KARL JAMES PARTICIPATES IN CAC GAMESThursday 11th December 2014
Antigua’s former Olympic sailor, Karl James, participated in the Central American and Caribbean Games last month. Karl was a Bronze medallist in the 2006 CAC Games in the Laser class.
Karl and his coach, Ashley Rhodes, arrived in Mexico anxious to get out on the water but found they had to wait a day before Karl's boat was delivered. So they trained in the gym that day instead and spent some time checking out the venue and talking to locals regarding wind and current conditions.
The boat was delivered the following afternoon but Karl and Ashley were very unhappy with its condition. Karl went out training in any event and discovered that boat was leaking a little. By the time he made that discovery, the man who the boat was chartered from had left so there was not much that could be done about it. The leak did not seem too bad so Karl continued with it. The following day Karl and Ashley trained in the gym again and then went for another practice sail. Again, the boat was leaking a little but it was nothing major.
The first race day saw the fleet sitting around for about two hours waiting for wind to fill in on the water which it finally did, although it remained light. Karl's finishing positions in the two races held that day were 15th and 14th in a fleet of 15 boats. After Karl and his Laser reached shore it took five guys to lift the boat out the water. It was sinking. They realized that while the boat was sailing, there was very little water coming leaking into it but because they had been sitting relatively still on the water for close to two hours, it filled with water. Karl and Ashley stayed back that night removing everything and sealing all potential leaks with 5200 sealant.
The next day was better without leaks; however Karl only managed to move up a few spots as a result of his downwind technique not being quite as good as the top sailors. Karl would reach the windward mark in roughly 5th place or other great positions but downwind the top sailors used a new technique which allowed them to pass Karl in no time. He would gain a few places back on the next upwind leg but unfortunately for Karl, the races finished on a reach after a long downwind leg. This is pretty much how it went for the rest of the week - very strong upwind sailing but losing the good positions in the downwind legs.
Nonetheless, the very fact that Karl has the skill level to participate in the CAC games is something to be proud of and his results are very worthy of being proud. In addition Karl, as always, was an excellent Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda as was coach Ashley Rhodes. Congratulations guys on a job well done.
Full results of the Mens Laser competition at the CAC Games can be viewed here.
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