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Published on August 18th, 2015
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 18, 2015) – While it was the pollution at the Rio Olympic sailing venue which has been getting all the media attention, another reality is gaining notoriety. The sailing events at the 2016 Games could be less about dirty water and more about random winds and current.
A lack of wind today hampered racing on what was day four of the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta (Olympic Test Event), as no racing was possible on the three ocean courses, with only the three racing areas inside Guanabara Bay offering sailable conditions.
“The sea breeze that we’ve had so far means it’s quite different inside and outside the bay, and also different on the six different courses,” explained British Sailing Team Manager Stephen Park. “The wind has been patchy across the courses and also we’ve been on the turn of the tide a lot of the time in the early afternoon, which means that the course has paid on different parts of the course at different stages of the race. It’s very difficult to keep track of all of that.”
The 49erFX and Men’s RS:X were able to finish two races whilst the Laser, Laser Radial, and Women’s RS:X completed one. An attempt was made for the Finn fleet late in the afternoon, but abandoned.
Both the Men’s and Women’s 470 were held in the boat park until mid-afternoon when racing was abandoned for them. The lucky fleets today were the 49er and Nacra 17, both on a scheduled reserve day, which spared them the long and fruitless wait that others endured.
In the Laser fleet, Lee Parkhill (CAN) finished second today behind Australian Tom Burton, moving Parkhill up to second overall, just 2 points off the lead. Paige Railey (USA) scored a third today in the Laser Radial to maintain her position at second overall, trailing the leader by 7 points and holding a 13 point margin on third overall. Demita Vega de Lille (MEX) scored a fifth place to now sit in seventh overall in the Women’s RS:X event.
Event organisers are now playing catch up with the racing schedule in the majority of the ten Olympic classes, with all ten now scheduled to race tomorrow across the six course areas both inside and outside of Guanabara Bay.
While some forecasts for tomorrow show very little wind, most if not all of the forecasts thus far in the event have been more fantasy than forecast, so anything could happen. Certainly the amount of cloud that arrived Tuesday afternoon could indicate a change in the weather, though some forecasts also show a lot of rain Wednesday evening which will heighten the flow of sewage into the sailing venue.
Racing continues daily with medal races for the top competitors in each fleet on August 20-22.
Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition
The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will feature 380 athletes competing across ten events. Racing is scheduled to take place from 8-18 August 2016 and the competition format for all events is fleet racing.