Opinion: PanAms shows progress at Sail Canada

SD AH JB Sail Canada

Aug 22, 2019

Laser Radial Pan Am Gold medalist Sarah Douglas flanked by 49er Bronze winners, Alexander Heinzemann (l) and Justin Barnes

Photo credit: to Sail Canada

The past 36 months for Sail Canada has been, to say the least, a bit tumultuous. The departure of an executive director, the Own the Podium audit, the hiring of a new CEO and latterly high-performance manager and a reorganization were the distractions that could have easily taken sail Canada’s eye off the ball when it comes to the high-performance program. One can forgive them if this went sideways.

The great news is the PanAm result may be evidence the core program structure for the national team is s strengthening. While some may argue the PanAm Games are not important, this particular regatta may be once of the watershed positive moments we should rally around.  Its positive news and the team should be congratulated. Luke Ramsay’s return and Sarah Douglas brilliant laser radial result were great results. The 49er crew with Heintzman and Barnes gaining a bronze was a nice win too! . In the PanAms there was some solid depth in the fleets and the team for all reports was focused and buttoned down with sailing to win as a priority.  

Sail Canada has many focuses between its need to teach and educate and govern our sport with its race official programs but at its core high performance, so this result is great for all concerned.
Those of us including yours truly that have criticized Sail Canada in the past need to stand back for a moment and applaud a positive step forward …
To Milner and Dool and the entire team .. Well done!

• John Kerr

John Kerr is a Canadian Olympic Sailing medalist (LA 1984), former director Sail Canada and President, Canadian Yachting Media. 

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