Oakville duo set to hit water at Senior European sailing championship


Published March 9, 2023 at 3:42 pm

Oakville sailors Liam Bruce (pictured above) and James Juhasz (below) will be competing at the 2023 International Laser Class Association (ILCA) 6 & 7 Senior European Championship in Italy beginning this weekend. SAIL CANADA PHOTOS

Oakville sailors Liam Bruce and James Juhasz are ready to take on the best in the world at the 2023 International Laser Class Association (ILCA) 6 & 7 Senior European Championship.

The competition, which features 400 athletes from the around the world, including Tokyo 2020 Olympian Sarah Douglas and 11 other Canadian sailors, begins Sunday (March 12) and runs through to next Friday (March 17) in Andora, Italy.

Bruce and Juhasz are among the eight Canadians who will be in action in the ILCA 7 event.

Bruce got his first taste of racing with the Bronte Harbour Race Team and was a member of the Ontario Sailing Team before his nomination to the Canadian Sailing Development Squad.

Juhasz will be competing in the Olympic Trials for the Laser and is aiming to represent Canada at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France in the Laser Class.

Other Canadians competing in the ILCA 7 include Ryan Anderson from Halifax, Ben Flower from Tobermory, ON, Luke Ruitenberg from St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S., Norman Struthers from Toronto, Forrest Wachholz from Innisfil, ON, and Fillah Karim from Vancouver.

Karim was the top Canadian at the 2022 ILCA 7 World Championships with a 43rd-place result. Last November, he was also the top sailor from Canada at the European Championships with a 34th-place finish, which was the best Canadian performance at that competition since at least 2016.

The Canadians will face stiff competition with six medalists from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the latest World Championships attending

“We are now at the point in the quadrennial where everything starts to ramp up, so I’m pretty excited for the 2023 racing season to kick off with the Europeans coming up in Italy,” said Karim.

“This event in itself doesn’t carry much significance for us as Canadians, but anytime you have the opportunity to race in a 200-boat fleet with pretty much full attendance across the professional fleet, you are guaranteed solid racing.”

In ILCA 6, Douglas, from Toronto, who was sixth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will represent Canada along with Maura Dewey from Victoria, Clara Gravely from Toronto and Coralie Vittecoq from Montreal.

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