KARL JAMES TO REPRESENT ANTIGUA AT CAC GAMESFriday 31st October 2014
Antigua Yacht Club’s Head Instructor and former Olympian, Karl James, will be representing Antigua and Barbuda in the Laser Class of the sailing events at the XXII Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games to be held in Veracruz, Mexico from November 14 to 30. Karl will travel with his coach Ashley Rhodes from Antigua to Mexico on November 17 and will arrive in Veracruz on November 18 following an overnight stop-over in Miami. Racing will begin on November 23rd, providing Karl and Ashley with a few days to acclimatize and train in whatever conditions Veracruz has to offer.
The CAC Games are held in the Caribbean region once every four years. This is not the first time Karl has participated in the Games. He first represented Antigua at the CAC Games in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1993. He also participated in the Games in Maracaibo, Venezuela in 1998 and in 2006 he was a Bronze medalist at the CAC Games in Cartagena, Columbia.
A qualifying event was held at Antigua Yacht Club to determine who would represent Antigua and Barbuda in the sport of sailing at the Games. Karl won the qualifying event, securing a spot for him in the Games. A total of 11 sailors participated in the qualifier with Lewis Fitzgerald finishing in 2nd place, Janeel Smith in 3rd place and Rhone Kirby in 4th.
Competition at the CAC Games is going to be tough. Three of the Laser sailors participating in the Games are among the top 55 Laser sailors in the world. Two have already qualified for the Pan Am Games to be held in Toronto, Canada next July and all three participated in the London Olympics. Juan Maegli of Guatemala, ranked 33rd in the world, is the CAC Games defending champion and Cy Thompson of the USVI is ranked 39th in the world and has already qualified for the Toronto Pan Am Games and the Olympics to be held in Brazil in 2016. Cy was the Laser Champion at the CAC Games in 2006.
However, Karl has undertaken an intense training program over the past several weeks in the lead up to the Games, following an injury to his knee earlier in the year which kept him out of a Laser for several months. Karl now feels strong and prepared for the Games and is confident that he is fit enough to have the ability to win a medal for Antigua and Barbuda, provided he experiences no further injuries.
The next big international event in Karl’s sights is the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto next July. A qualifier will be held in Miami in January next year, which Karl hopes to take part in.
Best of luck to Karl in the CAC Games next month and in his bid to win a place at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
By Kathy Lammers
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