Please select your home edition
Edition
CoastWaterSports 2014

Road to Paris 2024: Three Canadians set for the 2024 iQFoil World Championships

by Sail Canada 23 Jan 18:41 GMT January 29 - February 3, 2024
Road to Paris 2024 © Sail Canada

Three Canadian sailors will represent the country at the 2024 iQFoil World Championships, January 29-February 3, in Lanzarote, Spain, which will be the first of two competitions that will serve as the qualification process for Canadian athletes towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, if the country earns spots.

On the women's side, five-time Olympian Nikola Girke from West Vancouver, B.C., and Rebecca Heller from Ottawa, who represented the country in this class at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, will be in action.

"I'm excited to participate in the iQFoil World Championships, the first event of Sail Canada's Olympic trials," said Nikola Girke. "While I expected the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be my fifth and final Olympics, I found myself really enjoying windsurfing foiling this last year at home in Vancouver, alongside a great group of local athletes. I really had no intention of competing but as I spent more time on the water, I thought why not, especially when my motto starts with: 'Dare to Dream!'

"I'm a bit late to the party, having only gotten on an iQFoil in November of 2023, but since then, I've been trying to learn as much as I can to build up my confidence with the iQFoil gear, which is completely different from the foil gear I was riding on for fun," added Girke, who previously competed in RS:X windsurfing at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"Windsurfing foiling is a whole new game compared to RS:X; mass is an asset, and at 5'10", the iQFoil better suits my body type. My passion for windsurfing and competing, along with the new iQFoil setup, opens the door for someone like me to compete not just for a spot in Paris, but the door could remain open even for Los Angeles... Who knows! But right now, I'm taking it day by day. Having a Canadian representative at the Olympics would be fantastic for the sport," concluded Girke who, in Rio in 2016, became the first-ever Canadian sailor to compete in three different boat classes at the Olympic Games.

"My goal for the World Championships is to be top Canadian female so I can have a strong start in the Canadian athlete qualifiers," said Rebecca Heller. "I've spent the last month training in Lanzarote, putting in hours on the water, so hopefully I will be well prepared for the conditions."

On the men's side, Cyrus (Cheuk Hin) Lai, who was born in Vancouver but is now living in Hong Kong, will represent Canada at the competition as he is trying to qualify the country and himself for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The last opportunity for Canada to earn a spot in the men's and women's iQFoil events at the Olympic Games will be at the Last Chance Regatta to be held in Hyères, France, April 21-28. At that event, the top five countries amongst those not already qualified will acquire the final spots. An extra spot for each gender will also be attributed at the Last Chance Regatta to the top members of the World Sailing Emerging Nations Program. Canada, however, is not part of that program.

How Canadian athletes qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The 2024 iQFoil World Championship is the first of two competitions that will serve as the Canadian qualification process in iQFoil for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, if Canada qualifies a spot.

For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, athletes and teams can qualify themselves by being the athlete/team with the lowest score combined position from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, with selection being based on a sailing scoring system (lowest score first).

If there is a tie, the athlete/team in the higher position (based on the sailing scoring system) at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is cancelled, it will be replaced by the 2024 European Championships in that class.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee's Team Selection Committee after it has received nominations from all National Sport Organizations.

As of today, Canada has qualified spots for the sailing competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in ILCA 6, 49er, 49erFX and women's kiteboarding. For the other events, Canada can still qualify spots in other competitions that will be coming up in 2024.

Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the manner in which Canadians can qualify themselves to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, as well as the full qualification calendar are available at www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2024-olympic-games.

Related Articles

Final opportunity to qualify Olympic spots
10 Canadian sailors will take part in the Last Chance Regatta in Hyères, France A total of 10 Canadian sailors will take part in the Last Chance Regatta in Hyères, France, April 21-27, which will be the last opportunity to qualify spots for countries at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Posted on 15 Apr
Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance 4th in 49erFX
At the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., took the 4th position in 49erFX at the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta which ended on Saturday in Palma, Spain. Posted on 7 Apr
Douglas, Jone and Barnes to be nominated for Paris
Qualifying for Canada's Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Team Sarah Douglas from Toronto, in ILCA 6, as well as the team comprised of Will Jones from Jerseyville, ON, and Justin Barnes from Pickering, ON, in 49er, have qualified to be nominated on Canada's Paris 2024 Olympic Games sailing team. Posted on 5 Apr
David Yule passes away
He was President of Sail Canada (known then as the Canadian Yachting Association) in 1978 and 1979 It is with great sadness that Sail Canada shares with the Canadian sailing community the passing of past president David Yule. Posted on 27 Mar
Additional Canadians to qualify for Paris Olympics
The Road to Paris 2024 continues at the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta The Road to Paris 2024 will continue for Canadian sailors at the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta, scheduled for April 1 to 6 in Palma, Spain, as additional athletes will qualify to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Posted on 26 Mar
Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance qualify
To be nominated for Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the 49erFX class The team comprised of Will Jones and Justin Barnes take the lead for the Canadian spot in the 49er class. Posted on 11 Mar
Canadian Olympic battles set to kick off
In the 49er and 49erFX classes at the 2024 World Championships This will be the first of two competitions that will serve as Canada's athlete qualification process in 49er and 49erFX for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Posted on 29 Feb
Nominations for Sail Canada Annual Awards open
Deadline for nominations is March 15 Sail Canada is pleased to announce that nominations for its 2024 Annual Awards are now open. Posted on 9 Feb
Girke takes lead for a potential Canadian spot
The last opportunity to qualify Olympic spots in iQFoil will be in mid-April Nikola Girke from West Vancouver, B.C., was the top Canadian in the women's event at the 2024 iQFoil World Championships, which ended today in Lanzarote, Spain, therefore taking the lead for the Canadian spot that would be awarded in this event. Posted on 3 Feb
Sail Canada launches new LTDS 3.0 model
Fostering quality sport, interconnected pathways and meaningful competitions Sail Canada is pleased to launch its new Long-Term Development in Sailing (LTDS) model. Posted on 3 Feb