Lewin-LaFrance sisters 10th at the 2023 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Sailing Championships

Kingston, November 13, 2023 – Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., came up with their best performance this season by finishing 10th overall in the 49erFX class at the 2023 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships which ended on Monday in Vilamoura, Portugal.

A total of 110 athletes took part in the 49erFX event, as European teams were fighting for the only spot available to countries for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Amongst the sailors who were in action, seven of the nine teams that medalled at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the 2022 49erFX World Championship and/or the 2023 Sailing World Championships competed in the event.

Qualified for the medal race as one of the top 10 teams in the standings following the preliminary races, Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance did not have an opportunity to improve their ranking because the medal race that was planned on Monday was cancelled because of the light wind.

It was the first time this year that Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance qualified for the medal race at an international event. It occurred at the last big event of the season and was therefore their best result this season.

“We just finished the 2023 European Championships in super light conditions over the six days of racing. It was such stressful racing,” said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance. “But despite the medal race being cancelled, we’re psyched to have squeezed into the top 10!”

In 49er, Thomas & William Staples from Beaconsfield, QC, took the 55th position out of 91 teams.

Road to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
Heading towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Canada has already qualified a spot in 49er and 49erFX. Canadian athletes will be able to grab that one qualification spot per country per event qualified as per the following selection process:

The athlete/team with the lowest score combined position (for example, 1st+21st) from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, will be selected based on a sailing scoring system (lowest score first).

If there is a tie, the athlete/team in the higher position (based on the sailing scoring system) at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is cancelled, it will be replaced by the 2024 European Championships of the class.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee after it has received nominations from all National Sport Organizations.

Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, as well as for Canadians to qualify themselves to be nominated to the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, are available at https://www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2024-olympic-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.