Thursday, February 07, 2013

Lots of Canadian sailors in action in the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream this January, particularly in the build-up to the Miami OCR – the first ISAF World Cup of the year.  Canadians were in attendance at Key West Race Week, where Richard Clarke and Mike Wolfs finished 2nd on Hedgehog in the Melges 20 class, while Tyler Bjorn was a member of the crew of Catapult, 1st in IRC sub-class, 5th in HPR.

In the ISAF North American and Caribbean Nations Cup Regional Qualifier, Bridgetown Barbados, the Canadian team of helm Peter Wickwire (RNSYS/RCYC), tactician Evan Petley-Jones (RNSYS), trimmer Ben Maloney (RNSYS) and bowman Erwyn Naidoo (RCYC) were unbeaten (18-0) until they encountered Dustin Durant and his U.S. team from Long Beach Yacht Club in the final, losing 3-0 in difficult and shifty conditions. 

Back in Miami, the Miami ISAF World Cup regatta saw promising Canadian performances with several medals secured.  Finn sailor Greg Douglas took home a silver medal in his best World Cup result to date, while Martin Robitaille finished 6th overall in the 30 boat fleet.
David Wright and Robert Davis qualified for the final 3 race medal series in the Laser class, with Wright finishing 4th overall and Davis 6th.
Nikola Girke and Luke Ramsay finished 5th overall in the new Olympic class, the Nacra 17 catamaran, while in the 49ers, Newfoundlanders Jon Ladha/Daniel Inkpen led the Canadian contingent in 4th ahead of David Mori/Justin Barnes in 6th.  
Erin Berry and Danielle Boyd left an impression in their FX debut with two wins this week, ending up 4th.  Another 4th place was secured by Graeme and Jacob Saunders in the 470 while on the 2.4m course Alan Leibel edged out paralympian Bruce Millar by 1 point for the silver medal.  The Canadian Sonar team of Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes narrowly missed out on a podium position due to a halyard failure earlier in the regatta.
Perhaps the strongest fleet in Miami was the Laser Radial where the top ten included 5 2012 Olympians. In the three race medal series Isabella Bertold recovered from a penalty in race 2 and won the final race to take the bronze medal, capping off an excellent series of 14 races with single digit results.  While Isabella is not the highest finishing Canadian in Miami, her performance in a strong fleet makes her the stand-out sailor in January 2013 and she becomes Sail Canada’s January 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