Marvin McDill Memorial Award – Clara Gravely

From Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club to the Canadian Sailing Development Squad, this Laser Radial sailor has come a long way since first starting to sail in 2012. Now amongst some of the strongest female Canadian sailors, this athlete has proven her drive for success. 

Not only a fierce competitor, but she also serves as a role model for the growing group of youth sailors at her home club, taking time to encourage and share her experiences with the next generation.


How does it feel to be the recipient of the Marvin McDill Award (also known as Rookie of the Year)? 

It’s a huge honour to be the recipient of the Marvin McDill Award, in memory of such an impressive person in Canada’s sailing history. It’s been amazing being a rookie on the team this year and I’m lucky to have joined ranks with such an inspiring group of athletes!


You’ve worked very hard this year, joining the Radial girls on their training camps and travelling to big events, how are you finding the lifestyle adjustment? 

I’m so grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve been given this year, especially being able to join the radial women’s team and follow a world-class training program. By now, I’ve started to really settle in to the travelling/training lifestyle and I’m learning to embrace the chaos of the back-and-forth from home and balancing my studies/friends/family. Looking back on this past year, I’ve probably faced the most new challenges that I ever have, and I’ve come out the other side as the best athlete I’ve ever been (so far)!


Is there a life motto you go by to help you push through on a day to day basis? 

I don’t have one life motto, but something that I do say to myself when I’m facing an unpleasant obstacle is inspired by Marnie McBean (Olympic gold medalist). Marnie tells herself to “Suck it up, Princess!” – it’s just ridiculous enough to put a smile on your face but just serious enough to remind you that there’s no use in complaining and to just get the job done!


What is your favourite part of being an athlete in this sport? 

My favourite part of being a sailing athlete is not only travelling the world but experiencing it from a whole new perspective from out on the water. It’s an unreal feeling to be across the world, out on the ocean, looking at a totally new city skyline! It makes me realize how unique this sport is and how lucky I am to be where I am.


Join us in celebrating this award on Friday, March 6thm 2020 at 6.30pm at The Carlu in Toronto, ON.