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Emily Bugeja becomes fifth Canadian sailor to qualify to be nominated to Pan American Games Team

by Sail Canada 14 Mar 2023 14:39 PDT
Emily Bugeja becomes fifth Canadian sailor to qualify to be nominated to Pan American Games Team © Sail Canada

Emily Bugeja from Vancouver (RVYC), B.C., became the fifth Canadian sailor to qualify to be nominated to Team Canada's Santiago 2023 Pan American Games squad after she took part in the 2023 Formula Kite Pan American Championships held last weekend in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

These championships were the last qualifying competition in Kiteboarding for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Bugeja took the 5th spot in the women's class out of a total of eight athletes who raced. Four days of competition were slated but only two were held due to the size of the waves and the lack of wind.

Bugeja allowed Canada to earn one of the last three spot available as per PanAm Sailing qualification criteria. She also qualified herself by being the best Canadian in women's Kiteboarding at the US Open Sailing Series held in Clearwater, Florida, at the beginning of February, as per Sail Canada's Santiago 2023 Pan American Games Sailing Internal Nomination Procedures available. At this event, she was the best of the four Canadians in action with a 12th-place result overall, but finished fourth amongst the countries that were not already qualified at that time when the first three ones got their ticket.

"Going to the Pan American Games has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I'm so excited to have qualified to be nominated for the Canadian Team", said Emily Bugeja. "I am determined to keep training hard in pursuit of my next objective: to get a spot for the country of Canada at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."

Kiteboarding is set to make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024.

Bugeja joins a group of Canadian sailors who were the first four to qualify to be nominated, having done so at the US Open Sailing Series held in Clearwater. The group includes Mac Morrin from Kingston, ON, in men's Kiteboarding, Will Jones (Jerseyville, ON-RHYC) and Justin Barnes (Pickering, ON-RCYC) in 49er, as well as Rebecca Heller (Dunrobin, ON-KYC) in women's iQFoil.

The Santiago 2023 Pan American Games will be one of many opportunities to qualify quota spots for countries at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

As of today, Canada also has spots for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in ILCA 6, ILCA 7, 49erFX and Nacra 17. Canadian athletes in these classes will be able to qualify themselves or their team at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain, April 3-8.

Sailors in the Sunfish, Snipe and Lightning classes, which are not Olympic events, will qualify at competitions to be held later.

Canadian results at the 2023 Formula Kite Pan American Championships:

Women's Kiteboarding (/8)
5. Emily Bugeja

Men's Kiteboarding (/20)
5. Logan Sutherland
13. Alexis Vandame
15. James Huynh

More information on the selection process for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is available here.

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