Six Team Canada athletes to set sail at Paris 2024

Six Team Canada sailors will take to the waters of the Mediterranean Sea this summer for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The Olympic sailing competition will take place in Marseille, France.

Team Canada will be represented in four boat classes. Returning Olympian Sarah Douglas will represent Canada in the ILCA 6. In the 49er, skipper Will Jones will also compete in his second Games, joined by Justin Barnes making his Olympic debut. 

The sister duo of Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance will make their Olympic debut, competing as a team in the 49er FX. Emily Bugeja will make her Olympic debut as Canada’s first kiteboarding athlete, with the boat class racing for the first time at the Olympic Games. 

READ: When the Olympic Games are a family affair: Canadian siblings chasing their Olympic dreams

The Lewin-LaFrance sisters steer their boat
Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance compete at the 2022 World Championship August 31st – September 5th, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada © SAILING ENERGY

Douglas posted Canada’s best individual performance in women’s sailing at an Olympic Games with her sixth place finish at Tokyo 2020. But the 30-year-old has her eyes set on an even higher finish at Paris 2024. 

“It’s been no secret on what my goal for Paris is: I’m hunting down that podium!” said Douglas, who won silver at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games. “Marseille can bring a range of conditions but what I know for sure is that it will be hot. We will be bringing our cooling strategies back from the last Olympics.

“I’m expecting my second Games to be a completely different experience than Tokyo with no restrictions, ability to leave the village, and friends and family present. I plan on taking in all that Paris has to offer along with attending the closing ceremony.”

WATCH: 24 questions with Sarah Douglas

Two sailors lean out on trapeze
Justin Barnes and Will Jones sail to the bronze medal in 49er class at Cofradia Nautica del Pacifico during the Panam Games in Santiago, Chile on November 3, 2023. (Photo: Dave Holland/CSI Calgary)

Jones will also be looking to improve upon his result from Tokyo 2020, where he placed 19th with Evan DePaul. Following DePaul’s retirement in the fall of 2022, Jones enticed Barnes out of a two-year retirement. Together they secured a bronze medal at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games.

The Lewin-LaFrances qualified for Paris 2024 with a standout performance at the 2024 49er and 49er FX World Championships. Ranked 10th after the opening series of 49er FX races, they finished second in the medal race, which moved them up to eighth place overall, which was enough to claim Canada’s Olympic quota spot in the 49er FX before the second regatta that was to be part of the team selection process. 

The sisters grew up sailing in different classes and decided to team up for an Olympic campaign towards Paris 2024 in May 2018.

“We are so excited to qualify for our first Olympic Games”, said the Lewin-LaFrance sisters. “It’s crazy to think that Paris 2024 is just over a month away. We can’t really describe this feeling, but hunger, nerves, and excitement are all in the mix. Despite the hype, we find ourselves entirely focused on the sailing when we’re training in Marseille. We’re trying to think of it as any other performance regatta. Thank you to everyone who has ever contributed to our campaign. Go Canada!”

Bugeja first represented Team Canada at a major multi-sport games at Santiago 2023–a mere three years after she took up kiteboarding. Her sixth place finish in Santiago qualified a quota spot for Canada in the event. Bugeja secured the spot for herself by ranking the highest of Canadian women at the 2024 Formula Kite World Championships and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta.

A kiteboarder races on the ocean
Emily Bugeja races at The Last Chance Regatta © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française 21 April, 2024

Team Canada Sailors at Paris 2024:

Justin Barnes (Pickering, Ont.) – 49er
Emily Bugeja (North Vancouver, B.C.) – Kite
Sarah Douglas (Toronto, Ont.) – ILCA 6
Will Jones (Aldershot, Ont.) – 49er
Antonia Lewin-LaFrance (Chester, N.S.) – 49er FX
Georgia Lewin-LaFrance (Chester, N.S.) – 49er FX