by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Grenada Sailing Week 2019 ran from 27 January to 1 February
- National Youth Sailing Team comprise youths 16 to 20 years from sailing clubs around the island
- Sailing imparts many life lessons through one physical activity
The benefit of sailing, quite unlike many other sports, is its ability to impart many life lessons through one physical activity. It can teach teamwork, help build self-confidence and discipline, work ethic and sportsmanship but most importantly what sets sailing apart from many other sporting activities, is that upholding the rules of the game is solely left up to the players since sailing is a self-governing sport.
The Grenada Sailing Week (GSW) board of directors in collaboration with the Grenada Sailing Association established the National Youth Sailing Team for the 7th edition of the Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2019 which ran from 27 January to 1 February.
National Youth Sailing Team is a new team made up of youths between the ages of 16 to 20 with Optimist and Laser experience from sailing clubs around the island, including the Gouyave Sailing Club and Woburn Wind Warriors. This programme has received thumbs up from the Grenada Sailing Association and the Caribbean Sailing Association.
GSW Regatta Manager Karen Stiell said this year the team joined the J24 Class which was really encouraging in fostering the next generation of sailors. “This year we encouraged the youth sailing team to participate. Prior to the event they were a group of guys ages 16 to 18 who learned to sail with Optimist and Laser and we put them together as a team… and so we really want to encourage that.”
Stiell is hoping that the team can have the experience of competing in regional sailing regattas this year. “We are hoping that they will be able to then do a little Caribbean campaign this year in terms of the regattas; maybe go to Bequia Easter regatta or maybe the Antigua regatta and they really will be participating at an international level and we are very excited about that.”
Efforts are being made to set up youth sailing programmes around the island. “There are quite a few junior sailing programmes around the island, so we are looking at developing that a little bit more, doing more work in that area and get everybody involved in sailing,” said Stiell.
After what another successful Grenada Sailing Week, the committee is preparing for next year’s event. The date of 26-31 January 2020 has been set and flyers are being printed to be made available throughout the various regattas in the region. “We have to get our advertising out in June so we can go to the boat shows like the Indianapolis boat show, the Miami Boat shows, and various other boat shows around the world again publicising the event. We will be sending flyers to the other regattas. We have Antigua coming up, we have got St Maarten coming up, the BVI Spring Regatta is coming up; so they will all have our flyers which will have the date on that for next year and so it’s about reaching out to the sailing community throughout the year so people can plan their trip for 2020.”