Two Bajan sailors have launched a campaign to go to the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. Their goal: to bring home Barbados' first Olympic gold medal and first-ever Olympic medal in the sport of sailing.
Russell STREETER, one of the top Caribbean sailors in the Laser class, and Christopher KENT, who is currently based in Michigan and is campaigning in the Finn class, have joined forces to create Team Sail Barbados 2008 (TSB), the entity that will manage their campaigns.
Streeter, 25, has been sailing for over fifteen years and is a former Chief Instructor of the Barbados Sailing Association Inc. (BSA). He has represented Barbados at many events in that time, including the CAC Games in 1992 and various Caribbean Dinghy Championships throughout the region. Russell is the reigning National (Barbados) Dinghy Champion in the Laser (Standard) Class and was also champion in 2002. He is a chartered accountant and currently employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Kent, also 25, has been sailing since the age of eight and has represented Barbados twice at Caribbean Dinghy Championships over the years. He began sailing the Finn in 2002 while studying for a Masters in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan. In 2003 he placed 11 in the Finn North American Championships and in 2004 again placed 11 in the championships in a larger fleet of competitors. He is currently completing his PhD in Naval Architecture.
To help with the long road ahead TSB has enlisted the support of four experienced sailors for advice and guidance. These persons are: Peter BURKE, Commodore of the Barbados Yacht Club and former president of the BSA; Ralph JOHNSON, Vice President of the Barbados Olympic Association and former president of the BSA; Renata GOODRIDGE, current President of the BSA, and Rodney READER, a former Vice President of the Association who represented Barbados at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in the Laser class. The team will draw on the experiences of these distinguished sailors to ensure that they put their best foot forward.
The sailors have an aggressive training schedule planned for the next three and a half years which includes one year of full-time training and competition leading up the Games. Both sailors will be based overseas, Kent in the US and Streeter in the UK, where they can be close to major competitions and training facilities. The estimated cost of the campaign over the next three and a half years is US$400,000 and the team are actively seeking sponsorship to meet this goal. Interested persons should email firstname.lastname@example.org