Erin Rafuse and her 49er FX crewmate, Kingston’s Danielle Boyd, have put themselves in position to sail for Canada at the Pan American Games this summer in Toronto.
They were the top Canadian team at the North American championship, a nine-race series that ended Sunday in Clearwater, Fla., finishing 11th overall in the 23-boat fleet. Rafuse and Boyd concluded the competition with 84 points, 13 behind Wade Waddell of the U.S. and one better than American Paris Henken.
The championship was Sail Canada’s Pan-Am qualifying event, and by being the best of the three Canadian entries there, Rafuse and Boyd fulfilled the criteria to sail in Toronto in July. Their appointment remains to be confirmed by the Canadian Olympic Association.
After the first day of racing was cancelled Thursday due to high winds, four races were contested Friday, after which Rafuse and Boyd stood eighth after finishing ninth, third, 11th and seventh. The Halifax-based team slipped to 11th on Saturday, finishing 21st, 16th and 19th.
They slipped again with a 19th-place finish in Sunday’s first race, before climbing back to 11th with a sixth-place finish in the final race of the series.
Rafuse and Boyd finished in the top seven four times, and they had best Canadian performance in five of the nine races.
Erin Berry and Arielle Morgan, the other Canadian skippers, finished 19th and 21st overall. They had three Top-10 finishes between them, the best a seventh by Morgan in Sunday’s final race.
Jena Mal Hansen of Denmark won the championship with 21 points. She was in the top seven in every race but one, winning three of them. Victoria Jurczok of Germany was second. The top Pan American boat was skippered by Victoria Travascio of Argentina. She finished third.