April 5, 2023
Last weekend Canada qualified a spot in a ninth class for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, this time in Sunfish, after Luke Ramsay from Vancouver (Royal Vancouver Yacht Club) finished fourth at the first qualifier in this class, which was held last week during the Sunfish United States National Championships at Midwinters at the Pensacola YC in Florida.
Ramsay, who won silver in this non-Olympic event at the last two Pan American Games, was ranked fifth overall before the last day of competition, which would have placed Canada in fourth position and out of the top three countries that would have qualified for Santiago 2023. But by coming up with fifth and fourth-place results on the last day of racing, he allowed Canada to climb one spot and qualify one spot.
The other Canadian in action, Lee Parkhill from Oakville, ON, (Oakville Yacht Squadron) finished seventh overall.
Now that Canada has qualified a spot, the Canadian sailor who will compete in Sunfish at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games will be the one who earns the top result at the 2023 North American Championships, to be held June 8-11 in Springfield, Illinois.
“Things started off really slow for me,” said Luke Ramsay. “It took a couple races to shake the cobwebs off. After two races, I was sitting 42nd. I was able to get in a bit of a groove and finish off the first day in 15th position. Going into the last day, I was able to sail consistently and nab the spot by finishing fourth, and coming in as the third country, narrowly beating Jonathan Martinetti from Ecuador, who was the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games gold medalist.”
“It was a great week with lots of World Champions and Pan American Games Champions in the fleet,” also pointed out Ramsay. “I had a blast being back sailing and I’m looking forward to competing with and against Lee at the trials this summer. Lee and I are great friends and it was really fun to race each other again, and be back trying to qualify for the Pan American Games.”
“Congrats to Luke for qualifying the country in a very tough fleet,” said Lee Parkhill. “This week was a great opportunity to throw ourselves right back in the deep end of a very competitive fleet. With Luke and I set on the same goal, we were very open to sharing knowledge and coaching each other to help us get competitive as quickly as possible, and we worked really well as a team.”
The Sunfish United States National Championships at Midwinters was 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 Pan Am Sailing qualification criteria. A total of 68 sailors from nine different countries were registered for this event.
More information on the selection process for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is available at https://www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2023-pan-american-games.