Kelowna hosts National Keelboat Women’s Championships

Kelowna hosts National Keelboat Women’s Championships

September 29, 2015 - Kelowna
Best sailors in Canada arrive at Kelowna Yacht Club
Some of the best women sailors in Canada are arriving at the Kelowna Yacht Club as Kelowna prepares to host the 2015 RE/MAX Sail Canada Women’s Keelboat Championships from October 1 to 4.

“We have 19 teams from as far away as Halifax as well as the Caroline Grant team from Nantucket, Massachusetts,” says committee chair and skipper Gillian Thomson. “The races take place over three days out on the water by the yacht club and spectators can get a good view from Waterfront Park.”
Canadian competitors include teams from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland, Vernon, Penticton, Victoria, Calgary as well as Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
The women sailors will all race in Santana 525 boats. Designed by Shad Turner in the 1970s for Schock Boats to meet the international offshore rule standards, the competitive 25-foot day racer is still comfortably to host a family for a weekend trip. The light high-performance boats are especially suited for the shifty and often light wind conditions of Okanagan Lake. Kelowna Yacht Club boasts the largest Santana 525 one-design fleet in the world.

Competitors will gain an edge in the national championships thanks in part to the coaching of Bobby Brooks of North U. Regatta Services of Florida who will run a pre-regatta training camp and provide daily post race video debriefs. A veteran trainer, Brooks coached the ladies Rolex team to a top five finish in 1992. The event is posed to build on the success of the 2007 championships held in Kelowna. Over the last eight years, the enthusiasm for women’s sailing has grown with more women coming out every year. The Club hosts a women’s sailing series every Monday night in May and June.

Thomson is quick to thank both the dedication of her committee and the support from local sponsors, including a title sponsorship from RE/MAX
“It’s an exciting time for women’s sailing and RE/MAX is honoured to be a part of that,” says Elton Ash, Western Canada Regional Vice President. “One of the core values at RE/MAX is to strive to be the best at whatever we do; we know the participants of this year’s regatta share that value—this sponsorship is a natural fit.”

On the national stage support is also coming from Volvo, Sail Canada partner and title sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race. Last year saw the first all-woman team to compete in the 40 year history of the event. “Volvo Cars of Canada is proud to partner with the Women’s Keelboat Championship in our continuing support and partnership with Sail Canada,” says Kyle Denton, public relations and events manager. “Volvo Canada is dedicated to growing the sport of sailing in communities all across Canada and we are thrilled to be involved in the activities this October in Kelowna.”

For team biographies and race results, see

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Media Contacts:
Yvonne Turgeon
Kelowna Yacht Club
250-762-3310, ext 210