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Six sailing athletes named to Paris 2024 Canadian Olympic Team

by Sail Canada 8 Jun 18:42 BST
Sarah Douglas in ILCA 6, Will Jones and Justin Barnes in 49er qualify to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games © Sailing Energy

Sail Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the roster of Team Canada sailing athletes nominated to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The six athletes are:

ILCA 6
Sarah Douglas (Toronto, Ont., ABYC)

49er
Justin Barnes (Pickering, Ont., RCYC)
Will Jones (Aldershot, Ont., RHYC)

49erFX
Antonia Lewin-LaFrance (Chester, N.S., RNSYS/CYC)
Georgia Lewin-LaFrance (Chester, N.S., RNSYS/CYC)

Women's Kiteboarding
Emily Bugeja (North Vancouver, B.C., RVanYC)

Sarah Douglas will make her second consecutive Olympic appearance at Paris 2024. She finished in sixth place at Tokyo 2020 - the best ever Olympic result for a Canadian woman in an individual sailing event. Douglas has built on the success of her first Olympic experience, earning her first podium finish at a World Sailing regatta when she won ILCA 6 gold at the Princess Sofia Trophy in April 2022. In 2023, she won gold at the French Olympic Week in Hyères, France, finishing just ahead of the Tokyo 2020 and 2022 ILCA 6 World Championship gold medallist. Douglas went on to win the ILCA 6 silver medal at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

"It's been no secret what my goal for Paris is: I'm hunting down that podium!" said Douglas. "Marseille can bring a range of conditions but what I know for sure is that it will be hot. We will be bringing our cooling strategies back from the last Olympics. I'm expecting my second Games to be a completely different experience than Tokyo with no restrictions, ability to leave the village and friends and family present. I plan on taking in all that Paris has to offer along with attending the closing ceremony."

Sisters Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance will make their Olympic debuts at Paris 2024 in the 49er FX. Following their 13th position at the 2023 Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, the Lewin-LaFrance sisters, in each of the last four major international competitions in which they took part in, qualified for the medal races, reserved for the top-10 boats following the preliminary races. The Nova Scotian sisters placed fourth at the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta last April.

"We are so excited to qualify for our first Olympic Games", said the Lewin-LaFrance sisters. "It's crazy to think that Paris 2024 is just over a month away. We can't really describe this feeling, but hunger, nerves, and excitement are all in the mix. Despite the hype, we find ourselves entirely focused on the sailing when we're training in Marseille. We're trying to think of it as any other performance regatta. Thank you to everyone who has ever contributed to our campaign. Go Canada!"

Justin Barnes and Will Jones will compete in the 49er event. While Barnes will make his Olympic debut in Paris, Jones competed at Tokyo 2020 with Evan DePaul, placing 19th. In 2022, following De Paul's retirement, Barnes and Jones teamed up for the Sailing World Championships Test Event in The Hague, Netherlands. At the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, they earned a bronze medal and a Paris 2024 quota spot for Canada in the 49er. They were selected for the Canadian Olympic Team by topping the Canadian standings in the class after two selection regattas.

Emily Bugeja will make her Olympic debut at Paris 2024 in women's kiteboarding, which is a new Olympic event. Bugeja earned the quota spot for Canada at Santiago 2023 where she finished as the top-ranked women's kite athlete from North America and the Caribbean who had not yet qualified for Paris. She later secured her nomination to Team Canada by finishing atop the Canadian selection ranking, which included results of the 2024 Formula Kite World Championships and the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy regatta.

Team Canada sailing athletes have won nine Olympic medals, the most recent being a silver in the Star class by Ross MacDonald and Mike Wolfs at Athens 2004. Sailing was first included on the Olympic program at Paris 1900. After a brief absence, the sport returned at London 1908 and has been contested at every Olympic Games since. The event program has varied over the years as the popularity of certain types and models of boats changed.

"Sail Canada is pleased to announce its team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games", said Sail Canada's High Performance Manager, Mike Milner. "Based on their performances in the past cycle, our team proved its ability to qualify for medal races, as well as being contenders to get on the podium. We are looking forward to hopefully seeing Canada back on the Olympic podium for the first time since 2004. Congratulations to all the athletes, as well as the coaches and the support staff who all gave their everything to be at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games this summer."

Sailing will take place July 28 to August 8 (Day 2 to 13) at the Marseille Marina.

''Congratulations to the Canadian sailing team athletes who will be setting sail towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Anchored by passion and driven by determination, Team Canada is ready to conquer the waves and sail their way to victory,'' said Bruny Surin, Team Canada's Paris 2024 Chef de Mission. ''May every current and every gust of wind, as well as every encouragement, propel them towards Olympic success.''

Team Canada's sailing team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games also includes the following members:

Coaches

  • Ken Dool (London, Ont.) - Head Coach
  • Vaughn Harrison (Aurora, Ont.) - ILCA 6 Coach
  • Krzysztof Kierkowski (Sopot, Poland) - 49erFX Coach

Support Staff

  • Eric Holden (Vancouver, B.C.) - Meteorologist
  • Patrick Godbout (Trois-Pistoles, Que.) - Media Attaché
  • Mike Milner (Peterborough, Ont.) - Team Leader
  • Alice Sobiesiak (Toronto, Ont.) - Athletic Therapist
  • Katie Sweeting (Chelsea, Que.) - Team/Logistics Manager
  • Erik van der Pol (Victoria, B.C.) - Team Data Analyst (non-travelling)

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee's Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.

The latest Team Canada Paris 2024 roster can be found here.

The team will be celebrated on July 12th at Sail Canada's 2024 Celebration of Sailing in Toronto. Tickets to the reception are available here

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