Canadian Sailors named to 2015 Olympic Test Event Team

Canadian Sailors named to 2015 Olympic Test Event Team

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 - Kingston, ON

Less than one year to go - The biggest sporting event in the world is right around the corner and organizing committees are busy testing their venues in Rio De Janeiro while athletes are testing their skills against the top seeded sailors in each country. In less than one week, from August 13-22nd, members of the Canadian Sailing Team will be competing at the breathtaking venue Marina da Gloria for the Aquece Rio Test Event. “The Canadian Sailing Team is sending a mix of experienced athletes and Olympic hopefuls to the 2015 Test Event” comments High Performance Director Ken Dool. “This will be a first hand opportunity for all to experience Rio and most importantly "test" the waters of Guanabara Bay and surrounding waters.” 380 sailors from 55 countries will participate in the regatta, and get a feel for what’s to come one year from now – the 2016 Olympic Games.

Sail Canada is sending 7 sailors to Rio to compete in 5 classes. Canadian sailors have been selected to attend the Test Event based on their performances at selected international events. Members of Team Canada include:

Zac Plavsic: RSX Men
Jacob and Graeme Saunders: 470 Men
Isabella Bertold: Radial
Lee Parkhill: Laser
Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke: Nacra 17

Pan Am Laser Sailor Lee Parkhill is looking forward to applying the small fleet racing format from the recent Pan Am Games towards this upcoming Test Event. “I’m really looking forward to executing some of my key learnings from Toronto here in Rio.” Parkhill secured a bronze medal at Toronto 2015, coming off a very challenging World Championships in 23rd overall in Kingston, ON.

Radial sailor Isabella Bertold, currently ranked 8th in the world, has been training in Rio for a few weeks and doesn’t underestimate the complexities of the venue. “My main goal is get as much information about racing in Rio as possible. It isn't an easy place to race but I'm ready for the challenge! A medal at the 2016 Olympics is the goal, and this regatta is an important part of the process.”

Nacra 17 duo Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke are ready to contend with the worlds best catamaran sailors, aiming to feed off their 9th place finish at the ISAF World Cup – Hyeres. Ramsay is keeping it simple for Rio saying, “The goal is to never get caught slow. It is a really tricky venue and we are focused on eliminating breakdowns, bad boat handling and any downspeed moments. Control what you can control and let the others make mistakes.”

Ramsay and Girke have had a busy summer season, competing for Team Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Ramsay sailing the to a silver medal finish in the Sunfish and Girke sailing the RSX Windsurfer.

Both Girke and Ramsay competed at the 2012 London Olympics, albeit in different classes, they are looking forward to the opportunity to qualify Canada for 2016 and sail the Nacra for its debut appearance at the Olympic Games.

The Canadian contingent will be supported by a team of coaches and staff including meteorologist Eric Holden.

Canadian Support Team:
Ken Dool – Team Leader
Steve Mitchell – Coach
Ian Andrews – Coach
Larry Lemieux – Coach
Erik Stibbe – Coach
Eric Holden - Meteorologist

The Aquece Olympic Test Event racing kicks off from August 15th to 22nd at the Marina da Gloria. Follow @SailCanada on Twitter for updates.

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