Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance named Rolex Sailors of the Year
Kingston, October 19, 2022 – Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester, N.S., were named today Sail Canada’s Rolex Sailors of the Year for 2021-2022, while Sarah Douglas and Tom Ramshaw received the Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Female and Male Athletes of the Year Awards during Canada’s Celebration of Sailing event held by Sail Canada and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.
Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, representing the Chester Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, won Sail Canada’s 2021-2022 Rolex Sailors of the Year Award for the very first time. This award has been given out annually since 1986 to individual(s) who have provided global recognition to Canadian sailing and Sail Canada, and who are renowned leaders that have attained high levels of excellence with significant results and accomplishments in world events or activities. Along with recognition for exemplary sportsmanship, they have held the respect of their fellow sailors.
During the time period ranging from August 7, 2021, to September 14, 2022, Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance won the bronze medal at the 2021 49erFX European Championships held in Greece, then took the 6th spot at the 2021 49erFX Sailing World Championships held in Oman, posting the best Canadian performance ever at this competition that has been held since 2013. They also took the third spot at the 2022 Kiel Week event, while taking part in multiple races with the Canada SailGP Team.
“Thank you to Sail Canada for all the support and this prestigious recognition,” said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance. “To our sponsors, supporters, family, friends and coaching team: thank you for getting us here.”
Amongst previous winners of Sail Canada’s Rolex Sailor of the Year award, Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic medalists Evert Bastet (2007), Terry McLaughlin (2001 and 2013), John McRoberts and Jackie Gay (2016), as well as Paul Tingley (2008) are all on that prestigious list, as is Ross MacDonald, who won it three times (1990, 1992 with Eric Jespersen and 2004 with Mike Wolfs).
More information is available on Sail Canada website at: https://www.sailing.ca/rolex-sailor-of-the-year-award/.
Sarah Douglas: winner of Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Female Athlete of the Year Award
During Canada’s Celebration of Sailing, Sail Canada also announced the winners for Gallagher Skippers’ Plan 2021-2022 Female and Male Athletes of the Year Awards, which are each awarded to a current Canadian Sailing Team athlete/team with a record of outstanding achievement in national and international competition. The winners are also chosen because they have brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing, set an example for other competitors through behaviour and manner, and have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship.
On the women’s side, Sarah Douglas from Toronto has been selected as winner of the Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Female Athlete of the Year Award. This is the third time in her career that the 28-year old sailor has won it.
During the time period ranging from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, Sarah Douglas took the 6th spot overall in ILCA 6 at her first Olympic Games in Tokyo in July 2021, therefore recording the best Canadian female performance in an individual sailing event at the Olympic Games. On the road to Tokyo, she also finished 6th overall at the 2020 European Championships in Poland, third at the 2021 Clearwater Olympic Classes Regatta as well as at the 2021 Lauderdale OCR, and first at the 2021 Laser Midwinters East.
“I’m honoured to win the Gallagher Skippers’ Plan 2021-2022 Female Athlete of the Year Award,” said Sarah Douglas, who previously won the two last Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards. “I’m super thankful for the great team around me and the sailing community in Canada for their support, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
More information about Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Female Athlete of the Year Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/skippers-plan-female-athlete-team-of-the-year-award-past-winners/.
Tom Ramshaw: winner of Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Male Athlete of the Year Award
On the men’s side, Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Male Athlete of the Year Award has been given out to two-time Olympian Tom Ramshaw from Toronto, who wins this award for the third time.
During the time period ranging from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, Tom Ramshaw finished in 10th position at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in the last Finn class competition to ever be contested at the Games. In preparing for the Olympic races, he finished 6th at the 2020 Kiel Week event and 10th at the 2021 European Championships. Following Tokyo 2020, he switched to the ILCA 7 class because Finn will no longer be part of the Olympic program at Paris 2024.
“I am honoured to be named Male Athlete of the Year for my sailing efforts over the past couple years since this award was last given,” said Tom Ramshaw. “A huge thank you to Sail Canada and the awesome team around me that makes it all possible.”
More information about Gallagher Skippers’ Plan Male Athlete of the Year Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/skippers-plan-male-athlete-team-of-the-year-past-winners/.
The awards were handed out during Canada’s Celebration of Sailing, which celebrates performances and experiences of Canada’s high-performance sailors of the past, present and future, and was attended by approximately 110 guests including members from Sail Canada’s National Team and Development Squad as well as from the Canada SailGP Team, and several people involved in sailing in Nova Scotia
About Sail Canada
Established in 1931, Sail Canada is the national governing body for the sport of sailing in the country. Sail Canada is a leading international sailing nation, proud of its world class athletes, lifelong participants and inclusive culture. The organization and its members are committed to excellence by developing and training its leaders, athletes, sailors, instructors, coaches and officials. With the valued support from our partners, the Provincial Sailing Associations and our member clubs, schools, organizations and stakeholders, sailing is promoted in all its forms. By setting standards and delivering programs from home pond to podium for Canadians of all ages and abilities, from dinghies to keelboats, cruising to navigation, windsurfing to powerboating and accessible sailing, Sail Canada sets sail for all, sail to win and sail for life.
A sport in the Olympic program since the first Games in 1896, except in 1904, the pursuit of success in these Games is what fuels the focus of Sail Canada as Canadian athletes have so far achieved nine Olympic and five Paralympic medals.
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