An oceanic challenge from Trinidad & Tobago

Few weeks ago a young sailor from Trinindad & Tobago, after his Olympic Games in London, has decided to challenge the ocean with his Laser Standard. SailBiz has got in touch with him in order to understand why this challenge was born and which partners have wanted to be part of. His name is Andrew Lewis and is 23 years old.

SailBiz: How the idea was born and why?

Andrew Lewis: The idea was a dream of mine  for quite some time. After I achieved one of my lifelong goals of qualifying and competing at the Olympic games, I thought the time was right to attempt this. To my knowledge it has never been attempted in a Laser sail boat, so I wanted to be the first to do it. Sailing is not very popular in Trinidad & Tobago. Events like these are necessary to raise the profile of the sport in the country and get the population interested in the sport.

SailBiz: How many hours of training before the challenge and which will be the aspect more difficult to win?
AL: I trained religiously for the challenge. I had already begun my training post Olympics, and I sat with my trainer to tailor the program slightly to prepare me for the long journey.

SailBiz: Which kind of communications tool do you have on board?
AL: I didn’t have any communication tools on board. I wanted to do the sail without any interaction. There were two vessels following me though, a boat from the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard, and a pleasure craft which had my father and a couple of my friends aboard.

SailBiz: Which kind of sponsor will support your challenge?
AL: For this event I was able to get several sponsors on board. Oasis Water (water) Bmobile (telecommunications), Budget Marine (rigged sail and mast), Tourism Development Company of Trinidad & Tobago, Sport Company of Trinidad & Tobago, Red Bull, and Atlantic  (Natural Gas). We also had support from the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard and the Trinidad & Tobago Air Guard.

SailBiz: Is it possible to better understand the final purpose for the sponsor to support you?
AL: The sponsors got on board because they understood what I was trying to accomplish. They knew that there is a certain level of creativity involved in the events that I want to produce and I believe they like the product. I always try to ensure that the sponsors see the value in the partnership so that they will want to partner in future projects.

SailBiz: The budget of the challenge?
AL
: The budget for the challenge was approximately 4,000 Euros 

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