November 16, 2022
On November 9, Annie Balasubramanian and Nathan Latka, both from Toronto, won the 2020-2021 Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award, which recognizes sailors who are 18 years old and under and have shown a record of outstanding achievement in national and international youth competition, have brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing, have set an example for other youth competitors through behaviour and manner, and have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship.
Over the time period that exceptionally spanned two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, both sailors represented Canada at the 2021 Youth World Sailing Championships in Oman in the ILCA 6 events.
Annie Balasubramanian: winner of Sail Canada’s 2020-2021 Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award
Annie Balasubramanian, who represents the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and Ontario Sailing Team, took 22nd place in the ILCA 6 women’s competition at the 2021 Youth World Sailing Championships. She was also the top woman at the 2021 Sail Canada Youth Championships in ILCA 6 and the fourth female sailor at the 2021 Sail Canada Senior Championships in ILCA 6, in addition to finishing seventh overall, and first among women, at the 2020 Seahorse Youth Regatta at the Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club.
“The 2020-2021 sailing seasons were really tricky as COVID-19 made it really hard to participate in any event,” said Annie Balasubramanian. But I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I had, as well as for my coach, my teammates and all the people who have been pushing me to be my best. And I’m very thankful for my home club, RCYC, which has supported me throughout everything I have been doing. Thank you!”
Nathan Latka: winner of Sail Canada’s 2020-2021 Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award
On the men’s side, Nathan Latka, representing the Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club and the Ontario Sailing Team, was 24th overall at the 2021 Youth World Sailing Championships in the ILCA 6 men’s event. He won the ILCA 6 competition at the 2021 Sail Canada Youth Championships and finished second overall at Sail Canada’s Senior Championships that same year. In 2020, he also finished first in the ILCA 6 event at the Seahorse Youth Regatta held at the Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club.
“I am extremely honoured to have won the Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award,” said Nathan Lafka. “These have been such amazing years and I am overjoyed that I have been recognized for my achievements.”
“I want to thank Sail Canada and the countless people and organizations that have helped me to pursue my sailing dreams, including my parents Lucille and David, my coach Chris Hewson and all the other coaches who have helped me along the way, as well as Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club and Ontario Sailing for their continued support. All of these people and organizations have allowed me to take part in the sport I love, which is something I can’t ever thank them enough for. I hope to continue sailing and striving for excellence in the years to come.”
More information on the Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/bill-burk-memorial-youth-elite-award-past-winners/.