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Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance qualify to be nominated for Paris 2024 Olympic Games

by Sail Canada 11 Mar 01:23 GMT
Nova Scotia's 49erFX sailors Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance qualify to be nominated for Paris 2024 Olympic Games © Sail Canada

The team comprised of Will Jones and Justin Barnes take the lead for the Canadian spot in the 49er class.

Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., qualified to be nominated on Canada's Paris 2024 Olympic Games sailing team in the 49erFX class following the results they posted at the 2024 49er and 49erFX World Championships which ended on Sunday in Lanzarote, Spain.

Holding the 16th spot following the races held on Friday, the Lewin-LaFrance moved up to the 10th position to qualify for Sunday's Medal Race as one of the top 10 teams in the standings following the preliminary races. They took the second spot in the Medal Race, which allowed them to climb two ranks and finish in 8th place.

The other Canadian team in action, Ali ten Hove (Kingston, ON) and Mariah Millen (Toronto, ON), finished 30th.

"We're just absolutely stunned," said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance. "We were in 10th place going into the last day of the regatta. We knew we had to sail one more race before the medal race, and we had some very good teams just a few points behind us. We finished 7th in the last fleet race. As we crossed the finish line, we were overwhelmed with emotions: we were going to be in the medal race at the World Championship, in an Olympic year!"

"We were still in 10th place overall going into the medal race. At that point, we had already achieved our team performance goal of being in the top 10 at these Worlds. But we knew that 8th, the place we needed to make in order to automatically qualify ourselves for the Olympics, was within reach. In the medal race, we wanted to just sail the best we could. When we crossed the finish line in second, the reality of it hit us: we had just earned ourselves a ticket to Paris."

"We're so incredibly honoured to have done this. We were competing against a highly skilled and experienced team for this Olympic spot. We were very proud to have two world class Canadian teams going head to head, and we're extremely grateful to have been pushed so hard by them.

"We would like to thank our coach Krzysztof Kierkowski for the hard work and dedication in helping us achieve our goals today."

Amendment to the Canadian Olympic Selection criteria

Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance qualified to be nominated following an amendment that was made earlier this year regarding the following point in Sail Canada's International Nomination Process for the 2024 Olympic Games:

"In the event that only one team places in the top 8 at the 2023 Olympic Class World Championships and no other team places within 10 overall finish positions from the team that finished in the top 8, they will automatically be nominated to the Olympic Team."

Due to an injury which prevented one of the Canadian teams to compete at last year's edition of the World Championships in this class, the rule was changed to this year's edition.

Full qualification processes regarding how Canadians can qualify themselves to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad are available at www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2024-olympic-games.

Will Jones and Justin Barnes leading in 49er

As is the case for all Olympic classes except in 49erFX, the 2024 49er World Championships were the first of two competitions serving as part of the Canadian qualifying process for the event to be held in Paris. Canada earned Olympic spots as a country in 49er and in 49erFX at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

The team comprised of Will Jones (Jerseyville, ON) and Justin Barnes (Pickering, ON) ended up in 39th place, finishing ahead of two other Canadian teams, that of Arie Moffat (Kingston, ON) and Hunter Hoy (Kirkland, QC), 50th, and Thomas and William Staples (Beaconsfield, QC), 55th.

A total of 51 teams from around the world were in action in 49erFX, and 71 in 49er.

The team that will represent Canada in 49er will be known after the second and last competition that will be part of the Canadian selection process, i.e. the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, to be held April 1-6 in Mallorca, Spain.

Canadian 49erFX Ranking for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (Final)

1. Antonia & Georgia Lewin-LaFrance (8th)
2. Ali ten Hove & Mariah Millen (30th)

Canadian 49er Ranking for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (after event #1 out of 2)

1. Will Jones & Justin Barnes - 39 points
2. Arie Moffat & Hunter Hoy - 50 points
3. Thomas & William Staples - 55 points

How Canadian athletes can qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, except in 49erFX

For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, except in 49erFX, 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 classes' 2024 European Championships.

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.

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