November 2, 2022
Canadian sailor Evan DePaul from Burlington, ON, who represented Canada in the 49er event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, announced his retirement from competitive sailing.
Evan DePaul started sailing in 2010 at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, where he joined the racing team in the double-handed 420 class. In 2015, he teamed up with Will Jones in 49erFX as both were part of the same club and looking for sailing partners. One year later, the team switched to the 49er class and was crowned champion in 2017 at the North American Championships as well as the World Junior Championships in front of a home crowd in Kingston. Evan and Will then represented Canada in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympic Games, where they finished in 19th place.
“A decade ago, when I was just a kid doing sailing summer camps, I began to have the dream of representing my country at the Olympics and winning a gold medal,” remembered Evan DePaul. “I’ve spent the better part of eight years with this as my goal and dedicating my life to it. Having developed so many skills and achieved many of the great accomplishments that I had dreamed about as a young boy with my sailing partner Will, I can now fondly look back as an adult with pride in what we have learned and done. The pursuit of achieving such a high level of performance in any field is a huge undertaking, that comes with sacrifices in many other areas of life and without which you cannot achieve that pinnacle of success.”
“Over the past year, I have felt my priorities and interests shifting into other directions, looking to explore what other great experiences life has to offer,” added DePaul. “As tough as it is to face, without that deep drive I don’t believe I would be helping the team or myself to achieve this immense goal. I feel it is time for me to step away and explore some other avenues in life that are piquing my interest, and to give Will and the Canadian Sailing Team the room to continue their pursuit with the right people and the level of commitment they need and deserve.”
“On behalf of Sail Canada, I would like to thank and congratulate Evan for his sailing career, and especially for his performances with Will at the 2017 North American Championships and World Junior Championships,” said Sail Canada High Performance Director, Mike Milner. “I also want to highlight all the work he did with Will to get ready for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included a one-year delay due to the pandemic that wasn’t easy for anyone, both physically and mentally. Congratulations Evan for your career and thanks again for everything you did while proudly representing Canada on the international stage.”
DePaul will now take time to relax and he wanted to take the opportunity to thank some people, starting with his 49er partner Will Jones.
“I first and foremost want to thank Will Jones. We have sailed together our whole Olympic sailing careers and developed so much together. He has been such an amazing partner, and I believe I would not have achieved so many accomplishments or become the person I am without him. I am very happy to call him my friend after this amazing journey and I want to wish him luck on the next leg of his journey.”
“My parents Julie and Mark, as well as Will’s parents Rich and Kathy, have been instrumental in making this dream possible; the support they have given has been unparalleled and they allowed and pushed us to chase after this passion. My parents have supported me through every hurdle along the way, taught me so many valuable life lessons to tackle this goal, and I can’t thank them enough.”
“All the teammates I have had the pleasure to train with and sail against made it an enjoyable and memorable experience as we pursued this common goal and traveled the world together. I wish them all the best in chasing after their sailing goals. To my coaches from youth sailing up to the Olympic level, particularly Ken Dool and Krzysztof Kierkowski, thank you for all the support and knowledge you have shared with me over the years, pushing and developing me to be the best sailor and person I can be. Thank you also to Sail Canada, the Canadian Sport Institute Atlantic and Sport Canada, which have provided me with this amazing opportunity to represent Canada at such a high level, and have offered all the resources that have made it possible to do so.
“Thank you to my partner Jessee who is always in my corner and supported me through some tough decision making. Finally, to all the individuals that have followed me along the whole way such as RHYC members and my friends, thanks for believing in me and all the advice/support you have shown. It has been incredible and a huge motivator to push myself towards this goal.”
Even if he is leaving competitive sailing, Evan DePaul will still be looking to remain involved with the sport.
“Sailing will always be a part of my life, I am sure of that. I would love to share some of my knowledge with the younger groups and help the Canadian Sailing Team in any way to pursue their goals, so I will surely do some coaching stints here and there. I’m exploring some options for professional sailing in bigger boats, a scene that I haven’t had the chance to dive into yet with the commitment involved to Olympic sailing. Other than that, I look forward to just doing some dinghy sailing for fun and getting out cruising with my parents and friends.”