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Sarah Douglas, Will Jones and Justin Barnes qualify to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

by Sail Canada 5 Apr 16:48 PDT
Sarah Douglas in ILCA 6, Will Jones and Justin Barnes in 49er qualify to be nominated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games © Sailing Energy

Sarah Douglas from Toronto, in ILCA 6, as well as the team comprised of Will Jones from Jerseyville, ON, and Justin Barnes from Pickering, ON, in 49er, have qualified to be nominated on Canada's Paris 2024 Olympic Games sailing team at the 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta held in Palma, Spain, which served as the second and last event for their Canadian qualification process.

They are therefore joining Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., who qualified to be nominated in 49erFX in early March.

In ILCA 6, Sarah Douglas finished first in the Canadian Olympic ranking for Paris 2024 after she placed 17th overall in Palma, a result that was added to her 26th-place finish at the 2024 ILCA 6 World Championship held in January and gave her a total of 43 points. Clara Gravely from Toronto was second with a total of 101 points.

"I'm super honoured and excited to be going to my second Olympic Games," said Sarah Douglas, who finished 6th in Tokyo. "You would have told 16-year-old Sarah that she was going to two Olympics, and she wouldn't have believed it. I'm just really proud that all the hard work and dedication has really come through, and I hope to represent Canada to the best of my ability."

Will Jones and Justin Barnes in 49er

In 49er, after a tight race between three teams, Will Jones and Justin Barnes ended up earning the Canadian spot for Paris.

Jones and Barnes tallied a total of 74 points, as compared to 81 for Arie Moffat (Kingston, ON) and Hunter Hoy (Kirkland, QC) and 98 points for Thomas and William Staples (Beaconsfield, QC). In Palma, Moffat and Hoy were the top Canadian team with a 31st-place finish while Jones and Barnes were 35th. But at the first of the two competitions serving for the qualification process, Jones and Barnes came out ahead with a 39th position while Moffat and Hoy were 50th.

"It feels great, it feels amazing and it feels awesome", said Will Jones and Justin Barnes. "We also feel relief after a long and stressful week. We were actually losing the trials until the second to last day. The other guys sailed really well, and we really had to battle to catch up. We are really happy with what we were able to do!"

Will Jones will be taking part in his second Olympic Games after he competed in Tokyo with Evan DePaul, while it will be a first for Justin Barnes.

"It's been a long time coming," said Justin Barnes. "I've been sailing the 49er for almost 10 years, and I honestly don't have the words for it right now. It feels amazing and I'm super thankful that Will brought me back into the game and gave me this opportunity to try and go to the Olympics with him."

Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance qualify for the Medal Race

The 49erFX team comprised of Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, which has already qualified to be nominated for Paris 2024 Olympic Games, is currently in fourth place at the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta and has therefore secured a spot in the Medal Race to be held Saturday in Palma, as one of the top 10 teams following the preliminary races.

At the 2024 49erFX World Championship held a month ago in Spain, the sisters also competed in the Medal Race, where they finished second to end up in 8th position overall.

"We're excited to be in tomorrow's medal race," said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance. "Points are close so it should be an exciting one! With this being one of our last big events before the summer, we took the opportunity to try some new things within our normal racing routines. We have some great takeaways and we'll be bringing our A game tomorrow."

The 2024 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta is also the last qualification event for ILCA 7, as well as for women's and men's iQFoil. It is also the first qualification event for Nacra 17, as well as for women's and men's kiteboarding. Except for women's kiteboarding, Canada still needs to qualify an Olympic spot for the country for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Last Chance Regatta, April 21-28 in France, or through World Sailing's spots reallocation process.

An update regarding classes not already qualified by Canada for the Paris Games will be communicated on Saturday.

How Canadian athletes can qualify themselves for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, except in 49erFX

For each class in which Canada qualifies a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, except in 49erFX, 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 classes' 2024 European Championships.

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 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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