Wednesday, 24 November 2021 10:30

2021 Award Winners Announced

Sail Nova Scotia 2021 Award Winners with Bios

The Legacy fund Award
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Winner: Ryan Anderson

The Sail Nova Scotia Legacy Fund was established many years ago in memory of one of the best sailors Nova Scotia has produced, Paul Thompson.

It was Paul's desire to help other sailors achieve their goals, boost them to the national team level where they would have access to funding, and, more importantly, exposing them to international and world-class events, enabling them to have access to that same competitive edge.

Over the years the Sail Nova Scotia has added to this fund from the legacy of other notable Nova Scotia yachtsmen including David Forsythe and Alan McLean.

Ryan Anderson is a Laser sailor who recently began racing in the Senior Fleet at international events. While Ryan has been a rising star on the national circuit, he aims to achieve similar results on the international circuit in the hopes of representing Canada one day at the Olympic Games.

This winter he will be training full time in Mexico, Florida, and in Europe.

Hal Davies Offshore Sailor of the year Award
Winner: Peter Blunden


The Hal Davies Offshore Sailor of the Year award was established in 2011 to honor a leader and passionate sailor when it came to Offshore Sailing and Racing.

In 2017 Peter purchased Life of Reilly 3 and since then has toured the Mediterranean, the Ionian Sea, the Canary Islands, where they took part in the ARC race off the coast of Africa. From there they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean.

When COVID hit in March 202O Peter, and his crew left the boat in the Grenadines and returned back to Halifax. After a long 16 months, he returned to Grenada and started to make plans to sail the boat 2200 nautical miles back to Halifax.

Along the way, there were equipment failures and a large Bermuda High which meant motoring for days and days.

Their long journey ended with two weeks of quarantine on their boat at Squadron.

Brian Todd Youth Sailors of the Year Award.
Winners: Elsie Gillis & Jackson Macaulay

The Brian Todd Youth Sailor of the Year award was named in honour of Brian Todd who was instrumental in athlete and coach development here in Nova Scotia and across Canada for many years.

Elsie Gillis, a former double-handed sailor now sailing the Laser Radial showed that all her training during the COVID lockdown paid off.

Working with coach Chris Watters at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, Elsie won the Radial Provincial Championships this year and came 10th overall in the 160 boat fleet at Youth Nationals.

Her coach Chris Watters was quoted saying “Elsie Gillis is one of the hardest working athletes I’ve ever coached.  Her ability to be fierce, smart, determined, just the right level of stoke, and all the while with a smile on her face, has led to her receiving this award.”

Sharing the Brian Todd Youth Sailor of the Year award is Jackson Macaulay

Jackson jumped in the 29er 18 months ago and immediately had success following some intense training.

This summer he trained in the United States with his partner Andreas Steinitz from Ontario. They then traveled north to Kingston where they won the 29er Youth National Championships and earned the right to represent Canada at the Youth World Sailing Championships this December in Oman.

His coach Stephen Waldie stated that “Jackson is one of our first success stories coming out of the 29er skiff. We look forward to watching him develop over the next few years.”

Coach of the Year Award.
Winners: Krzysztof Kierkowski & Paul Tingley

This year we have two Coach of the Year award winners.  They are Kristof Kierkowski and Paul Tingley.

Kristof… the Canadian Sailing Team’s 49er coach based in Halifax and Paul Tingley, a 5-time Paralympian share this award for their work with members of the Canadian Sailing Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games held this summer.

Since 2018 Kristof has been leading the development of the 49er class. In 2018 there were 4 boats competing and in 2021 there are 21. Georgia and Antonia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester have worked with Kristoph since he first arrived.

They recognized the commitment of Kristof by saying “Kristoph is an excellent coach who we really enjoy working with. He has helped so much with our development and all our efforts were rewarded when we won the bronze medal at the 2021 European 49er FX Championships.”

Paul Tingley was contracted by Olympians Jacob Chaplin-Saunders and Oliver Bone to lead their Tokyo 2020 Olympics campaign in 2019. The 470 sailors, both sailing in their second Olympics, posted the best ever results for Canada in the 470 class.
Mike Milner, Sail Canada High-Performance Director stated - “Paul’s expertise and personality was supportive of the entire Olympic team without whom results would not have happened.”

Female Sailors of the year Award
Winners: Georgia & Antonia Lewin-LaFrance


This year’s winners are Georgia & Antonia Lewin-LaFrance… who are sisters from Chester. They have had an outstanding year placing third at the 2021 49er FX European Championships in Greece this past September.

