The 46th Annual Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships is now just three weeks away, set for October 11-14, at the Fiesta Theater at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR). It was originally set for San Juan, Puerto Rico, but due to challenges the organizing committee faced, it was moved to the DR – the home for the championships for the second time in four years.
A 12-member team is set to represent The Bahamas, hoping to improve on the fourth overall finish from a year ago.
Leading the team are veteran competitors Shakira Ferguson, Charles Reckley and Wellington Wallace.
Ferguson, a two-time national bikini champion, said this is her fourth trip to the CAC Championships and she is planning on making it her last. If she accomplishes her goal of winning a pro card, she would no longer be eligible to compete in the CAC Championships.
“I feel like I’m overdue. I feel that everything happens in God’s time, but I feel like I have passed the nationals stage,” she said. “I’m ready to go on the international level, and I feel that this is my time. I was more excited when it was initially scheduled for Puerto Rico because I never went there before, but it is in the Dominican Republic now, so I’m looking forward to that. I have worked very hard over the years and I have stayed focused. I feel like I have progressed a lot and that this is my time to become a pro to prove that it could be done just the way I am.”
Ferguson won a bronze medal in Mexico City, Mexico, at the senior regional meet last year, and is looking to improve on that performance. This year, the national bikini champion said she is focused on nothing other than coming out on top and earning a professional card in bikini through the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness’ (IFBB) certified process. Already, a total of 14 Bahamians have earned pro cards in bodybuilding and fitness, most of whom did so under the National Physique Committee (NPC) as opposed to through the IFBB.
All category winners will have the right to apply for IFBB Elite Pro Cards through their national federations. Also, the top five in each category will be awarded points to the IFBB World Ranking 2019. The IFBB is the world’s governing body for the sport.
“This time at CACs, I’m hoping for a better experience and to walk away with a victory and a pro card. I feel I can do it, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get it done,” said Ferguson.
Three-time Mr. Bahamas Reckley is the only member of Team Bahamas competing in men’s bodybuilding. Wallace will compete in men’s physique.
Also named to the team are Tanza Thompson, Fania Joseph and Dawn Charlton for women’s bikini; and Kiat Young, David Dormavil, Demetrius Clarke, Jason Johnson, Dominique Hanna and Bertram Miller in men’s physique.
Raymond Tucker will travel as the national coach for the fifth consecutive year. Nardo Dean is the team manager. Other Bahamian officials headed to Santo Domingo are Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) President Joel Stubbs, Tim Rolle who is traveling for security purposes and two local judges.
The athlete registration and weigh-in process is set for Friday, October 11, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Pre-judging and finals are set for Saturday and Sunday.
The CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, which falls under the auspices of the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (CACBBFF), will be subject to the ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) anti-doping rules, having 10 tests in total. It is recommended that the participating national federations carry out checks prior to the championships to ensure that their athletes are free of doping and thus avoid unnecessary fines and penalties.
Apart from men’s bodybuilding, men’s physique and women’s bikini, athletes will also compete in men’s junior bodybuilding, junior men’s physique, masters men’s bodybuilding, masters men’s physique, men’s classic bodybuilding, men’s classic physique, men’s fitness, women’s fitness, junior women’s bikini, women’s physique, women’s body fitness (figure), women’s wellness and women’s fit model.
The Bahamas was also represented by a 12-member team at last year’s championships, winning three gold medals and nine medals in total.