Richard Clarke - Sailor of the Month - January
ISAF World Cup Miami was a feature event for our Olympic & Paralympic class sailors this month. Despite the underwhelming breeze that plagued consecutive days of the event, race officials squeezed in enough racing to challenge sailors and award medals. The Paralympic fleets completed their series of racing on Thursday despite their best attempts to get racing in on Friday. SKUD team John McRoberts/Jackie Gay battled all week against GBR ultimately taking the silver medal. Sonar team, including Paul Tingley/Logan Campbell/Scott Lutes just missed the podium in 4th overall.
The 2.4mR class was stacked full of Canadian sailors, including Allan Leibel performing consistently at the front of the fleet placing 2nd overall with Bruce Millar in 7th.
Claire Merry, making her world cup comeback from a long-term injury, displayed strength at the front of the fleet, winning race 6 and placing 5th overall. Greg Douglas continues to capture attention in the Finn class with a 5th place performance while Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke celebrate one year sailing the Nacra 17 with an impressive 7th overall.
Canadian Skipper Eric Holden continues to grind away in gruelling conditions offered up by the Clipper Round the World Race, leading team Henri Lloyd along the path of continued success. February is the month team Henri Lloyd will likely recapture the lead.
5-time Olympian and BC native Richard Clarke took to Quantum Key West to sail the Melges 32 with boat owner/driver Alec Cutler. Alec is a former intercollegiate sailor at the Naval Academy. The Bermudian boat named ‘HedgeHog’ sailed neck and neck with ‘Delta’, led by two-time Olympic gold medalist Jonathan McKee. Delta battled back during the week, tying it up with ‘Hedgehog’. Both boats won four races however Cutler/Clarke’s team ultimately won the tiebreaker on the final race. “We knew we had to go out and win the race. That was the only option,” Cutler said. “Our entire crew worked really well together and our boat-handling was outstanding the whole week.”
Following Quantum Key West, Richard took flight to Geelong, Australia to reunite with Melges 24 teammate Chris Larson after a 5 year hiatus, capturing the title back in 2009. The Canadian boat named ‘Cavallino/McLube’ came out blazing on Day 1 of the Melges 24 World Championships and capped off the highly contested event in 4th overall.
Sailing icon Richard Clarke continues to impress on the world stage proving that hard work does reap rewards including this month’s title of Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month for January.
Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo credit: photoboat.com