Get to Know Olivier Pilon, Club APRIL Marine sailing ambassador. Interview by Perrine Mertens
Champion sailor Olivier Pilon has close ties with Club APRIL Marine and is proud to be an ambassador. Here’s how he splits his busy sailing days between Canada and the Caribbean.
To say that 2021 provincial and national sailing champ Olivier Pilon grew up in a sailboat is no exaggeration.
“My parents own the Sextant Marine sailing club in Clarenceville, Quebec, which means I basically spent my weekends and summers on Lake Champlain. I’ve been hooked on the sport since I was 4 years old,” he says.
As he grew, so did his interest in and talent for sailing. He entered his first race, with his dad, when he was 13. At 16, he competed in his first regatta on his own boat and with his own crew. In 2010, he and his catamaran crew won the Canadian F18 Nationals—launching what would become a dazzling international career. Olivier continues to rack up he medals in his favourite categories, especially with his F16 and F18 sport catamarans, and his Shark24.
Olivier also found the time along the way to complete his studies in Sports Marketing Management. He has since purchased a larger boat and obtained his professional license. He now spends his winters in the Caribbean working as a professional boat captain, with his wife Stacey and young daughter coming along to keep him company.
“We spend our winters off St. Martin or the British Virgin Islands, and our summers in Quebec at the Sextant Marine Sailing Club, which I now run full time.” It’s a double life the family is happy to live.
Since Stacey works at APRIL Marine, Olivier has long been virtually family to the company, the Board, and the members of the Club APRIL Marine. As the Club’s new sailing ambassador, Olivier is proud to represent “Canadian sailors” internationally. In turn, Club APRIL Marine sponsors him in regattas around the world. “It’s a new adventure I’m extremely proud of,” he adds.
Ambassador Olivier also has a message for boaters this season: “Try something new this summer. Leave the motor-boat at the dock and take the time to discover the joys of sailing or operating a smaller, more environmentally- friendly boat. Enjoy the water differently—and at a lower cost—and see the incredible sites that abound in Canada in a whole new way.”
Olivier is a warm and friendly fellow who’s always happy to talk sailing with Club members in French or English. If you wish to take a sailing course with him on Lake Champlain, you know who to call. And if the thought of leaving behind our frigid Canadian winter for a spell to bask in the white sandy beaches and warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean— enjoying scuba diving, tasty cuisine, and unforgettable sunsets—tickles your fancy, then ask him about spending time on his boat down south this winter.