Female Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award – Hunter Dejean

Female Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award – Hunter Dejean

Thursday, February 21st, 2019 – Kingston ON

It is with great pleasure that we present this year’s Female Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award winner to Hunter Dejean.


An impressive young sailor, Hunter has impressed coaches, judges, race officers and fellow sailors as she climbs the ranks of Canadian Youth Sailing. In 2016, she started sailing in the radial full-time, and in her first full season, proceeded to qualify for the Ontario Summer Games where she sailed to a 1st place finish in a fleet of 13. She has continued to show determination and perseverance in all types of events as she has posts impressive results as a top youth female sailor in the radial fleet, finishing as the top female youth at the 2017 Laser North American Championships at Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.


Hunter has continued to improve her sailing this past year; sailing on the Ontario Sailing Team, representing Canada at the 2018 Youth Worlds Sailing Championships in Corpus Christi, and finishing as the top female radial sailor at the 2018 Sail Canada U-19 Youth Championships in Toronto. Currently, Hunter is down in Clearwater, FL to participate in Laser Midwinters East, the 2019 Youth Worlds Qualifier, with the rest of the Ontario Sailing Team.

  1. How does it feel to be the recipient of the Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award?
    I feel very honoured and excited to receive the Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award. For me, this is a milestone experience.
  2. What would you say has been the largest contributing factor to your level of success?
    The largest contributing factor to my success is my Dad. My Dad has always encouraged me to pursue sailing and go to tough regattas even if I am intimidated. My Dad truly loves the sport of sailing and is a talented sailor who loves helping others and growing the sport. When I leave the dock he always tells me: “go out there and have fun”. This mentality has taught me the joy of the sport and my Dad has always been positive and encouraging. I know I can always count on my Dad to give me advice and help me overcome any setbacks. He has believed in me every step of the way and has not once, let me shy away from a challenge. Finally, not only has he helped me improve my sailing skills, he has encouraged me to believe in myself and taught me the importance of sportsmanship.
  3. What are your interests outside of sailing?
    Outside of sailing I spend my time snowboarding and volunteering at my school
  4. What is one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring high performance sailors?
    You are not defined by a bad result so don’t constantly stress about how you are going to place. Sailing is supposed to be fun and the things you’re going to remember are the friends and memories you make along the way. Don’t just focus on the results, it’s all about the process and the journey. If you have fun and work hard the results you want will fall into place.  


Join us in celebrating their award on Friday March 1st, 2019 at 6.30pm at The Carlu in Toronto, ON. Tickets are available here 

Photo: Elle Bruce  



As of 2003, both a male and a female youth athlete will be selected for this award 

This award was donated to the CYA in 1997 by the Burk family to honor the memory of Bill Burk, their father, an active promoter of youth sailing in the Montreal's West Island region. As of 2003, this award may recognize a top male and female sailor. In order to be eligible, the candidate must: 

a) Have a record of outstanding achievement in national and international youth competition from December 2, 2016 to December 1, 2017, and brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing. The following events will be considered foremost (although not exclusively) in the selection of a male and female recipient: 1) Youth Worlds, 2) International youth events recognized by ISAF 3) Sail Canada Canadian Youth Sailing Championships 

b) Through behaviour and manner, have set an example for other youth competitors. 

c) Have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship. 

d) Be 18-and-under as of December 31st in the year of nomination. 

e) Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.