Just days out from the start of the London Olympics 2012 Sailing Regatta, there are challenges and opportunities for 2012 Canadian Olympic Sailing Team.
Star sailors Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn are probably Canada’s strongest medal contenders in a very competitive Star class. They were seventh at the recent Star Worlds and could have been on the podium but for an equipment failure on the last day of racing. They have just finished a solid three-week training stint in Weymouth with their training partners, the British top guns Percy and Simpson. There is a bit of a Sturgeon connection to Richard Clarke. Eileen Clarke, Richard’s mother, is a lifelong friend of the Barrs and Pippa Clarke, Richard’s sister, was an SLSC instructor. In a somewhat distant way, the Clarke/Bjorn team is Sturgeon’s team in the Olympics.
|Clarke and Bjorn – Canada’s best hopes in Weymouth Steve Mitchell|
Nikola Girke, RS: X W is considered a podium prospect by some of the windsurfing gurus. David Wright, Canadian Laser sailor, could be peaking at the right time with a sixth in the final test event in Weymouth, Sail for Gold 2012. Danielle Dube, Canadian Laser Radial sailor, has not been sailing as well and will need to lift her performance to contend.
Zac Plavsic in the Men’s windsurfer class was 12th at 2011 World Championships in Perth and could easily be a medal race contender.
Luke Ramsay and Mike Leigh is the Canadian team in the 470 Mens. They are a new pairing and are getting better and better. With Leigh’s excellent showing in the Laser in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, experience should help in Weymouth
Gordon Cook and Hunter Lowden in the men’s 49er have had some good flashes with a fourth at Miami OCR. In a tough class, they will need to sail exceptionally well to make the medal round cut.
Overall expectations are not high for the Canadian team, but Canadians have surprised before. A medal in any class would be a big accomplishment.