Tobago to Trinidad in a 14ft Laser

Tobago to Trinidad - 50nm in open seas by 14ft Laser
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Just when you think that all the records have been set, when everybody has conquered almost everything in the world of the cruising sailor - the oldest - the youngest - the first-ever, along comes another, because there's always some new remote first-ever that hasn't yet been done. This time it's sailing a 14ft Laser from Tobago to Trinidad in open seas off the north-east coastline of Venezuela. (See update below)

20120731 Copyright onEdition 2012© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition Andrew Lewis (TRI) competing today, 31.07.12, in the Men's One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition runs from 29 July to 12 August and brings together 380 of the world's best sailors to race on Weymouth Bay. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has appeared at every Olympic Games since 1908. In 2012 athletes from 63 n
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He's a very competent sailor, he competed in the Olympics no less, but this very long Laser sail is being done by Andrew Lewis to draw attention to what great places Tobago and Trinidad are for sailors. So he plans to sail from Tobago to Trinidad on Sunday 16 December 2012.

The 23 year old sailor is staging what he calls the Wind Energy Challenge, attempting to create history as the first person to make the journey in a Laser Sail boat.

Lewis sets sail from Pigeon Point, Tobago at around 9:30am and will be trailed by a team from the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard. He will navigate his way across the waters in hopes of reaching the shores of Maracas Bay at around 2:30pm. The entire distance is estimated to be about 50 miles.

Lewis stated 'It has always been a dream of mine to attempt this. When I accomplished my goal of qualifying for the Olympics earlier this year, my management team and I decided that we will give this ‘a go’.

Trinidad and Tobago - beautiful sailing waters
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I am excited by the challenge, and I hope the public will be also be excited and supportive. Corporate sponsors Atlantic, Bmobile, Oasis Water, Budget Marine and Red Bull are all supporting the expedition while the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago and the Tourism Development Company have also stepped up to assist.

Lewis added, and this was the key, 'One of my main objectives is to increase the profile of sailing in Trinidad and Tobago. I believe that events such as this one will help in doing so.'

Trinadad and Tobago - Andrew Lewis wants to draw attention to the beautiful cruising grounds
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If you are lucky enough to be located on one of these idyllic tropical islands, you are invited to go to Pigeon Point in Tobago at 9:30 am on Sunday 16th to see Lewis set off and then at Maracas Bay in Trinidad from around 3:00 pm to welcome him in.

For updates please follow Andrew Lewis on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-Lewis/169566119754576?fref=ts

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Update:
After sailing for 11 long hours and 52 minutes, Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic Sailor Andrew Lewis finished his Wind Energy Challenge on Sunday 16 December 2012 at around 21:00, sailing from Tobago to Trinidad.

The 23-year old began the sailing challenge at 9:00 at Pigeon Point. However, it was evident from weather patterns that the day would have been dominated by very light winds.

With very light and sometimes no wind Andrew also had to battle strong currents. He was only able to average about 3-5 knots instead of the eight knots he was hoping for.

Lewis told media outlets, 'What a day I chose where there was absolutely no wind. With little wind to fill my sails, I resorted to rocking the boat and pumping my dagger board to get a forward motion. Those currents are so strong. I swore they were trying to take me back to Tobago. At many times I found myself battling against the current and lack of wind which made things extra difficult. I was determined to finish though. I needed to finish to prove to myself that I can do it and also to repay the faith of my family, friends and sponsors. I am always grateful for their support.'