Countdown to London 2012

“The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

When he spoke these words, Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, recognized as the founder of the modern Olympic Games, could not have envisaged that the initial event with nine sports and 14 nations would grow to include 33 sports, 200 nations, and 13,000 athletes. Nor could he have foreseen the multi-million dollar industry that the Olympics would become or that the triumph would become more important than the struggle – at least in the eyes of those who provide the majority of funding.

Members of the Canadian Olympic sailing team have fought well for their places. David Wright, representative in the Laser Class, rose to the very robust challenge laid down by Chris Dold to include four race wins on his way to 3rd place. Danielle Dube, the first Nova Scotian to qualify for London 2012, held off the challenges of former Olympian Lisa Ross and upcomer Isabella Bertold in the Laser Radial. We are in awe of the class of Chris Cook, forced to retire from the Finn qualifier through illness and then immediately putting his entire resources at the disposal of Greg Douglas. The personal sacrifices made by Mike Leigh and Luke Ramsay in the 470 class, the former, once the leading contender in the Laser class, forced by back problems to switch to the 470, the latter taking on the challenge of dropping his weight, to develop their skills in a short period of time to qualify at the last hurdle.

Our Star sailors, Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn, have addressed the challenges that face the more mature sailors: the delicate balancing act that is work/life/family/future, to arrive in Weymouth with a realistic opportunity to feature in the medal race. So, too, Nikola Girke, the RS:X windsurfing athlete, who inspires us all with her dedication and commitment giving all for her country. Zac Plasvic (RS:X) is another returning Olympian, who will be working hard to improve on the 2008 result. Gordon Cook, also part of the 2008 team, is now partnered with Hunter Lowden in the 49er.

These 11 athletes could not have made it to the starting line without the wide support network of family, friends, sponsors, donors, coaches, fellow competitors and the CYA’s High Performance team. Own the Podium, coordinating the efforts and funding of Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and the National Sports Centres, are the primary source of funding for the team. However, without the generous support of the Phelan Foundation, through Wind Athletes, the path to the Games would have been much more arduous. CYA has also been able to equip the team with the latest in technical and podium wear, thanks to Gill, while the guys at North Country Marine have kept our coach boats in good condition with the support of Mercury. Sperry has provided technical footwear.

In addition to our core national team coaching staff, the Canadian Olympic sailing support team will also include coaches Kevin Stittle, Ben Remocker, Jason Rhodes and Nigel Cochrane. Also on the ground helping to organize the team and ensure things run smoothly will be athletic therapist Alicia Crelinsten, meteorologist Eric Holden, sports psychologist Colin Guthrie and high performance coordinator Colleen Coderre. To follow your Canadian Sailing team check out or Be sure to check out the next issue of Canadian Yachting Magazine for coverage on the Canadian Paralympic Sailing Team, we’ll be profiling our athletes headed to the Paralympic games in the 2.4m, Sonar and Skud classes, don’t miss it!

Canada enters the Olympic sailing competition with a blend of youth and experience carrying our hopes for performances that will reflect well on the individual athletes and give all of their supporters a warm feeling for contributing to the cause. Here at CYA we believe that the team has received and will receive the best possible support that we can provide. And while the funding masters may no longer subscribe to Baron de Coubertin’s ideal, we wish our sailors the best of luck, knowing that they will “fight well”.

David Wright
Born: Montreal, QC
Hometown: Toronto ON
Yacht Club: RCYC
Boat: Laser
Achievements: 6th at Sail for Gold, National Champion 2002
Education: USMMA

When David was 10 he entered the Hudson Learn-to-Sail program. At 13 he joined the Hudson Yacht Club race team and raced a Laser Radial, though it was quite a lot of boat for a small sailor. The next year he was generously loaned a Byte by the Miranda Memorial Fund, and that year won the Canadian Championship and finished third in the Canadian Youth Championship.

A family move to Oakville in 1997 enabled David to join the Royal Canadian Yacht Club High Performance Team. There he found himself surrounded by a group of very motivated sailors many of whom are still sailing with him today. There, David switched back to the Laser. The results soon followed. The following year he won the Laser Radial Midwinter’s East and later that summer he competed at his first World Championship finishing 11th at the Laser Radial Youth Worlds.

