Eighteen year old John Owen, who sails out of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Cadboro Bay, is competing in the laser at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, July 28 to Aug. 13. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Caddy Bay sailor headed to the waters of Winnipeg

Anyone who’s launched from Cadboro Bay knows the currents at the mouth of the bay are intense.

But the wind, at the very least, is reliable, if not predictable.

And it’s with that in mind that John Owen, who races a laser sailboat out of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, is headed to the Canada Summer Games on the waters of Lake Winnipeg, from July 28 to Aug. 13.

“The thing about lakes is they’re land locked so the winds are shifty,” said Owen, an 18-year-old Central Saanich student graduating from Stelly’s secondary this month.

And that’s sailing in a nutshell, getting the most out of the wind, whether there’s hardly any, or mighty gusts that show up as fast as they disappear (such as at Cattle Point).

“The thing I love about sailing is how much there is to think about,” Owen said. “It’s pretty awesome being outside in the sun, and I love the competition.”

Last week Owen took a short break from sailing to complete the West Coast Trail with his school’s outdoors class. But it’s the only break he’s looking at taking from sailing in the near future, as he looks to build on his recent ninth place result at the competitive Laser Midwinters West in Los Angeles.

Owen came into sailing as many do, with family influence. His dad competed on the Canada II boat in the 1987 Americas Cup.

Four of the seven sailors named to Team B.C. are out of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Makena Shepard (Oak Bay) on a Laser Radial, Delani Hulme-Lawrence (Victoria) on a 2.4mR, and Owen.

Gimli hosted the 1967 and 1999 Pan American Games and is a regular host of provincial and national competitions. Gimli is also well known for its heritage as an Icelandic settlement and as the home of Crown Royal, which has 50 warehouses full of whiskey.

Team B.C. is slowly releasing the names of its members, with plenty of Saanich athletes to come.