Sail Canada: Competing to the end
Published on August 2nd, 2021
When Sail Canada opted not to send all their qualified athletes to the Rio 2016 Olympics, the uproar at home led the national federation to fill every entry they received for the 2020 Games – six of the ten events.
For some of the athletes, Tokyo was to be a building block or last hurrah, but for Sarah Douglas and Tom Ramshaw, they had the opportunity to do some real damage in their events – Women’s One Person Dinghy and Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy.
While both were long-shots to medal, a metric at the Olympics is to compete all the way to the end, and that requires a top ten position in the qualifying stage so as to compete in the final Medal Race. Both Douglas and Ramshaw fulfilled that goal.
At her first Olympic Games, Douglas achieved Canada’s best individual performance in women’s sailing in Olympic history by finishing in 6th position overall.
“I’m a bit disappointed, but I’m still really proud of what I did this past week, in that I had an opportunity to win a medal and make history for Canada. Regardless of the results and considering I’m without a medal, I’m still very, very proud of what I’ve done.”
Nikola Girke previously had Canada’s best individual result in women’s sailing at the Olympic Games with a 10th-place finish in RS:X at London 2012.
Douglas became the first Canadian to take part in the Medal Race of the ILCA 6 class since this event was introduced to the Olympic Games program in Beijing 2008. The best Canadian result in the ILCA 6 so far had been Brenda Bowskill’s 16th-place finish in Rio 2016.
Before the ILCA was introduced, one other single-handed event for women was held at the Olympic Games from 1992 to 2004 inclusively, named Women’s Single Handed Dinghy Europe. The best Canadian result in that event was earned by Beth Calkin at Sydney 2000 with an 11th-place finish.
For Ramshaw, his turn at the Medal Race comes August 3, assured a top ten finish which will be the best Canadian performance at the Olympic Games in that event since Chris Cook finished 5th overall in Beijing 2008.
This is the first time since the 2012 Olympic Games that Canada has two sailors take part in Medal Races. In London, both RS:X athletes, Zachary Plavsic and Girke, raced in the final event as top 10 athletes following the preliminary races.
Race schedule is staggered for the ten sailing events from July 25 to August 4.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021