When David graduated from youth sailing he became involved in college sailing and spent four years at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York learning about the shipping industry and representing the academy at college events. His entire 3rd year at college was spent on a merchant ship travelling the world. David won a national championship in 2002, earned an honourable mention All American as a sophomore and was also an All American as a senior. Additionally he sailed in the Laser Radial Worlds in 2002 finishing 4th.

Upon graduation David decided his sailing career was not over. Back in Canada he joined the Canadian Sailing Team and campaigned actively for the 2008 Olympics, competing for Canada on the World Cup circuit with some good results. However, the efforts fell short and he was forced to watch the Olympics from home. This strengthened his resolve to return to sailing with a determination to make no compromises. David won the 2008 Laser North American Championships in dominant fashion, and in 2009 set his sights on making an impact at the World Championship held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After a year of training, he finished 6th, making him one of the only two Canadians to have finished in the top 10 at a Laser Worlds since it became an Olympic class.

In 2010, David finished 6th (having won the medal race) at the Sail for Gold regatta at the only World Cup event at the London Olympic venue. As the momentum continues to build, David earned his first World Cup podium result to start the 2012 season. With growing confidence, a new and inspiring coaching staff, and more determination than ever, David is now totally focused on winning a medal for Canada at the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

Danielle Dube
Hometown: Glen Haven NS
Yacht Club: RNSYS
Boat: Radial
Achievements: 2012 Miami OCR 15th, ISAF 40th, First Games
Education: Armbrae Academy

Danielle Dube is the first sailor from her home yacht club to compete in the Olympics. Sailing from a young age, Danielle progressed though the Canadian Yachting Association’s Learn-to-Sail program, starting in Echos and Sunfish. Once through her basic levels, Danielle took up a crew position on the popular Laser II at age 12. She switched to racing Bytes for several years and then to the Laser Radial in 2005. Dube is an Armbrae Academy graduate and a member at both Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and St. Margaret Sailing Club. She is currently ranked 40th on the ISAF charts for Women’s Laser Radial. Dube is interested in a career in Sports Medicine.

Richard Clarke
Hometown: Salt Spring Island, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Victoria YC
Boat: Star
Achievements: 4 Time Finn Olympic Sailor, VOR, TransPac, Melges 24, TP52
Family: Wife Andria and two children

Richard Clarke is one of Canada’s most experienced Olympic Class, keelboat and offshore racers. Born and raised in Ontario, Clarke excelled in Finn sailing. He represented Canada in the Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy discipline and sailed a Finn at the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. During the decade and a half that Clarke sailed Finns, he attained the ISAF #1 world ranking and he was on the podium countless times, including winning a silver and two bronze medals at the 2004, 1994 and 1999 Finn Gold Cup regattas, respectively. He also won a gold medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games in the Finn.

Clarke carried the athleticism and tactical savvy gained from his Finn sailing with him to keelboat racing. He has been helmsman, tactician or trimmer for world championship keelboat and offshore teams including the 2003 and 2009 Melges 24 world championship team, the 2001/02 Volvo Ocean Race as the helmsman/trimmer for illbruck and the 2003 Daimler Transatlantic Race. Other feathers in his offshore racing cap include winning the 2003 Transpac Barn Door Trophy for the overall corrected time and setting a double-handed record with Philippe Kahn during the 2007 Transpac. The pair also was the first to finish and the overall winner of the 2008 Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Clarke was the Canadian Yachting Association Male Athlete of the Year in 1993, and won the coveted Rolex Sailor of the Year Award in 1999. He won the Gerry Roufs Trophy in 2002 for achievement in international Offshore Racing. He was recognized as the British Columbia Sailor of the Year in 2010.

The most recent chapter in Clarke’s sailing chronicles has barely just begun. At the end of 2009, he teamed up with Canadian Sailing Team member, Tyler Bjorn in the Star. Sailing a chartered PStar in their first regatta together, they were second in the 2009 Star North Americans. Some may have attributed the win to beginner’s luck, but that theory was disproved at the Bacardi Cup where they finished fourth in an 84-boat fleet. With Bjorn tuning the boat and pulling a lot of the strings, the newlyweds went to Nassau where the wind blew like stink and Montagu Bay was frothy throughout the warm-up event and the Star Western Hemispheres. To go with their victory, Clarke and Bjorn won their first silver star. The momentum carried over to Europe where they were the early leaders of the 2010 European Championship, the largest Star regatta in history. In the end, they were third on count back in a very light air regatta.

