Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance 4th in 49erFX at the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta

Three other Canadians have prequalified to be nominated for Paris 2024, pending Olympic spots

Kingston, April 6, 2024 – Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., took the 4th position in 49erFX at the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta which ended on Saturday in Palma, Spain.

In fourth place following the preliminary races, the sisters ended up keeping that position after the Medal Race, which is reserved for the top 10 teams following the preliminary races, was cancelled due to lack of wind.

Jana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi from Italy, the bronze medalists at the 2024 49erFX World Championship, won gold, followed by Helene Næss and Marie Rønningen from Norway and Misaki Tanaka and Sera Nagamatsu from Japan. Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance finished seven points away from a spot on the podium to settle for fourth place.

All the medalists from the 2024 49erFX World Championship and 2023 World Sailing Championships were in action in Palma, except for one team which won a silver and a gold medal at those events.

“We’re super happy with the performance that we just put up,” said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance. “It was a really tricky week of racing. It’s definitely one of our best finishes and a nice time to be finishing like this while making improvements, as we prepare for the Olympics. So definitely, a good feeling and a confidence booster.”

“It would have been nice to compete in the Medal Race today. Unfortunately, it’s actually the second time we’ve qualified for a medal race which has been canceled due to conditions,” pointed out the sisters, referring to the 2023 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships which were held last November and where they took the 10th spot. “Anytime we have the opportunity to practice that different kind of racing, it’s really good for us. We are disappointed to not have been able to fight for a podium or fight off the people right behind us also.”

Three Canadians prequalify to be nominated for Paris, pending Olympic spots
The 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta was also the second and last Canadian qualification event for Paris 2024 for some classes in which Canada still needs to qualify Olympic spots.

Luke Ruitenberg from St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S. in ILCA 7, Nikola Girke from West Vancouver, B.C., in Women’s iQfoil and Cyrus Lai from Vancouver, B.C., in Men’s iQfoil, all prequalified to be nominated on Canada’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games sailing team based on their results from the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta. Their nomination, however, is conditional on whether Canada will earn an Olympic spot in their respective classes.

Canada can still qualify Olympic spots for the country at the Last Chance Regatta, April 21-28 in France, or through World Sailing’s spots reallocation process.

Luke Ruitenberg prequalifies in ILCA 7
In ILCA 7, Luke Ruitenberg registered a 54th position in Palma, following a 40th-place finish at the 2024 ILCA 7 World Championship, for a total of 94 points and he therefore took the potential spot in ILCA 7. His closest Canadian opponent was Ryan Anderson from Halifax, N.S., with 142 points.

“It’s a relief for sure, but the job isn’t done yet,” said Luke Ruitenberg. “We still have another event, the Last Chance Regatta in two weeks in France, to qualify the country. But, I’m happy with this result and looking forward to do that with the team in a few weeks.”

Nikola Girke prequalifies in women’s iQFoil
In Women’s iQFoil, Nikola Girke, who is looking to take part in her sixth Olympic Games, won the Canadian qualification trials in her new class. She finished 68th in Palma.

“That was just one step in the process,” noted Nikola Girke. “It was really just to get that tick mark, but all of this has just been training of sorts for the Last Change Regatta. Hopefully, I can get to that spot. This week, we didn’t get much racing in with, like, only eight races out of the 20 that were scheduled, so I don’t need to recover. I will go out and train if there’s wind and then head to Hyères for the Last Change Regatta and continue training.”

Cyrus Lai prequalifies in men’s iQFoil
In Men’s iQFoil, Cyrus Lai, who was born in Vancouver but now lives in Hong Kong, was the only Canadian to take part in the Canadian qualification process by competing at the 2024 iQFoil World Championships. He didn’t take part in this week’s competition in Palma.

“Switching from being a Hong Kong athlete was a life-changing decision for me, and I am proud to prequalify to be nominated on the Canadian team. Going to the Olympic Games is the ultimate goal for me. As I am still young, Paris won’t be the final destination of my career for sure, but it would mean everything to me if I qualify for the Olympic Games this time and I will also have my eyes on Los Angeles.”

Emily Bugeja, Mac Morrin and Richardson/Gillis leading their trials
In men’s and women’s kiteboarding as well as in Nacra 17, the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta was the start of the qualification process, which will be comprised of two events in all.

Emily Bugeja leading in women’s kiteboarding
In women’s kiteboarding, Emily Bugeja from Vancouver, B.C., took a slim lead by finishing in 25th position, followed by Marie-Ève Mayrand from Calgary, AB, who was 27th. Nataliya Leshko from Toronto ended up in 32ndplace, while Martyna Dakowicz from Oakville, ON, was 33rd.

“We’ve shown in this event that it’s a super, super, super tight battle between myself and the next Canadian,” said Emily Bugeja. “It will continue to be a tight battle right to, probably, the last race on the last day of the trials. So I don’t consider it as too much of a lead yet, but it’s a good start. I’m ready to get some more training in, and to hopefully fix up all the mistakes that I made here to have an even better performance at the World Championships.”

Mac Morrin in men’s kiteboarding looking to the Last Change Regatta
In men’s kiteboarding, Mac Morrin from Kingston, ON, who was the only Canadian in Palma, took the 43rd position.

“This event here in Palma was another opportunity for me to train towards the ultimate goal of qualifying Canada for the Olympics at this summer’s Last Chance Regatta”, said Mac Morrin. “Things are looking like it’s still a bit of a long shot, but I want to finish out the quadrennial really strong. And, with our sport, anything can happen. So, you have to be there to put it on the line.”

The second and last event that is part of the Canadian qualification process for women’s and men’s kiteboarding will be the Formula Kite World Championships to be held in Hyères, France, May 11-19.

The team comprised of Galen Richardson and Madeline Gillis leading in Nacra 17
In Nacra 17, the team comprised of Galen Richardson (Toronto, ON) and Madeline Gillis (Halifax, N.S.) is leading the trials after taking the 45th position in Palma. Caspar Lenz Anderson (Calgary, AB) and Coralie Vittecoq (Montreal West, QC) finished in 48th place.

“It was a pretty interesting event in the Nacra 17 class with such a big fleet, and it made for some tricky racing,” said Galen Richardson. “So we had some ups and downs throughout the week, but we’re looking forward to moving on to a couple more events here in Europe.”

“We are leading the Nacra 17 trials for the Olympic Games, but arguably the most important part will be qualifying the country at the Last Chance Regatta,” added Madeline Gillis. “Our team and the other Canadian team will be going full steam ahead to try and qualify for our nation’s squad.”

The second and last event that is part of the Canadian qualification process for Nacra 17 will be the 2024 Nacra 17 European Championships to be held in La Grande Motte, France, May 7-10.

How Canadian athletes can qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, except in 49erFX
For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, except in 49erFX, athletes and teams can qualify themselves by being the athlete/team with the lowest score combined position from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, with selection being based on a sailing scoring system (lowest score first).

If there is a tie, the athlete/team in the higher position (based on the sailing scoring system) at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is cancelled, it will be replaced by the classes’ 2024 European Championships.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee after it has received nominations from all National Sport Organizations.

As of today, Canada has qualified spots for the sailing competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in ILCA 6, 49er, 49erFX and women’s kiteboarding. For the other events, Canada can still qualify spots in other competitions that will be coming up in 2024.

Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the manner in which Canadians can qualify themselves to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, as well as the full qualification calendar are available at