Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Clarke and Bjorn Sailing Team owns the podium

by Lynn Fitzpatrick on 15 Mar 2011
Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn - Own the Podium Lynn Fitzpatrick
Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn exemplify Canada’s Own the Podium program, which was implemented following the 2006 Winter Olympics. They have been on the podium in five back-to-back regattas (Levin Memorial, Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, Key West Race Week, Miami Olympic Classes Regatta and Pineapple Cup) over the past 40 days.

During the 2010 Winter Games, Canada had its largest medal haul ever and broke a record for the most gold medals won by a country at the Winter Olympics. Canada’s medal count at the Summer Games rebounded in 2008 also.

Clarke and Bjorn had their start independently by earning their way on to Canada’s national team in 2009. CYA (Canadian Yachting Association) supported their effort to sail in the 2009 Star North American Championship, where the fledgling team finished second overall. Convinced of their medal potential, CYA signaled the Canadian Olympic Committee, and Clarke and Bjorn joined the rarified list of Canadian medal contenders in the Own the Podium program.

Said Bjorn, 'Providing us with Steve Mitchell (past Star World Champion and Olympian) as a coach has been the biggest assistance. He is making a huge impact on the entire program. We feel blessed to have him because we don’t know of anybody who could do such a great job. He’s always there for us and no job is too small.'

The Clarke/Bjorn Sailing Team’s string of superb results during 2010 included wining the Star Western Hemispheres and taking the bronze at the Star Europeans. 'We keep getting results and we keep getting more support in every way. It’s a good feeling, and we have happy sponsors,' said Bjorn who just added Reebok to his list of plumb sponsors, which include Kaenon Polarized, Yale Cordage, Magic Marine, CYA and Wind Athletes Canada.

The team’s commitments don’t start and end with their performance in the Olympic Star class. Both Clarke and Bjorn are married and have families, mortgages and other obligations. They’d be living large if they were single and in their early 20’s. Instead, they are professional sailors and make ends meet by being involved with multiple campaigns. While other Olympic Star sailors will approach 300 days of Star sailing, the Clarke/Bjorn Sailing Team will be lucky to spend slightly over 100 days in the Star. The balance will be in their four other big boat programs.

'There’s a lot of pressure to do things traditionally,' said Clarke. 'We have bills to pay and can’t sacrifice our lifestyles. We have a different plan and we’re following the plan.'

This year’s program is heavily loaded with big boat sailing in the early part of the year and backend loaded with Star sailing. 'It dilutes the individual programs, but it keeps us tactically and strategically focused,' said Clarke, who won’t be sailing the second half of the Star Bacardi Cup because he has a more pressing sailing engagement.

As December and Perth 2011 approach, the Clarke/Bjorn Sailing Team will make up for lost time in the Star and spend at least ten days per month in the Star. 'Historically, we’ve never finished out of the top ten countries,' noted Clarke. While they have to perform during the regatta, they don’t have to own the podium. That can wait until the Olympics.



www.ClarkeBjornSailing.com

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesAncasta Ker 33 660x82Zhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 U.S. National Championship - Argo advance
The Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course 2016 U.S. National Championship - As the breeze remained in the ESE direction overnight and began bucking an outgoing tide in the morning hours, the Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course, rewarding those teams that started clean and minimized maneuvers.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 Melges 32 Nationals - A daily dose of Vitamina
The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours allowing the northerly drainage breeze to give way to the impending northerly sea breeze.
Posted on 20 Aug