Jan 17, 2024
Photo: Matías Capizzano
Sarah Douglas from Toronto finished as best Canadian at the 2024 ILCA 6 World Championship, which ended today in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with a 26th position, therefor taking the lead for the Canadian spot in this event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The 2024 ILCA 6 World Championship was the first of two competitions serving for the Canadian qualification process in ILCA 6. The second and last one will be the Princess Sofia Regatta, March 29-April 6 in Palma, Spain. Canada qualified a spot in ILCA 6 at the 2023 Sailing World Championships last summer.
“It has been a tough couple of weeks for me, starting with a severe cut on my finger on Christmas Eve, then a loss of a family member as I headed to Argentina, which made it testing to sail and focus on the event,” recounted by Sarah Douglas. “It was a rollercoaster on and off the water, but I persevered. I’m grateful for the support team I have in place to help me get through these difficult times. We had some really long days on the water with conditions that challenged all sailors. I put together some good scores but lacked consistency.”
“I’m going to take a short break and get back to training. A reset and a real evaluation of my program is needed while I look ahead to Paris.”
The other Canadian in action, Clara Gravely from Toronto, took the 45th spot. After the fourth day of competition, Gravely was only eight positions behind Douglas.
“Wow, what an exciting world championship to kick off 2024,” said Clara Gravely. “It was quite a crazy event, with unstable weather conditions and many countries vying for Olympic berths and internal selection trials.
“I personally had a mixed bag of an event. My first four days of racing were some of my best and most consistent sailing! Meanwhile, on days 5 and 6, I made a few too many mistakes to be able to put any solid races together. While I didn’t get to end on a high note, I’m proud to have raced in gold fleet as a contender in our Canadian Olympic trials — this is what childhood dreams are made off! I’m already looking forward to racing in Palma and continuing to soak up all the energy and inspiration of the Olympic year!”
The 2024 ILCA 6 World Championship, which also served as a spot qualification event for countries toward Paris 2024, showcased a total of 102 athletes, including all medalists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the 2022 ILCA 6 World Championship and the 2023 Sailing World Championships.
Canadian ILCA 6 Ranking for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
(After event #1 on 2)
1. Sarah Douglas – 26 points
2. Clara Gravely – 45 points
How Canadian athletes qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, athletes and teams can qualify themselves by being the athlete/team with the lowest score combined position from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, with selection being based on a sailing scoring system (lowest score first).
If there is a tie, the athlete/team in the higher position (based on the sailing scoring system) at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is canceled, it will be replaced by the class’s 2024 European Championships.
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee after it has received nominations from all National Sport Organizations.
As of today, Canada has qualified spots for the sailing competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in ILCA 6, 49er, 49erFX and women’s kiteboarding. For the other events, Canada can still qualify spots in other competitions that will be coming up in 2024.
Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the manner in which Canadians can qualify themselves to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, as well as the full qualification calendar are available at https://www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2024-olympic-games/ .
A sport in the Olympic program since the first Games in 1896, except in 1904, the pursuit of success in these Games is what fuels the focus of Sail Canada as Canadian athletes have so far achieved nine Olympic and five Paralympic medals.