The Caribbean Sailing Association Annual Conference was held in St. Maarten last weekend where more than fifty of the Caribbean’s most influential people in yacht racing convened. The three day conference began with the Annual General Meeting at which outgoing President Peter Holmberg passed leadership of the organization to Kathy Lammers, Chairman of Antigua Sailing Week’s Regatta Organizing Committee.
Holmberg remains on the board as Past President along with Chris Haycraft and Pam Fuller of the British Virgin Islands, Jaime Torres of Puerto Rico, Alison Sly-Adams of Antigua and Jeffrey Chen of Trinidad who continues as Chief Measurer. New to the board are Judy Petz of the British Virgin Islands and Mike Green of St. Lucia. Of her new role Lammers says: “I am honored to be voted in as CSA President and recognize the enormous contribution Peter has made to the association in his role as President over the past three years. Our job as a board and an association is to build on the structure we now have in place and continue to look at opportunities to market our region to the world while building support for our youth programs to ensure we have a strong base of young sailors entering the sport throughout the region. In addition, a refocus of the measurers’ group will see our rating rules continue to develop in order to keep up with state-of-the-art developments in the sailing industry.”
A significant part of the conference was dedicated to a meeting of the measurers group led by Chief Measurer Jeffrey Chen from Trinidad. In his report back to the conference group following the meeting, Jeffrey explained that the CSA rating rule has grown over more than 50 years from an individual keel boat rule into four separate rules under the CSA brand: the simplified rule, the classic rule, the multihull rule, and the main CSA rule.
Chen said: “After many hours of discussion over the weekend, the measurers group has made the decision to move forward in a slightly different direction and as such the CSA will be reaching out to different sources to establish new partnerships to assist with further refining each of the rules. This will ensure the rules continue to meet the specific needs of their local, regional and international customers and provide fair and consistent results”.
The major focus of the conference for regatta organizers was on sustainability through the sponsorship support of Sailors for the Sea. The Sailors for the Sea team delivered six separate sessions covering its clean regattas program with discussion of how regatta organizers can use their events to effect permanent change in their communities. Included were presentations on integrated waste management, leveraging sponsorships, engaging youths, working with NGOs and looking at the damage occurring in our coral reefs due to poor waste management. Sailors for the Sea will continue to work with all members of the CSA to assist in developing the program island by island throughout the Caribbean. Chief Executive of Sailors for the Sea, R. Mark Davis said: “The CSA and the Conference are a great fit for us as a partner because we are able to network with organizations right across the region over one weekend and gain feedback about what is needed to assist in sustainable practices not just during their events but year round. This helps us understand how we can continue to move the Clean Regattas program forward and make it as effective as possible”.
The dates for the 2016 Conference which will take place in Antigua were confirmed as October 21-22, 2016. For information and updates on next year’s conference visit: www.csaconference.org.