John McRoberts and Jackie Gay – Rolex Sailor of the Year

John McRoberts and Jackie Gay – Rolex Sailor of the Year

Saturday, February 4, 2016 – Toronto, ON

On Saturday night, John McRoberts and Jackie Gay of Royal Victoria Yacht Club were honoured with the most prestigious National sailing award of the year at the Carlu in Toronto, Ontario.

The SKUD team were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. John and Jackie captured the silver medal in the highly competitive 2-person mixed keelboat fleet, turning the country of Canada into the second most successful Paralympic sailing nation in the world.

As partners in sailing and life, McRoberts and Gay had to overcome many obstacles to get to the podium including a significant injury sustained by Jackie just days before Paralympic competition. “Persistence pays off! exclaims Jackie Gay. “We’ve faced many challenges quite similar to this and came out stronger. It gave us the confidence to know that we could overcome anything.”

John’s sailing experience undoubtedly contributed to the couple’s success in Rio as John has competed in four Paralympic Games. John won silver steering the crew boat at the 1996 Atlanta Games when Paralympic sailing was a demonstration sport, he captured bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games navigating the SKUD 18, and he finished fourth in London four years ago. “If I were writing a book of my career, this would be the perfect ending, winning the Rolex Sailor of the Year beside my wife Jackie Gay. Sometimes it feels like Rio was a dream but tonight brings it all to life. I feel truly honoured!”

John and Jackie were presented with exquisite Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master watches courtesy of our generous partners from Rolex Canada.

Congratulations to John McRoberts and Jackie Gay and all the Rolex Sailor of the Year Finalists including, Peter Wickwire (RNSYS, RCYC, LYC) and the Canadian Sonar Team – Paul Tingley (RNSYS), Scott Lutes (LYC) and Logan Campbell (SSC).

Complete list of 2016 Award Winners.
About Rolex

Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance, and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance, and prestige.

About Sail Canada

Established in 1931, Sail Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Yachting Association) is the national governing body for the sport of sailing. The Association promotes sailing in all its forms including yachting through collaboration with our partners, the Provincial Sailing Associations, member clubs, schools, and many individual stakeholders.


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Colleen Coderre
Communications Manager