place in the 2007 Race Board World Championship (Cordoba, Argentina) in the under 18 Division.
The five oldest athletes also help in the formation of new sailors.
Today, the project already has participation of thirteen boys and girls between 10 and 19 year olds including a female team, which didn’t exist before.
How the kids are chosen
The requirements for being in the social project are that they must go to school regularly, study hard and get good grades. The objective is to give the poorer children a chance to do a healthy, expensive, extreme, ecologically correct sport, windsurfing, which keeps them active and far from drugs.
Besides passing on his knowledge to them and a sense of Fair-Play, seeing a boy who barely knows Rio de Janeiro going to Europe, is priceless.
The aim is that every year one of them represents Brazil in the ISAF Youth World Championship and in the end replaces Bimba in the Pan-American and Olympic Regatta when he retires. Before they even met him, they would have never dreamed of this, but now, it is real.
Bimba is suprised at the feeling of joy it gave him to receive a phone call from Albert right after the prize giving ceremony when Albert had learnt of his selection to compete at the ISAF Youth World Championship. Albert could barely talk and thanked Bimba about eight times.
He is very proud to have been able to help Albert and all the others and considers this project as one of the biggest prizes he has ever received in his victorious career. If you also want to help, please send new or used equipment or with money, get in contact.
Sidebar: Renato Amarel is now racing at the 2008 RS:X Youth World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand sponsored by the Eastern Windsurfing Club of Thailand and the International RS:X Class Association Ltd.
Contact: Ricardo (Bimba) Santos