Delani Hulme-Lawrence is advancing up the national ranks in the para sailing world. Image credit: Taylor Roades.
St. Paul native Delani Hulme-Lawrence has been named to Team Canada’s Sailing Development Squad after a competition at the Para World Sailing Championship in Spain last year.
She finished as the second female and 13th overall at just her second world championship in Puerto Sherry 2019.
It’s another step on the ladder of success Hulme-Lawrence has been climbing.
“That was the first time that I’ve competed overseas. So that was wild,” said Hulme-Lawrence.
“I can’t even describe it. It was a realization of how competing around the world really is and what that looks like.”
She trains at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in British Columbia where she also coaches young sailors.
Her sailing journey began when she was young at local lakes in the area, thanks to her parents’ role with the Sea Cadet Corps in St. Paul.
At age 14, she began training with a 2.4mR (metre) boat, which weighs roughly 900 pounds and is an adaptable vessel for competition.
“I started sailing when I was four years old with my dad. He had a few boats and a couple of catamarans and we just sail sort of around here and then my mother was the commanding officer of the Sea Cadet Corps that used to be in St. Paul,” she said.
“My boat is called a 2.4 meter. It’s in the meter family. So there are different sizes of boats and mine is the smallest they come. It’s a miniature keel boat. It’s 2.4 metres long. And then the next step up is a six metre. And then there’s a 16 metre and the star and they just get bigger and bigger and bigger and need more crew.”
One of the hopes of any parathlete is to compete at the Paralympics. However, after being included since 2000, para sailing was excluded from the 2020 and 2024 Games.
Plus, many of this year’s regattas have been cancelled from the ongoing pandemic response.
However, Hulme-Lawrence is hopeful to get back on the water next Monday–but this year’s World Championship in Tampa Bay, Florida, along with other regattas have been cancelled.
“Really the only saving grace in this whole situation is that a lot of places are shut down right now and a lot of people are facing sort of the same challenge,” she said.
“I don’t think that any one country has a leg up on another because everyone’s sort of facing the same restrictions.”
Hulme-Lawrence thanks her sponsors St.Paul Legion 100 Branch, MCSnet, Best Bite, OxBuilt Construction, while also thanking many personal donations from community members.