This past weekend concluded the TS&CC Icebreakers Regatta // Toronto Pan Am Games Trials for the Snipe, Hobie 16, Lightning and J24 classes. My crew Alexandra Damley-Strnad and I sailed well enough in the Snipe class qualifying for the Pan American Games this July in Toronto! On top of that, my father Terry McLaughlin qualified for the Pan Am Games as well in the J24 class!
In February, I placed second in the Laser Pan Am Trials so it was great to get redemption in the Snipe class. At the beginning of May, I returned from Laser training in Lake Garda, Italy turning my attention full time to the Snipe. My crew and I worked long hours for two weeks fixing the boat and improving our boat handling ahead of the trials. We sought advice from top Snipe sailors from around the world and made sure we that were sailing without fault.
At our previous regatta together – the Snipe Midwinters – we were the top Canadian boat. We hoped to continue that at the trials. Even though we had been fast this winter, we weren’t sure of our boat speed. In the first race, the Jury gave us a yellow flag for an infraction right before the race started. This meant we had to do two circles as the fleet raced away from us. We realised we had good speed when we caught up from last place to 3rd in the race! Following this first race, we won the next six races thereby securing the regatta and trials victory. The racing was very close and great practice for the Pan Am Games. We won one of the races by only 1 meter!
Off to a good start
I am thrilled to be able to represent Canada in my home city. Qualifying for the Games is only the first step as we need to be very fast at the Games. Moving forward, I plan to continue training in both the Snipe and Laser full time until Laser Worlds in the first week of July, and the Pan Am Games in the middle of July. We have some great training organized already where we will work on speed, starts and boat handling leading into the Games.
A BIG thank you to my supporters who have kept be going thus far. In addition to my personal supporters I’d like to thank Volvo, Helly Hansen and Quantum Crossfit here in Toronto. I am so glad to have organizations, family, friends and RCYC members behind us as we compete for a medal. We have much more work before the Games so your continued support is appreciated!
Congratulations to the eighteen athletes who have qualified for the Games! Full list here: