Central Okanagan Sailing Association (COSA) sailing coach Devin Rubadeau will once again pack his bags as he prepares to coach the Canadian Forces sailing team, Oct. 3 to 8 at the 6th Military World Games in Mungyeong, South Korea.
Rubadeau has acted as head coach of the Canadian Forces team for the past twelve years, coaching at three World Games and nine World Championships.
Arriving in South Korea, the Canadian Team will already be at a disadvantage. Most countries develop their Olympic athletes through their military, as that is one of the few environments that allow athletes the opportunity to travel and train full time.
In fact, a significant majority of internationally ranked athletes are members of their nation’s military, although they rarely serve in any significant capacity outside of sport.
Not so in Canada, which recruits athletes from the pool of active service members. Canada will be sending over 200 athletes and coaches in a variety of sports to compete at the World Games, all of whom train on their own time outside of regular military duties.
Rubadeau has had some success training Canadian athletes to be competitive against the world’s best athletes. Canada has routinely finished in the top half of the fleet at consecutive World Championships, and has finished just off the podium several times. This year’s team will be sailing the two-person Laser 2000.
Rubadeau is particularly hopeful that the Canadian team will finish near the top of the fleet, as the boat will be helmed by accomplished skipper, Michael Evans, who is also a Canadian Naval Captain.
The Military World Games will be an excellent opportunity to see how athletes perform going into the Brazil Olympics. Like the Olympics, the World Games is held every four years, with World Championships held during the off years.
Rubadeau coached the Canadian team at the 5th Military World Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2011, and the 4th Military World Games in Mumbai, India in 2007.
The Mumbai Games was a good example of how Canadian military athletes are very different from those of other nations. Rubadeau spent four years training the team to compete in Mumbai, with results at World Championships becoming increasingly more impressive.
A month before the event, the skipper of the team was deployed to Afghanistan for six months. That left two weeks to train a new team member, with predictable results.
With just weeks before a departure for South Korea, the Canadian team is looking to shake-up the many Olympic teams that will be vying for the podium.