by John Curtis
Wind Athletes Canada is thrilled to announce that Paul D. Phelan, the inspiration for the establishment of Wind Athletes Canada, is the recipient of the Canadian Yachting Association’s 2011 Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year Award.
The CYA Board of Directors determined that Paul’s continuing and unwavering support of Canadian high performance sailing and the National Sailing Team through The P. J. Phelan Sailing Foundation over many years, merited awarding Paul the most prestigious award in Canadian sailing.
Alan Lombard, President CYA, said: 'The P.J. Phelan Sailing Foundation has been a source of considerable support for Canadian sailors for many years. Paul D. Phelan’s stewardship of his father’s legacy through the Foundation and Paul D. Phelan’s creation of Wind Athletes Canada to serve Canada’s sailors has been exemplary.'
John Curtis, President of Wind Athletes Canada, remarked: 'Paul D. Phelan is an unconventional thinker and visionary for Canadian sailing. His encouragement to establish Wind Athletes Canada, with financial support from The P.J. Phelan Sailing Foundation, has enabled Canadian high performance sailors to achieve global excellence.
In 2011, Paul’s leadership of the O Canada campaign proved to be more than a learning platform for those of us who sailed aboard her. O Canada quickly became a national icon that promoted Canadian high performance offshore sailing along the California coast. Paul’s production of documentary films about the O Canada Campaign reflects his vision ‘to bring sailing to the world’ in a way that is sure to inspire.'
The P.J. Phelan Sailing Foundation’s encouragement and support for Wind Athletes Canada has contributed to Canadian sailing prominence in many ways. Members of the Canadian Sailing Team have received needed funding and coaching support. Promising Canadian sailors have been assisted in acquiring Olympic Class boats for their campaigns. In September, logistical resources from Wind Athletes Canada contributed to Canada reclaiming the Canada’s Cup.
More recently, reflecting his lifelong passion for competitive sailing, Paul D. Phelan provided the vision and leadership for an offshore racing campaign aboard his Open 60 boat, 2011 O Canada.
The campaign became a unique national platform, demonstrating that Canadian sailors can hold their own in the international offshore arena against the world’s best. The five man, all-Canadian crew included Canadian Olympic sailors and national team members.
The 60 foot O Canada competed in four major offshore races capturing a first and two seconds. O Canada also finished third overall in the 2,225 mile Transpac Race finishing just behind two boats 15 to 20 feet longer with crews of 15 - 18.
In addition, Paul has made a valued contribution to expanding the presence and knowledge of Canadian sailing through the production of high performance sailing documentaries featuring Canadian sailors. Two of these documentaries – Racing Around the World Alone and The O Canada Project, have been broadcast on Canada’s national television network and are also viewed around the globe.
The documentaries which comprise two films in the Sailing Around the World trilogy are available for download via iTunes, Netflicks, Sony, Amazon and other online distribution sources. Visit Sailing Around the World to view more highlights of the two films.
Wind Athletes Canada website
Wind Athletes Canada logo