HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian Sailing Team as it prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled for 2021.
After considering several venues around the country, Sail Canada’s High Performance Team selected the military facility at 19 Wing Comox because of its wind and waves, on-site accommodations, and safe and secured area for athletes. It’s also a venue that can host the entire team.
Mike Milner, Sail Canada High Performance director, also credited an engaged local sailing community based out of the Comox Bay Sailing Club that “went above and beyond to help our team in these uncertain times,” he said in a news release.
In the summer, Milner contacted Rob Douglas, the club’s vice-commodore, who used to coach professionally. Two-time Olympic medalist/B.C. sailor Ross MacDonald was asked to recommend a winter training location in B.C. because the usual venue in Miami was a COVID hotspot.
“He said Comox is the place, without a doubt, Canada’s best sailing venue in the winter,” Douglas said.
He explained to Milner how Comox, or ‘Miami West,’ has spectacular winter sailing.
“We have great wind in the winter and a variety of wave conditions inside the spit, outside the spit and over the Comox Bar. This would give Team Canada sailors a great location to prepare for Tokyo 2021.”
Douglas credits the Town of Comox for offering their facilities, as did the Comox Bay Sailing Club.
“In the end, the military came through with a superb facility and one with a little more space at HMCS Quadra. This level of exposure to top-end sailing serves as a motivator for our local sailors, and perhaps we will see one or more of them donning the Maple Leaf in the future.
“If anyone in the Comox Valley is eager to see the team in action, keep an eye on the water and look for the best of the best out on our very own Comox Bay,” Douglas added.
Anyone wanting to learn to sail is encouraged to visit ComoxBaySailingClub.ca. The club offers access to sailboats and lessons for ages five and up. It also has adult sailing in dinghies and keelboats.