Preparation for Paris 2024 to continue in 49er and 49erFX at European Championships

The event will be held May 7-12 in La Grande Motte, France

Kingston, May 2, 2024 – Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance in 49erFX as well as Will Jones and Justin Barnes in 49er, who have qualified to be nominated on Canada’s Paris 2024 sailing team, will continue to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games by taking part in the 2024 49er and 49erFX European Championships, May 7-12, in La Grande Motte, France.

In 49erFX, Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., will face 31 other crew, including all the medalists from the past three World Championships, except for two teams.

“The European Championships will be our last big event before the Olympic Games,” said the Lewin-LaFrance sisters, who recorded three top 10 results over their last three events. “We’ll have more racing opportunities in Marseille, but the Europeans will be the last “official” event with measurement, juries, a medal race, etc. It will be a great opportunity to work on our execution and build on some weaknesses highlighted during our trial events. Although we’re only two hours away from Marseille, the venue and conditions are quite different from what we can expect later this summer. So this event is truly about working on our racing routines and execution!”

Tara and Siobhan Golonka from Victoria, B.C. will also be in action.

In 49er, Will Jones from Aldershot, ON, and Justin Barnes from Pickering, ON, will represent Canada along with Thomas and William Staples from Beaconsfield, QC. A total of 70 boats will compete in that class in La Grande Motte.

“We are excited to get back on the water after what was an intense Olympic Trials”, said Will Jones and Justin Barnes. “The 2024 49er European Championships will be the last major regatta before the Olympic Games and our focus is now on doing everything we can to prepare for the big event. The European Championships are the perfect opportunity to continue testing specific skills we’ve been working on, and to determine our training goals for the final few months of this campaign.”

These 2024 49er and 49erFX European Championships will be held simultaneously with the 2024 Nacra 17 World Championships in which Canada will have two boats, including the team comprised of Galen Richardson (Toronto, ON) and Madeline Gillis (Halifax, N.S.) and that of Caspar Lenz Anderson (Calgary, AB- CYC) and Coralie Vittecoq (Montreal West, QC-Pointe-Claire YC).

This event would have been the second and last Canadian qualifying event for Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the Nacra 17 class, with the Richardson/Gillis team in the lead. Unfortunately, Canada did not qualify an Olympic spot.

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.