Kingston, September 28, 2022 – Annie Balasubramanian from Toronto as well as the team comprised of Colin Gilley and Matt Young from Vancouver have been awarded the Sail Canada 2022 Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Awards, while Delani Hulme-Lawrence from Victoria, B.C., received the Sail Canada 2022 Marvin McDill Memorial Award.
The Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award recognizes sailors who are 18 years old and under and have shown a record of outstanding achievement in national and international youth competition, have brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing, have set an example for other youth competitors through behaviour and manner, and have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship.
Over the time period of January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, Annie Balasubramanian (RCYC & Ontario Sailing Team) took the 12th spot at the 2022 Youth Sailing World Championships held in The Hague, Netherlands, which was the best Canadian performance in ILCA 6 since 2009 at that competition. She then took the 10th spot at the 2022 Youth ILCA 6 Championships held in Texas. In March of 2022, she took the 22nd position at the 2022 ILCA Midwinters East in St. Petersburg, FL, to finish the competition as the top Canadian female athlete in ILCA 6, therefore qualifying her for the 2022 Youth Sailing World Championships.
“I’m very excited that I’ve been chosen for the Bill Burk Memorial Award for 2022,” said Annie Balasubramanian. “My 2022 sailing season was jam-packed with travel, international regattas, local regattas, training and everything, and two back-to-back Youth World Championships. But I’m very happy with how everything went and it was pretty successful.
“I’m super appreciative of all my teammates and my coaches, especially my teammates who convinced me to do the Youth ILCA 6 World Championships, not even four days after I had gotten back from the Youth Sailing Championships in the Netherlands. But if it wasn’t for my teammates and my coaches who kept pushing me and helped me train and supported me the whole time, I would not have been able to perform anywhere near how I did.”
“Thank you, Sail Canada, for this award and all the resources that have been provided for me. I’m super excited to keep sailing, training, competing, and representing Canada at more events, and I’m looking forward to the next sailing season.”
Annie Balasubramanian will be presented the award on October 17th at Canada’s Celebration of Sailing. Tickets and more information are available at https://www.sailing.ca/product/canadas-celebration-of-sailing/.
Colin Gilley and Matt Young: co-winners of the 2022 Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award
The team comprised of Colin Gilley and Matt Young (RVYC) also earned the 2022 Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award as, starting this year, Sail Canada is handing out two Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Awards annually to athletes/teams of different gender identities.
While training in ILCA 6 in the fall of 2021, the two sailors, who are cousins, decided to try the 29er. Only a few months later, they qualified for the 2022 Youth Sailing World Championships, where they took the 21st position. They also won the gold medals at the 2022 Canada Summer Games, after less than a year in that boat class, and took the second spot overall at the Sail Canada 2022 Youth Championships.
“Thank you so much, Sail Canada, for honouring us with the Bill Burke Memorial Youth Elite Award,” said Colin Gilley and Matt Young.
“2022 was an extraordinary year for us. It was our first season in the 29er, and with the support of our coaches and our club, we had some incredible experiences with the opportunity to compete at the Canada Games, Cork, North Americans, and Youth Worlds.”
“We’d like to thank our parents, the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, and BC Sailing for their encouragement and support, as well as our teammates and training partners and the Canadian 29er fleet for pushing us to perform at our best. Special thanks to all the amazing coaches we’ve had during our sailing journey, especially Kevin Black for all of his support. We are truly grateful to them all, and we are looking forward to what comes next. Thank you very much!”
More information on the Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/bill-burk-memorial-youth-elite-award-past-winners/.
Delani Hulme-Lawrence: winner of the Sail Canada 2022 Marvin McDill Memorial Award
Delani Hulme-Lawrence from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, B.C., has received the Sail Canada 2022 Marvin McDill Memorial Award.
The Marvin McDill Award is presented to an athlete or a crew that have achieved the best results at their first Open World Championships as members of the Canadian Sailing Team. The determination of best performance is based on the percentage of boats finishing behind the athlete or crew at their first participation as a member of the Canadian Sailing Team in an Open World Championship.
At the 2022 2.4mR Open World Championship, held in Tampa, Florida, Delani Hulme-Lawrence took 11th place overall and was named Top Junior Sailor at the event. The competition was largely impacted by Hurricane Nicole as only six races were held over two days, while the original plan called for four days of racing.
In 2018, Delani competed in her first Para World Championship in Sheboygan, WI, finishing 26th in the 2.4mR. She also had the honour of being the flag bearer for Canada. At the 2019 Para World Championship in Puerto Sherry, Spain, she finished 13th overall and was second among female sailors. On a steady climb, she took to her first Open World Championship, where athletes of all abilities compete together in one-design boats and modified 2.4mRs.
“Winning the Sail Canada 2022 Marvin McDill Award is an absolute honour,” said Delani Hulme-Lawrence. “I competed at my first Open World Championship in November of 2022, where I achieved a personal best, 11th overall, and was the top junior sailor at the Worlds.”
“Winning Rookie of the Year at an Open World Championship in the 2.4mR is a testament to how level the playing field really is in this class and to the importance of perseverance.”
“I want to thank everyone who helped me get to and through my first Open World Championship: my friends and family, Sail Canada and BC Sailing, Quality Foods, my sponsor who helped me with fundraising and with their campaign contributions, and the Claggett organization, whose support is unparalleled. I also want to thank my coaches, Merek Vlassic and Steve McBride, and my mentors, Jackie Gay and John McRoberts, for always helping me through these events. And last but certainly not least, the man behind the curtain, Jordan Gratton of Ox-Built Construction. He is a sponsor, he is a boat delivery service, he is a repairman and my biggest fan.
“Thank you all for all that you do to support this dream, because none of this would be possible without you. Thank you!”
More information on the Marvin McDill Memorial Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/marvin-mcdill-memorial-award-past-winners/.
About Sail Canada
Established in 1931, Sail Canada is the national governing body for the sport of sailing in the country. Sail Canada is a leading international sailing nation, proud of its world class athletes, lifelong participants and inclusive culture. The organization and its members are committed to excellence by developing and training its leaders, athletes, sailors, instructors, coaches and officials. With the valued support from our partners, the Provincial Sailing Associations and our member clubs, schools, organizations and stakeholders, sailing is promoted in all its forms. By setting standards and delivering programs from home pond to podium for Canadians of all ages and abilities, from dinghies to keelboats, cruising to navigation, windsurfing to powerboating and accessible sailing, Sail Canada sets sail for all, sail to win and sail for life.
A sport in the Olympic program since the first Games in 1896, except in 1904, the pursuit of success in these Games is what fuels the focus of Sail Canada as Canadian athletes have so far achieved nine Olympic and five Paralympic medals.