Those looking to catch a glimpse of top athletes participating in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will be able to do so without even buying a ticket, simply by taking a trip down to the city’s waterfront.
The games will feature 10 different boat classes for its sailing contingent, with events being held at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC). While many of the preliminary events will take place south of the Toronto Islands, the finals will be in the city’s inner harbour, offering prime vantage points for spectators at Sugar Beach and other locales.
TO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am events calendar
“It’s a very unique presentation of the sport (of sailing) at the Pan Am Games,” said Toronto 2015 senior vice president of sport Bob O’Doherty. “Usually in these games, the sailing venue is quite far from the centre of the host city and the athletes’ village.”
Of course, hosting huge events is hardly foreign to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The organization has hosted its share of international regattas and world championships in its 100-plus years of existence.
“We think this is a spectacular venue for the competition,” said RCYC general manager and CEO David Brightling. “The athletes can look back from Snug Island and get a fantastic view of the skyline and the city.”
The harbour will feature three separate race courses, meaning that at any given time, everything from windsurfers to dinghies to catamarans could be catching some wind in a bid to score a spot on the podium.
Top competitors in the laser and laser radial competitions will also earn berths at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“That’s one of the things we’re looking forward to is having the top competitors here go on to represent their countries in the next Olympics,” O’Doherty said.
He added the Canadian Olympic Committee has set a goal of having the country finish in the top two in medals at the Games, and with 10 separate events, the sailing category could go a long way toward determining their success in meeting that goal.
“(Sailing is) very competitive throughout the Americas, being that we’re surrounded by water, but we hope to see a lot of people coming down to cheer on our athletes,” he said.
Given that Brazil has claimed 14 medals – eight of them gold – in the past two Pan Am Games, Canadian boatmen and women have their work cut out for them.
Brightling said the RCYC was thrilled to have the opportunity to host Pan Am Games competitions, which will differ from the club’s traditional events in one big way.
“It won’t be the biggest event we’ve ever had, but it will certainly be one of the most challenging logistically because of the security they’re going to put in place,” he said.
The preliminary sailing events at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will take place from July 12 to 17 with medal events taking place on July 18 and 19. Should weather conditions prove unsuitable on any of those days, postponed competitions will take place on July 20.
For more information on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, visit www.toronto2015.org