Feb 27, 2020

Jacob and OliverNewsflash: Canada officially qualified itself a country berth for the 2020 Olympics in the 470 Men, after duo Jacob Chaplin-Saunders and Oliver Bone beat Mexico.

Jacob explains that the Halifax team jumped into the Olympic qualifying process basically at the last minute:

“I began racing Optimist then moved to the 420 before beginning a 470 Olympic Campaign in 2010. I won National Championships in both the Opti and 420 and competed at world championships in both classes. I raced 470s for six years with my brother Graeme, culminating in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Since Rio I returned to Dal and finished my engineering degree and just began racing 470s again this winter with Oliver.

“We began planning our comeback in the fall of 2019. We have been working closely with our good friends Stu McNay and Dave Hughes from the USA and were using their equipment in Miami.

“The regatta was eventful for sure. On day two we were racing in strong, cold northerly winds and had catastrophic gear failure that meant we missed both races. On the last downwind of the first race of the day, our shroud snapped and the mast came down, destroying the mast partners in the process. We got a tow in from one of the American coaches (thanks again Leandro!!) and rigged up a spare boat with a spare mast for the rest of the regatta. We raced well and were able to come out on top of 3 Canadian and 3 Mexican teams to secure the spot for Canada at Tokyo 2020, and lead the Canadian Olympic Team Selection Trials.

“Oliver, who competed in the Beijing Olympics was my coach when I started racing 420s at age 16, and coached me at the Junior Worlds in Brazil, where I first got the inspiration to pursue Olympic sailing. Now we have teamed up for the first time and are really enjoying sailing together.

Oliver is already in Palma where he is preparing for the World Championships and Princess Sofia Cup events. Jacob is home working and doing physical training until he can head over mid March. We'll race the World Championships then phase two of the Olympic trials will be the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma de Mallorca, Spain at the end of March.”

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Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

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