Sail Canada adds Kyle Martin and Erik van der Pol to National Training Centre – West staff
September 28, 2022
Kingston, September 28, 2022 – Sail Canada is pleased to announce that Kyle Martin and Erik van der Pol have joined the National Training Centre – West as coaches, effective immediately. Van der Pol will also support the Sail Canada High Performance program as Analyst and Manager of Development.
Kyle and Erik will focus on providing coaching and performance science support to Sail Canada Development Squad athletes, as well as on delivering various training camps focused on National Team activities and providing integrated training opportunities at these camps to identified provincial and club athletes who meet Sail Canada performance criteria. They will also work with the Canadian community in building Sail Canada’s new Long Term Athlete Development model that will be implemented in the spring of 2023.
“Sail Canada is thrilled to welcome Kyle Martin and Erik van der Pol as coaches for the National Training Center – West,” said Sail Canada High Performance Director Mike Milner. “Their experience, knowledge and passion for the sport of sailing will be a huge asset to our development program and our up-and-coming athletes.”
About Kyle Martin
Kyle Martin has been spending time on the water since he was three months old, either in an Optimist Dinghy or his grandparents’ sailboat. He started racing at age 8 and fell in love with the sport.
At age 12, he transitioned to ILCA and qualified to represent Canada at the World Sailing Youth Championships in 2011. Seven years later, he transitioned classes again, this time to the Finn. In 2016, he became a carded member of the Sail Canada National Team but, two years later, a shoulder injury kept him away from sailing for a while and he was introduced to coaching thanks to the amazing support of his coach and yacht club. Kyle Martin enjoyed the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with the next generation of sailors and, once he healed and was back to training, he continued coaching on a part-time basis. Coach and Program Manager at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club from 2018 to 2022, he transitioned to being a full-time club race team coach during the pandemic after the Finn class was removed from the Olympic Games programs.
“I am excited to be able to use my years of experience as a carded athlete to help developing sailors navigate the transition from club and provincial teams to the National Team,” said Kyle Martin.
About Erik van der Pol
Erik van der Pol is a Competition Development and chartered professional coach, and he has a Master’s degree in High Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership from the University of British Columbia’s School of Kinesiology and Education.
After growing up in Halifax and coaching at the Hubbards Yacht Club in Nova Scotia, he traveled to British Columbia where he trained as an athlete and also coached with the Royal Victoria Yacht Club (RVicYC). He was a member of the Sail Canada National Team in the 470 in 2010-2011 and he then coached the ILCA 6 and 7 sailors at RVicYC from 2012 to 2022, becoming Sail Canada’s Coach of the Year in 2019.
He was also the assistant program coordinator at the RVicYC, working on a wide variety of innovative year-round Learn to Sail programs. Between 2019 and 2022, he chaired BC Sailing’s Athlete Development Committee. He had previously worked with Sail Canada on a number of projects, including Competition Development delivery and curriculums as well as coaching at a variety of training camps and championships, and he is now working on the new edition of the “long term development in sailing” project.
“I’m happy to join Sail Canada alongside so many excellent athletes, coaches and staff,” said Erik van der Pol. “I’m looking forward to learning from the team and striving to make a meaningful contribution to the program. I’m excited and inspired to work with and support our current and future team members on their journey in the sport.”
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.