Go, Kingston, Go!

Aerial view of Kingston Harbour.
John McQuarrie
If the sailing gods look fondly, the Kingston team's efforts to land the ISAF Worlds in 2014 will be a tremendous win for Canada and for the Americas. The awarding of this event will allow the foundation for building the sport that is needed so badly here. Jamie Fraser, Marianne Davis and Tim Irwin all are owed a huge vote of praise and thanks for creating such an impressive bid. We hope the very best for them and for all of us who want to see sailing grow.

Why is this so important to us? High level events do not just develop the elite side, but also help to regenerate the sport at all levels – from youth to the industry, to weekend warriors, to yacht clubs and to the Olympics. General awareness and general interest in the sport grows too.

The Miami OCR is the only World Cup event held in North America right now. Many young sailors flock to that event in their pursuit to excel on the water. In the most recent event, Canada had 97, of which 42 were members of the Canadian Sailing Team. This event is so important to both Canada and the US because it is the only opportunity for our sailors, coaches and officials to participate at such a high level without significant travelling, expense and time away from their businesses and families.

The vision and drive of our friends in Kingston must be acknowledged – win or lose. Their vision has the potential for the development of the sport in the Americas where up until now few major events are hosted regularly. Levering the opportunity to sail in Kingston – the former 1976 Olympic venue – will enable North America to be recognized as a viable and prestigious host for sailing competition – just like Kiel.

We believe this is a unique opportunity to truly grow the sport in the Americas and globally. Its impact will allow us to develop depth in race officials, race management and judges and will go far to start shifting the pendulum back to North America where sailing needs more awareness and recognition as it competes with so many other sports.. The timing fits perfectly too with the 2013 America's Cup, 2015 Pan Am Games and 2016 Olympics.

This opportunity does not come around very often and our team in Canada had a vision to go for it intuitively, understanding that the situation may be different at the time of the next event, 4 years down the road.