Sail Canada announces latest award winners for 2020 and 2021, including Volunteers of the Year

October 21, 2022

Sail Canada announces latest award winners for 2020 and 2021, including Volunteers of the Year

Also announced today: Regatta and Recreation Events of the Year, as well as William Abbott Senior Trophy winners

Kingston, October 21, 2022 – Sail Canada is pleased to announce today the winners of its 2020 and 2021 Volunteers of the Year, City of Kingston Regatta of the Year and Recreation Event Awards, as well as William Abbott Senior Trophy.

Roby Douglas from Halifax, N.S., and Paul Ulibarri from Victoria, B.C., have respectively been named Sail Canada 2020 and 2021 Volunteers of the Year; the 2020 Fall Regatta from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club has been selected Sail Canada Recreation Event of the Year for 2020; while the Lunenburg Yacht Club – for 2020 – and the Kingston Yacht Club – for 2021 – each received the Regatta of the Year Award. The Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders and the Glenmore Sailing School each won the William Abbott Senior Trophy as the sail training programs for 2020 and 2021, respectively

These awards winners were announced during the last day of Sail Canada’s Leaders Summit and Annual General Meeting that have been held in Halifax.

Volunteer of the Year Award

This award recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to sailing activities at Sail Canada member clubs, sailing schools and regattas. The contribution can be related to activities by the candidate(s) over a period of years or to a specific event or program during a particular year.

2020: Roby Douglas, Halifax, N.S. (Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron) for the Yardsail program
“Since being given the opportunity and support by the Apold family to develop a youth keelboat development program in Nova Scotia back in 2017, the last few years have been an incredible experience for me,” said Roby Douglas. “We hear all the time about the ‘gap’ that exists in our sport for youth sailors after high school and even after university. Many of our most promising sailors are unable to continue to follow their passion for high performance sailing once they head off to university, as there are few opportunities for them to do so.”

“I feel incredibly honoured to be given this award of recognition for helping bridge this gap. I am confident that the young sailors who were given the opportunity to participate in the Yardsail program over the past few years will build on our early success and help provide opportunities for the next cohort of youth sailors to develop their skills and represent Canada in international keelboat regattas for years to come.”

2021: Paul Ulibarri, Victoria, B.C. (Royal Victoria Yacht Club), long-term volunteer in the race management area
“When I heard that I won this award, I was deeply moved. It adds a warm finish to my retirement from competitive sailing after 52 years,” said Paul Ulibarri. “Thank you Sail Canada, and thank you to all who made this possible, including all my fellow volunteers who make events happen, for example the organizing authority staff, those on the signal boats, the mark boats, the scorers, the juries, the sponsors and the host clubs. Also, a personal thank you to my wife Vicki who has been my timer forever at every level over the years, from small Opti events to the Olympic Games, and I would like to acknowledge a previous winner of this award, Lynn Sutherland, who has formatted Notices of Race and Sailing Instructions for me for years.”

More information on the Volunteer of the Year Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/volunteer-of-the-year-award-past-winners/.

City of Kingston Regatta of the Year Award

This award recognizes a provincial, national or international regatta whereupon all aspects of race management have resulted in an overall organizational success. Key criteria are overall achievement of the event objectives, the level of community involvement and positive feedback from participants, including sailors, coaches and officials. In order to be eligible for this award, clubs or associations must be members in good standing with Sail Canada.

2020: Lunenburg Welcome Back Regatta, by the Lunenburg Yacht Club
“On behalf of the Lunenburg Yacht Club, it’s a great honour to receive the Sail Canada 2020 City of Kingston Regatta of the Year award,” said Jennifer Hall, chair of the 2020 Welcome Back Regatta. “The success of the Welcome Back Regatta is attributed to the dedicated volunteers and spirited competitors who gathered at the Lunenburg Yacht Club to make it all happen. Hosting a regatta in the unprecedented times of the pandemic was a true team effort.”

