Jun 29, 2022
By Mark Lammens
Sailing has been a Jeux Canada Games sport since 1967. The name recognizes our 2 official languages French and English. Jeux Canada Games is a multi-sport festival mimicking the Olympic games featuring opening and closing ceremonies, provincial team uniforms and sail identifiers. Athletes are encouraged to interact by trading pins while living in the athlete village.
Jeux Canada Games-Niagara 2022, will be the 12th Games for Sailing. Originally the Games were to occur in 2021, but were postponed due to the Pandemic. The Games are scheduled for August 17-21, 2022. Taking place at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club, in partnership with the Dalhousie Yacht Club, sailing will have events for both able-bodied and para-athletes.
There is also an extensive race management team with minor and major officials. The Games provides an excellent opportunity to train volunteers for the many different required positions.
The level of athlete targeted by the Jeux Canada Games is the level just under National team. Athlete’s must be 21 years of age or under, and be from the province they represent. Paralympic athletes must be 35 years of age or under. All sailors must not be part of the National Team.
Each province has one singlehanded female and one singlehanded male athlete, as well as one double handed female team and one double handed male team. In the Paralympic class, each province has one male or female athlete.
The two support staff members are one Sail Canada Competitive Development level coach and one manager. Both genders must be represented and at least one must be in the Sail Canada Competitive Development program.
In 2022, the Paralympic Class is the 2.4 mR which was added to the schedule in 2013. The Double Handed Class is the 29er which was selected to the schedule in 2005. The Singlehanded Class for men is Laser/ILCA 7 which has been on the schedule since 1977.
Women’s only classes were added to the Jeux Canada Games in 1989 the year after the 1988 Olympics added a Double Handed class. The Jeux Canada Games women’s classes in 1989 included Windsurfer, Single Handed and Double Handed. The Windsurfer class was only in in 3 Games.
The Radial/ILCA is the Single-Handed class for the women since 1989, except in 1997 and 2001 when it was the Olympic Europe. A shipping problem in the 1989 Jeux Canada Games resulted in the women having to race in Full rig Lasers instead of the Radial rigs they had trained in.
Jeux Canada Games has been successful in providing quality athletes for the National Team. Athletes that went on to win World Championships include Ross MacDonald. Ross represented BC at the Jeux Canada Games and won a bronze medal. He also won Silver and Bronze Olympic medals and a Gold Medal at the Pan Am Games. Tom MacDonald, Ross’s older brother, also won a bronze medal at the 1977 Canada Games.
Judy Lugar competed for Nova Scotia at the Jeux Canada Games and went on to win the World Championships in the Women’s double handed Olympic class. Judy was also a member of the Olympic team.
Kelly Hand won a gold medal for Manitoba then went on to coach the Provincial team. She also won the World Championships and a Gold medal at the Pan Am Games. Kelly also coached the National and Olympic team.
Hank Lammens coached the Ontario Jeux Canada Games Team and went on to win two World Championships and a second place in Olympic class. Hank was a two sport athlete that also played 27 games in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators. Hank also competed for Canada at the Olympics.
Glen Dexter from Nova Scotia, won Gold at the Jeux Canada Games and went on to win two World Championships in Olympic class. Glen’s daughter Karen won a silver medal for Nova Scotia at the Jeux Canada Games. Glen also competed for Canada at the Olympics.
Richard Clarke, Jeux Canada Games Gold medalist for Ontario, finished 2nd and 3rd at World Championships and competed at 4 Olympics with his best result being a 9th.
Paul Thompson won a Gold for Nova Scotia and finished 4th at the World Championships and finished 6th at the Olympics.
Kevin Stittle won Gold for Ontario and then finished 2nd at the World Championships and was 4th at the Olympics.
Logan Campbell finished 4th for Saskatchewan and went on to coach the Jeux Canada Games team. He also finished 2nd at the World Championships and 3rd at the Paralympics.
Family medalists at the Jeux Canada Games include Ontario sailor Dave Wells who won silver in 1985. His son Fraser Wells won Gold for New Brunswick in 2013. Rob Maru won Gold in 1981 and son Matti won Gold in 2017 for Ontario. Rob Maru also won a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games.
Gilles Mercier a Gold medalist from Quebec at the Jeux Canada Games went on to win a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. Steve Fleckinstien won a silver for New Brunswick and won a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games.
Keamia Rasa competed for Alberta and went on to win a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. She also coached the Alberta team. Keamia qualified Canada for the Olympics and finished 2nd in the trials to another Jeux Canada Games coach, Nova Scotia’s Lisa Ross. Lisa also coaches the National and Olympic team.
Shona Moss won a gold for Ontario and went on to win a Gold for Canada at the Pan Am Games. Penny Stamper and her brother Duncan Stamper won a gold medal for British Columbia. Penny won a gold medal at the Pan Am Games. Shona and Penny also represented Canada at the Olympics.
The Jeux Canada Games has proven to be an excellent event to prepare athletes for success at an international level. Provinces must have their teams announced by early July.
For the past 35 years, Mark has been involved in many aspects of the sport as an athlete in the Finn and Soling, as Canadian Team Coach at big games, but also on home waters, and of course as a volunteer and administrator.