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BARBADOS - sailing

Three local sailors on Olympic campaign
Web Posted - Wed May 25 2005

THREE local sailors, with thoughts of representing Barbados at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, will be pursuing very intensive training programmes in their bid to meet the qualifying requirements for the Games. The three Bajan sailors are Russell Streeter, Christopher Kent and Greg Douglas, who will all be competing at various regional and international competitions in their efforts to qualify for the coming Olympics.
Plans outlining the campaigns of the three sailors to qualify for the upcoming Olympics were recently disclosed at a Press conference at the Barbados Cruising Club.

Among persons attending the Press conference were Peter Burke, Commodore of the Barbados Yacht Club and Ralph Johnson,Vice President of the Barbados Olympic Association. Speaking on behalf of the sailors, Streeter said that it is very important to start the qualifying programme immediately, as they will need to attain their best condition if they are to be serious contenders.
Streeter added that to qualify for the games will be a long, hard and costly undertaking, but they are prepared to make the sacrifice and will be seeking the support of corporate Barbados.
Current national dinghy champion in the Laser Class, Streeter has enjoyed much success in local and regional events overs the years, including the Caribbean Dinghy Championships and the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games.
A former graduate of the Barbados Yachting Youth Training Association s (BYYTA) summer sailing programme, Streeter will campaign mainly in Europe, as well as in carefully selected regional competitions.
He will compete in the Laser Class during the competitions leading up to the Games, where he will also contest Laser Class honours.
Kent, previously based in Canada, is also a graduate of the BYYTA s sailing programme. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Naval architecture in the United States.
Kent, who has attended many regattas, will be competing mainly on the North American circuit as he seeks to qualify for the Finn Class at the Olympics.
Douglas, now based in Canada, has been sailing in the Optimist Class, which is mainly for beginners, but is not an Olympic class.
However, he has made much progress moving into the Laser Class and going on to attend at least three World Championships. He will also compete in the Laser Class in Beijing.
Johnson commended the sailors for their bold undertaking and the professional manner in which they are pursuing the challenge, noting that this is the way to go.
Johnson was mindful that the campaign will be spread over four years, but thought that this is the kind of approach that has to be taken.
They will be going to compete among the best sailors and the continuous competition will give them a good idea of the progress of their preparation, Johnson added.
Noting that qualification for the Olympics is extremely tough, Johnson further thought that to qualify for the Olympics in itself is indeed a great achievement.
Johnson extended best wishes to the sailors, while noting that to make it into the final in any event at the Olympics is indeed something to be extremely proud of as the athlete would be considered among the best in that particular discipline.
Mindful of the cost of such an undertaking, Johnson said he is hoping that corporate Barbados would give some support to the sailors in this endeavour.
Commodore Burke added that the undertaking by the three sailors attests to the significant contribution being made to local sailing by the BYYTA.
The sailors came through that programme and their involvement on the international circuit is certain to bring greater exposure to Barbados.
This will also serve as a measure of encouragement to other youngsters to get involved in sailing, and especially so since Barbados boasts of good all-year-round facilities for such sport, Burke said.
He too expressed the hope that support would be forthcoming to assist the sailors in this undertaking, which could bring Barbados greater international exposure.Ç

Compliments of the Barbados Advocate



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