Meet the recipients of the Female Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award - Georgia Lewin-LaFrance & Maddie Gillis

Meet the recipients of the Female Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award - Georgia Lewin-LaFrance & Maddie Gillis

February 22, 2018 - Kingston, ON

It is with great pleasure that Sail Canada presents this year’s Female Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award to Georgia Lewin-LaFrance & Maddie Gillis!


The iconic i420 duo started sailing together in the fall of 2016, in preparation for the the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship in Auckland, NZ. Both keen and determined, the i420 team placed 12th overall, marking the best Canadian finish in the i420 fleet at a Youth World Championships! The team continued to succeed from there, competitng in the i420 Europrean Championships in Greece, and placing 1st at the CORK i420 Canadian Championships, the Sail Canada Youth Championships, and Fall CORK.


Georgia and Maddie’s  accomplishments over the past year secured the i420 team a spot representing Canada at the 2017 World Sailing Youth Championships in Sanya, China, back in December. Their hard work and passion for the sport allowed them to place 6th place overall, raising the standard for best Canadian finish in the i420 fleet!


How does it feel to be the recipient of the Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award?

It is a massive honour for Maddie and I


What would you say has been the largest contributing factor to your level of success?

Our dedication and commitment to training and racing with different coaches and training partners


What are your interests outside of sailing?

Georgia -  I'm doing my Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Engineering at Queen's

Maddie - I ski race competitively in the winter around Atlantic Canada to keep be busy when the harbour is frozen over at home.


What is one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring high performance sailors?

Make sure you're having fun while doing it.


Join us in celebrating their award on Friday March 2nd, 2018 at 6.30pm at The Carlu in Toronto, ON. Tickets are available here!


As of 2003, both a male and a female youth athlete will be selected for this award

This award was donated to the CYA in 1997 by the Burk family to honor the memory of Bill Burk, their father, an active promoter of youth sailing in the Montreal's West Island region. As of 2003, this award may recognize a top male and female sailor. In order to be eligible, the candidate must:

a) Have a record of outstanding achievement in national and international youth competition from December 2, 2016 to December 1, 2017, and brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing. The following events will be considered foremost (although not exclusively) in the selection of a male and female recipient: 1) Youth Worlds, 2) International youth events recognized by ISAF 3) Sail Canada Canadian Youth Sailing Championships

b) Through behaviour and manner, have set an example for other youth competitors.

c) Have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship.

d) Be 18-and-under as of December 31st in the year of nomination.

e) Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.