Two sailors in yellow life jackets hang off the side of their boat during a raceMatias Capizzano/Santiago 2023 via Photosport
Matias Capizzano/Santiago 2023 via Photosport

Justin Barnes


Justin Barnes has been competing with skipper Will Jones in the 49er, a two-handed skiff, since the fall of 2022 when he returned to competitive sailing after more than two years away.

After first teaming up for the Sailing World Championships Test Event in The Hague, Netherlands in October 2022, they decided to continue competing together. In early 2023, they placed ninth at the US Open Sailing Series in Miami, followed by a fourth-place finish at the US Open Sailing Series in Clearwater. The latter result qualified them for the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games where they secured a bronze medal and a quota spot for Canada in the 49er for Paris 2024. They earned that Olympic spot for themselves by topping the Canadian standings after two selection regattas. Jones and Barnes were also the top Canadian 49er crew at both the 2023 Sailing World Championships and 2024 49er and 49er FX World Championships.

Barnes started competing in the 49er class in 2010 with teammate David Moir. Their partnership was highlighted by a 10th-place finish at the 2014 49er Junior World Championships. Following Moir’s retirement, Barnes teamed up with Alex Heinzemann in 2017. They won a bronze medal at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games, which earned a quota spot for Canada in the 49er for Tokyo 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the postponement of the Canadian trials and the Olympic Games, combined with a personal family matter led Barnes to stop competing in April 2020. During his hiatus as a competitor, Barnes stayed involved in sailing as a coach for developing 49er and 49er FX teams in Canada.

A Little More About Justin

Getting into the Sport: Introduced to sailing at his local yacht club at age 9… Started racing the Optimist and 420 before joining the club’s race team at age 14… Began racing in the Laser class at age 17 and joined the high performance program at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club… Outside Interests: PhD candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University where his research is focused on climate change adaptation and environmental governance in the Arctic… Graduated from Trent University in 2013 with a degree in Geography and Political Studies…

Notable International Results

Pan American Games: 2023 – BRONZE (49er w/ Jones); 2019 – BRONZE (49er w/ Heinzemann)

Sailing World Championships: 2023 – 44th (49er w/ Jones); 2014 – 40th (49er w/ Moir)

Class World Championships: 2024 – 39th (49er w/ Jones); 2020 – 56th (49er w/ Heinzemann); 2019 – 60th (49er w/ Heinzmann); 2017 – 56th (49er w/ Heinzemann); 2016 – 42nd (49er w/ Moir); 2015 – 41st (49er w/ Moir); 2013 – 75th (49er w/ Moir)