Hosts Brazil automatically qualified for the 2016 Summer Paralympics by virtue of being hosts. At last year’s World Championships in Halifax, Canada, several countries qualified SKUD 18 boats with the final decision as to who would be on those boats up to the NPC. Countries that earned qualifying berths in various classes included Australia, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, and the United States.
Canada qualified a boat in the SKUD 18 class through their performance at the 2014 World Championships. The country’s dominant boat in this class includes John McRoberts and Jackie Gay. As of the most recent ranking updates in March 2015, the pair were ranked second in the world. They have maintained that position since October 2014. Prior to that, McRoberts usually sailed with Stacie Louttit where they were ranked second.
Canada lacks depth in this class, with the only other internationally ranked boat being that of Ken Kelly and Brenda Hopkin, who were last ranked in July 2012. Prior to that, McRoberts sailed with Hopkin.
What events these sailors have been competing at in the past three months can be difficult to track. Garda and Trentino Olympic Week, which took place earlier this month and had a SKUD 18 event, has no ISAF results published on their website. ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères did not have SKUD 18 on their program. Trofeo Sar Princess Sofia, which took place in Palma de Majorca in late March and early April of this year, does not list results on the ISAF website for this class despite appearing on the program on ISAF’s website and the event is not referenced in the results of the organizers website. Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta in New Zealand in March had this class on their program, but only New Zealand competitors took part.
Canadian sailors have a fair amount of international experience in this event in the past few years. They have competed in the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami ,2014 IFDS Combined World Championships, 2014 SKUD 18 North Americans & 2.4mR Pre-Worlds, C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta 2014, and 2013 IFDS Combined World Championships.
The country has experienced some Paralympic success in this discipline, having won a bronze medal in it in 2008. They also competed in this event at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
If you’re interested in following Canadian sailing on Facebook, there are a number of pages you can watch including https://www.facebook.com/Disabledsailingkelowna and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Disabled-Sailing-Association-of-Ontario/181146008610309 .