2021: FOILKingston/FORK 2021 by Kingston Yacht Club
“The Kingston Yacht Club is proud to be supporting and promoting the future of sailing,” said Sue Fraser, who was the Regatta Chairperson. “This multidiscipline foiling regatta was the first of its kind in Canada and it was created to provide foilers with an opportunity to race in a festival type setting and for volunteers, to get experience with the different foiling disciplines. Despite the health restrictions of the pandemic, kitefoilers, windfoilers, WASZPs, foiling multihulls and all of the volunteers were together on the Kingston waterfront for three days of foiling fun. For its inaugural year, FOILKingston/FORK Regatta is thrilled to accept the Sail Canada award for the 2021 City of Kingston Regatta of the Year, and we look forward to continuing this annual foiling event.”

The President, Education Director at the Canadian Foiling Centre and Vice President of the Canadian WASZP Class Association also added: “Our sport is evolving, from wooden hulls and canvas sails to carbon fiber and Clysar. The most common question about sailing for the uninitiated is: how fast can you go? Sailing just got very fast. Now, powered by nature, we can go 50 knots on foils! Foiling is new for most of the sailing community and while foiling is not going to be mainstream for a long while, it sure isn’t going away! At the 2024 Olympics, five of the 10 sailing events will be on foils. And for those who have been quietly foiling, blowing people’s minds with the speed on the water and the excitement factor, having an event where we could all come together seemed like a good idea.”

More information on the City of Kingston Regatta of the Year Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/city-of-kingston-regatta-of-the-year-award-past-winners/.

William Abbott Senior Trophy

The purpose of the trophy is to recognize the many fine programs run by dedicated volunteers in clubs or schools throughout Canada who are members in good standing with Sail Canada, and to share the information among clubs for the improvement of their sail training programs.

2020: Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders
“This award is of great significance to Broad Reach as it is a valuable destination,” said Marguerite Pyron, Chief Executive Officer at Broad Reach. “We are accepting this award with deep gratitude to Sail Canada, to our partners, funders and supporters, to our volunteers and to all the young people who received the benefit of our service and who have contributed back. We appreciate that it takes a good crew and a great deal of knowledge, skill and effort to reach destinations safely. You are the good crew on this voyage and we are sincerely grateful for your recognition, contribution and inspiration.

“Broad Reach is fuelled by our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in sailing, and by the multitude of valuable opportunities for personal growth which the unique learning platform of sailing provides. Indigenous people say that water connects us all, which is what we believe in as well. Being recognized by Sail Canada for the 2020 William Abbott Senior Trophy – Sail Training Program of the Year, further inspires us to maintain our mission to engage and empower underserved Canadian youth through sailing and maritime activities to develop their knowledge, skills and social belonging. Just as William Abbott Senior did not give up on his dreams and his name became synonymous with exemplary craftsmanship, we will not give up on our vision that all young people deserve equal opportunities to develop confidence, curiosity, courage and compassion, and to live competent, connected and contributing lives.”

2021: Glenmore Sailing School
“We are really excited about winning the William Abbott Senior Trophy for the Sail Training Program of the Year,” said the Sail Training Director at the Glenmore Sailing School , Braden Gray. “We’ve been working hard for the past seven years to make high-quality, high-performance sailing accessible for everyday Calgarians. We are so proud of the work we’ve done and what we’ve been able to accomplish in bringing the Glenmore Sailing School to the forefront of Sailing programming in Canada! And we can’t wait to do more! Winning this award and being recognized by the sailing community is a significant milestone in our program’s journey and we really appreciate the recognition and continued support! Thank you so much!”

More information on the William Abbott Senior Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/william-abbott-senior-trophy-sail-training-program-of-the-year-past-winners/.

Recreation Event Award

This award recognizes a club, an organization, an individual or a group, Canadian based and affiliated with Sail Canada, that has contributed to the promotion of recreational sailing in Canada.

2020: Fall Regatta by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (no winner in 2021)
“We are delighted to have received the 2020 Recreation Event Award for our Fall Regatta,” said Hannah Billinger, Fleet Operations Manager at the RCYC. “In a year that brought plenty of uncertainty, and often disappointment, we at RCYC were thrilled to have the opportunity to host over 100 boats in what turned out to be our biggest event of the season.”

More information on the Recreation Event Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/recreation-event-award-past-winners/.

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.


  • Rolex
  • Helly Hansen
  • Gallagher Skippers' Plan
  • BMO Sail Canada MasterCard
  • Government of Canada