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Monday 6th December 2010

There has been plenty written about ICAP Leopard, the 100-foot corporate and racing charter yacht, record-breaking ocean passage yacht and successful racing super maxi.  But what is of particular interest to the Antiguan yachting community is the success of Leopard’s full-time racing bowman, Louis Sinclair.  Louis was born in New Zealand but grew up, was educated and learned to sail in Antigua.  Son of Nancy Nicholson and Jeffrey Sinclair, Louis is also the grandson of the late Desmond Nicholson and nephew of the late Rodney Nicholson, both of whom played major roles in the yachting industry in Antigua and the development of the Antigua Charter Yacht Show.

Louis Sinclair, 19-year old Antiguan bowman of ICAP Leopard.

At only 19-years of age, Louis is already an experienced and well integrated member of the ICAP Leopard racing crew.  Educated at St. Nicholas Primary School and Island Academy in Antigua, at the age of about 12 Louis began sailing an Optimist dinghy under the direction of Antigua Yacht Club’s Karl James.  He immediately became passionate about sailing and represented Antigua at a number of Caribbean regattas throughout his teen years in St. John and St. Thomas, USVI and in the British Virgin Islands.  Karl James said:  “In the early days, Louis always rushed to the boats to make sure he got the best and fastest Optimist!  You couldn’t keep him off the water!”

At the young age of 16, Louis began working for Carlo Falcone, owner of Antigua Yacht Club Marina, on the beautiful 80-foot Fife, Mariella.  He spent two years on Mariella and at the same time did the racing circuit on Carlo’s Caccia alla Volpe.  During this time, Louis’ yachting interests blossomed and he excelled in both the day-to-day chores of working on a yacht, and in the passion and dedication required to be a successful member of a racing team.

At the age of 18, Louis was offered a full-time position as deckhand on ICAP Leopard and at the ripe old age of 19, he is still very happy with his responsibilities on the boat and is passionate about Leopard’s racing activities.  When discussing what Louis likes best about racing on Leopard, he said:  “for me, the greatest highlight of racing on Leopard so far was when the boat reached a top speed of 40 knots!”.  Louis was on board when Leopard participated in the 2010 Sydney Hobart Race but light winds contributed to its inability to achieve line honours in the event.  However, just being able to participate was an exceptional thrill for Louis.

Karl James enthusiastically offered:  “I am so proud of Louis.  Every time I see him on the bow of Leopard giving all he has to the team goal of winning the race or setting a new record, I am proud to know that Louis learned to sail in the Youth Sailing Program at Antigua Yacht Club and that I was able to make a contribution to the development of both his passion for sailing and the possibility of a successful yachting career.”  Louis has kind words for Karl also:  “Karl James was such a great teacher and instilled the passion for sailing in me when I was still very young.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Karl’s influence on me.”

According to Louis, ICAP Leopard has a few big events coming up on her 2011 racing calendar.  She will be doing the RORC Caribbean 600 in February, the St. Barths Bucket in March and Antigua Sailing Week at the end of April.  After that she will prepare for the 2011 Transatlantic Race from Newport, Rhode Island to Lizard, UK and yet another record attempt!

Congratulations, Louis, on your successes to date and best wishes for the future and the many records to come while bowman on ICAP Leopard!

Article written by Kathy Lammers.
Photo © ICAP Leopard.

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