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Norman Struthers and Forrest Wachholz receive 2020 and 2021 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Awards

by Sail Canada 10 Aug 13:46 PDT
Norman Struthers and Forrest Wachholz receive 2020 and 2021 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Awards © Sail Canada

Sail Canada announced today that Norman Struthers and Forrest Wachholz have been respectively named recipients of the 2020 and 2021 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Awards.

Created in 2002, the Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award aims to support developing sailors through financial support, a way to honour the memory of Nathan Cowan who, after years of determination and persistence, achieved his goal of becoming a Canadian Sailing Team member. However, a few months later, Nathan Cowan passed away tragically in a car accident.

Norman Struthers: winner of the 2020 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award

The 21-year-old sailor in ILCA 7 from Toronto was the top Canadian at the 2020 Senior European Championships in Poland with a 85th-place finish, and was 9th out of a total of 51 sailors at the UK National Championships. He is also a Youth National Champion, having won the 2017 Sail Canada Youth Championships in ILCA 7, and he was ranked 7th as well as Top Junior among 44 sailors at the 2019 Junior North American Championships. Having completed his Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering with Biomedical Science at the University of Southampton in the UK, he is now based in Malta.

"I am really proud to receive the 2020 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award for developing sailors," said Norman Struthers. "The award is given in memory of Nathan and is important as it helps support Canadian athletes who are not on the national team and do not receive national funding."

"I'd like to thank the Cowan family, Sail Canada, my coach Alexander Denisiuc, the Sail Coach Foundation, the RCYC Athlete Development Fund, the University of Southampton, Rooster Sailing as well as my individual sponsors. Finally, a big thank you to my parents, without whom I would not be able to do what I do. The financial support from this award will go directly towards my participation in the 2022 European Championships in France this November. Thank you!"

Forrest Wachholz: winner of the 2021 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award

In 2021, the 25-year-old sailor in ILCA 7 from Innisfil, ON, finished 1st at the Fall CORK, 2nd at the CORK OCR and 3rd at the Sail Canada ILCA 7 Canadian Championships. In 2019, he also took the 9th spot at the OCR in Fort Lauderdale, and finished 6th at the 2022 US Sailing Open Series. In April of 2021, he was medically cleared to train after being forced to stay inactive for six months due to myocarditis and, since then, he has been working out to return as effectively as possible.

"I am honoured to receive the Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award," said Forrest Wachholz. "The support it contributes is incredibly helpful and will allow me to continue campaigning hard towards Paris 2024. I look forward to continuing Nathan's Legacy!"

Decennial Fundraiser

In order to be able to pursue the mission of this award and continue to financially support athletes for another decade, the foundation is organizing a fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 at the RCYC starting at 6pm. The event will feature a live show with Tommy Youngsteen, North America's premier Bruce Springsteen tribute band including members and alumni from The Sam Roberts Band and The Arkells, among others. They will be followed by DJ Jed Harper.

"All sailors know how expensive this sport can be, especially when your goal is to represent your country in major international competition like the Olympic Games," said cofounder of the Nathan R. Cowan Memorial Award and 2004 Olympian in Sailing Bernard Luttmer. "Please come and support the next generation of Canadian sailors by having fun and taking advantage of the RCYC's great location on a summer night this Sept. 3."

Sailing fans can buy their tickets or make a donation at: thenathanrcowansdecennial.rsvpify.com.

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