The beginning was slow, remember? BTA, Beach Tennis Aruba, had to relocate the event from Eagle Beach and put down 40cm of sifted white sand over 24,000 square meters at Bushiri, in order to create an arena big enough for 40 amateur courts and one professional Central Court.
They had to build a village, with a food court, lounge areas, pop up stores, VIP gallery, First Aid, restroom, the works.
So the beginning was slow, but sometimes in the spring, MinInfra gave the green light to save Aruba’s biggest, most-popular, international sporting event, and the wheels started turning.
At some point the bandera went to MinTour, also the minister of sports, and from then on, says Sjoerd de Vries, on behalf of BTA, once the introductions were made all stakeholders collaborated, exceptionally well.
Sjoerd reports that BTA drew plans with military precision and stakeholders showed, gasp, responsive interest.
Great thanks to Marlon Croes from Public Works and Haime Croes from the Land Department for their immense follow up.
Then the department of the environment came on board with specific instructions about the trees and landscaping in the Bushiri area. They were satisfied with trash control and environment-friendly products in use, and stuck around for advice.
The sand was brought down from the Barcadera Harbor. Luckily they had some reserves stashed away, and ATA agreed to foot the bill from tourism money.
How can you run an international event without internet?
Setar agreed, and completed the work on time, for a handsome check.
Water? WEB complied.
ELMAR? There was not time to lay the electric infrastructure, so the event ran on a giant generator with LED lights which made the environmentalists happy.
While at the beginning they were only going to create the arena, after a number of roundtable conferences with BTA, they agreed to fix the entire area, and Aruba is now blessed with a new beautiful beach.
The event attracted about 1,300 participants from Aruba, Venezuela, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Curacao, Puerto Rico, and USA. It was a bit smaller than last year due to a diminished number of Venezuelans and perhaps one more South American country with a crippled economy. But otherwise it exceeded all expectation.
The weather was PERFECT. And Less wind contributed to longer play.
From a spectator’s point of view, and I visited ABTO 2019 on a number of occasions it was a spectacular show. Beach Tennis was the main attraction, not the bar, not the social scene.
The non-smoking bleachers afforded excellent viewing with giant screens and good commentary.
The beer vendors came around; we didn’t even have to move from our seats.
And the pasta was delicious. Kudos to Gianni’s Group for a great field operation.
So now it will take a week to pull all pieces apart, and next year’s ABTO 2020 will be a breeze, because handbook 2019, was well written.
The Aruban players did an excellent job, and last night for the finals the arena was PACKED.
The Italians won.
The ref who monitored the games of behalf of the International Tennis Federation, ITF, said Aruba delivered above and beyond.
THANK YOU SPONSORS, we couldn’t have made it without you!
For more information visit the website www.arubabeachtennisopen.com,