By Elesha George
President Alison Sly-Adams of the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) is keeping her eye focused on inclusion and improvements in the sailing sector, after being unanimously re-elected to serve a third consecutive term.
She told Observer that it is “an opportunity to consolidate an awful lot of the work” which the CSA had been planning over the past two years while she was president.
“Obviously, with the advent of Covid, it meant that some of our programmes stalled, because we were looking for financing in order to kick-start a couple of particular projects. So, I’m really delighted to be re-elected president and get the opportunity to try and make that happen,” she said.
Adams also sees her re-election as an opportunity to continue to influence positive change in the Antigua National Sailing Academy as much as in the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA).
Using her weight as the new general manager of the National Sailing Academy of Antigua, Adams wants to develop a sailing training programme for the Caribbean.
“The whole reason for being at the Sailing Academy is to get more Antiguans into sailing, and we want to be able is to use a consistent programme that is also is used across the region, and to make that accessible to all of those clubs.”
Adams is hoping that in 2021, the CSA will be able to reduce the cost of hosting its regattas, but at the same time increase participation by focusing more on getting sailing boats that are stranded across the region due to the Covid pandemic to participate in activities next year.
“We will have less international boats coming into the region. We know that, already, many of them have elected to stay in Europe or the US because of the difficulties of travel; but with that said, because a lot of boats got locked down in the Caribbean, what we’re looking at is how we can get them involved in racing,” she explained.
To do this, Adams said the Association will relax its racing criteria to attract cruising boats. The Association is also seeking grant funding to assist with a self-training programme that benefits a number of countries.
According to Sly-Adams, “Quite often that funding is only available to an individual island, but we’re currently exploring a number of opportunities on that kind of grant or funding. Obviously, that’s going to be quite tough, but also the benefits will really be felt quite significantly across the region, so we are positive that we will find a way to make that happen.”
Members from 17 countries attended the confab, re-electing fellow board members, Michele Korteweg of St Maarten, Karen Stiell of Grenada, Pat Bailey of the United States Virgin Islands, and Jaime Torres of Puerto Rico. Joining them as new members are Tamsin Rand of the British Virgin Islands and Brian Sylvester of Grenada.
At last week’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), members agreed to support the new World Sailing event, Steering the Course, which will deliver a Festival of Sailing, showcasing women role models sailing right across the region. A separate presentation on VirtualRegatta, World Sailing’s virtual sailing platform, was presented by Deanna Jevans, Brand and Marketing Executive and Scott Over, Commercial Director of World Sailing.
As a sweet bonus, 30 free VIP Sailing passes were gifted to the CSA, provided by Mount Gay Rum in support of World Sailing and their development of eSailing in the Caribbean.
The CSA was originally formed to create racing rules to ensure fair racing in the Caribbean.