Thursday, January 09, 2014

The ‘Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’ continues to heat up as the fleets arrived into Sydney Australia in mid-December.  Canadian Skipper Eric Holden and team Henri Lloyd add a notch in their belt, earning their first winner's pennant in Sydney, Australia.  After the completion of 5 legs, Team Henri Lloyd maintain a consistent overall lead ahead of ‘OneDLL ‘and ‘Qingdao’. Holden was quoted saying, "This win has been a long time coming; we've been the bridesmaids for the last couple of races so it's nice to do one better and win Race 5 into Sydney."  With a few 2nd place repeats Eric reflects on a solid win. "People have been asking me if I would be happy winning the overall race without actually winning one of the races in the series. My answer is yes, but it feels so much better to win a race then come second!”

On the Paralympic front, Canadians flocked to the south to maximize their training and competitive opportunities, including the America's Open Disabled Regatta which saw Bruce Millar score a podium finish in 2nd overall right behind GBR's Megan Pascoe in the 2.4mR boat. Sonar stallions Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell & Scott Lutes also pulled out a 2nd place finish in St. Petersburg, Florida. With a mere two-day break, 2.4mR sailors moved into Charlotte Harbour to take on the US Midwinters where Allan Leibel and Bruce Millar placed 1, 2 respectively. Charlotte Harbour Yacht Club also played host to the US Nationals where Allan enjoyed back to back wins.  

Piggybacking on the Laser Men's standard World Championships, Oman played host to the Laser Masters World Championships where Vancouverite Al Clark came ready to battle for hardware in the Laser Masters standard division. Clark previously held the 2011 title in the Radial division. The week long crusade came right down to the wire in an intense showdown with Arould Hummel from the Netherlands. “It was so close that I had to write down and memorize all the mathematical possibilities,” Clark said. “Fourth or worse for him meant I would win because my discard was five. At the final mark, I touched his boat so had to do a double penalty turn then I watched him finish and counted the boats ahead of him and there were five. It was pretty stressful.” 

The Canuck was ultimately crowned World Champion, an accomplishment that earns Al Clark the title of Sail Canada’s December Sailor of the Month! 

Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms.  Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to .