The Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) Annual Conference was hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club in English Harbour, a beautiful Antigua yacht charter destination, from October 24 to 26, 2014. Fifty delegates from around the Caribbean participated in the Conference. This year’s event featured a new format that comprised CSA officers, CSA measurers, regatta organizers, as well as experts in developing sailing programs.
Tim Cross from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and Elizabeth Jordan of Antigua’s National Sailing Academy hosted workshops on the development of the sport from grass roots through to advanced training. Starting with a needs assessment of each island, Tim Cross will be mentoring the Caribbean region alongside the CSA to bring a coordinated approach to sailing development to achieve the goal of getting more people sailing throughout the Caribbean, from beginner to advanced level.
Also in attendance was the new CSA sponsor Sailors for the Sea which held a workshop on environmental sustainability and how regattas can achieve the status of a ‘Clean Regatta’. Delegates left the Conference armed with a tool kit of ideas for taking steps in the right direction along with a willingness to do just that.
The regatta organizers segment included sessions on race management, marketing, sponsorship and how to continue working together to help make the Caribbean region more attractive to local and international sailors.
The AGM segment of the conference included important discussions on all aspects of the CSA, particularly in continuing to define its role as the one body that can help coordinate all aspects of sailing in the region. The members confirmed their goal of having the CSA serve the important roles of providing a rating system, helping the development of sailing, coordinating the race calendar, and promoting the sport both within the region and to the world.
A total of seven new members joined the CSA during the Conference. Representing recently joined members, RORC Caribbean 600 and Superyacht Challenge Antigua, Stan Pearson attended the Conference for the first time in many years and commented: ‘The Association is now truly representative of and very proactive with the Caribbean regattas and is providing the necessary unity across the region – so much so that Superyacht Challenge Antigua has become a member of the CSA during the conference and will be as proactive as it can . . . as one of the Caribbean Regattas.’
Re-elected President Peter Holmberg commented: ‘It was very gratifying to receive such positive feedback from all the participants on this new format of our conference. Our goal was to get all the key players and stakeholders together under one roof for a weekend of meetings, strategy sessions, and general networking. We are most proud of this initiative of the CSA to achieve cooperation among all the islands and events to help grow our sport and our island economies. If we can serve as the body to help connect our grass roots sailing through to our international regattas, we will be contributing greatly to our sport, and our region.’
Alongside Peter Holmberg, re-elected board members are Alison Sly-Adams, Jaime Torres and Kathy Lammers. Joining them are new officers Ellen Birrell, Chris Haycraft, Pam Fuller and Chief Measurer Jeffrey Chen.
The CSA would like to thank its sponsors Sailors for the Sea, LIAT, The Caribbean Airline, Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort, Antigua Yacht Club, Digicel and Quin Farara, as well as host restaurant Club Sushi and all the teams that contributed to the success of the Conference.