Brenda Farfan – Inducted 2012

 In Hall of Fame

Child of the nineteen forties, Brenda Gibbon was born in San Fernando and educated at Bishop Anstey’s in Port of Spain and St. Helen’s in Eastbourne, England.

Her involvement with sailing started in 1965, when her future husband David Farfan put her out on the trapeze of his Flying Dutchman in the pouring rain on a transit from San Fernando to Port of Spain.

When they moved up to the offshore fleet, she crewed with David on “Kalinka” and “Bellatrix”. When “Business Machine” was acquired in 1986, Brenda took over “Bellatrix” and with it had the distinction of skippering the only all-female crew in the Trinidad racing fleet when previously no women were tolerated on boats during races.  In the 1986/87 season she won the Cruising Class Boat of the year. “Bellatrix” was sold when David passed away and with her lady crew Brenda contested aboard “Business Machine”, to the extent that she again won the Cruising Class Boat of the Year for the 1999-2000 season and Racer Cruiser Class II in 2007/08. Her example has led to the inclusion of a lady Skipper race in the season’s annual calendar.

In earlier days, Brenda was a one-woman support team for David’s participation in the 1966 CAC Games and with Margaret Bennett, did the same for their two husbands at the 1972 Kiel Olympics.

Her ground-breaking role as a lady skipper was not Brenda’s only contribution to the life of the Sailing Association – she has the distinction of being the first lady to serve on the management committee, doing stalwart service on the Entertainment Committee and together with Jay Avey would get up to 40 boats out for club races, as well as being the livewire behind the early Tobago Race Week Regattas, organizing Jetty Jams and Lay Day activities. Her major personal contribution to the regular racing season was over two decades of sponsorship of the Ricoh Trophy inaugurated by David. About five years ago, active racing responsibilities with a female crew passed to her daughter Marsha who won the “Boat of the Year” in 2008/09, but Brenda still enjoys the cruising life.

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