A newly formed event called Caribbean Sailing Week (CSW) is set to take place in English Harbour, Antigua from October, 17-20, 2019. The event combines two individual Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) events which have taken place for more than 20 years, the CSA Annual Conference and the CSA Caribbean Dinghy Championship (CDC).
The new format event will allow the CSA to increase the profile and status of the CDC and Annual Conference due to having considerably more CSA Member representatives from the Caribbean regional sailing community gathered together in one place. It will also increase the overall value of the event to those wishing to attend, providing a much wider cross-section of CSA members with reasons to attend than are being catered for within the current format.
The CDC, the regional saiilng regatta element of CSW, will be a multi-class championship event for one-person Optimist, Laser / Laser Radial classes andfor two-person the RS Feva class. The event will also see the introduction of a new keelboat-specific discipline.
CSA President Alison Sly-Adams, said of the new event, “During the 2018 CSA Conference an important goal for the organisation of building capacity came through strongly. This capacity refers to not only increasing participation in all events, but in supporting skills building in all roles required to support regional development of the sport along with the growth in the number of people entering sailing as a sport. The new format Caribbean Sailing Week will be a key element in us delivering on this goal.”
Of the change to the CDC format, Sly-Adams went on to say,” We felt a change in format of the CDC was necessary to ensure it could be more inclusive of all islands rather than limiting it to a 6-team championship. With that said we will introduce a new Nations Cup which will keep the spirit of inter-island competition alive and kicking.”
As well as a new look CDC regatta and CSA Annual Conference program, Caribbean Sailing Week will also include clinics for Sailors, their Instructors / Coaches, as well as training courses and professional development opportunities for those individuals looking to get involved in sailing in more technical roles such as Race Officials, Umpires and Measurers, the delivery of which will be organised to run alongside and even as part of the CSA Conference and CDC regatta schedule.
Mark Theron, Chairman of the CSA Sailing Development Committee stated: “We are here at this exciting point in terms of the growth in sailing-related activity in our region due to the fact that the CSA is a pro-active organisation for whom standing still and doing nothing is not an option. On behalf of the members of the CSA Sailing Development Committee, I want to say thank you to all CSA members that have provided us with feedback, ideas and valuable insights into ways in which our organisation could successfully re-imagine the CSA Annual Conference and CDC events so as to do more to help increase participation in sailing related activity in the Caribbean region. Without their support, we would not be where we are today and we would certainly not be laying the strong foundations that will provide the sailors of tomorrow with opportunities to be able to continue to enjoy our amazing sport for generations to come.”
For the first year of the new format event it will be hosted in Antigua. As well as being the base of the CSA secretariat and having hosted both the CDC and CSA Annual Conference events in 2018, it will be more feasible for the organisation to shape and refine the new format before opening the event up to other host nations across the Caribbean region in 2020 and beyond.