An Olympic Rehearsal
Regatta will act as a dress rehearsal for the Olympic Games with the world's
leading sailors, many of whom will be on the Olympic startline, fine tuning
their preparations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
From 15-22 August 339 sailors from 52 nations, racing in the ten Olympic
sailing events will put themselves to the test across six race courses,
three inside and three outside of Guanabara Bay.
Compared to the test events for other Olympic sports, sailing is unique. A
large majority of those competing from 15-22 August will go on to Rio 2016
and in many cases the medallists at the test event will realise their
dreams in a year's time with an Olympic medal around their neck.
In the build up to London 2012, 18 medallists in the test event went on to
take an Olympic honour, a statistic that could well be repeated and even
bettered at Rio 2016.
With a wide array of exceptional sailing talent the stakes are high. A
strong result at the test event can build up confidence and leave athletes
with a can do attitude.
The 470 events will be spearheaded by Olympic gold medallists Jo Aleh and
Polly Powrie (NZL) and Mat Belcher (AUS) sailing with Will Ryan.
Both the Kiwis and Australians took gold at the 2014 test event and are
back in the mix, aiming for another good performance on the journey to
retain their Olympic titles.
"It's getting busier and busier out on the water, there are new boats
and teams out every day… It's rather exciting,” commented Aleh.
"At the moment everyone is just training, working on their boats and
getting time on the water. But next week when we all start moving to the
Marina da Gloria - the Olympic Harbour - things will start to ratchet up a
A week on from Aleh's comments and Marina da Gloria is a hive of activity.
The sailors are in, International Race Officials are arriving and work
continues on the marina to ensure it is up to scratch for the Olympic
Whilst the focus is on this week, Belcher, holder of the last five 470
World titles, knows the athletes have their eyes on the ultimate prize
within the sport, an Olympic medal, "For all of us, everything, every
day we train, every minute and hour, weeks, months, years, it's all about
"The regattas we do give us the opportunity to test things where we
need to test, to benchmark ourselves, so that throughout the cycle we know
where we are at and what we need to work on. And hopefully it will all come
together when we need it – at the Olympics,” said Belcher.
The Men's and Women's 470 fleets feature 22 and 19 teams respectively.
London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience (GBR), sailing with Elliot
Willis will be amongst the frontrunners in the men's fleet alongside the
links of Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO), Stu McNay and Dave Hughes
(USA) and Olympic bronze medallists Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente
2014 World, European and World Cup champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar
(AUT), London 2012 silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR)
and Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) will be in the mix in the
Six race courses will be tested throughout the week, three outside of
Guanabara Bay and three inside. Courses outside include Pai, Copacabana and
Niteroi whilst the inside courses are Pão de Açúcar, Ponte and Escola
Naval. All will be tested throughout the week by the ten Olympic sailing
here to view the racing areas.
The Laser fleet is the largest in Rio with 39 sailors registered to sail.
The list is packed full of exceptional sailors that have the capabilities
of hitting the right note on any given day. Leading the charge will be
Robert Scheidt (BRA), Tom Burton (AUS), Tonci Stipanovic (CRO), Nick Thompson
(GBR), Pavlos Kontides (CYP), Andy Maloney (NZL) and Charlie Buckingham
In the Laser Radial, Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) will be aiming for top spot
again after her success 12 months ago whilst Olympic silver and bronze
medallists Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) will also pose a
In the Nacra 17, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) will be the pair to
beat. The vibrant French duo has won two Nacra 17 world titles together, a
string of ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas as well as Aquece Rio 2014 gold.
They will be hunting for gold again.
Further strong contenders include Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS),
Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT), Iker Martinez and Marina Lopez (ESP),
Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA), Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning
(NED) as well as Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI).
Racing is scheduled to commence at 13:00 on Saturday 15 August with racing
concluding on Saturday 22 August.
here for the full entry list.
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