Focus on RCYC Race Team Member: Mariah Millen

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Focus on RCYC Race Team Member: Mariah Millen

Canadian 49erFX sailor, and RCYC member Mariah Millen, will be making her debut this summer on the European Olympic circuit! Millen and her skipper Ali ten Hove have qualified to be members of the 2018-2019 Canadian Sailing Team. They join a group of young athletes classified as the Canadian Olympic Development Squad which is part of a new system Sail Canada has implemented to focus on, and train, developing athletes in an attempt to increase Canada’s Olympic medalists over the next eight years.

The team of THM Racing joined together in the summer of 2016 – Mariah transitioned from several years of junior racing most recently in the 29er, and Ali from her 470 Olympic campaign. Both sailors were new to the 49erFX but quickly became competitive in the North American fleet. The team launched their full Olympic program for the 2017 season, achieving top results of: 5th Junior World Championships, 1st Canadian Championships, 1st Oakcliff Triple Crown Series and 2nd at the US Nationals. With limited funding, training partners, and program structure they completed a domestic training program for the 2017 season. Showing success in the Canadian and US fleets, the team was then determined to take steps in a new direction in order to progress to a world class level. The next goal is to be competitive in the 49erFX class internationally and gain Canada a spot in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Running an Olympic sailing campaign is similar to operating a small business, and as with any small  business, THM Racing has had to develop a sponsorship package, a schedule, a budget and a training plan to facilitate reaching these new goals over the next year. The team has recently partnered with Air Canada to promote the theme of supporting and celebrating women in sport. They are thrilled to use their status as women in Canadian Olympic sailing to promote and encourage women pursuing excellence in all aspects of life. The team recently had the opportunity to visit the Air Canada headquarters in Toronto to meet with president Ben Smith to share their story.

THM kicked off their summer circuit in May with a month-long training camp in Kingston, coached by 2016 Olympian Erin Rafuse. The group then headed to Kiel, Germany and raced in the Kieler Woche Regatta (June 20th - 24th) finishing 34/61.


They have just finished the 49erFX European Championships (July 8th – 13th) in to Gdynia, Poland finishing 3rd in Silver Fleet. 

The peak event of the summer will then be in Aarhus, Denmark (August 4th-13th) for the ISAF World Sailing Championships which will serve as the first country qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Shifting their focus to the World Stage, the team is ready to partake in the highest level of competition and train with the best sailors in the world. You can follow the team on their Facebook page ‘THM Racing’ or their Instagram handle @thm_racing

Tax deductible donations can be made to THM Racing at 

Editors Note: The story has an interesting connection to the RCYC as each of Ali and Mariah’s fathers, Martin and John respectively, competed in the Olympics with long time RCYC member Frank Mclaughlin

Posted: 7/12/2018 3:51:01 PM by RCYC

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