Clarke has done a phenomenal job juggling family, Olympic Class and big boat sailing. He is helmsman on the Southern Cross 52, Vela Veloce, winner of the 2010 Rolex US-IRC National Championship. He manages and skippers the Wind Athletes Canada Open 60 program, O Canada. He is tactician on Mayhem, the Canadian TP52 and he is doing a formidable Star campaign and enjoying time on land with his family on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.

Tyler Bjorn
Hometown: Montreal, QC
Yacht Club: Royal St. Lawrence YC
Boat: Star
Achievements: Mini 6.5, 2nd 2009 Star North Americans, bronze 2010 Star Europeans
Family: Wife Tara and two children

Tyler Bjorn was born into a family committed to fostering sailing in Canada. His parents met through the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club sailing program. For as long as he can remember, his summers were spent sailing. His father, Peter, was Ian Bruce’s crew in the Star at the 1972 Olympics and his partner in the worldwide expansion and development of the Laser Class. The family also played an integral role in the expansion of the Laser II, Optimist and 29er Classes throughout North America. When Bruce designed the Byte in the mid-1990s, Tyler played an integral role in making it the largest Class in Canada for 10 years running and promoted as an international Class. He worked the same magic a second time by introducing the 29er to Canada, where it became the largest double-handed Class throughout North America.

Bjorn started sailing Lasers when he was 15 and became fast friends with Richard Clarke. He physically outgrew the Laser in no time. As a linebacker/defensive end on the top ranked Canadian university football team at Bishops University during the early 1990s, Bjorn juggled his college football commitments with being on the Canadian National Sailing Team. He sailed the Finn with success from 1993 through 2000. He was a member of the Canadian Finn team, which included the likes of Larry Lemieux and Richard Clarke. Bjorn was a sparring partner for Clarke during Clarke’s preparations for the 1996 Olympics and proved to be a formidable match by winning the Canadian National Championship and placing 4th at the North American Championship that year.

Star sailing is in the Bjorn family. Tyler’s father sailed the Star for Canada in the 1972 Olympics; his brother, Kai, crewed for Ross MacDonald at the Sydney 2000 Games, and Tyler got a taste for Star sailing and keelboat sailing when he crewed for Clarke during a week of training in 2003.

Bjorn was involved in the Canadian Mini 6.5 project, but jumped at the offer to be a full time Star crew in 2005 and was a member of the Canadian Sailing Team. During the 2009 Bacardi Cup, Bjorn sailed the PStar for the first time during with American Clay Bischoff, who had never sailed a Star before. The pair had several outstanding races and Bjorn became enamoured with the PStar.

As the 2009 Star North American Championship approached, Bjorn put together his dream team. He arranged for the charter of the very same boat that served him so well in the Bacardi Cup and he persuaded his lifelong friend, Richard Clarke, to sail with him. Clarke and Bjorn were not only competitive through a full range of conditions, they were second in the regatta.

The old friends sailed so well together that they decided to juggle a modest Star campaign with all of their other activities throughout 2010. The campaign included P2, the second PStar ever produced. The modest campaign posted tremendous results including winning the 2010 Star Western Hemispheres in Nassau and placing third in the 2010 Star European Championship, the largest regatta in the Star Class’ history to date.

Both Clarke and Bjorn are members of the Canadian Sailing Team and have the backing and support of Wind Athletes Canada where they are part of an Open 60 campaign. Given his size, Bjorn is a grinder and is absorbing as much as he can from his great friend, tactician, helmsman Clarke. The pair also race under the IRC rule on Vela Veloce and compete among the SoCal52’s on Mayhem.

Satisfied with their first year of Star sailing together, Clarke and Bjorn purchased a P2 and committed to a full-fledged Olympic campaign. The friends aspire to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and represent Canada at the Olympics. In 1972, Clarke’s father sailed the Finn and Bjorn’s father sailed the Star.

Mike Leigh
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Vancouver YC
Boat: 470
Achievements: Laser Entry in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 1st Indian Ocean Classic
Family: Wife

Luke Ramsay
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Vancouver YC
Boat: 470
Achievements: 1st Youth Worlds 2006
Education: Civil Engineering, UBC

Mike is a Vancouver native who has been a member of the Canadian sailing team since 2001 and represented Canada at the 2008 Olympics in the Laser fleet. He has won numerous regattas including national, international and world championships. After struggling through the 2010 season with an injured back from Laser sailing, he decided to switch classes and team up with Luke Ramsay in the 470 Class. When Mike isn’t sailing on the Olympic circuit, he is busy coaching where he has worked with Marit Bouwmeester (ISAF world-ranked number 1) and 2008 Olympian Krystal Weir. Additionally, Mike races aboard various yacht campaigns where most recently his team won the Farr 40 Worlds.

