Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Youth Regatta Builds Sailing

The Freeport News


Youth regatta builds sailing enthusiasm

by: Fred Sturrup, Sports Scope
In this space recently, Paul de Souza was showcased as one of those young stars expected to rebrand the international sailing culture in The Bahamas.
deSouza is quite a young champion in his own right, perhaps the most versatile of them all.
There are others though, who are part of the wave that will enable The Bahamas to regain its worldwide reputation in international sailing. They were in action this past weekend in Montagu Bay during the Bahamas Youth Regatta. Robert Dunkley, Jimmy Lowe and others of that ilk have been doing a phenomenal job with the young male and female skippers throughout the country.
The Youth Regatta was evidence of where the program is. The international sailing environment in the country is vibrant, thanks to names such as Tahj Ramirez, Alvin Lewis, Maclean Goodfellow, Paloma Cartwright, Spencer Cartwright, Alande Forbes, Brandon Sands, Cochise Burrows, George Delafe, Delaney Goodfellow, Joshua Higgins, Isaac Fox, Luke Browning, Daisy Tinker, Ben Derbyshire and Melisha Higgins. They, a few others and, de Souza represent the solid base of junior international sailing and the future of the sport on the senior level.
Enough can't be said about the dedication of Dunkley, Lowe and their associates. They have crafted a magnificent program out of which has come such an outstanding product as Ramirez.
What he did over the weekend was spectacular.
In the seven races on the Optigold Class, young Ramirez crossed first four times. The other three races saw him capture second place. There is not much better one could ask for in any series of sailing.
A lot of the outstanding international sailors from the past have gone on into eternity. I refer to Bobby Symonette, Basil Kelly, Sloane Farrington, Cecil Cooke to name a few. The architects of the international sailing movement in the country, Sir Stafford Sands and Sir Roland Symonette have past also.
Still with us are Sir Durward Knowles and Godfrey Kelly. What's happening now with international sailing in The Bahamas is inspirational. The accomplishments of the pioneers of international sailing in the country present a monumental hill for the present-day stars to climb. With the patriarch of Bahamian international sailing, Sir Durward Knowles, leading the way, The Bahamas has a world championship, an Olympic gold medal, Olympic bronze medal, a 5.5 Meters world championship, several Sunfish World championships, a Pan American Games gold medal and world ocean racing success in its résumé.
Yes, it is a tall order for Ramirez, de Souza and company.
Nevertheless, they are moving along quite well on a very good pace.
Best wishes to Dunkley, Lowe and their colleagues with the program. The expectation is that the new era international sailing stars will make their fellow Bahamians proud, continually.
(To respond to this column. kindly contact Fred Sturrup at

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