Frank Mayers – Inducted 2011

 In Hall of Fame

Born in Barbados in 1919, short of stature but great at heart, Frankie took up sailing as a boy and had a 14 footer “Hurricane” built as soon as he started working. He was transferred by CIBC to Trinidad in 1942, joining the Trinidad Yacht Club then at Cocorite and racing every weekend against varying sized yachts operating under individual handicaps. Around 1943/44 he and like minded friends ran a series of races for small yachts, bringing in youngsters to set them on a path to skill development. When the Yacht Club moved to its present site in Bayshore, he served as President for a year and as a Committee Member for several more.

Frankie’s outstanding contribution to sailing the islands was his building, initially for the use of his children, of a plywood sailing board, the “Kingfish”, akin to the modern fiberglass Sunfish and Sailfish hulls. From the 1960’s on his creations multiplied into a class of its own and keenly contested racing took place off the Yacht Club, Gasparee and subsequently from Hart’s Cut to the Five Islands when the fleet moved to Chaguaramas.

In “Windans”, Frankie won several races, once attaining the title of “Yacht of the Year” and in Catamarans he successfully raced in Port of Spain and San Fernando. His versatility in handling all types of yachts and dinghies led to him representing his adopted country in the Caribbean Games in Jamaica and the Pan-Am Games in Brazil and Canada, earning him a couple of medals.

His sense of adventure led him to feats of daring equaled by few on his contemporaries – circumnavigating Barbados in an open 14 footer, circumnavigating Trinidad in a catamaran and even more foolhardily sailing in consort with other skippers on his “Kingfish” from Toco to Tobago. Frankie passed away in his native Barbados on New Year’s Day 1998 at the age of 78 after a life entwined with sailing to the very end.

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