Lee Parkhill of RCYC was selected as recipient of Rolex Sailor of the Year of the season – Canada’s prestigious annual sailing award. The man from Oakville was distinguished for his prominent achievements at Pan American Games 2015 as well as the Olympic Test Event this year.
Parkhill assured the bronze in the highly competitory laser fleet at the TO2015, marking the 2nd Laser medal ever for Canada at any Major Games. In the next month, in August, Lee placed fifth overall and won the medal at Rio Olympic Test tournament.
Lee grew up on the sea, sailing with his family members on their very first yacht – a Mirage 24. He raced each Wednesday and Thursday evenings with his father at Oakville Yacht Squadron. He started sailing lessons at the Oakville Yacht Squadron at the age of eight, sailing in an Optimist yacht. His summers were spent running through the CYA Learn to Sail levels.
In the year 2003, at the age of thirteen, Lee sailed in a competitive manner, racing Laser Radials as a member of OYS team. In the year 2006, Parkhill joined the high performance team of Royal Canadian Yacht Club followed by qualification for National team in the year 2009.
Parkhill follows the words of 1972 Olympian Steve Prefontaine, who said “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Sailor of the Year Finalists included Parkhill and Mike Milner (RCYC) along with Canadian Sonar Team –Scott Lutes (AQVA), Paul Tingley (RNSYS) and Logan Campbell (SSC).