They spent early 2021 training and competing in Portugal before heading home to train this summer. From there it was off to Greece where they posted a best-ever performance. This fall they were part of a month-long National Training camp in St. Margarets Bay and are now wrapping up competition at the 49er FX World Championships in Oman where heading into the final they of competition they are in 6th place.

Mike Milner Sail Canada’s High-Performance Director stated that “he was very pleased with the progress they have made to become world-class sailors and is looking forward to the next three years as we ramp up for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games”

Next stop – they are heading to the 2022 Worlds in their home waters of St. Margaret’s Bay.

Male Sailor of the Year Award
Winner: Jacob Chaplin-Saunders & Oliver Bone

Mike Milner Sail Canada High-Performance Director stated “They represented Canada very well at the Olympics. They are veteran Olympians and it showed. They supported the full Olympic team and sailed a great regatta posting the best ever Canadian 470 finish at an Olympic Games.”

Paul Tingley coached the team at the Games and said “Working with Jacob and Oliver leading up to the Games was a wonderful experience. They are passionate sailors and put together a great team to support them leading up to the Games. The 470 is one of the oldest and most competitive fleets at the Games so for them to post Canada’s best-ever finish is a great accomplishment”.

Regatta of the Year Award
Winner: Women’s Keelboat Provincials

This regatta was held in early September with 11 teams, sailing Sonars, and more than 30 competitors, competing in 7 races

Karen Fowler a seasoned sailor and competitor in the event stated “It was a fabulous event! Well-organized, professionally run races, they had a slew of volunteers that not only loaned their boats but tuned them, pulled them. cleaned them & then hopped onboard on Sunday to alter rig tune to the increased wind. Lunenburg Yacht Club set the standard when it comes to this great event. Their fleet of 10-12 Sonars was fantastic.

Volunteer of the Year Award
Winners: Eric Siegel & Anthony Rosborough


When we think about growing the sport of sailing… we think of developing youth learn to sail programs. We think about welcoming more adults and new Canadians into the sport of sailing… and we develop pathways into racing.

In fact, Adult Learn to Sail programs are instrumental in proving a route into our sport. And these types of programs have been very successful at yacht clubs across the province.

Volunteers are critical to our sport. They are champions of our brand, and the impact can be felt for years to come.

Anthony developed and led the very successful Broader Reach program at Armdale Yacht Club this summer. Working with the community YMCA, Armdale launched a new program to invite new Canadians to the sport of sailing and provided them with the opportunity to get out on the water Due to the success of the Armdales Broader Reach program, other clubs are now considering how they too can adopt the program to include new Canadians and other underrepresented groups to their sailing community.  At the same time, Anthony was developing a new youth Learn to Sail program which the club plans to launch in 2022

Armdale Yacht Club Commodore Rob Field says “Anthony’s enthusiasm towards Learn to Sail particularly youth Learn to Sail is fantastic. The younger members Anthony is attracting through the Broader Reach has led to much more community involvement”

Sharing the award with Anthony is Eric Siegel… also from Armdale Yacht Club. Since joining AYC 3 years ago, Eric has spent considerable time growing one-design racing at the club.

He was instrumental in rebuilding the original Bluenose Class one-design fleet at AYC and starting the very active one-design series for Bluenoses, Roues, and Solings.  Some nights you can now see are close to 20 boats on the starting line, and the fleet is expected to grow more next year.  These one-design fleets are creating pathways for more adults to get into competitive racing and to share the racing with their children, welcoming the next generation of sailors.

AYC Commodore Rob Field said “No one has re-invigorated racing at Armdale more than Eric Siegel. The club is lucky to have him involved and he and Anthony are very deserving recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award.


Race Official of the year award.
Winner: Luke Porter


The winner of this year’s award is a very familiar face on the racecourse.

He is not only a race director, but he is also an avid sailor.  And sometimes…he adds a little comfort for the race committee… with his boat

This year's award is presented to Luke Porter, who is the Race Director at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and still finds time to lend his time and skills to clubs across the province including Chester Race Week and the St. Margaret’s Sailing Club Regatta.

Luke has attended a number of National Race Officer Seminars to develop his skills

Local National Race Officer Daniel Conrod said “Luke is very deserving of this award. As a race official, I always say we have done a great job if nobody knows our name as they are too busy talking about the great racing. Luke, on the other hand, has managed to deliver quality racing and sailors say, "Luke set a great course today."  The best of both worlds!

“And one more thing Luke”, says Daniel “Feel free to make the pin favored from time to time so that I can finally win a start.

Instructor of the Year award
Winner: Dan Cloutier

Sail Nova Scotia received a number of quality nominations from across the province for some fantastic instructors. With a 35% increase in youth and adult participation in programs this year, we know we have some of the best instructors to teach them.

