Sept 13, 2018

Alli Surette and Max FlynnAllie Surette and Max Flynn


With visions of gold dust dancing in their heads, Allie and Max, are in an all-out campaign to make it to the starting line of the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

Representing Canada, Allie and Max will be in the Nacra 17 Class as it’s the only male/female fleet in sailing. As with most catamarans, the Nacra 17 has always been fast with its knife shaped hulls, but it is now a foiling boat which they find very exciting. To be truly successful the team must be committed to their goals and to each other.

Allie, from St. Margaret’s Bay, NS, has grown up sailing in Nova Scotia and around the world. Allie began sailing in the Optimist at age 6, and competed at North American, South American, and European Championships before the age of 15. After the optimist, Allie sailed the club 420 and the international 420, representing Canada at the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds.

Max, from Chester, NS, has a strong background in youth sailing. Max represented Canada many times in his sailing career, most notably at the 2012 ISAF Youth Sailing Worlds in Dublin, Ireland, where he still holds one of the best finishes in Canadian history. Max transitioned into the 29er in 2013 after the Youth Worlds. After competing in the 29er for two years participating at two Canadians and the world championship, he made the switch into 49er. In the 49er Max has had the opportunity to join the national team and compete at the Olympic qualification event in Miami, Florida.

National coach and three-time Olympian Krzysztof Kierkowski (Poland) provides the on-water training five days a week. Accompanied by intense on water training the duo are working with the Canadian Sport Center Atlantic fitness trainer on a 4 day a week gym routine. Extra sessions for massage and physiotherapy and sport psychology are also provided. “As athletes we are only as good as the team behind us and we are extremely lucky to have such an amazing support system”

Along with intense training, financing such an ambitious project is equally important and is admittedly their largest challenge. “Sometimes Allie and I spend so much of our time fundraising and sitting behind a desk we don’t feel like athletes.”  

To offset the financial worries Allie and Max are thrilled to be pioneers of a foiling Nacra.   The Surrette/Flinn team is in a race against the world to figure out the boat in time to get to the starting line.

To find out more about this dynamic team and their lofty goals check out their video:



Rob Dunbar

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