More than 320 sailors from 34
nations will compete at the first test event of the Rio 2016 Olympic and
Paralympic Games from 2-9 August from the Marina da Gloria.
The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014 is set to be the largest
Olympic classes sailing competition ever held in Brazil and many of the
world's top competitors are ready for the test.
Organised by Rio 2016 and Confederação Brasileira de Vela (CBVela) in
conjunction with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the regatta
will test the field of play, equipment, workforce, systems and procedures two
years out from the Olympic Sailing Competition.
Five race courses will be assessed during the course of the regatta with
three areas – Ponte, Escola Naval and Pão de Açucar –situated inside
Guanabara Bay and the other two - Copacabana and Niterói – located outside
the bay in open water.
The Test Event will be the first opportunity to start developing the skills
of the 1,000+ workforce who will be critical to the success of the Rio 2016
Olympic Sailing Competition. The on water race committee teams are one such
group and their training programme will get underway under the guidance of
International ISAF officials from Brazil and overseas.
Media coverage and results from the Aquece Rio will be delivered by the Rio
2016 team and ISAF through www.aquecerio.com/en/competicoes.php
Each nation is entitled to two places per Olympic event for the Aquece Rio –
International Sailing Regatta and two teams will have full squads racing on
The British and Brazilian teams will have 20 boats and 30 sailors competing
throughout the week however the Brazilians will benefit from it being their
World #1 49erFX team Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) will be the
favourites in the 16-boat fleet having finished on the podium at 11 of 14
ISAF ranked regattas since jumping in the skiff. The pair are local to Rio
but won't be taking anything for granted, "It
is very hard to tell what is going to happen. We have to be prepared for
everything and whatever comes, will be.
"We train here but
racing is always different. I expect a low number of sailors but with a high
level so it will be the perfect training session.”
As Grael predicts the level is set to be high in the 49erFX fleet with 2013
World Champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) within the fleet. Speaking
on their blog the pair said, "The main goal for the trip is to get accustomed to being in Rio, and
the sailing conditions here. This competition is the first run-through event
for both the organisers and sailors, and it will be great to get to know the
rough course areas planned for the 2016 Olympics. After a great break, we are
ready to get back into and learn as much as possible.”
Strong teams from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Great Britain, Germany,
Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and the USA will join the Brazilians and Kiwis on
the 49erFX start line in Rio.
Fresh from 49er Open European success Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) will
spearhead the 19-boat 49er fleet. The Kiwis have won five consecutive 49er
regattas including two ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, one World
Championship and two Open European Championships.
The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta will be their first
opportunity to showcase their talent on Olympic waters but they will be
joined by a small yet competitive fleet that includes London 2012 gold
medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) and consistent British
racers Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign.
The Laser Radial fleet features 28 sailors and includes six of the world's
top ten, including World #1 Marit Bouwmeester (NED).
Many of the Laser Radial competitors have Rio experience under their belt and
that includes Annalise Murphy (IRL) who, like many of the competitors, isn't
focused on the end result, "I am really looking forward to experiencing some proper fleet racing in
Rio, I think racing two years out from the Games is going to be hugely
beneficial in my preparation for the Olympics.
"I hope to get a
better understanding of Rio, get a feel for the bay and the different
conditions we will experience. Everything is important to get used to, the
wind, the tide, the food and finding a gym.
"I came to Rio for
three weeks training last year and experienced a big mix of conditions; it is
pretty tidal so it is going to be a tricky event. I think the racing will be
very competitive; nearly everyone is here for this regatta so it will be a
very high standard. I am looking forward to going out and enjoying myself on
Joining Bouwmeester and Murphy in the fleet will be World #2 and ISAF Sailing
World Cup Hyeres victor Evi Van Acker (BEL), ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao
gold medallist Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) and World Cup Miami winner Paige Railey
The Laser fleet will be the largest in Rio with 36 boats registered to race.
Top competitors include home favourite and 2013 Laser World Champion Robert
Scheidt (BRA), Australia's Tom Burton, World #2 Nick Thompson and strong Kiwi
sailors Andy Maloney and Sam Meech.
The Nacra 17 fleet will see 16-boats on the start line and includes a number
of leading teams. 2013 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) will
be joined by the experienced Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS), World #2
Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR), Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim
(FRA) and World #3 Thomas Zajac and Tanja Franck (AUT).
Giles Scott (GBR) is the Finn class' man of the moment having won nine of the
last ten regattas. Scott has won his last five regattas and will be the one
to beat in Rio but strength in depth is present throughout the fleet.
Brazil's Jorge Zarif and Bruno Prada will have home water advantage whilst
World #2 Bjorn Allansson (SWE), World #3 Thomas Le Breton (FRA) and the
seasoned Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Pieter Jan Postma (NED) will provide stern
Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2014 is the first of two test
events with the second following in 2015, provisionally scheduled for 12-22
ISAF Regatta Page
International Sailing Federation
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the world governing body for
the sport of sailing.
ISAF is made up of 140 Member National Authorities (MNAs), who are its
principal members, and responsible for the decision making process that
governs the sailing world.
There are currently more than 100 ISAF Class Associations, ranging from the
small dinghy classes for young people up to 60 foot ocean racers.
Sailing is a lifetime sport enjoyed right across the world.
The sport encompasses a massive range of disciplines and events including
Olympic sailing, offshore sailing, windsurfing, match racing, team racing,
fleet racing and disabled sailing.