Hometown: Prince Edward County, ON
Club Affiliation: Kingston Yacht Club
I first moved to Kingston in 2010 to start my undergraduate degree at Queen’s. The main reason I chose Queen’s was my love for sailing and my desire to be in Kingston. When I learned that Queen’s had a Varsity Sailing team, I was sold.
Through Queen’s Sailing, I had the opportunity to compete internationally in many different types of boats and get a taste of high-performance racing. I became captain and led the team to two national championships. Last but certainly not least, my experience with Queen’s Sailing taught me that I wanted to continue racing and hopefully represent Canada on the World Stage.
During my summers in Kingston, I was fortunate to be able to race in the 29er and 49er at KYC, while working at a local marine store to support my sailing. Through these experiences, I met many new people who invited me racing on their boats and continued to fuel my dream. With the encouragement of those around me I started a small boat repair business to further fund my sailing.
I sailed the 49er for 2 years, racing in several international competitions. Unfortunately, I quickly faced a difficult decision. In August 2015, I was accepted to the Fast Track Nursing program at Queen’s. Faced with the option to pursue a nursing career and the financially demanding realities of a 49er campaign, I decided it was best to go back to school and put my Olympic dreams on pause.
Although I was excited for nursing school, I was quite discouraged about the prospects of ending my competitive sailing career. I still had the itch to spend time on the water and race. Luckily, it was at this time that a good a friend of mine introduced me to Kiteboarding.
The more time I spent learning to kite, the more excited and hopeful I became about the feasibility of balancing competitive racing with my professional and personal obligations.
Over the past 7 years kiteboard racing has grown considerably around the world. Kiteboarding will make its Olympic debut at the 2024 games in Paris and has been confirmed for Los Angeles 2028. I think this is an exciting opportunity for not just myself, but for Canada as a country. The fleet is still developing and there are many opportunities to learn and develop along with the rest of the world.
This year I had a few exciting developments including being named to the Sail Canada Development Squad, winning all 3 of the kite regattas held in Canada, and making gold fleet at the Italian Championships at Lake Garda.
Due to my results this summer, I have been given the only spot to represent Canada at the European Championships in Greece at the end of September, as well as one of the 2 spots at the World Championships in Sardinia, Italy in October.
As I reflect on the beginning of my kiteboarding journey, I feel like I have improved a lot over the past few years and that I have a chance at qualifying for the Olympics. That said, I know this will not be an easy feat and I still have some barriers, both financial and skill-based to overcome.
My current level of support from the national team does not include any financial assistance and as such I have been funding my kiting by working a full-time job as a nurse.
The path to the 2024 Games will require achieving a few major milestones over the next year and a half. My immediate goals are to achieve strong enough results at Euros and Worlds to qualify for national team financial assistance for 2023. This winter I will travel to Florida, Spain, and France in attempts to qualify for the Pan Am Games in 2023. The Pan Am’s is one of 3 opportunities to qualify for the Olympics and will be a major focus of my efforts next year.
I have carefully assessed what events and training I must attend over the next year to give me the best chances of qualifying for Paris 2024.
With your help, I hope to represent Canada at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
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