Eric Holden named November Sailor of the Month

In high performance sailing this month, a group of five Canadian Sailing Team members hit the warm breeze in Oman for the 2013 Laser World Championships. Canadian Lee Parkhill, Robert Davis and David Wright sailed in the challenging Gold fleet with champion Robert Scheidt. Lee Parkhill was top Canadian in 19th overall.

It was a busy month for Canadians offshore as Diane Reid, the first Canadian women to attempt the mini-transat across the Atlantic Ocean, set sail on her lofty journey. Unfortunately, vicious weather and damaged equipment sent Reid ashore in the Canary Islands with no hope of return. Incidentally, six other boats called it quits at this juncture due to similar circumstances.

Damian Foxall, a resident of Quebec and ambassador for the Canadian Wildlife Federation, took on the challenge of the Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre to Itajai, Brazil. Damian and French sailor Sydney Gavignet sailed The Oman Air MOD70 and finished their race on a high when they won the final hurdle of the month long event.

Skipper Eric Holden and his team Henri Lloyd continue to maintain the lead in arguably the world’s toughest endurance challenge, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Holden, the 2012 Canadian Olympic Sailing Team meteorologist, holds down first place after four grueling legs from Capetown to Albany. Eric set a new speed record of 30.7 knots in Race 2, which travelled from Brest, France to Rio de Janeiro. 'It’s been a very challenging but rewarding race. To win, you risk equipment damage and we have none so are really happy.' Race 5 to Sydney starts on December 5th from Albany. Eric is ready saying 'It is a shorter leg than what we are used to so we feel we can push the boat harder and faster, and keep up the pace all the time. We won’t be changing anything about what we have done already, but we certainly won’t be relaxing as we are only four points ahead of Great Britain in second place.'

For these extraordinary feats, we are proud to announce that Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month is skipper Eric Holden. You can follow all of his progress and blogging here.

Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to