Luke is one of Canada’s best young talents. After winning the youth worlds in 2006 he was named the Canadian Yachting Association youth sailor of the year, male sailor of the year, and the Sport BC junior athlete of the year. He has been a Canadian sailing team member since 2006 during which time he has won several national championships in the Laser. Luke has recently graduated from the University of British Columbia where he completed a degree in civil engineering. His focus now is entirely on the 470 where he hopes to win a medal in the 2012 Olympics.

In January 2011, Mike and Luke made the leap from the single-handed Laser to the double-handed International 470. This challenging boat demands the most of its sailors, both physically and tactically. New sailing partner’s Mike and Luke took the challenge, and in an amazing effort have mastered their new boat and qualified for the Olympic Games in London after having sailed together for just over a year and a half.

Zac Plavsic
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Vancouver YC
Boat: RS:X Mens
Acheivements: Bejing 2008, 12th 2011 RS:X Worlds, 2nd 2011 Delta Lloyd Regatta

Zachary Ilia Plavsic is a 29-year-old Vancouverite, born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia. Sports contributed heavily to his upbringing and as for sailing, Zac says he “was practically raised on a boat, sailing and the ocean has been a part of me since birth.” He gained interest in competitive sailing during summer breaks, participating in local sailing races in small dinghies at the local club. He began windsurfing at the age of 16, climbing the national and international ranks quickly, becoming top youth within a year. He set his goals to compete for Canada in the 2004 Athens Olympics but a blown out knee one day before Olympic trials put a hold on his Olympic dream. He played elite level hockey and represented BC as one of its top U15 goalies in 1997, while at the same time pursuing his martial arts excellence in Taekwondo. In recent years, Zac has become very involved with road biking and triathlons, sports which have offered great forms of cross training and the ability to inspire people to be healthy, active and happy with whom they are.

“I began a quest to represent Canada at the Olympics and was not going to let anything stop me. From 2004-2008, I trained 300 plus days a year becoming top Canadian and North American. In January 2008, my goal had been achieved, qualifying to be the first male representative in Windsurfing for Canada since Atlanta 1996. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games, I finished 23rd out of 34 countries.”

Zac believes that participating at the Olympics is a career highlight, but is not enough. “In London I do not want to just participate but to hear our anthem on the Podium. Being able to stand there and hear ‘Oh Canada’ with a medal around my neck is what I am working towards; it is my life-long goal.” As we move towards the London 2012 games, Zac is approaching his peak as an endurance athlete and maturing as a sailor. His performances continue to improve, feeding his enthusiasm and drive.

Upon returning home after the 2008 Olympics Zac and two friends started the first Mattress Recycling Company in Western Canada – They aim to divert over 450 mattresses per day from a landfill in the lower mainland of Vancouver. When not travelling or working, I enjoy giving back to the community. With enthusiasm for sport and as an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, I am able to do so in high schools and community events.

Nikola Girke
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Vancouver YC
Boat: RS:X Womens
Achievements: 9th 2001 Olympic Test Event, 4th PanAm Games 2011, 11th 2012 RS:X Worlds
Education: Human Kinetics, UBC

34-year-old, Nikola Girke, from West Vancouver, learned to sail at Eagle Harbour Yacht Club and developed her racing career at Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. After graduating from West Vancouver Secondary School, Nikola received her Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree from the University of British Columbia.

In the Laser 2, Nikola was a three-time National Youth Sailing Champion, representing Canada at the 1995 Youth Worlds placing fifth and winning the Women’s Title at the 1995 Laser 2 Worlds. In 1999, Nikola went on to pursue her goals in windsurfing. While living on Maui, she trained for and competed in the Professional Windsurfing Association’s World Cup Tour. The summer of 2001 was Nikola’s first season sailing in the 470 Class – she managed to qualify for the 2004 Olympics. Nikola has reverted back to windsurfing after a successful four year Olympic Campaign in the 470 dinghy. Girke placed 13th at the Athens Olympic Games. In 2005, Nikola made the switch back to windsurfing.

