Canada's Olympic hopefuls Luke Ramsay and Mike Leigh meet scrutinizing eyes yesterday in Barcelona for measurement of their 470 equipment before entering day one of the 2012 470 Worlds on Monday. Boats are measured by officials who completely strip them, check weight to the gram and measure to the millimeter. Based on their previous performances, Mike and Luke have achieved the ISAF world ranking of 23rd overall entering the event. An incredible stat as it was only a mere year and a half ago that the pair started sailing their International 470.
This crucial regatta is the qualifying event for the Canadian men's & women's team for London 2012. Held in Barcelona Spain at the Barcelona Sailing Centre, athletes have been taking part in a pre-worlds training clinic with other hopefuls from around the globe. Sailing in 10-12 knots with decent waves the guys have been enjoying themselves and getting excited for racing to start.
Vancouver native, Mike Leigh is hoping to represent Canada for the second time at the Olympic Games. He sailed in the Laser fleet at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China, and has hit the podium at several national, international and world championships including the Farr 40 Worlds. Mike was also honored with CYA's most prestigious Rolex Sailor of the Year Award in 2006. When not working on his Olympic campaign, Mike could be found coaching with Marit Bouwmeester (Ranked 1st in the World) and 2008 Olympian Krystal Weir. In January 2011, a back injury forced Mike out of the laser and into a 470. He teamed up with former Laser teammate Luke Ramsay and has made an impressive mark on the 470 fleet. Ramsay, named Canadian Yachting Association's 'Youth Sailor of the Year, Male Sailor of the Year, and the Sport BC junior athlete of the year in 2006. Luke also has high hopes in adding the elusive Olympic Games to his resume. A member of the Canadian Sailing Team since 2006 sailing Lasers, he has plenty of experience for the position.
Also at the Men's 470 Worlds are Canadians Jacob and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders, entering with a world ISAF ranking of 92nd overall. For the Women's 470 Worlds there's Dana Archibald and Karen Dexter, coming in at ISAF 48th and Hannah Meers and Erin Flanagan at ISAF 93rd.
We wish the Canadian 470 fleet the best of luck at this crucial time before the 2012 Olympics in London begin in only 78 days!
For full event details: http://worlds.470.org/