May 10, 2017

Ramshaw in HyeresTom sailing in Hyeres, France last week

Sailing this week in the Finn European Championship in France, Tom Ramshaw is the Canadian contender in that fleet for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. As on Tuesday, he stood 30th of 62 after two races on Day 1. Not bad!

A regular on the podium in Laser, in 2015 after just three days of preparation in the Finn, Tom managed to win the North American Championship at CORK, helping him make the decision to switch to the Finn Class full-time. With just a few more months of training Tom has managed top international finishes, including 13th at The ISAF World Cup Miami and 10th at the European Championships. He subsequently finished 8th at the Finn Gold Cup (World Championship) sealing his selection as Canada’s Olympic representative in the Finn class in Rio de Janeiro. While the results in Rio reflected his rookie status on the world circuit, Tom surged into full-time training with the goal of winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Tom Riocompeting in Rio

Then Tom started sailing lessons when he was 8 years old at the Stony Lake Yacht Club, near his cottage. He began in the SLYC junior sailing program as a way to meet new friends around the lake. He was sailing Laser 2 and 29er and began competing in off-lake regatta’s when he was 12. By age 14, Tom began sailing the Laser Radial and realized single-handed sailing was where he fit best. In 2007, Tom won the Ontario High School Championship and the Ontario Gold Cup circuit, which awarded him a new Laser. In 2008, Tom began spending his summers in Kingston where he could sail in bigger winds and waves on a more consistent basis. That year he also grew big enough to move up into the Laser full rig.

In 2009, Tom began to pursue an Engineering degree at Queen’s University, but during the first term of his second year, he knew that engineering was not for him and decided to take some time off from university. At the end of 2010, Tom moved down to La Cruz, Mexico to sail with the International Sailing Academy, where he spent the winter training and working in a sail loft. Tom knew that sailing allowed him to pursue his dream and he decided to delay his return to university in order to sail full-time.

Rio team canada(centre) with Team Canada in Rio

Tom began travelling to regattas beyond North America. Spring 2011 was spent in Europe and the fall in Australia where he competed in the 2011 ISAF World Championships in Perth. He went on to win the Nathan Cowan Memorial Award, given to the best developing sailor in Canada. In 2012, Tom qualified for the Canadian Sailing Team, and won the Marvin McDill Award for Rookie of the Year. He continued to train and compete full-time around the world in the Laser until 2015 when he gave the Finn a try.