Championships sailing into Comox Bay

Sail West 2015 Championships from July 23-26

Anja Leikermoser - one of the local club’s rising stars - at practice.

Anja Leikermoser - one of the local club’s rising stars - at practice.

Comox Bay is set to host a national sailing competition with 150 boats and 200 sailors from as far away as Manitoba training and competing in the Sail West 2015 Championships from July 23-26.

This prestigious national-level competition, hosted by Comox Bay Sailing Club, represents a key stepping stone for up-and-coming Comox athletes.

The Comox Bay sailing team has been growing steadily since 2010, and local athletes such as Anja Leikermoser have posted impressive results across B.C., including fourth place at the 2014 B.C. Games in the Optimist fleet.

The Sail West Championships represent the next level in Anja’s competitive career. It’s her opportunity to compete against provincial teams from the prairie provinces.

“She’s a positive athlete with a great perspective on sailing,” said Comox Bay Sailing Club commodore Andy Walther. “She’s got the love of the sport coupled with a great attitude.

A little local knowledge doesn’t hurt either, and will be an important asset to the host athletes.

“Comox Bay is a complicated area, we saw this during the Van Isle 360 this spring,” said Walther. “Between current and geographical factors within the bay, there’s a lot going on. Fortunately, these young athletes are just as knowledgeable as many of the sailors we saw back during the Van Isle 360.”

The Sail Canada-sanctioned event is a stepping stone for athletes following the pathway to elite sailing on the Canadian Sailing Team, and ultimately to events such as the Pan Am and Olympic games.

The 150 boats will train during the days leading up to the event, with racing taking place on July 25-26.

National level race officers and coaches will be on site providing training and mentorship to local officials and to local coaches as well, which will provide a lasting legacy after the event.