Mike Leigh was born in Nanaimo, BC but has spent his life sailing out of Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. He started sailing the Opti class at age eight. He competed in the Laser class in the prestigious Youth Worlds, in 2001 and placed 5th and in 2002 he placed 4th. He qualified for the national team at the age of 16.
Mike represented Canada in the Laser class at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and was ranked top 5 in the world.
After struggling through the 2010 season with an injured back from laser sailing, he decided to switch classes and team up with Luke Ramsay in the 470 class.