A born and raised Vancouverite, it is not surprising that Luke Ramsay has a deep love for the great outdoors. He grew up sailing at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, and although originally a Laser sailor, Luke has competed at the highest levels of international competition in a variety of other fleets. Luke spent the decade between 2006 and 2016 on the Canadian Sailing team, during which he competed successfully in the Laser, 470 and Nacra fleets, and graduated from UBC with a degree in Civil Engineering.
A two-time Olympian, Luke sailed the 470 with partner Mike Leigh in London, England in 2012 and then teamed up with veteran Olympian Nikola Girke to compete in the Nacra 17 at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Beyond his Olympic endeavours, Luke has also successfully qualified to represent Canada in the Sunfish at two Pan American Games, bringing home the silver medal in both 2015 and again in 2019.
Congratulations on being named the Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Male Athlete / and nominated as one of the finalists for Rolex Sailor of the Year! How are you feeling?
Thanks! I feel lucky for the panel to have considered me for this award.
You keep coming back for more and always seem to succeed, what’s the secret?
The truth is I just love sailing, even when I’m not sailing big events I love to just be on the water, so never being too far from it means I’m not as rusty as you might think. I also have the privilege of having sailed in many different classes, so I love to jump back into classes I haven’t sailed for a while and sometimes do ok.
When you’re not sailing or training, what are some of your other interests?
I have been working for a property developer who builds all sorts of projects, Aragon, for the past 3 years, I am consumed by the work and it is super interesting, always something new to learn. Annie (my wife) and I love to mountain bike, backcountry ski, hike, sail, go to the gym, and do anything that is outdoor-related. I have also developed a healthy addiction to squash recently, let’s say I don’t have a lot of free time.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned over the years that you wish you knew when you were first starting?
This is something that I am trying to pass on to our current generation of young sailors, and something I completely ignored when I was young. There are basic underlying principles to what makes a boat go fast, they are not complicated, but we are not teaching them to young sailors, they come from the very basics of fluid-dynamics, aerodynamics and basic mechanical properties, it sounds complicated but it is really quite simple when explained. I spent a lot of time chasing my tail, testing everything when I was younger and if someone had taken the time to explain the basics I would have learned much more quickly, and done much better (but who really knows??). I hope I can help the next generation with this jump, we already started this process in January at OCR with the Laser team.
Join us in recognizing the 2019 Sail Canada Awards recipients at the Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards on Friday, March 6th, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario at The Carlu.
Click here for more information about the Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards night.
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