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Neuf navigateurs nommés au sein d’Équipe Canada pour Tokyo 2020

Un contingent de neuf navigateurs – cinq hommes et quatre femmes – représentera Équipe Canada dans six épreuves olympiques de voile à Tokyo 2020.

Nikola Girke participera à ses cinquièmes Jeux olympiques, devenant ainsi la première navigatrice canadienne (et seulement la deuxième athlète de Voile Canada) à atteindre ce plateau. Elle est de retour aux Jeux en planche à voile RS:X et s’est qualifiée pour Tokyo 2020 après plus de trois ans d’absence de la compétition.

Nikola Girke, photo: Sail Canada

Girke competed in the RS:X at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, placing 10th at the latter for the best-ever Olympic result by a Canadian woman in windsurfing. Having competed in the 470 (two-handed dinghy) at Athens 2004 and the Nacra 17 (multihull) at Rio 2016, Girke already has her name in the history books as the first Canadian to compete in three distinct sailing events at the Olympic Games.

Canada will be represented by two other solo sailors – Tom Ramshaw in the Finn (one-handed heavyweight dinghy) and Sarah Douglas in the Laser Radial (one-handed dinghy).

Ramshaw will be making his second straight Olympic appearance with much more than the one year of competitive experience he had in the Finn at Rio 2016. He finished an impressive fifth in the class at the 2018 World Sailing Championships. Douglas will be making her Olympic debut after winning gold at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima. She also shone at the 2018 World Sailing Championships, placing sixth in her event.

Tom Ramshaw/Sarah Douglas, photo: Sail Canada

A couple of comebacks is the story for the men’s 470 crew of Jacob Saunders and Oliver Bone. After competing in the two-handed dinghy at Rio 2016 with his brother Graeme, Saunders spent the next three years focused on finishing his engineering degree. In 2019, he was approached by Bone – his former coach and 2008 Olympian who had retired in 2011 – to see if they could take one last shot at qualifying for another Games. With just a couple months of training, they succeeded at the World Cup in Miami in January 2020.

Jacob Saunders & Oliver Bone compete at the 2020 World Cup in Miami, photo: Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy 22 Jan 2020

Canada will have entries in both the women’s and men’s skiff events. Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen qualified Canada for Tokyo 2020 with their fourth-place finish in the 49er FX at the 2019 Pan Am Games. They’ve been racing together since the summer of 2016, after ten Hove came up just short of qualifying for the Rio Games with her former partner.

William Jones and Evan DePaul claimed Canada’s Olympic spot in the 49er by being the top Canadian team at the 2020 World Championships for the class. A highlight in their history together was winning the 2017 World Junior title on home waters in Kingston, Ontario.

William Jones and Evan DePaul compete at the 2019 World Cup in Miami, photo: Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy

Sailing at Tokyo 2020 will take place at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour, located just over an hour’s drive southwest of Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture. It is a legacy venue of Tokyo 1964, having been constructed to host the sailing events for those first Olympic Games in Japan.

The sailing competitions will begin on Day 2 of the Games, Sunday July 25, and continue through Day 12, August 4. All sailing events in Tokyo will be a series of 10 or 12 fleet races in which sailors are allocated points for their placements in navigating a large triangle-shaped course marked by buoys. The top 10 boats in each event then get a chance to compete in the final Medal Race in which placement points are doubled. The crew with the lowest point total is the winner.

Canada has won nine Olympic medals in sailing, the most recent at Athens 2004 when Eric Jesperson and Mike Wolfs captured silver in the Star, which is no longer on the Olympic program.

Team Canada Sailors at Tokyo 2020:

Sarah Douglas (Toronto, ON) – Laser Radial
Nikola Girke (West Vancouver, BC) – RS:X
William Jones (Jerseyville, ON) and Evan DePaul (Burlington, ON) – 49er
Tom Ramshaw (Toronto, ON) – Finn
Jacob Saunders (Chester, NS) and Oliver Bone (Montreal, QC) – 470
Ali ten Hove (Kingston, ON) and Mariah Millen (Toronto, ON) – 49erFX

 

resource: olympic.ca

Nikola Girke, photo: Sail/Voile Canada

Girke a participé aux Jeux de Beijing 2008 et de Londres 2012 en RS:X, sa 10e place en 2012 se voulant le meilleur résultat olympique de l’histoire par une véliplanchiste canadienne. Ayant concouru à Athènes 2004 en 470 (dériveur biplace) et à Rio 2016 en Nacra 17 (multicoque), Girke a déjà inscrit son nom dans les livres d’histoire en tant que première Canadienne à participer à trois épreuves de voile distinctes aux Jeux olympiques.

Le Canada sera représenté par deux autres navigateurs solitaires – Tom Ramshaw en Finn (dériveur monoplace de grande taille) et Sarah Douglas en Laser Radial (voilier monoplace).

Ramshaw en sera sa deuxième participation olympique consécutive et sera beaucoup plus expérimenté qu’à Rio 2016, alors qu’il n’avait qu’une année d’expérience dans les compétitions de Finn. Il avait décroché une impressionnante cinquième place dans cette catégorie aux Championnats du monde de voile de 2018. Douglas effectuera quant à elle ses débuts olympiques après avoir remporté l’or aux Jeux panaméricains de 2019 à Lima. Elle a aussi brillé aux Championnats du monde de voile de 2018, se classant sixième de son épreuve.