Two Canadian Olympic sailors looking to qualify Canada in Sunfish at the 2023 Pan American Games

Kingston, March 27, 2023 – Luke Ramsay from Vancouver and Lee Parkhill from Oakville, ON, two Canadian sailors who have represented Canada at past Olympic Games, will take part in the Sunfish United States National Championships at Midwinters, March 30-April 1 in Pensacola, Florida, and will look to qualify one spot for Canada in the Sunfish class at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

Ramsay won the silver medal in Sunfish at the last two editions of the Pan American Games, in Toronto in 2015 and in Lima in 2019, and he will be looking to add a third in Santiago. He also took part in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where he respectively took the 25th position in Two-Person Dinghy (470) with Michael Leigh and the 15th spot in Nacra 17 with Nikola Girke.

“The Pan American Games, one of the most fun events to compete in, is also a chance to sail in a new class which suits my strengths pretty well. After losing twice, I am really hungry to finally take home a win in 2023. But first, it looks like a tough road to qualification,” said Luke Ramsay, who welcomed a new baby in his family over the last month.

Lee Parkhill represented Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, both times in the Laser (ILCA 7) class. In Rio, he took the 23rd spot, while he won the bronze medal at home in Toronto.

“After finishing the Olympics in 2016, I shifted gears to complete an MBA and began my journey in the corporate world, all while growing my family,” said Lee Parkhill. “One constant has been that I’ve never lost the desire to do more competitive sailing. I’m excited to challenge myself by jumping into a Sunfish rig and try a new class on the international stage, and hopefully inspire my daughters, and others, to chase their dreams along the way.”

“Luke is one of the best sailors in Canada and he has had tremendous success in Sunfish,” added Parkhill. “We are also great friends, so I’m looking forward to training with him and racing against him once again.”

The Sunfish United States National Championships at Midwinters will be the first of three opportunities for countries to qualify spots in the Sunfish class, a non-Olympic class, for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, as the top three will earn their ticket to the Games as per Panam Sailing qualification criteria ( A total of 68 sailors from nine different countries are registered for this event.

If Canada qualifies, the lone spot available will be awarded to the sailor who will be the top Canadian at the 2023 North American Championships, to be held June 8-11 in Springfield, Illinois.

More information on the selection process for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is available at

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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.