Wednesday, February 19, 2014
World Champion Al Clark began his sailing career in the junior sailing program at Britannia Yacht Club in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1979, Al enjoyed his first taste ofsuccess at the Youth Nationals and competed at the Youth World Championships (Moths), finishing 4th overall under the guidance of his coach and fellow Rolex Sailor of the Year finalist Terry McLaughlin. While pursuing a coaching career at Royal Vancouver Yacht club for over 12 years, Al maintained his competitive sailing edge, becoming the Masters Canadian Champion four times over, winning the North American Radial championships, capturing the Masters Radial Worlds title in 2011 and last but not least, capturing the title of Laser Masters World Champion in 2013. Al attributes his success to his love for sailing and competitive nature saying, "Eventually I realized that I just liked launching a boat off the dock and I liked to compete, so I see sailing as a passion and competition is an outlet." Al Clark was awarded Sail Canada’s sailor of the month in December 2013.
John McRoberts & Jackie Gay (RVicYC), a newly formed team on land and sea, joined forces in the SKUD 18 boat just after the 2012 Paralympic Games. John and Jackie first met at the Shake a Leg Center, Miami in 2007. Jackie was training with the British National Team, and John representing the Canadian National Team. The couple were married in 2011, relocated to Canada, however put off sailing together until after the 2012 Games allowing McRoberts to maintain his on-water partnership with CST alumni Stacie Louttit. McRoberts & Louttit were bronze medallists at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and 4th at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
John & Jackie finally launched their campaign and have enjoyed quick success, sailing consistently at the 2013 IFDS World Championships held in Dublin, capturing the Bronze medal. "Persistence is the key to success. And good coaching." The duo are coached by Sail Canada's Erik Stibbe and have their eyes set on the 2014 IFDS World Championships and the pinnacle event in Rio 2016. John & Jackie were awarded Sailor of the month in August of 2013 and have been honored as the 2013 Skippers' Plan Team of the Year.
Terry McLaughlin, celebrates 30 years since his 1984 silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games with flying Dutchman crew Evert Bastet, also being honoured this year as Volunteer of the Year for his work at the 2013 Canada Summer Games. Three decades later, Terry maintains his path to success heading back to the New York Yacht Club with his RCYC crew to defend their title at the NYYC Invitational Cup. With 5 race wins, Terry and crew pulled out another exciting title for Canada. Other notable achievements include the championship title at the Swan 42 Nationals in Newport, Canadian J-105 Championships and the LYRA Regatta in Toronto, ON. "Sailboat racing is in my blood. Both of my parents were excellent sailors. Growing up on Toronto Island allowed me to be on the water at a young age. We had a good group of similar age sailors at the RCYC Junior Club that provided good competition from the age of ten." Terry was awarded Sailor of the month in September of 2013.
All three finalists will be in attendance for the winner announcement at the Carlu in Toronto ON. Come celebrate success on February 28th!