Commercial Director, Alison Sly-Adams, comments: ‘Aside from creating a fantastic experience both on and off the water for Antigua Sailing Week, what lies at the core of our objectives is to assist in whatever way we can in getting more Antiguans and Barbudans involved in the yachting industry.’ In previous years much of Antigua Sailing Week’s focus locally has been about the parties, and while this is a very important part of any sailing regatta, the current organising team has shifted the focus so that people can see the opportunities that exist to get involved ‘on the water’.
It was therefore an obvious choice to select the National Sailing Academy (NSA) and Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR) as the official charities for Antigua Sailing Week. Antigua Yacht Club’s youth sailing program has in its lifetime spawned some hugely successful Antiguan sailors such as Ashley Rhodes, owner of A & A Rigging and a member of Antigua Sailing Week’s Regatta Organising Committee. Karl James, a former Olympic sailor, has long been at the head of Antigua Yacht Club’s youth sailing program, is on the Executive of the National Sailing Academy and a member of the Regatta Organising Committee.
National Sailing Academy
The National Sailing Academy is a non-profit organisation registered in 2010 that and is now teaching hundreds of children every week how to sail. All children in the sailing program must be able to swim so those who can’t but want to learn to sail are taught to swim by Swalings International Swimming School.
In late 2013 the National Sailing Academy opened its new home – the Water Sports Centre – at the Old Reef Gardens on Dockyard Drive in Falmouth. The ultimate goal is to have 300 children a week learning to sail. A satellite training centre has also been operating for some time in Jolly Harbour.
Funding of the program has to date been entirely through donations and fundraisers and some of this is generated by the NSA team walking the docks and encouraging visiting skippers to pay US $1 per foot (for the total length of their boat) per year as well to donate boats and equipment needed to operate the school. The Academy is also fortunate in having some very generous major sponsors to help create the infrastructure needed for us to create revenue. With two training locations now up and running, there is a significant need for an increase in funding to assist with payment of instructors and overheads.
For further information about the academy visit www.nationalsailingacademy.org.
CONTACT: Elizabeth Jordan
TEL: + 1 (268) 562 8060
ABSAR (Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue)
ABSAR is a non-profit organisation dedicated to saving lives. It provides 24-hour coverage, 365 days of the year. ABSAR volunteers work as team in conjunction with the rescue operators of the Antigua Coast Guard, Fire and Ambulance services.
Volunteer members all undergo training in seamanship, small boat-handling skills, rescue techniques and first aid.The ABSAR Medic Station is located at Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort where a variety of injuries and complaints are treated with the assistance and consultation of doctors on the island.
ABSAR is a Registered Non-Profit Charity, and relies on donations for its existence.
Antigua Sailing Week is delighted to adopt the National Sailing Academy and ABSAR as its official charities. Kathy Lammers, Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee states: ‘We couldn’t run a world-class regatta without ABSAR on the water to provide rescue and medical assistance if required. As in all sports, a few injuries are inevitable and it gives everyone peace of mind to know that ABSAR is only an emergency call away. We’re delighted to be able to support ABSAR as ABSAR supports our event.’ With respect to the National Sailing Academy, Kathy says: ‘Clearly the result of the growth in the National Sailing Academy will be more Antiguans and Barbudans out on the water and involved in Antigua Sailing Week in years to come, with a significant increase in competition for all visiting yachtsmen. We at Antigua Sailing Week are delighted to be able to contribute to making that happen.’
For further information about the ABSAR visit: http://absar.org/