Meet our Olympians: Nikola Girke – RS:X

Nik5

Apr 8, 2021

West Vancouver’s Nikola Girke is the first Canadian sailor to ever compete in three different boat classes at the Olympic Games. After debuting in the 470 (two-handed dinghy) at Athens 2004 with skipper Jen Provan, she switched to the RS:X (windsurfer) in 2005, qualifying for Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Remarkably, she competed in a new boat class, the mixed Nacra 17 (multihull), at Rio 2016 with partner Luke Ramsay, finishing 15th. Girke recorded the country’s best-ever Olympic result in the event with her 10th place finish at London.

Nikola

 

 

Following her fourth Olympic appearance in Rio, Girke took a lengthy break from full-time training and competition to allow her mind and body to recuperate after 15 years as an elite athlete. In January 2020, she returned to racing RS:X in major international competition and placed fourth at the World Cup stop in Miami. That result secured an Olympic spot for Canada.

 

 

Nikola Girke

 

 

Girke started sailing at age 8 at summer camp and began racing at age 12… Got into windsurfing at age 16 on a trip to Costa Rica with her father who was an avid sailor.

Boardsailing is very physical, requiring strength to hold the wishbone and endurance for the non-stop pumping under many conditions. Due to lockdown, Nikola has bee training at home running and stationery bike hill sprints. “Due to Covid constraints, I haven’t been to an outside gym in a year,” she notes.

Nikola has dedication plus a remarkably broad range of experience and merges the athletic demands of her board with her strategic and tactical experience in other fleets. We hope it will all combine for a great showing in Tokyo.

Nikola Girke(Left) on a new Jeanneau in Vancouver Harbour Credit Peter Robson

 

 

 

O Canada(Right) an Open 60 in New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

W West Van in Back(Left) upwind on the wire

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