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Two-time Olympian Brian Talma (1988, 1992) has big plans for his native Barbados. The Olympic windsurfer, who has dedicated his life to tirelessly promoting his sport, is bringing a new event to the international water sports calendar with the launch of the Beach Culture World Championships in his beloved island home later this month.
The inaugural championships, which will run from 24 February to 4 March, will see both professional and amateur events staged across the island and will include a range of activities from beach cricket and conch blowing to windsurfing, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and kite surfing.
The event will see local businesses work alongside the surfing and fishing communities to develop a marketable product that promotes the world famous Barbados’ beach culture and acts as a driver for community-based tourism.
Talma has long been a key personality on the windsurfing circuit, working hard to help develop the sport of windsurfing internationally. In 1998 he was instrumental in bringing to life the Professional Windsurfing Association’s freestyle windsurfing tour and later single-handedly introduced the sport of stand-up paddle boarding to Barbados and the Caribbean in 2005.
Since 1996 he has also been travelling the world showcasing his distinctive brand of beach culture through the Beach Culture World Tour, which shows off the unique lifestyle and competitive spirit of the pro action water sport community.
Speaking to local media about the launch of the upcoming Beach Culture World Championship event in Barbados two-time Olympian Brian Talma said:
“I have a vision to use water sports to revolutionise this island and one of the facets I have really pushed is community tourism. Surfers are the opinion leaders of tourism, we are adventurers and when we go to a place, tourists and others follow. What I sell is a lifestyle, which I call beach culture.”
WOA Board member Freida Nicholls from Barbados (Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympian) said:
“Brian has channelled his Olympic experience in sailing and his love for the sea into a unique business venture, demonstrating the Olympic ideals and adding to the economic life of the community of Silver Sands in Barbados.
“The interactive event will allow visitors to the island the opportunity to engage with local communities in an informal and fun way, while enjoying the ‘sea, sand and sun’ for which Barbados is well known. It also shows the diversity of Olympians in their pursuits, and is a great example of how Olympians are contributing to their communities worldwide. “