Oakville native James Juhasz sailed for the very first time when he was just five-years-old, and when he was seven his parents put him into sailing summer camp. According to Juhasz, sailing has always been something he excelled at, even from a young age.
And when Juhasz spent around two or three summers at sailing school, things started to get serious.
“Throughout sailing school, the race team at the Yacht Club was always kind of the people that the young kids looked up to, and on weekends they’d travel to local events,” Juhasz said.“And that was always what I wanted to do, so when I graduated from the sailing school I just naturally went onto that.”
Juhasz continued to explain: “Once I was on the race team at the club, I was one of the younger kids at the club so I was kind of always trying to keep up with the older kids, but then [I] would look up even passed them to kids on the national and provincial team and see what they’re doing. I always wanted to keep getting better.”
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Juhasz made the provincial team, the Ontario Sailing Team, when he was just 14-years-old.
“It was huge, it was a big step,” Juhasz said.“I remember getting the email as I was walking to class in the hallway and just being so happy, just being ecstatic. And then, from a practical sense, as soon as that team is made it’s a huge lifestyle change.”
“All of a sudden, it’s not a part-time thing anymore it’s pretty full-on,” Juhasz said. “You’re missing good chunks of school, and you’re leaving class early to get into Toronto to get into training on a weekly basis, and you’re spending not only your entire summers in Kingston now but you’re spending big chunks of time in Florida throughout the winter for training, and for events. You’re also getting exposure to international coaches, and sailing at the same big events as big full-time Olympic sailors.”
However, when he made the provincial team Juhasz said he realized, “There’s nothing else I want to do with my life.”
Now, at 20-years-old, along with studying geography at Queen’s University, Juhasz spends five days a week on the water, travels to Europe two or three times a year for regatta’s – a series of races, and spends at least a week in Florida every month during the winter to train.
And recently Juhasz cleaned up at the Sail Canada Senior Championships, in the laser class category, which were held in Kingston from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20, 2019. At the championships, Juhasz finished in third place.
In addition to his most recent success, Juhasz was ranked fourth at the North American Laser Championships which were held in New Jersey from July 18 to July 21, 2019.
“This is a great feeling and confirmation that hard work pays off,” Juhasz said in a statement. “I never stopped believing in my capabilities and these two most recent results send a strong signal to Sail Canada regarding my aspirations. I am committed to laser competition and to representing my country. I’m confident in my ability to continue this upward trend.”
Along with being confident in his abilities, Juhasz said he has gotten a lot of support.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have a family that supports me, and I’ve been supported by teachers and professors along the way,” Juhasz said.
Now, Juhasz is preparing for the 2019 Under-21 World Championships in Split, Croatia in October. However, a future goal of his is heading to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Click here for more information about Juhasz and for sponsorship opportunities.
Photo is courtesy of Elle Bruce.