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Help keep this bursary program active by attending the Decennial Fundraiser on Sept. 3 at the RCYC

Kingston, August 8, 2022 – 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: https://thenathanrcowansdecennial.rsvpify.com/.

About the Nathan R. Cowan Memorial Award

The Nathan R. Cowan Memorial Award is given annually to a Canadian sailor who is 19 years of age or older as of December 31 in the year of the nomination and who is not a member of the Canadian Sailing Team or a carded athlete during the year of the award. The winner will have shown a record of outstanding achievement in national and international competitions, have followed a committed training program during the year of the award, brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing, have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship, and have made efforts in fundraising through sponsorship and private contributions.

Since 2002, the Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award has annually supported one athlete or one team, including Olympians David Wright, Stéphane Locas and Oliver Bone, Lee Parkhill, Tom Ramshaw, Jacob and Graeme Saunders, Will Jones and Evan DePaul, as well as current Sail Canada Development Squad members James Juhasz, Fillah Karim and Clara Gravely.

More information on the Nathan R Cowan Memorial Award is available at https://www.sailing.ca/nathan-r-cowan-memorial-award-for-developing-sailors-past-winners/.

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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Information: 

Patrick Godbout

Communications Manager

Sail Canada

Email: patrick@sailing.ca

Phone: 514-213-9897