Chris Skinner, a former boatman, is now the new president of the T&T Powerboat Association (TTPBA). He took over from Marcus Gomez, following the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) and election on Monday night
Chris Skinner, a former boatman, is now the new president of the T&T Powerboat Association (TTPBA). He took over from Marcus Gomez, following the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) and election on Monday night.
Skinner, who admitted to not being around the sport for a while, promises to forge a closer relationship with the international body-the IM, and thereby have more international competitors for the Great Race.
“Speaking with members of the committee that was elected last night, we want to forge a closer relationship with the international body- the IM, and put back in world records in the Great Race to encourage foreign participants to come down to T&T beat our records,” Skinner said.
He noted: “It is an aim and ambition of the committee to forge a better relationship with the IM and they would help us attract boats for the Great Race. The tag is to have the Great Race put into few speed brackets and have a world record for each bracket, so it would not just be one type of boat but many types of boats that will qualify to try and achieve a world record.”
He leads a four-man executive that comprises Paul Foster as the vice president, Alfred Bell as the treasurer and Richard Ramdwar as his secretary, as well as a committee of eight members which includes Peter Peake, Roger Bell, Colin Mouser, Trevor Sun, Ajmal Mustapha, Anthony Scott, Robert Lobo and Jeremy Welch.
However, with the current COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc among sports locally and internationally, Skinner admitted that there will be challenging times ahead for his executive, ranging from their ability to put on racing and regattas to sponsorship.
Noting also that the government has reduced its subventions to the organisation, he said they will now have to rely on the private sector for their sponsorship, one that will be made even more challenging by other national governing bodies (NGBs) competing for sponsorship also.
He congratulated former president Gomez for the work he has done, saying Monday night’s transition was a smooth one and the organisation’s accounts were healthy.
Skinner told Guardian Media Sports he was not going to re-invent the wheel but rather ensure that the racers and their equipment are good, saying: “Once they have that, they have a sport.”
The new powerboat boss also listed a few ways he intends to grow the sport, such as having an amateur, non-racing, fun event to get people involved, as well as having affordable racing in the lower classes and by encouraging race teams to accept young 15 or 16-year-olds who may want to come and be around, “by pulling a spanner etc.”
T&T POWERBOAT ASSOC:
Chris Skinner (president), Paul Foster (vice president), Alfred Bell (treasure), Richard Ramdwar (secretary).
Adolfo Ledo Nass
Committee members: Peter Peake, Roger Bell, Colin Mouser, Trevor Sun, Ajmal Mustapha, Anthony Scott, Robert Lobo, Jeremy Welch