Saturday, January 19, 2013
At only 12 years old, recipient of the 2012 Bill Burk memorial award, Justin Vittecoq already has an exceptional result sheet: He has been at the top of Quebec result boards including the Quebec Games, Quebec circuit and Quebec Championship. For 3 years now his name was at the top of the Canadian scene, and for a second season has shown consistent improvement at the international level. His results at the Opti north Americans are the best example of this progression as he went from being 145th in 2010 to 95th in 2011 to 4th in 2012.
This year, Justin finished first Canadian at all the events he attended: 55th/160 at the south American championship, 95/230 at the world championship, 6th/39 at the 2012 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup. His 2012 results have opened doors for 2013 as Justin has already been selected to represent Canada at the next Opti world and North American championships.
Sail Canada got a chance to ask this budding young sailor a few questions.
- 1. What does it mean to Justin to have won the Bill Burk Memorial Award?
It means a lot. In the list of past recipients I see sailors who have become canadian olympians, I see my first coach Nicole Bastet who won it twice and I am very proud to get this award at a young age, considering there are many other excellent sailors older than me who could have won it. I have never met Mr Burk but understand he was devoted to youth sailing. People like him are essential to make our sailing programs and regattas happen and I try to remember that every time I get on and off the water, especially when things did not go as well as they should.
- 2. What are your sailing goals for the future? I would like to continue my progression in the Optimist Class with other top 10 positions at international events this year. Then I want to try other boats. Depending on my physical development I hope to evolve into an Olympic class, but there is still a long way to go and a lot to learn. Sailing brings a lot more to me than awards, like travelling in many countries and meeting friends over and over again in different venues. I’ve made sailing friends from Bermuda, Latin America, USA and Europe and we all grow together in the sport.
- 3. What has been his most valuable sailing experience to date? Definitely finishing on the podium at the North Americans this year will be unforgettable. Also my first win at the Optimist Nationals in Lunenburg in 2011. It was a strong wind regatta and I realized there that I could be ahead of the fleet in any conditions. At that event I finally got rid of my fears of storms that had been affecting me since I lost my boat in a squall two years earlier.
Justin will be in attendance to receive his award on today at The Carlu in Toronto during annual Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards.