Rio Games: It’s About to Get Real

Published on July 21st, 2016

John Bertrand, American silver medalist in the Finn event at the 1984 Summer Olympics, will be coaching Guatemalan Laser sailor Juan Maegli at the Rio Games. Here John comments about the venue vibe this week…

It’s hard to comprehend after four years of planning and preparation, the Olympic sailing venue will open on July 24. Most of the teams have finished their final training regattas in Rio and will take a break before the last push leading up to the Olympic regatta.

Some will head home hoping to return refreshed while others will stay in Brazil not wanting to risk getting sick or overcoming jet lag. The first day of racing is on Monday August 6th.

Once the venue opens, practice times on the bay will be limited by the organizers to certain hours during the day. The days are short anyway with the light sea breeze typically filling in around 13:00 and shutting off just before the sun sets at 17:30.

Unlike the Northern Hemisphere where it is light late into the night, the race committee will be hard pressed to complete a full schedule of races with a light wind forecast.

The sailors will have to be mentally prepared for racing in difficult conditions if the weather is anything less than ideal. Patience and experience will should rule the day in what is an extremely complex sailing venue.

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