Max Gallant

Life’s a breeze for Saanich teen sailor

Max Gallant, 18, finishes first in Sail Canada Under 19 Championships, while making waves at other international events

The breezier the better for Max Gallant.

The 18-year-old sailor, who competes out of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, returned to his family’s Blenkinsop Valley hobby farm last weekend after a very successful week in Kingston, Ont.

Gallant mastered gusty winds as the top finisher in the 2014 Sail Canada Under 19 Championships, Aug. 11 to 14. He then placed a promising 11th out of 55 competitors in the open age Cork Olympic Classes Regatta last week.

“I love to sail in the breeze and it feels like I’ve spent the summer in breezy places,” Gallant said.

It’s all part of a big season for the St. Michael’s University School graduate.

Gallant finished fifth at the Laser Canadian Championships in July, and started the month with a bang as he sailed to eighth among the open field at the US Laser Nationals in San Francisco, July 31 to Aug. 3.

“San Francisco was really fun, the wind was 15 to 18 knots, gusting to 20 or 25,” he said.

The first day of the U19 championships in Kingston was light with flukey conditions, but Gallant managed to end the day’s races fourth overall in scoring.

On Day 2, it was howling with gale winds up to 30 knots. That day, Gallant was first after spending most of the day straining his quads to “hike” completely out of the boat and provide a counterweight to the sail to go as fast as possible.

“Unfortunately I was also black-flagged for false starting on Day 2 and finished dead last in one of the fleets,” he said. “But then I won another race after that and started Day 3 in first place.”

He sowed up the championship with a first place finish and two second place finishes on Day 4 in shifty but decent wind.

Winning the U19 Laser nationals is great for trophy purposes, but it’s not the qualifier Gallant will need.

Over the next three years he will campaign for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

In addition to starting his bachelor of science this fall at the University of Victoria, Gallant will be back on the water two to three times a week and in the gym everyday in addition to road biking for leg strength.

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club race team had a few members at the Laser youth nationals where 18-year-old Nick Smith reached fourth in Laser Standard, and 15-year-old John Owen was 15th out of 115 in the Laser Radial.

The youth are coached by Eric Vanderpol and Steven McBride.

Traveling for sailing competitions is costly, and Gallant runs his own fundraising campaign at gofundme.com/maxgallantlasersailing.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich, Oak Bay seek to expand supply of affordable housing

Mayor Fred Haynes has asked staff to prepare grant application

Victoria Hospice named in top 100 Canadian charities list

Society honoured for transparency of donated funds

Victoria fundraiser looking for menstrual products

The Period Posse is running a 10-day campaign to help people who can’t afford pricey necessities

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Oak Bay’s Spandads help give new life to used bikes

Local cycling club is donating 100 bikes worldwide to those in need

VIDEO: Ballet Victoria’s take on the The Nutcracker tours Vancouver Island and the Mainland

Performances in Revelstoke, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and Victoria

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism Minister Melanie Joly’s office says Canada and China have mutually agreed to postpone a closing ceremony next week.

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

France shooter killed Thursday during police operation

7 more being held by police in shooting investigation

Dog killed by gunshot north of Courtenay – Crime Stoppers

Police seeking help from public after dog found dead near mouth of Oyster River on Nov. 27

Shootout loss for Canada West against Czech Republic

Team Canada West now looking forward to semifinal game

Ex-Trump lawyer: Hush money paid over election concerns

Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison

Most Read