NIKOLA GIRKE, from West Vancouver, Canada, learned to sail at Eagle Harbour Yacht Club and developed her racing career at Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. After graduating from West Vancouver Secondary School, Nikola received her Bachelor of Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia. In the Laser 2 sailing class, Nikola was a three-time National Youth Sailing Champion, representing Canada at the 1995 Youth Worlds placing fifth and winning the Women’s Title at the 1995 Laser 2 Worlds. In 1999, Nikola went on to pursue her goals in windsurfing. While living on Maui, she trained and competed in some of the Professional Windsurfing Association’s World Cup Tour. The summer of 2001 was Nikola’s first season in the 470 class sailboat and after a successful three year Olympic Campaign in the 470, Girke placed 13th at the Athens Olympic Games. In 2005, Nikola made the switch back to windsurfing, to take on a new challenge; to compete on the Olympic Circuit on the RSX windsurfer. In 2008 Nikola qualified herself as the sole Canadian representative at the 2008 Olympic Games. Nikola finished a very respectable 17th of 27 at the Beijing Olympic Games, a virtual rookie compared to her competitors. En route to London 2012, Nikola made massive strides forward, winning several world cup races, being amongst the top 10 in many regattas, concluding her RSX campaign with a 10th place finish at the 2012 RSX Worlds and a 10th place finish at the Olympic Games. Nikola is now amongst only a few athletes who have made the transition from one sport to another and has competed in two different events at the Olympic Games. With her sights set on Rio 2016, Nikola signed up for yet another challenge, switching boats again, this time teaming up with Luke Ramsay for the new mixed crew catamaran, the Nacra17. Nikola and Luke have qualified to represent Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This will be Nikola's 4th Olympics. When not sailing, Nikola keeps herself pretty busy. She is a Certified Executive Coach, volunteers her time with numerous charities and loves to surf, bike, cross country ski and tinker on an old VW bus.
Luke was Canada’s premier youth athlete in sailing, placing well internationally in the Laser class eventually culminating with winning the Youth World Championship in 2006 in Weymouth, England. After winning the Youth Worlds, Luke returned home to Vancouver, BC to continue his post secondary education in the field of Engineering at the University of British Columbia. Luke completed the 2008 Laser Olympic trials in Terrigal, Australia, which were eventually won by Mike Leigh who went on to represent Canada at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.