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Canadian Yachting Association

02/09/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/09/2018 14:57

Meet the recipients of the Nathan R. Cowan Award! Evan DePaul & Will Jones

February 9, 2018 - Kingston, ON

It is with great pleasure that Sail Canada presents the 49er crew Evan DePaul & Will Jones as the recipients of this year's Nathan R. Cowan Award!

The team has come a long way since they first started sailing together in 2015. Between their training, and competing at international events, the 49er team has had a great year and it shows. Named July's Helly Hansen Sailor of the Month for winning the Junior World Championship in Kington last summer, the team just keeps on giving.

How does it feel to be the recipient of the Nathan Cowan Memorial Award?

Evan - We are honored to receive the Nathan Cowan Memorial. We have put in a lot of work into our training this year as we ramp up our intensity toward Olympic selection, and it is good to feel like we are pushing the right buttons. We also feel like this award is recognition of our whole support team who make our campaign possible; without them we would not be developing as athletes the way we are.

Will - It feels really good. The hard work we are putting into our sailing is starting to pay off. It is an honour to be recognized as following the same path as Nathan.

What would you say has been the largest contributing factor to your level of success?

Evan - I believe the biggest factor affecting us is our freedom to develop our campaign the way we think will best work for us. We have well planned training goals and camps based around what we and our coach see as most important for our development, few restrictions as to equipment and travel, and a support team that makes this possible for us. Working with our Canadian adversaries and our private coach, we have no obligations and all our focus goes into our training based on our opinions of how we will fastest and furthest progress.

Will - Evan and I work really hard and are very focused on doing the right things to be successful. We push each other to work harder, but I also feel that being around other successful sailors like the older national team members or others we have trained with with similar goals, pushes us to be better.

What are your interests outside of sailing?

Evan - Outside from sailing, I studied fitness and health in school as I really enjoy working out, nutrition, and fitness in general. I have a strong love for snowboarding, which started before my sailing career. I also like having down time with family and friends, something I can't get enough of during our time off from training.

Will - I like to stay active and have fun playing games like squash or soccer. But I also like exploring new places, even if it is just walking downtown in a new city or town.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring sailors?

Evan - Having a passion is a key factor to success. It has to outweigh nearly everything else in your life as you must make so many sacrifices while you are pursuing high performance sailing, such as relationships, friends, other activities, etc. Without the passion it is hard to continue to put one hundred percent of your focus into development, necessary to be successful.

Will - My advice would be to just not get too discouraged if it doesn't seem like you are making progress to your goals. A lot of sailing is just staying on top of the simple details, and as long as you keep having fun, with enough tries things will start to come together.

Follow Evan & Will on their sailing journey here.
Join us in celebrating their award on Friday March 2nd, 2018 at 6.30pm at The Carlu in Toronto, ON. Tickets are available here!

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Friends and family of Nathan Cowan donated this award to the CYA in 2002 to honour the memory of Nathan Cowan, a Canadian Sailing Team member, who died tragically in a car accident on February 16, 2002. In 2002, after years of determination and persistence, Nathan finally achieved his goal of making the National Team. Nathan's friends and family have designed the criteria of this award in order to support athletes like Nathan, and help them through these years of hard work. In order to be eligible, the candidate must:

a) Have a record of outstanding achievement in national and international competition, have followed a committed training program during the award year, and brought recognition to Canadian competitive sailing.

b) Have demonstrated an effort in fundraising through sponsorship and private contributions.

c) Be 19 or over as of December 31st in the year of nomination.

d) Must not be a member of the Canadian Sailing Team, or be a carded athlete during the award year.

e) Have demonstrated leadership and sportsmanship.

f) Be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident of Canada.