Saanich sailor charts course for 2020 Games

Max Gallant in Kiel, Germany for the U21 World Laser Championships

Max Gallant recently took part in the U21 World Laser Championships. He hopes to earn a spot on Canada’s team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

While the Olympic Games are underway in Rio de Janeiro, Saanich resident Max Gallant is looking all the way ahead to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Gallant, 20, is in Kiel, Germany for the U21 World Laser Championships, Aug. 9-16. It’s the latest leg of an Olympic campaign for the kid from a Blenkinsop Valley farm. In May, Gallant was named to Canada’s national development team and just recently, he finished third overall at the North American Laser Championships in Oregon. The only men ahead of him were on the cusp of going to the Rio Olympics with Team U.S.A.

“It’s pretty tight in the current laser fleet to see who’s the best right now, there’s about 20 people who rotate through the top-10.”

Gallant launches his laser from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club where he is coached by Eric Van Der Pol and where he’s already sailed to great success. In addition to time on the water Gallant is in the gym at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence two to three times a week and on a road bike two to three times a week. It’s all with the goal of representing Canada in Tokyo.

His training is year round.

“We’re lucky here because we get a good breeze in Victoria, and we get lots of varied conditions so it’s a good training spot,” he said.

Gallant actually competed at the 2013 U21 World Championships in Hungary as a 17-year-old when he graduated from Saint Michaels University School. He missed the last two as he was focused on senior level races, where he’s also had success, though he fell ill at the senior Laser World Championships in May, a meet he’s put behind him.

“It’s mostly about building a good race schedule for the season,” Gallant said. “Sailing is all about time on the water, and the different situations you experience.”

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