Lewin-LaFrance Sisters 8th at the 49erFX European Championship

May 15, 2024

Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, NS, who have qualified to be nominated on Canada’s Paris 2024 sailing team, took the 8th position at their last major competition before Paris, the 2024 49erFX European Championship, which ended Sunday in La Grande Motte, France.

Qualified in 8th position for the Medal Race as one of the top 10 teams in the standings following the preliminary races, the Lewin-LaFrance sisters came up with a fifth-place finish in the last race of the competition, Sunday, but did not move up in final standings.

It was the third major competition in a row in 2024 where the sailors from Nova Scotia qualified for the Medal Race, as they did at the 2024 49er and 49erFX World Championships in Lanzarote, SPA, and at the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta in Palma, SPA, where they respectively finished in 8th and 4th place. In both of those competitions, however, the Medal Race was cancelled due to weather conditions.

Through the 15 races held over the week, Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance flirted twice with a podium finish, ending day 3 and day 4 in fourth and third place overall, respectively. However, two penalties which gave them the maximum of 30 points prevented them from repeating their performance from the 2021 edition of the 49erFX European Championship, where they won the bronze medal.

Isaura Maenhaut and Anouk Geurts from Belgium won gold, followed by Sarah Steyaert and Charline Picon from France, as well as Freya Black and Saskia Tidey from Great Britain. Tara and Siobhan Golonka from Victoria, B.C., finished the event in 26th place out of a total of 29 teams.

In the 49er class that was also contested at the European Championships, the team comprised of Will Jones from Aldershot, ON, and Justin Barnes from Pickering, ON, who have qualified to be nominated on Canada’s Paris 2024 sailing team, took the 48th position. Thomas and William Staples from Beaconsfield, QC, finished in 31st place.

The 2024 Nacra 17 World Championships were also held during the event, as Galen Richardson (Toronto) and Madeline Gillis (Halifax) ended up in 40th place out of a total of 44 competitors.

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