National sailor proves age is just a number

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National sailor Karl James has labelled his recent victory in the Caribbean Laser Championships as a test, after having not competed in the event since 2010.
The Antiguan won the 2017 instalment of the event held in Orient Bay, St Maarten over the weekend but said he had never stopped preparing for the possibility of representing Antigua & Barbuda at the competition once more.
“Just recently, I turned the grand age of 50 and thought, let me see what I can do at this old age and so I decided to put my hat back into the ring. I’ve never really stopped preparing myself for competition because I am on the big boat circuit which are the super yachts and things like that because you must have a certain level of fitness and the coaching of the younger people has kept my head in the game,” he said.
James, who holds the record for the number of consecutive wins at the Caribbean Laser Champion-ships, having won five straight from 2000 to 2005, said his aim is to compete for as long as he possibly can.
“The one thing sailing allows you to do and it’s applicable in golf as well, is that what you may lose physically you might gain
mentally so there isn’t a time frame. If you can’t pull on things then you can drive things or direct things because the role changes from tactics to where you are going and things like that,” he said.
The sailor was backed by local business, Budget Marine, as he sailed to victory in St Maarten. James also highlighted the growing support the discipline has received from government and he hopes the relationship continues to grow.
“I’ve seen massive improvement since they came on board after cricket went down and we created a national sailing academy. They have really come on board big time and have done an awful lot so they are trying and I hope it even gets better because sailing is one of the few sports we have that provides direct employment,” James said.
A total of 14 sailors competed in the Caribbean Laser Championships held on Saturday and Sunday.

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