From Kingston to Morocco, James Fair is headed to new waters

Fair is heading to Morocco for the U21 sailing world championships

Fair to represent Canada in his fourth championship tournament.

James Fair , will be sailing through the formidable waters of Morocco this fall when he represents Canada at the U21 Sailing World Championships.

Morocco is known to be challenging for even the most experienced of sailors, but Fair expressed his excitement for the challenge.

Though Kingston is said to have smaller waves than most sailing locations, Fair explained how he built his affinity for sailing in rougher water.

“One of the things I always loved growing up was just going out for three hours at a time,” Fair told The Journal in an interview. “My coach would take me [out] as far we could go and then we’d just surf the waves all the way back down to the club.”

“That was always what I loved most,” Fair said. “When I finally got to travel and do competitions elsewhere, anytime I got the chance to surf the waves in the boat and do that kind of racing, I think just because I enjoyed it so much, I just really started to excel at it.”

As a second year engineering student at Queen’s, Fair said there’s an intimate link between his sport
and academics.

“Sailing is super focused on physics I’ve been doing vectors and stuff like that since I was literally 12 years old,” he said. “Eventually I’d like to maybe focus on designing foils or something to do with sailing through engineering.”

Growing up in Kingston, Fair expressed gratitude for support he received from the both the local and Queen’s communities.

“More than anything I’d say my parents are my biggest supporters. Beyond that the Kingston Yacht Club has supported me my entire career so far,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of people across Canada, but through Queen’s I’ve also had a lot of support from some of the professors and the Dean of Engineering actually are sailors themselves.”

Fair further explained what sort of effect growing up in Kingston has had on his success in the sport.

“Kingston is known as the fresh water sailing capital of the world, so I’ve been very fortunate to grow up in a place that is amazing to sail a good portion of the year,” said Fair.

Fair shared the names of Olympic athletes from Kingston who have helped him on his way, including Ali ten Hove and Dannie Boyd.

He credited those not directly involved with his training as a significant help.

“Sailing as a sport takes a lot of support, so its definitely takes a lot of community and I’ve had a lot of help along the way, through Queen’s, through everybody, but I’m always looking for support from anybody that can help me out,” he said.

While this championship will be Fair’s fourth world sailing championship, it will be his first one competing in the men’s Olympic single-handed class.

“It’s a very, very competitive fleet,” Fair said.

Preparing for the upcoming championship, Fair said a lot of the training is about being productive without pushing your body too hard and facing potential injury.

“A lot of the prep work at this stage is making sure you’re kind of mentally in the right mindset to know when you need to push for it, when you need to go for it.”

For Fair, the key to success in sailing is making sure you’re always having fun and not putting too much pressure on yourself.

“Getting to a world level or getting to an Olympic level is a long waiting game,” he said. “Understanding that [if] you’re not where you need to be or where you want to be right now, in a year’s time everything can change and if you just stay with it. You’ll get there eventually.”


James Fair, Sailing

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