At the 2008 RSX World Championships, she qualified herself for a spot to represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games. Nikola is one of only a few athletes who have made the transition from one sport to another and to compete in two different events at the Olympic Games.

Gordon Cook
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Yacht Club: Royal Canadian YC
Boat: 49er
Achievements: 4th 2011 Miami OCR, 6th 2011 Delta Lloyd Regatta
Education: Engineering, Queens University

Hunter Lowden
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Vancouver YC
Boat: 49er
Achievements: 4th 2011 Miami OCR, 6th 2011 Delta Lloyd Regatta
Education: Atmospheric Science, UBC

Gordon Cook is a Toronto native with an engineering degree from Queen's University. He has been sailing since he was a child at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Gordon has been a national team member since 2000.

Gordon and Ben Remocker teamed up part-time in 2003 and ramped up their campaign in the 49er. They eventually would represent Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

After 2008, Gordon teamed up with Hunter Lowden to pursue another Olympic campaign in the same class. They have had much success over the last three years and worked hard to secure a spot to represent Canada in the 49er class.

From Canada’s beautiful west coast, Hunter Lowden of West Vancouver is the other half of the Canadian 2012 49er entry. Learning to sail and race primarily in Laser 2s at Royal Vancouver and West Vancouver Yacht clubs, he remembers one of the best moments of sailing, aside from competing, being a windy day and the first time he achieved a full plane on a boat. “The feeling was incredible,” he says.

Other than sailing, Hunter was also a high level elite downhill skier where he gained a ton of mental sporting maturity. “When I used to ski race as a junior, I had difficulty dealing with pressure until one day in the start gate I realized that the biggest expectation was purely internal. I was able to let go, and it was the biggest improvement I could have made and it applies to more than just skiing.” Lowden’s favourite place to sail is Torbole/Riva del Garda on the North end of Lake Garda in Italy. With great wind and fresh water, you don’t have to wash the boat down everyday; the region is beautiful, and there are lots of other outdoor activities and incredible food. Aside from his parents, Hunter credits Kevin Black as being the most influential person in his career. “There were many times when things didn’t go the way I wanted to, but Kevin was always there to help me take the next step. There was a time when I was moving out of youth sailing, and it was very unclear how to progress. I think this is still a major hurdle today. He kept me involved in dinghy racing at a time when most quit sailing altogether.”

The Cook/Lowden sailing team is an east/west collaboration to represent Canada internationally in the 49er class. The team recently qualified for the Canadian Sailing Team at the 2010 Worlds and the Miami Olympic Classes regatta.

Greg Douglas
Born: Barbados
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Yacht Club: Royal Canadian YC
Boat: Finn

Achievements: 8th 2011 Delta Lloyd Regatta, 13th 2011 Olympic Test Event, 1st 2011 Canadian Finn Championship

In 2009, Greg started sailing for Canada. He worked as a race coach at Kingston Yacht Club in the summer of 2009 and then started sailing the Finn that fall. His first regatta was the 2010 Miami OCR where he placed 15th of 35 competitors and was carded the CYA 2010 Rookie of the Year following that event.

Since then Greg has been based in Toronto, sailing full-time and campaigning to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic sailing competition in Weymouth. He was selected by CYA to represent Canada at the 2011 Olympic Test Event and placed 13th. Most recently he won the 2011 Canadian Finn Championship in Kingston.

“For me, the Finn has been a fantastic class. Just about everyone is a full-time professional and the standards are very high. The boat requires a great deal of athletic capability so the training is tough. I spend a great deal of time working on my fitness, strength and flexibility. I receive a great deal of support from Canadian Sports Centres. The physios, nutritionists, sports psychologist, trainers and doctors are all there to support my campaign.”

Greg’s long-term plans are looking for a career in the business world and to pursue a degree in Commerce at Ryerson University starting in September 2012. Ryerson provides the flexibility to pursue his sailing goals while completing his degree over an extended period of time.


Ken Dool
Hometown: Kingston, ON
Yacht Club: Kingston YC
Boat: VSR, Lingbow, Joker

Ken has been coaching sailing since 1986. He has worked at CYA since May of 1990. He has coached at three Pan American Games and five Olympic Games including 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 & 2008.

Some of Ken's career highlights include his involvement with the 2004 silver medal performance in Star class and the back-to-back Finn World Championships 1990-1991.

