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
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
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
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,
Noting that qualification for the Olympics is extremely tough, Johnson
further thought that to qualify for the Olympics in itself is indeed a
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
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