A 16-year-old fire cadet with a burning ambition to be on the international circuit as a Formula One race driver, has been chosen by Digicel Barbados as the second person to receive the accolade of “Extraordinary Bajan”.
He is Tremaine Forde-Catwell, who has been an active competitor with significant successes in cycling, go-kart racing, motor drag racing and circuit racing, having started to follow his dream at the tender age of five.
In keeping with Digicel’s tagline “Be Extraordinary”, the Extraordinary Bajan campaign seeks to reward Barbadians who prove themselves as being extraordinary by their achievements and the impact they make on their communities and on the country.
Digicel’s chief executve officer Johnny Ingle made the announcement after being driven around the Bushy Park, St Philip circuit for a few laps by Forde-Catwell, just before the vehicle was shipped off to Guyana for him to compete in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship International Race meet.
Ingle said afterwards: “Tremaine is such a humble and disciplined young man, and at 16 years of age is already a remarkable talent with a bright future ahead of him. His car control is amazing and he simply exemplifies not only Extraordinary, but what an Extraordinary Bajan. We wish him the best of luck in Guyana and can’t wait to catch up with him on his return and follow his career as he seeks to achieve his objective of being a Formula One driver.”
Forde-Catwell, who has not yet obtained his Barbados driver’s licence, and identifies his well-known motor racing father Gregory Catwell as the greatest motivation and inspiration in his life, made his first trip to Trinidad as a cyclist when he was five years old and won six races, taking six gold medals. At home, he won the most outstanding BMX Rider, and then entered the Tiny Mites category, both on road and track, to win the national championship. He also broke three records in the 200m, 500m and individual pursuit.
Last year, he placed third in the Caribbean Junior Championship after moving up to the Juvenile class and winning the national championship. He also won four local fun rides in his category.
The world of go-kart racing had also attracted him by the time he was just eight years old and in his first meet he finished second as rookie in his group. However, the following year he returned to win that group with the fastest lap-time.
Forde-Catwell’s next step was into drag racing as a 13-year-old, when he strapped into his father’s racing car and took first place in the 8.5 to 9 second class. One year later, he boldly entered Circuit Racing as the youngest ever to drive in the CMRC. In 2014, he also drove in two race meets in Guyana, qualifying first in both.
Looking back over his career, he said: “By the time I was ten, my tally of cycling medals was over 100 and I also had over 40 trophies. In 2012, after winning every Go-Karting event and every possible trophy, I was named the champion driver but none of what I have achieved so far would have been possible without the support and encouragement of my father.”