Tokyo 2020: Training and COVID-19

Published on August 29th, 2020

Preparing for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics amid COVID-19 health guidelines and restrictions prompted Canada to organize the first Canadian Sailing Team Invitational Training Camp/Event at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston, ON. The 9-day event for Laser Standard, Laser Radial, 49er, and 49erFX fleets concluded August 29. here’s the Sail Canada report:


This training event was an opportunity to create an intense racing environment focused on enhancing racing skills for our Olympic hopefuls during a time when attending international competitions is a challenge.

It also provided an opportunity to bring together the Canadian Sailing Team, Canadian Sailing Development Squad, and Canadian Sailing Youth Squad to race and learn all together. This offered tremendous value for not only the development sailors to test their skills against Canada’s best, but also the CST sailors as they could provide guidance and mentorship to the next generation of Olympic athletes.

The event schedule was set in such a way that the 49er/FX fleet raced over the first 8 days, the Radial fleet raced the first 5 days, the Laser fleet raced the last 5 days with one transition day that coincided with the 49er/FX rest day. This ensured that there were never more than 45 competitors in the boat park at any given time.

For the Radial, over the 4 days of fleet racing and 1 medal race, they sailed 12 races with CST member Sarah Douglas and Development Squad athletes Coralie Vittecoq and Clara Gravely as the top three in that order. In fourth place was Nathan Latka (Ontario Sailing Team & ABYC) and Carling Davies (Ontario Sailing Team & RCYC) in fifth.

In the 49er and FX fleet, 24 fleet races were completed with 1 medal race over the 8 days. In the 49er FX fleet, CST members Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen finished 1st, followed by Ross Thompson and Will Mendeham (Royal Vancouver Yacht Club) in second and Georgia and Antonia Lewin Lafrance (Canadian Sailing Development Squad) in third place.

In the 49er fleet, the Ryan and Andrew Wood (Canadian Sailing Development Squad) secured their first place finish in a tight medal race, followed by Alec and Cameron Baird (Royal St.Lawrence Yacht Club) in second and Dylan Jones and Jonathan Kelly (Royal Victoria Yacht Club) in third place.

The Laser fleet completed 15 races and 1 medal race over the 5 days, with Fillah Karim (CSDS) in first overall followed closely by Luke Ruitenberg (CSDS), Noah Collinson (RCYC), Forrest Wachholz (Barrie YC), Liam Bruce (CSDS) in that order.

Sail Canada worked closely with KFL&A Public Health, the City of Kingston and the Sail Canada Medical Task Force to ensure everything was done to make the event a safe and successful one during these challenging times.

Extensive COVID-19 mitigation strategies were put in place including an action plan in the case that someone did begin to develop symptoms or test positive. All participants (athletes, coaches, support staff) were required to sign daily attestation forms, have their temperatures checked, wear a mask, and physical distance while onshore in the boat park and while launching.

It is Sail Canada’s goal that this event can be used as a template to assist in running safe sailing events during these COVID-19 times. A thorough debrief of the event will be done with the organizing staff and the Chief Medical officers who were on site. We hope to learn as much as possible from the event.

A big thank you to Sport Canada, Wind Athletes, KFL&A Public Health, the City of Kingston, and all the coaches and competitors who followed the COVID-19 guidelines and made this a safe and successful event.

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