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They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; for Holly Trew this has proven to be true.
Sailing sails through her blood-her father Chris Trew is a prolific sailor, so is her sister Georgina. In fact, it is because of him that Holly is now a professional sailor. Holly had a love for the sea from a young age; she enjoyed many sea adventures with her family on her father’s boat, and it was then that her passion for sailing sparked. “I got into it [sailing] when I was little. My dad is a big sailor and he would take us out on boats and got us interested in it,” she said. A former student of the Fullriggeren Sorlandet sailing school in Norway, and graduate of Dalhousie’s University, she is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Marine Biology at UWI Cave Hill.
She is also a certified dive master and spends many of her days diving the reef at Carlisle Bay. “I am passionate about marine life. I spend my days looking at coral reef and fish. Whether I’m diving or in the lab or writing about it,” she noted.
Her passion for sailing has reaped her many awards, her best to date, according to her, placing third at the recently held Caribbean Dinghy Championships in St. Maarten. Holly has raced across many waters including Grenada, Canada, Bahamas, The Grenadines, but her favourite remains Barbados, just off Carlisle Bay. She pointed out that the best part about sailing was the racing, and while it can be a costly activity she wanted to see more people get involved, especially the youth. “It’s challenging because it’s quite an expensive sport to get into.You have a lot of equipment to purchase and a dinghy costs a pretty penny. “We’ve got quite a few kids coming up through the sailing programme; they’re between the ages of 13-15 which is the perfect age to start training,” she said.
The adventurous, easy-going sailor is also pretty handy on land; she can often be found on the tennis court and is an avid squash player.
Though she has no immediate goals of becoming an Olympian, she said she hoped that Barbados could be represented in Sailing at the 2020 Olympic Games. Adding that it was difficult to receive local training of Olympic standard, she said she believed that with better training programmes, and incentives that people would become interested in professional sailing.
Holly said she was happy to take part in the Barbados Olympic Association’s Independence Games, describing it as a cool idea and “an awesome opportunity for Bajans to come out and be exposed to different sports.”She said she was also looking forward to celebrating Barbados’ 50th Independence anniversary, since she will be part of the Barbados sailing team at the upcoming Magnum Regatta in St.Lucia.
“I’m excited about the 50th anniversary celebrations; Bridgetown’s looking so nice with all the lights,” she said, “We’ll be sailing into Barbados from St. Lucia on Independence Day.”
While sailing is her first love, it’s not Holly’s only talent, she’s also an artist. She confessed that she was “sucked into being an artist”since her mother and grandmother are renowned artists. Many of Holly’s paintings adorn the walls of her Welches, St Thomas home, and her work has also been on display at various art shows. “The art is a hobby. I try to put in a couple hours here and there; I would mostly paint at night. I like painting boats and sea life,” she said.
When she is not on a sea-adventure, or painting sea life, Holly is usually in the kitchen- baking- with The Lumineers playing in the background. She admits that she is a very good baker and finds it relaxing.
And as long as the open sea exists, this young sailor will sail-across the ocean, on a J24, in whichever direction the wind takes her.