Nikola Girke takes the lead for a potential Canadian spot in women’s iQFoil at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The last opportunity to qualify Olympic spots in iQFoil will be in mid-April

Kingston, February 2, 2024 – Nikola Girke from West Vancouver, B.C., was the top Canadian in the women’s event at the 2024 iQFoil World Championships, which ended today in Lanzarote, Spain, therefore taking the lead for the Canadian spot that would be awarded in this event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, if Canada qualifies a spot.

The 2024 iQFoil World Championship was the first of two competitions serving for the Canadian athlete qualification process in ILCA 7. The second and last opportunity will be the Princess Sofia Regatta, March 29-April 6 in Palma, Spain.

Canada’s last chance to qualify a spot for the country in iQFoil for Paris will be at the Last Chance Regatta to be held April 21-26 in Hyères, France. There, Canadian sailors will need to finish amongst the top five countries that have not already qualified.

In Lanzarote, Nikola Girke took the 91st position while the other Canadian sailor in action in the women’s event, Rebecca Heller from Ottawa, took 93rd place.

“It was my second competition and a tough one at that,” said five-time Olympian Nikola Girke. “After there was no racing on the first day due to no wind, we ended up having 5 races a day in what was, many times, marginal foiling conditions. While I made some big strides forward, there is still so much to learn, and that comes with more time on the board. The ultimate goal is to earn Canada a spot for Paris at the Last Chance Regatta, and with that I need to improve significantly in a limited amount of time. Leading the qualifications is just one step in the right direction.”

On the men’s side, Cyrus (Cheuk Hin) Lai, who was born in Vancouver but now lives in Hong Kong, and who represented the Asian country at the 2023 World Sailing Championships last summer, took the 101st position.

Canadian iQFoil Rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (if Canada earns spots)
(After event #1 out of 2)

Women’s iQFoil
1. Nikola Girke – 91 pts
2. Rebecca Heller – 93 pts

Men’s iQFoil
1. Cyrus (Cheuk Hin) Lai – 101 pts *if eligible to represent Canada

How Canadian athletes qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
The 2024 iQFoil World Championship was the first of two competitions serving for the Canadian qualification process in iQFoil for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, if Canada qualifies a spot.

For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, athletes and teams can qualify themselves by being the athlete/team with the lowest score combined position from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, with selection being 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 in that 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.

As of today, Canada has qualified spots for the sailing competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in ILCA 6, 49er, 49erFX and women’s kiteboarding. For the other events, Canada can still qualify spots in other competitions that will be coming up in 2024.

Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the manner in which Canadians can qualify themselves to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, as well as the full qualification calendar are available at

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.