Emily Bugeja, in Women’s Kiteboarding, becomes the fifth Canadian sailor to qualify to be nominated to the 2023 Pan American Games Team

Kingston, March 13, 2023 – Emily Bugeja from Vancouver, B.C., became the fifth Canadian sailor to qualify to be nominated to Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Pan American Games squad after she took part in the 2023 Formula Kite Pan American Championships held last weekend in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

These championships were the last qualifying competition in Kiteboarding for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Bugeja took the 5th spot in the women’s class out of a total of eight athletes who raced. Four days of competition were slated but only two were held due to the size of the waves and the lack of wind.

Bugeja allowed Canada to earn one of the last three spot available as per PanAm Sailing qualification criteria (https://panamsailing.org/). She also qualified herself by being the best Canadian in women’s Kiteboarding at the US Open Sailing Series held in Clearwater, Florida, at the beginning of February, as per Sail Canada’s Santiago 2023 Pan American Games Sailing Internal Nomination Procedures available at https://www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2023-pan-american-games/. At this event, she was the best of the four Canadians in action with a 12th-place result overall, but finished fourth amongst the countries that were not already qualified at that time when the first three ones got their ticket.

“Going to the Pan American Games has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I’m so excited to have qualified to be nominated for the Canadian Team”, said Emily Bugeja. “I am determined to keep training hard in pursuit of my next objective: to get a spot for the country of Canada at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

Kiteboarding is set to make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024.

Bugeja joins a group of Canadian sailors who were the first four to qualify to be nominated, having done so at the US Open Sailing Series held in Clearwater. The group includes Mac Morrin from Kingston, ON, in men’s Kiteboarding, Will Jones (Jerseyville, ON-RHYC) and Justin Barnes (Pickering, ON-RCYC) in 49er, as well as Rebecca Heller (Dunrobin, ON-KYC) in women’s iQFoil.

The Santiago 2023 Pan American Games will be one of many opportunities to qualify quota spots for countries at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

As of today, Canada also has spots for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in ILCA 6, ILCA 7, 49erFX and Nacra 17. Canadian athletes in these classes will be able to qualify themselves or their team at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain, April 3-8.

Sailors in the Sunfish, Snipe and Lightning classes, which are not Olympic events, will qualify at competitions to be held later.

Canadian results at the 2023 Formula Kite Pan American Championships
Women’s Kiteboarding (/8)
5. Emily Bugeja

Men’s Kiteboarding (/20)
5. Logan Sutherland
13. Alexis Vandame
15. James Huynh

More information on the selection process for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is available at https://www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2023-pan-american-games.

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.