ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK AND ANTIGUA YACHT CLUB HONOUR KARL JAMES
25 Aug, 2006
Members of the Yacht Club, friends, family and well-wishers gathered at English Harbour to honour the medal winner.
James, 39, returned at the beginning of August from the CAC games held in Cartagena, Columbia, with a third place win, and went on to take second place with his six member team two weeks later at the Caribbean Dinghy Championships held in Barbados.
Karl James, “I think it is a great achievement. For a long time I have been going at it, and when people look at sports and games, for instance the Olympics, they think that winning the gold is the biggest thing but when you have been doing it as long as I have, just being on the podium is quite an achievement. When the Antigua flag is raised and everybody is looking at you accepting the medal I think it is a big feat.”
James previous best results came eight years ago at the 18th CAC Games held in Venezuela where he placed 4th overall.
James said that he was disappointed by the lack of acknowledgement he has received from the government. He said that since Antigua have not placed internationally in a while, it would have been an occasion to celebrate. “Since I have been back I haven’t heard anything from the Ministry of Sports or anybody to do with the government.”
He said that it is not the first time it has happened to him. In 2001 when he won silver at the World Championships, again there was no acknowledgment.
He said that because sailing was not a typical spectator sport, many people would not follow it as they would football or cricket, but that it could become a highly participated sport if given encouragement.
James was, however, appreciative of the support he has received from the yacht club over the years saying that it has helped him achieve his goals and will not let the lack of attention stop him.
Chairman of Antigua Sailing Week 2007 Neil Forrester said that they will be making every effort from now on to work with the Antigua Yacht Club to promote the accomplishments of Antigua’s sailors. Forrester was also disappointed about the lack of acknowledgement that James has received for his achievements.
James thanked Caribbean Star who purchased tickets for him and his team mates to journey to Barbados for the competition and said that the sponsorship helped to clear the way for them to concentrate on their performance.
As for the future, James has been asked to be a member of the new Antigua Sailing Week Race Committee and said that he will continue competing and training the youngsters at the Antigua Yacht Club.
By Nikisha Smith
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