May 16, 2022
Canada’s SailGP team was a surprising top contender from the first gun in its first event
Who are these people? CAN SailGP’s done what nobody could have expected contending for a monumental win in its first outing, the Bermuda event that kicked off the SailGP season. Dueling all weekend with the perceived top teams, the Canadian entry showed the legs and smarts to be a serious contender. After this weekend, no-one will be asking ‘who are these people?’ (By contrast, the other new entry in this league, Switzerland, was up the track in every race, as you might expect from a rookie effort.)
The Canadian boat sailed with poise and confidence in the first five of the six-race program qualifying CAN SailGP for the three-boat final sixth race. This was a startling accomplishment and had the TV commentary crew in awe. (Special side note: CAN SailGP was able to accomplish what has never been done before – bring sailing to national Canadian TV. TSN carried every race!)
Driver Phil Robertson and his Canadian crew were quick off the start line on both days and strategically positioned themselves on the racecourse to finish at the top of the event leaderboard after day one, secure a place in the finals on Sunday and finish third overall. A record result for a new team to the league.
On day one of racing, Canada SailGP Team immediately impressed the fans by finishing 2nd, 1st, and 5th in the three races respectively. Heading into day two, there was more breeze and the team was put to the test in races 4 and 5, finishing 7th and 5th. This secured a place for the Canadians in the final race alongside GBR SailGP Team and Season 2 champions, Australia SailGP Team.
“It was an incredible start for a new team. To finish on the podium for event one, is something that we never dreamed of but we knew we were capable of. It confirms how well we have set this team up and trained over the last few weeks here in Bermuda. Being realistic, it was a light air event where everything becomes a lot more equal. We know we have a lot more to learn in the breezier conditions. We’ve got a long way to go, but we are stoked with how we came out,” said Canada SailGP Team Driver, Phil Robertson.
Canada SailGP Team – Crew List
The Canadian crew included a couple of experienced gunslingers, but eight of the ten sailors are Canadian and complete first timers; they bring a wealth of National Team and top competition skill to their roles and their talent showed in flawless execution and boat handling. The Canadians were in the hunt in every race and completed all six without any significant errors.
Phil Robertson (NZL) | Driver
Chris Draper (GBR) | Wing Trimmer
Billy Gooderham (ON) | Flight Controller
Georgia Lewin-Lafrance (NS) | Co-pilot/Strategist
Tom Ramshaw (ON) | Tactician/Grinder
Tim Hornsby (NS) | Grinder
Jareese Finch (BC) | Grinder
Graeme Sutherland (AB) | Reserve – Wing Trimmer
Isabella Bertold (BC) | Reserve – Co-pilot/Strategist
Luke Ramsay (BC) | Reserve – Flight Controller
Joe Glanfield (GBR) | Coach
Next up for the team will be the United States Sail Grand Prix on 18-19 June in Chicago.
How to follow Canada SailGP Team – TSN and
Fred Pye, founder of Canada SailGP Team, celebrates as he watches Canada SailGP Team in action on Race Day 1 of Bermuda SailGP presented by Hamilton Princess, Season 3, in Bermuda. 14th May 2022. Photo: Adam Warner for SailGP.
A huge BRAVO ZULU to each of these sailors and to Fred Pye and his crew for making us proud right out of the gate.
-Sailing in Canada/JM with files from CAN SailGP