Kingston, August 19, 2023 – Sarah Douglas from Toronto qualified a spot for Canada in ILCA 6 at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the first one in sailing for the country, while finishing in 24th position overall at the 2023 Sailing World Championships, held until Sunday in The Hague, Netherlands.
“I’m really happy to have qualified Canada in ILCA 6 for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” said Sarah Douglas. “It’s great to know that Canada will have a boat on that starting line and, hopefully, it will be me. It was a tough event, but hopefully, better for the future and I’m glad to have achieved that goal.”
The week started on the wrong foot for Sarah Douglas, who was penalized in the very first race of the competition and received the maximum amount of points at that moment (56), putting her in 75th place overall at the end of the first day of racing. But she gradually made her way up in the rankings throughout the week and was finally able to take hold of the 16th and last spot available to countries in ILCA 6 this week in The Hague for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“Starting with a penalty in the first race at the World Championships is not easy,” said Sarah Douglas. “It’s definitively challenging mentally as well to come back from that. I really pushed and tried, and I had a little bit of inconsistency in my racing, but I climbed up the leaderboard every day and did put together some pretty good races. It was a tough start, but I was able to claw my way back.”
“The conditions in which we sailed this week were nothing like what I’ve experienced before because of how strong the tidal current is. This year, we were limited in how much we could train at the venue. My coach and I decided to put our focus on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and spent a lot of our time training in Marseille,” she said, also pointing out that only four of the top 10 sailors from last month’s Paris 2024 Test Event in Marseille made it to Sunday’s medal race in The Hague, including three from countries bordering the North Sea.
At the 2023 World Sailing Championships, countries were able for the very first time to qualify spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in every of the 10 Olympic events. Each country can only have one athlete/team in each class at the Olympic Games, and France, as the host nation, automatically has one entry per event.
With Sarah Douglas being the top Canadian in 24th position overall with one day of racing to go before the Medal Race, Canada was 17th in the Olympic spot nations rankings with two races to go. Her performance on Saturday allowed Canada to qualify a spot in ILCA 6 for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“I knew I had quite a battle ahead of me. I put together a first good race and I knew I was in that position. I had to protect in the second race and it was really really close, very tight racing. In the end, I managed to mathematically save the 16th position. I earned the last spot for Canada at Paris 2024 and I’m happy to have been able to achieve that.”
Canada’s individual selection process in ILCA 6 for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
Because no athlete met the Sail Canada selection process criteria to automatically qualify himself/herself in ILCA 6 for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the following selection process will now apply in this class:
The athlete with the lowest score combined position (for example, 1st+21st) from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, will be selected based on a sailing scoring system (lowest score first). If there is a tie, the athlete/team in the higher position (based on the sailing scoring system) at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is cancelled, it will be replaced by the 2024 European Championships of the class.
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.
Canada’s next opportunity to qualify the country’s spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, by being the top nation that has not already qualified.
Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, as well as for Canadians to qualify themselves to be nominated to the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, are available at https://www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2024-olympic-games/.
Canadian results at the 2023 Sailing World Championships
ILCA 6/Women’s Dinghy (/110)
24. Sarah Douglas (Toronto, ON, ABYC)
47. Maura Dewey (Victoria, B.C.-RVicYC)
68. Coralie Vittecoq (Montreal West, QC-PCYC/BLBC)
72. Clara Gravely (Toronto, ON-ABYC)
ILCA 7/Men’s Dinghy (/138)
61. Luke Ruitenberg (St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S.-RNSYS)
65. Fillah Karim (Vancouver, B.C.-RVYC)
66. Ryan Anderson (Halifax, N.S.-RNSYS)
103 James Juhasz (Oakville, ON-BHYC)
49erFX/Women’s Skiff (/58)
13. Antonia & Georgia Lewin-LaFrance (Chester, N.S.) – RNSYS/CYC
49er/Men’s Skiff (/83)
44. William Jones (Jerseyville, ON-RHYC) & Justin Barnes (Pickering, ON-RCYC)
60. Arie Moffat (Kingston, ON-KYC) & Ryan Wood (Vancouver, B.C.-RVYC)
70. Thomas & William Staples (Beaconsfield, QC) – RSLYC
Kiteboarding M (/92)
66. Logan Sutherland (Toronto, ON)
69. Mac Morrin (Kingston, ON-KYC)
Kiteboarding W (/53)
45. Marie-Ève Mayrand (Calgary, AB)
46. Emily Bugeja (Vancouver, B.C.-RVYC)
50. Nataliya Leshko (Toronto, ON)
iQFoil W/Women’s Windsurfing (/88)
87. Rebecca Heller (Dunrobin, ON)
RS Venture Connect (/16)
BRONZE – John McRoberts (Victoria, B.C.-RVicYC) & Scott Lutes (Mahone Bay, N.S. – LYC)
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.