Canadian Team Announced for Rio Olympic Test Event
Published on August 12th, 2015
Kingston, ON (August 12, 2015) – Members of the Canadian Sailing Team will join 52 nations for the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2015, the Olympic test event on August 15-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“The Canadian Sailing Team is sending a mix of experienced athletes and Olympic hopefuls to the 2015 Test Event,” comments High Performance Director Ken Dool. “This will be a first hand opportunity for all to experience Rio and most importantly ‘test’ the waters of Guanabara Bay and surrounding waters.”
Along with providing valuable training for the athletes, the event allows the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to evaluate and make key decisions in advance of making the final decisions that will govern the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Sail Canada is sending 7 sailors to Rio to compete in 5 of the 10 Olympic events. Canadian sailors have been selected to attend the Test Event based on their performances at selected international events.
Canadian Sailing Team:
Zac Plavsic: RS:X Men
Jacob and Graeme Saunders: 470 Men
Isabella Bertold: Laser Radial
Lee Parkhill: Laser
Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke: Nacra 17
Pan Am Laser Sailor Lee Parkhill is looking forward to applying the small fleet racing format from the recent Pan Am Games towards this upcoming Test Event. “I’m really looking forward to executing some of my key learnings from Toronto here in Rio.” Parkhill secured a bronze medal at Toronto 2015, coming off a very challenging World Championships in 23rd overall in Kingston, ON.
Radial sailor Isabella Bertold, currently ranked 8th in the world, has been training in Rio for a few weeks and doesn’t underestimate the complexities of the venue. “My main goal is get as much information about racing in Rio as possible. It isn’t an easy place to race but I’m ready for the challenge! A medal at the 2016 Olympics is the goal, and this regatta is an important part of the process.”
Nacra 17 duo Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke are ready to contend with the worlds best catamaran sailors, aiming to feed off their 9th place finish at the ISAF World Cup – Hyeres. Ramsay is keeping it simple for Rio saying, “The goal is to never get caught slow. It is a really tricky venue and we are focused on eliminating breakdowns, bad boat handling and any downspeed moments. Control what you can control and let the others make mistakes.”
Ramsay and Girke have had a busy summer season, competing for Team Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Ramsay sailing the to a silver medal finish in the Sunfish and Girke sailing the RSX Windsurfer.
Both Girke and Ramsay competed at the 2012 London Olympics, albeit in different classes, they are looking forward to the opportunity to qualify Canada for 2016 and sail the Nacra for its debut appearance at the Olympic Games.
Canadian Support Team:
Ken Dool – Team Leader
Steve Mitchell – Coach
Ian Andrews – Coach
Larry Lemieux – Coach
Erik Stibbe – Coach
Eric Holden – Meteorologist
Racing is scheduled to commence at 13:00 on Saturday August 15 with racing concluding on Saturday August 22.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will feature 380 athletes competing across ten events. Racing is scheduled to take place from 8-18 August 2016 and the competition format for all events is fleet racing.