John McRoberts and Jackie Gay: Sail Canada Sailor of the Month
Published on June 4th, 2015
Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Here is the May report…
Pan Am qualification, silver medals, breakthrough performances and course records sum up the month of May for Canadian sailors.
Possibly one of the most anticipated events this spring were the Pan Am trials held at the Toronto Sailing and Canoe club on Victoria Day weekend. Sailors were set to compete for the chance to represent Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. While mother-nature did not fully cooperate throughout the 3-day event, race committees worked diligently to get racing in for the anxious J/24, Lightning, Snipe and Hobie 16 classes.
Olympian Terry McLaughlin, along with crew David Ogden, David Jarvis and Sandy Andrews, enjoyed his J/24 win alongside his son Evert McLaughlin who qualified in the Snipe with Alexandra Damley-Strnad. Olympian Chantal Leger captured the win in the Lightning with teammates Jamie Allen and Jay Deakin while Hobie 16 veteran Dan Borg secured his ticket with crew Liana Giovando.
These sailors will join the other 7 CST sailors previously qualified in the Laser, Radial, 49erFX, RSX and Sunfish.
The 50th anniversary of the Soling World Championships was a success with over 45 boats and four Canadian teams in beautiful Tuscany, Italy. Team Abbott, including Bill, wife Joanne and son William battled for gold until the final race, falling victim to protests and settling for silver behind Team HUN 11. ISA President Peter Hall placed 8th with crew William Hall and Olympian Paul Davis. The next World Championships are slated for fall of 2016 in Kingston, ON.
The Carolina Yacht Club hosted the 2015 North American Laser Masters Championships from May 22-24 with Canadian Nigel Heath capturing 2nd place in the Laser Radial division.
The 70th edition of the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race saw 58 boats take on the 185 nautical mile race from Connecticut, down Long Island Sound, around Block Island and back to Stamford on Memorial Day weekend. Ideal weather conditions set Jim Clark’s Comanche boat up for sweet success breaking a course record in the elapsed time of 11 hours, 25 minutes and 1 second. “This record will likely stand for a long-time,” admits Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke. Clarke was aboard the record-setting 100-ft maxi along with navigator Stan Honey.
Alec Cutler’s Hedgehog BER-1 secured another top ten result at the 2015 Audi-Tron Sailing Series in Port Venere with 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mike Wolfs onboard and Richard Clarke coaching. The next event of the series will take place this weekend in Riva Del Garda.
CST sailors were competing in Lake Garda, Italy for the popular Trentino Olympic Week capturing both Olympic and Paralympic action. Nacra 17 team Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke continue their top 10 streak with a 7th place finish while 49er FX duo Arielle Morgan and Heather Myatt had a breakthrough event racing in their first ever medal race in the competitive fleet finishing a very respectable 6th overall.
SKUD Team John McRoberts and Jackie Gay battled hard in the expansive Paralympic fleet with an outstanding 9 races and a well-earned silver medal. Following their success in Lake Garda, the happily married couple packed up their hardware and moved over to Delta Lloyd Regatta for an even more challenging week with the biggest SKUD fleet seen on the international stage.
In Medemblik, John and Jackie battled among all the usual suspects including GBR, AUS and the NED. While the unforgiving Dutdh breeze forced team McRoberts outside medal contention, the duo still displayed their ability to play with powerhouse team GBR and win Gold in 2016!
“John and Jackie are on the right path to set Canada up to strike at Gold at the Rio Paralympic Games,” says coach Steve McBride. “We are up for that challenge and are looking forward to putting the lessons learned in Europe towards our training and further competitive opportunities this year.”
While John & Jackie’s Road to Rio continues, Sail Canada honours their ongoing path of success by awarding the Paralympic SKUD team with Sailor of the Month for the month of May.