This year’s Instructor of the Year was nominated by 7 sailors from Cape Breton.

And this year’s award goes to Cruising and Coastal Navigation instructor Dan Cloutier!

The nomination from the group of 7 sailors said “We have all benefited individually from Dan’s excellent instruction in both on land and on water settings, including his availability and passion for spending countless hours with us beyond the required course time.


We have also benefited as a region in Cape Breton from Dan’s willingness and time spent coming up to Cape Breton to offer instruction.

He has worked tirelessly to ensure the maximum number of interested participants were able to complete their courses, even as COVID restrictions continually changed. This included making extra trips between his home in Halifax and Cape Breton and switching to online instruction partway through delivery as the province went back into lockdown early spring 2021.”


WOW! Women On Water Pamela Lerch Cup Women’s Leadership Award
Winner: Lesley Taylor


The WOW! Women On Water was established in 2007 in memory of Pamela Lerch who passed away from breast cancer that year. In addition to the cup award, it has established three permanent bursaries, which encourage women’s health and well-being while increasing their expertise and knowledge of sailing.

This award is presented to a female sailing leader who demonstrates outstanding achievement in sailing education, leadership, mentorship, and health promotion.

Lesley designed and ran the very successful Ladies First Racing Series this year at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

The program ran over 6 weeks and brought together more than 70 women for some fantastic racing in Halifax Harbour.

Participant Paula Minnikin stated “She is that rare individual who has the intellect to create a vision, the power to communicate it effectively to others, and the persistence to bring it to reality.  Her efforts not only got more women involved, but she also puts them in meaningful roles and improves their performance within them.  I have no doubt the wake created by her energy will stretch long into the future.”

Paul Tingley Perseverance Award
Winners: Club Commodores

Five years ago Sail Nova Scotia created an award to recognize one of the best sailors ever in Canada, Paul Tingley. Paul competed at 5 Paralympic Games winning three medals and also a World Championship. For more than 20 years Paul has been a member of the Canadian Sailing Team.

The Paul Tingley Perseverance Award recognizes someone not only for their outstanding dedication to the sport but also for their exceptional perseverance.

When the Committee met to discuss this year’s award recipients it was very clear who was the most deserving of this award.

The 2021 Paul Tingley Perseverance Award Winners are the Club Commodores from Sail Nova Scotia member yacht clubs.

Yes – all of the Commodores.

Some of them are here tonight. As we call your name please come to the stage to be recognized

Sean Day, Antigonish Boat Club
Rob Field, Armdale Yacht Club
Doug Bastow, Barrachois Harbour Yacht Club
Craig Sooley, Bedford Basin Yacht Club
Ray Campbell, Ben Eoin Yacht Club
Sandy Watling, Bras d’Or Yacht Club
David Creighton, Chester Yacht Club
Don Cameron, Dartmouth Yacht Club
Debbie Dunn, Grand Lake Yacht Club
Bill Doane, Hubbards Sailing Club
Pat Nelder, Indian Point Yacht Club
Michael Hatt, LaHave River Yacht Club
Andreas Josenhans, Lunenburg Yacht Club
John Astephen, Northern Yacht Club
Marilyn Murphy, Petpeswick Yacht Club
Brian Hughes, Pictou Yacht Club
Sean McDermott, Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron
Jason Denton, Royal Western Nova Scotia Yacht Club
Jay Everett, Sail Able Nova Scotia
Patrice Germain, Shearwater Yacht Club
Rob Stork, Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club
Matthew Hilchie, St. Margaret Sailing Club
David Greeves, the Waegwoltic Club


This group of terrific leaders has faced a number of obstacles since March 2020 when COVID-19 first hit and we were placed in lockdown. Yet they have guided their clubs and programs to where we are today. They have spent countless hours ensuring their clubs provided a safe environment for their membership while remaining open. 

With near capacity programs and an increase of more than 9% in memberships. On behalf of sailors from across the province, we THANK YOU for all your efforts!

Presidents Award
Winner: Patricia Jones, Shearwater Yacht Club

This award is Sail Nova Scotia’s version of the Lifetime Achievement Award and has been awarded since 2015 to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing over so many years. The winner is selected by the President of Sail Nova Scotia

This year's award is going to the General Manager of the Shearwater Yacht Club, Patricia Jones.

Pat has been the GM at the club for more than 35 years and is not able to attend this evening as the club is having its Annual General Meeting.

Sailor of the Year Award
Winners: Georgia & Antonia Lewin-LaFrance


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This award is housed permanently at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and is the only Provincial Sport Organization annual award to be on display there.

The award recognizes the best on-water performance by an athlete or athletes this year.

See their bio under Female Sailors of the Year.