Sailor of the Month - February
The sunny state of Florida maintained it’s reputation as sailing central for the month of February despite the frigid temperatures that swept the region. Sailors threw on their winter woolies, and carried on business as usual for midwinter action.
The Etchells Midwinters were held in Miami with over 50 boats competing on Biscayne Bay from February 28-March 1st. 2-time Canadian Olympian Stuart Flinn is back at it with Skipper Ante Razmilovich on ‘Swedish Blue’ snapping up another Etchell’s title to add to their overflowing collection.
Canadian Masters’ sailor Al Clark is dialing up on his World Championships training, sailing to success in multiple events this month including the Laser Masters Midwinters (117 boats), Masters midweek madness regatta (40 boats) and the California Masters (25 boats), clinching titles in all three events. “I am happy with the training thus far in that I sailed both the full rig and the radial and checked in with the top sailors in the Lauderdale regatta. The Midwinter Masters was really good training for Worlds in terms of fleet management,” says Clark. “Now I am looking to do the North American Masters in South Carolina in May. The plan is to sail almost exclusively Radial heading into the World Championships.” Clark will be looking to reclaim his 2013 World Championship title this summer in Kingston, ON.
Clearwater Yacht Club was the hot spot for hundreds of top Laser and Radial sailors competing at the annual midwinters despite the record low temperatures making an unwelcomed appearance. The Laser fleet was strewn with Canadians vying for a spot in the major leagues – The Pan Am Games. The three-day battle was intense among favorites Lee Parkhill (RCYC), Evert McLaughlin (RCYC) and Robert Davis (KYC/RCYC). “Overall it was a great battle among some talented sailors, raising their game when it mattered,” said coach Steve Mitchell. Ultimately, Lee Parkhill’s consistency won out in the end, securing 2nd place overall and a ticket to his first Major Games this summer. Evert McLaughlin tied for 3rd, Robert Davis in 5th and Tom Ramshaw (SLYC) in 7th.
The Radial midwinters fleet was busting at the seams with 120 boats and 2 splits, including 10 Canadian boats sailing gold fleet. Brenda Bowskill put on an impressive clinic, winning the event by 12 points after 8 races. An impressive display of skill following her strong performance at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami placing 15th and locking down her Pan Am spot as top Canadian finisher. “My overall fitness has improved this year and the proof is in the heavier breeze. My goal was to improve on my 4th place finish last year so I guess mission accomplished!” Other top performing Canadians at Midwinters include OST member Matti Muru, and Claire Merry (RCYC).
Sail Canada is pleased to honour Brenda Bowskill for her winning performance at the Laser Midwinters with Sailor of the Month – February!
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.