The Annual General Meeting and Caribbean Regatta Organizers Conference was held last week at the St. Maarten with an impressive representative group of 30 regatta organizers and Member National Authorities in full attendance from St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, St. Barths, Martinique, Antigua, Barbados, Curacao, and the British and US Virgin Islands.
The event, held annually, is an excellent opportunity for key stakeholders around the Caribbean to discuss management of the CSA Rating Rule, sponsor management, relationships with tourism authorities, the Caribbean Racing Calendar, and marketing challenges for individual events alongside the strategy of the CSA.
Outgoing president Cary Byerley who has served the CSA for many years, handed over leadership of the organization to Peter Holmberg. Having been approached many times in the last few years, Peter finally agreed to serve as president for 2012/13, having previously been Vice President of the Northern Region for three years.
He says of his new position ‘My primary goal is to help organize CSA into a more professional organization. The Caribbean is now one of the leading sailing regions in the world, and we must be better organized and prepared to meet this opportunity and challenge. I will work with the other officers to better organize our internal operations, from establishing objectives and committees, to improving our financial strength. On the sailing front, I will endeavor to have the CSA become the lead authority to sanction international events on the regional calendar, helping avoid overlaps and thereby ensuring that each island gets the maximum exposure and participation possible. We will also refocus on dinghy sailing, better supporting the Caribbean Dinghy Championships, and pursuing grants and development opportunities.’
The CSA Rating Rule, in use for more than 50 years, was a major discussion point. Updates from Alfred Koolen, acting chief measurer, and Paul Miller, technical rule manager, highlighted that the review of the Rule for the forthcoming season is near completion. The main factors under review currently include measurement issues on spreaders, new rig materials and chines. Amendments are expected to be published by the end of November 2012 online
Presentations by two key Caribbean Regatta sponsors, Heineken and the Sol Group, provided attendees with food for thought with regard to what sponsors really need and want from their sponsorships and gave insight into how to deliver sponsor value and strengthen confidence in their events.
Board members include Judy Petz from the BVI Spring Regatta, Dick Stout from Barbados, Jaime Torres from Puerto Rico, Jean Trudo from Martinique, Michele Korteweg from St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Penny MacIntyre from Barbados and Kathy Lammers and Alison Sly-Adams of Antigua Sailing Week.
For further information please visit the event website