Thursday, January 22, 2009

Miami OCR will see a lot of Montreal and Quebec sailors

Geneviève Bougie-Bastien, one of the hot up and coming competitors who will be at the Miami OCR is a Montreal-area sailor

Despite our local wintry clime, just days away, one of the most significant regattas for Montrealers, Canadians, and highest grade sailors everywhere will be held - in Miami, Florida. The Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta officially begins Sunday. So far, 436 sailors from 41 countries are registered for the racing on Biscayne Bay. It is generally expected that the competitors who have, or hope to compete in the Olympics will test themselves in Miami.

The regatta is competition #2 in the 7 regatta series which is the International Sailing Federation's new Sailing World Cup. Competitors rack up points through the series determining world champions in each class. Obviously then, we can expect some elite sailors and a heck of a lot more who want to go up against them and test their progress.

Here are some names from the registration list that are sailors from Quebec:

Christine Lavallee - 2.4mR - Gatineau
Scott Lutes - 2.4mR - Montreal
Eric Holden & Oliver Bone - 470-Men - Vancouver, Montreal
Matthieu Dubreucq, Trevor Parekh - 49er - Montreal
Caroline Morgan - Laser Radial - Westmount
Myriam Samson-Dô - Laser Radial - Québec
Vanessa Dallaire-Lagacé - Laser Radial - Québec
Chanel Cloutier Beaudoin - Laser Radial - Magog
Geneviève Bougie-Bastien - Laser Radial - Beaconsfield
Laurence Bonneau-Charland - Laser Radial - Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
Dominique Vallee - RS-X Women - Trois-Rivieres
Brian Cramer - Tyler Bjorn - Star - Campbellville, Ontario, Montreal

Oliver Bone isn't sailing this regatta with his Olympic '08 partner, Stephane Locas. Instead, he has hooked up with a Tornado sailor, Eric Holden. Many other top Canadian sailors are registered, and it is a pretty good bet that we will see some of them on the podium. In addition to Holden/Bone and all the above, I'l also be watching sailors like Youth competitor Robert Davis in the Laser, the incredibly skilled adult Canadian Laser sailors, Chris Cook in the Finn, and Oskar Johansson making his first move outside the Tornado, having a go in the Star class. There is a very large number of Canadian women competing, which is exciting and bodes so well for the future of sailing in Canada. One young example, Geneviève Bougie-Bastien of Beaconsfield, training hard, and steadily moving up the ranks, is one of the many here hoping to be an Olympian the next time in 2012. We'll be cheering!