Sailor of the Month – July

Sailor of the Month – July

Friday, August 6th, 2015 – Kingston

Sail Canada is pleased to announce the Sailor of the Month – July 2015.

Canadian Sailing Team member - Lee Parkhill – Laser – RCYC

Touted as the performance of his career, Lee Parkhill captured the bronze medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games, the second Laser medal for Canada at a Major Games since it’s inception as an Olympic class in 1996. Sailing his most consistent event of the year, Parkhill locked up six top 3 race results over the course of the 7-day event including 3 bullets against the worlds best. “I like the lighter winds and definitely played in my favour. This event was by far my most consistent performance of the year. I fed off the energy of the hometown crowds and hung on to secure the bronze.”

Photo Credit: Adam Pulicicchio

While the Pan Am fleets are smaller in size, there was no shortage of talent amongst the group with gold medalist Juan Mageli (GUA), silver medalist and sailing mogul Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Charlie Buckingham of USA in 4th position. “Lee illustrated that he can joust with the best in the world,” reflects National Team coach Steve Mitchell.To be within striking distance of the gold before the medal race was our game plan heading into Toronto 2015. The Major Games racing experience will be invaluable as we head to Rio for the Olympic Test event. He should be very proud of his medal, especially having done it in his hometown among his friends and family.

Canada added two more medals to the collection in the Pan Am fleets. Luke Ramsay sailed to a silver medal finish in the Sunfish while Terry McLaughlin led his crew David Jarvis, David Ogden and Sandy Andrews to the final sailing medal for Canada. Both Ramsay and McLaughlin put on a clinic in consistency maintaining podium positions throughout the event and tactically strong-arming their opponents on the race course.

A short trip away from all the PanAmania, CORK Kingston hosted hundreds of sailors at the Laser World Championships and Laser Masters Worlds. 2013 Sailor of the Year finalist Al Clark captured the Radial Grand Master title with fellow Canuck Robert Britten in 3rd place overall. Kingston’s own, Erika Vines was crowned champion in the Radial Apprentice division while Johan Van Rossen took 2nd place in the ’75 and over’ fleet. Andy Roy clinched the silver medal in the Laser Standard Grand Master Division. Roy was Sailor of the Year finalist in 2014.

Heading a bit further east to the Nation’s capital, the Nepean Sailing Club hosted the 2.4mR North Americans with 15 boats from across the country. 2008 Paralympic sailor Bruce Millar celebrated a regatta win with Allan Leibel took second place.

CST alumni Greg Douglas, Billy Gooderham teamed up with Canadian Richard Reid on Zingara to win the Melges 24 Canadian Championships at the Windsor Yacht Club.

Laser sailor Robert Davis sealed the deal at the Laser US Nationals with a first place finish amongst the 56-boat fleet at Brant Beach Yacht Club.

The Transatlantic Race kicked off from Newport Rhode Island with a stretch of 2,800 nautical miles to The Lizard, the most southerly point on mainland Great Britain. Supermaxi Comanche, owned by Jim and Kristi Clark, was skippered by Ken Reed and 20 crewmembers, including top navigator Stan Honey and 5-time Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke. At approx. 1300 nm into the Atlantic, it was determined that a low pressure zone provided strong winds and flat seas – ideal for a 24-hour record attempt.

The previous 24-hour mark was set in the Volvo 70, Ericsson 4 in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, sailing 596nm on Leg 1 heading to the finish of the Leg in Cape Town, averaging 24.85kts.

The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the establishment of a new World Record by Comanche on July 10-11th with Comanche covering a distance of 618.01 miles with and average speed of 25.75kts in 24 hours. “Our top speeds were into the mid-30s a bunch of times. It is not like you are surfing down a wave, you just go….fast. The boat is amazing!” explains Reed. “You sail it heeled over and it feels like you are right on the edge, but when you grab the wheel you are in control. The boat is a phenomenal piece of machinery.

There were casualties during the attempt with navigator Stan Honey getting knocked unconscious- an illustration of the vigor associated to such a feat. While road to recovery is well underway for the team, the impact of the experience is still quite vivid. “It was some of the most intense, terrifying and cool sailing I’ve ever done. Driving that thing in the pitch black overcast night sitting on 27-34 kts of boat speed with 25-40 degrees of heel, plowing through waves is not something I’ll soon forget.” – Richard Clarke

It was a record setting month for Canadian sailing performances and Sail Canada applauds all the outstanding sailors for their achievements including our Sailor of the Month – July - Lee Parkhill!

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 sailorofthemonth@sailing.ca.