Ken resides in Kingston, ON with his wife and daughter.

Steve Mitchell
Born: Dorking, Sureey, UK
Lives: Toronto, ON
Yacht Club: Royal Canadian YC
Boat: VSR, Lingbow, Joker

Steve Mitchell currently coaches the Canadian Olympic Star team, Clarke & Bjorn. Mitchell campaigned with Iain Percy in the Star Class for six years, medalling at four World Championships (World Champion in 2002) and placing 6th at the 2004 Olympics. He has coached a variety of classes, both Olympic and non-Olympic. At the most recent Olympics, he coached the Russian Yngling team. Steve has also been an Etchells World and European Champion. Steve is married to Deirdre Crampton, a member of Canada’s Olympic Sailing team in 2004. Steve is based in Toronto, aligned with the Canadian Sports Centre, Ontario.

Erik Stibbe
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Yacht Club: Royal Vancouver YC
Boat: VSR, Lingbow, Joker

Erik Stibbe joined CYA in 2010 from the New South Wales Institute of Sport Sailing Program where he was head coach. Erik was Australia’s National Coach for the Laser and Europe classes, enjoying World and Olympic podium success with a number of Australian sailors.

In 2008 and 2009, the Sailing Program was awarded NSWIS Program of the Year against 23 other sports and Erik was nominated as coach of the year. Erik’s wife Jenny, won Gold in the 470 class in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Erik, his wife and two children are based in Vancouver, in association with the Pacific Sports Centre.

Venue: Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

The 2012 London Olympics sailing venue is located 190 kms south of London at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. This first class venue hosts events all year and is wonderfully equipped to handle the Olympics and its huge influx of competing boats, sailors, shore crews, coach boats, coaches and spectators. The venue was erected in 1999 at the site of a former naval base. Since its inception, it has grown into a modern facility that sets the bar high for other sailing scenes. It incorporates solar panels to produce 25% of its electrical use and rooftop rainwater collectors for washing boats. This is the club that the UK’s famous “Big Ben” Ben Ainslie hails from. The sailing here is ideal thanks to the venues open reception to wind from all directions and a break wall that protects its harbour from large waves.

Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour will be the venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competitions. It is the first London 2012 Games venue to be completed.

The venue is a combination of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) and the adjoining commercial marina in Dorset on England’s south coast.

It has kick-started the regeneration of the former Naval Air Station at Portland, now known as Osprey Quay, where new residential, commercial and marina facilities are already underway. It is an exposed spot at the western end of the English Channel, providing some of the best natural sailing waters in the UK, with facilities on land to match.

The site has already hosted numerous international sailing events, including the 2006 ISAF World Youth Championships attended by over 60 nations. Work to enhance the sailing facilities at Weymouth and Portland has been completed including a new permanent 250m slipway and new lifting and mooring facilities. The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule, providing world-class facilities for elite athletes and the local community more than three years before the Games.

The National Sailing Academy will benefit from the improved facilities that the Games will leave behind, providing a state-of-the-art facility for elite training, competition and local community use. The modern facility also has a host of environmentally friendly additions including solar cells that produce 15-20% of the facilities

This use has already started: from a community program through to hosting the Olympic Windsurfing discipline, RS:X class World Championship in 2009. This events program is extensive and also included the hosting of the IFDS (Paralympic Sailing) World Championship in 2011.

By Paddy Boyd, Executive Director, CYA

Related Articles

  • Sail NS Shares Community-Wide: Welcome to ROCKWOOL Canada SailGP

    Sail NS Shares Community-Wide: Welcome to ROCKWOOL Canada SailGP

    May 15, 2024 With a racecourse that is visible from both sides of the harbour, Halifax offers one of the best race stadiums on the SailGP circuit. “Spectators will be able to watch the fleet of ten hydro foiling catamarans from vantage points along the Dartmouth and Halifax waterfronts, as well as from the water,”… Read More…

  • Armdale YC Welcomes Atlantea Expedition

    Armdale YC Welcomes Atlantea Expedition

    May 15, 2024 By Nicola MacNevin There’s still a chill in the Nova Scotia spring air, even on the sunniest of days, and the ocean hasn’t yet shed its winter slate grey. Venturing from Bermuda to Halifax at this time of year is daunting. For the crew of Carlina the challenge of an ocean passage… Read More…