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Canadian Olympic battles in 49er and 49erFX set to kick off at the 2024 World Championships

by Sail Canada 28 Feb 17:20 PST March 5-10, 2024
Road to Paris 2024/Sailing © Sail Canada

This will be the first of two competitions that will serve as Canada's athlete qualification process in 49er and 49erFX for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Three Canadian teams in 49er and two others in 49erFX will compete at the 2024 49er and 49erFX World Championships, March 5-10, in Lanzarote, Spain, which will be the first of two competitions that will serve as the qualification process for Canadian teams towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Canada earned an Olympic spot as a country in each of these two events at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

In the 49erFX women's class, Tokyo 2020 Olympians Ali ten Hove (Kingston, ON-Kingston YC) and Mariah Millen (Toronto, ON-RCYC) will be in action, as well as sisters Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance (Chester, N.S.-RNSYS/CYC).

At the 2020 49erFX World Championships, Ten Hove and Millen ended up in 18th place while the Lewin-LaFrance sisters finished in 39th position. But in the 2022 edition, the Nova Scotian team came up with the top Canadian result at the event held in their province, with a 14th spot-place finish, while the athletes from Ontario were 19th.

"We are really excited to kick off our Olympic trials," said ten Hove and Millen, the silver medalists at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. "We have worked so hard over the past three years since Tokyo and have come a long way as a team. The work is done and now it is time to give it our all and leave it all out on the water. Regardless of the outcome, Canada will be sending a world class team to the Olympics. It will be an exciting battle to watch, and that is what sport is all about!"

"We're really looking forward to starting the world championships and excited to compete in our trials for the chance to represent Canada at the Olympics this summer," said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance. "We've been working very hard towards this moment and are proud of the progress we've made. Thank you so much to all our supporters and our integrated support team for getting us to the starting line in top form for these world championships!"

Three teams in the 49er class

On the 49er men's side, Santiago 2023 Pan American bronze medalists Will Jones (Jerseyville, ON-RHYC) and Justin Barnes (Pickering, ON-RCYC), as well as brothers Thomas and William Staples (Beaconsfield, QC-RSLYC), and Arie Moffat (Kingston, ON, KYC) and Hunter Hoy (Kirkland, QC), will sail with the Canadian flag.

At the 2023 World Sailing Championships, Jones and Barnes took 44th place while the Staples brothers ended up in 70th position.

"We are really excited for the upcoming World Championships in Lanzarote," said Jones and Barnes. "We've put in a lot of time training at the venue since the Pan American Games and are feeling confident with the gains we've made. We're ready to give it our all at this regatta!"

"Our goal at the World Championships is to finish as the top Canadians," stated Thomas and William Staples. "We've trained hard over the winter and we're excited to see how we stack up."

How Canadian athletes qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The 2024 49er and 49erFX World Championships is the first of two competitions that will serve as the Canadian qualification process in 49er and in 49erFX for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, athletes and teams can qualify themselves by being the athlete/team with the lowest score combined position from the 2024 World Championships in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, with selection being based on a sailing scoring system (lowest score first).

If there is a tie, the athlete/team in the higher position (based on the sailing scoring system) at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is cancelled, it will be replaced by the 2024 European Championships in that class.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee's Team Selection Committee after it has received nominations from all National Sport Organizations.

As of today, Canada has qualified spots for the sailing competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in four classes: ILCA 6, 49er, 49erFX and women's kiteboarding. For the other events, Canada can still qualify spots in other competitions that will be coming up in 2024.

Full qualification processes for countries to qualify spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the manner in which Canadians can qualify themselves to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Team Canada squad, as well as the full qualification calendar are available at www.sailing.ca/sc_event/2024-olympic-games.

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