World sailing

The best sailors in Hubbards, Nova Scotia this week

Some of the best sailors in the world are in Nova Scotia this week to compete in the World Sailing Championships.

This is the first time the event has taken place in Canada.

“This is actually the first time these boat classes have come to Canada, so having it at Hubbards is just amazing,” said event organizer Lola Burgoyne. “We have three Olympic classes, so we have the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17.”

Americans Ian Barrows and Hans Henken pilot a 49er class boat and are one of the best teams in the world.

They hope being able to race in North America will give them an edge.

“Being so close to home makes it easier to get boats here. Time zones are much easier for us traveling from California and the east coast,” says Henken. “Usually going to Europe is a big change in weather, so coming to Nova Scotia is so much easier on our bodies.”

Gabriel Borges competed in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics for Brazil. A strong showing at St. Margaret’s Bay will help secure a birth at the 2024 games in Paris.

“It’s a world championship so for us — it’s the most important regatta of the year and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

The 2021 census shows Hubbards has a population of 387 and the event attracts nearly 400 sailors and coaches from 27 countries, keeping fryers busy on a roadside outing.

The staff showed up Wednesday two and a half hours early to prepare for the start of the championships.

“We could go through crates and crates and crates of fries and we can’t keep the clams,” says Karen Boutilier of Sheila’s Too.

Locals and competitors alike say the international event is a success on and off the water.

“It’s a fantastic community, a fantastic place and we had a great time,” says Henken.

The 2022 Sailing World Championships end on Monday.