The 2017 Caribbean Sailing Association’s Annual General Meeting was held last week in Antigua where several members present were joined electronically by 21 other members from across the Caribbean to discuss the business of Caribbean sailing and elect officials for the coming year.
Without exception, sailing development continues to be the biggest focus moving forward outside of the CSA Rating Rule and promotion of the sport of sailing in accordance with the organisation’s mission statement.
A focus on sailing development really kicked off during the 2013 Regatta Organisers Conference in Puerto Rico when delegates discussed the trends in participation of the sport of sailing and the relative decrease in numbers of people entering the sport. It was agreed that as an association the CSA had a part to play in supporting sailing programmes and schools throughout the region. Ultimately the more structured and effective the programmes are, the more it encourages youths of all ages and nationalities to get on the water and long-term helps grow the sport and eventually the regional regattas.
Continued involvement from yacht clubs and programmes and Member National Authorities is bringing benefits in sharing ideas, opportunities and challenges, helping the region to move forward with a united voice.
Kathy Lammers, re-elected as President for a third and final term, expressed her concern to all the islands affected by recent hurricanes. The attendees shared their challenges – aside from loss of boats for youth programmes, the lack of priority for sailing when compared to essential services means that it will take time to get programs back up and running. The CSA through its Sailing Development Committee is looking at how it can support the programmes going forward.
About the coming year Lammers said, ‘In a season which has had such a challenging start, 2018 will be about consolidation for many of the programmes and events around the region. Internally we are focussed on implementing new procedures with respect to the CSA Rating Rule and improving our efficiency for visiting yachtsmen applying for a rating.’
Existing board members Michael Green of St Lucia, Pam Fuller of the British Virgin Islands, Mark Theron of St. Kitts and Nevis, Alison Sly-Adams of Antigua and Peter Holmberg of St. Thomas are joined by newly elected directors Jaime Torres from Puerto Rico and Bob Hillier from the US and St. Maarten.