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21 Apr 2014
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Sailing's Road to Rio

Guanabara Bay  Secretaria de Estado do Ambiente do Rio
The 2016 Olympic Sailing regatta will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug 8-18th August 2016, so it's less than 120 weeks until the Olympic action starts on Guanabara Bay.

This is the first Olympic class newsletter from Sail-World.com who has had the largest sailing media presence at the Beijing and London Olympics and is once again covering the Olympic class campaigns in detail.

The focus for both countries and sailors this year will be the 2014 ISAF World Championships on the Bay of Biscay, Santander Spain, in Sept 8-21st. It is the principal country Olympic qualifying event, at which some 75% of the slots for countries will be decided across the 10 Olympic classes.

So this is a do or die year for many countries wanting to see their sailors amongst the 395 competing in Rio in 2016.

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - 470 Men medal race  Thom Touw ©

The action is heating up, the ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Palma Mallorca a few weeks ago welcomed a record 1100 + sailors across the Olympic and One Paralympic classes.

This week its the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères on the French Riviera, It is the sixth and final regatta included in the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

After that the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup series, four important EUROSAF events, Garda Olympic Week 8-12 May, 2014 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland 20-24th May, followed closely by the EUROSAF Sail for Gold on the Weymouth GBR Olympic courses June 1-6th and EUROSAF Keiler Woche 21st-29th June. The European championships for most classes in June and July also.

Important for all these event is that over the last year a radical change to the Olympic regatta scoring came and went, after serious pushback from sailors squelched the flirtation with three days of qualifiers reduced to one race score, an experiment that ran for a number of the world cup events in 2012-2013 but disappeared by the Qingdao event and so that too will disappear from the EUROSAF events.

49er fleet, 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca day 2  © Ocean Images

Still under discussion is the three sprint race series instead of the double point medal race for the 49ers and finality on that format will be required very soon. At the last two ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, at the request of the class, the skiff fleets sailed three ten minute single point races on the final day whilst the other eight classes sailed the ‘standard' 20 minute Medal Race. In early May, the format for those classes will be locked in for Rio 2016.

The finally decided scoring and medal rounds arrangements will be in place for Aquece Rio the first of two 'Test Events' for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing regatta across the ten Olympic sailing events from 2 to 9 August 2014. Each ISAF Member National Authority (MNA) is entitled to enter two boats in each event so most of the leading Olympic contenders will be at that regatta.

The regatta venue is the Marina da Glória with racing taking place inside and outside the Guanabara Bay. This event will bring the venue into focus, with more news on water quality than perhaps on the weather.

Measurement of water quality in Rio's Guanabara Bay  Secretaria de Estado do Ambiente do Rio

Responding to our direct questions about the water quality in Rio de Janeiro, specifically at the 2016 Olympic sailing venues, the communications department for the Rio Secretary of the Environment in Rio de Janeiro provided figures that showed that 800,000 tonnes a day of untreated effluent is currently going into the waterways. If there is no increase in volume over between now and the Games, that figure should reduce to 500,000 tonnes a day, with the Brazilian authorities best efforts.

It's a serious problem and unfortunately Rio cannot call on 30,000 fishing boats to clean up, Qingdao's approach to its algae issue in 2008.

Back to sailing, by the time this year's Test Event rolls around there should be a good sense of who is who in the zoo.

The Laser World Championships 2013 - Standard. Mussanah Oman
The final day of racing, Robert Scheidt (BRA) shown here celebrating after winning the championships  Lloyd Images/Oman Sail©

While ISAF rankings can often be misleading early in the Olympic cycle, by August they will in most cases reflect the likely state of play, for instance Laser sailor Robert Scheidt, who in Oman last year won his ninth Laser World champion has jumped from 18th to sixth after Palma, still with a 92nd in Garda 2013 to wash out of the points table and so he will climb closer to the top.

ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne Day 5 Outteridge and Jensen (49er)  © Richard Gladwell

There will be exceptions of course, amongst those notables still to start seriously campaigning Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have only sailed two 49er regatta since 2012, fifth at the 2013 Worlds just a few weeks after the end of America's Cup and winning at ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne. They are back in the fleet here in Hyeres and it will be interesting to watch them de-rusting.

Going forward you can expect to see one of our Sail-World Road to Rio newsletters every six weeks or so, with a flurry around Santander and then steadily again thru 2015 and onwards.

Boat Park, 20th April - ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2014  Sail-World.com .

Today we are in Hyeres, on an overcast day, with measurement and registration continuing for the 1100 or so sailors in around 800 teams. In the very soft conditions there are some boats out on the Bay, but most teams are resting ahead of this important week.

Right now here are some key stories from the last six months.


Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team



Why the 49er class is pushing hard to get finals format changed +Video
Ben Remocker,
The 49er class has a tradition of pushing sailing forward, aligning to the Olympic ideals and the Olympic business model. The overall Olympic success is a complex tonic, but the core product is live sports. Live coverage of sailing is difficult and expensive. Traditionally it has also been slow paced and difficult to understand for non-sailors, the vast majority of Olympic customers.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - The return of Outteridge and Jensen
Australian Sailing Team,
After the recent gold and two bronze medals at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca, the Australian Sailing Team are now just a few days away from the start of racing at the next ISAF World Cup Regatta in Hyères, France. Over 1,100 athletes have registered to sail in Hyères next week, including a near-full contingent of the Australian Sailing Team and Squad.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres – World's best to race on French Riviera
ISAF,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres will see Olympic medallists, World Champions and ISAF Sailing World Cup medallists compete as the 2013-2014 series draws to a close. More than 1,100 sailors across ten Olympic and two Paralympic events will race on the French Riviera from Monday 21 April through to Saturday 26 April.... [more]
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Princess Sofia Regatta - Belcher and Ryan hungry for more
Mat Belcher & Will Ryan | Olympic Sailing,
At the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Mallorca, a podium position leaves us satisfied but hungry for more in Hyeres. While this regatta marked the third Leg of the ISAF World Cup; it signifies the beginning of the European season for us and most other Olympic teams.... [more]
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Gold and two Bronze medals for Australian Sailing Team in Spain
Cora Zillich,
ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca 2014 - The ‘Trofeo Princesa Sofia', the fourth of five ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, was the starting gun of the 2014 European sailing calendar. After a week of tricky conditions a light morning northerly breeze picked up on the final day of racing ensuring a full complement of Medal Races across the ten Olympic events were completed.... [more]
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Olympic Sailing – Can Australia repeat London 2012 sailing success?
Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com,
Australia won three Gold medals and a Silver at London 2012, making it the most successful sailing nation at that Olympics. There are some good signs as the clock ticks down to 2016, not the least was Tom Burtons win in the Laser Class in Palma with a 1,2,3 Laser medal race win by Australia.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca: NZL wins Gold, Denmark earns Silver
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
At the behest of the 49er Class Association, three short sprint races were sailed rather than a single medal race for the 49ers racing on the Bay of Palma today.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Australia 1,2,3 in Laser Medal Race
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
ISAF Sailing World Cup - Mallorca - Tom Burton blasted to victory winning the medal race from Ash Brunning (who finished eighth overall) and Matt Wearn( who finished sixth overall.)... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Aussies Bundock and Curtis move up
Rob Kothe,
ISAF Sailing World Cup - Mallorca 2014. Wind aplenty on the Bay of Mallorca today 25-30 knot gusts. Australia's Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis are sailing in their third ever Nacra 17 regatta.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup – No time to lose says new ISAF Appointee
Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com,
Canadian John Craig is the newly appointed Head of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Craig was for 11 years the PRO at St. Francis Yacht Club and who most recently the PRO of the 34th America's Cup.... [more]
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ISAF outlines new plans for a revamped Sailing World Cup series
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup is the annual circuit of Olympic sailing for serious campaigners and up and coming sailors. The series is now seven years old, has attracted less media and sponsorship attention than ISAF had hoped and it's still looking for mainstream media relevance, as President Carlo Croce has been saying loudly and clearly.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca – Burton's form guide
Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com,
ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca – Australian Tom Burton spent most of the last year as the top ranked Laser sailor in the world. He had been Tom Slingsby's training partner leading into the London 2012 Olympics and it seemed that much of Slingsby's Gold Medal speed rubbed off on the younger Tom.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup 2014 – An old fox amongst the Nacra hens??
Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com,
The debut event for the mixed multihull was the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup in Mallorca, when a 34 boat primarily European fleet sailed in the event.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca – Finn Coach - the Other John Bertrand
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
While the British have dominated the Olympic Finn class since 2000, the Australian sailing team, who won Olympic Gold in Lasers, 470's and 49ers in London 2012 are showing potential for Rio Gold now in other classes and the Finn class is one of those.... [more]
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Mat Belcher on the Road to Rio and being an America's Cup skipper
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan,
Aussie sailor Mat Belcher talks about becoming an America's Cup skipper and the Road to Rio whilst he and his sailing partner Will Ryan prepare for battle at the 45th Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma de Mallorca.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca: Training Partners building the future
Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com,
Probably the most successful Olympic class sailing programs over the last few decades is the Australian 470 program, with five Gold Medal Teams since 2000.... [more]
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Australian Sailing Team ready to take on Europe in 2014 season
Cora Zillich,
The Australian Sailing Team (AST) is embarking into the 2014 European season with most crews having left Australia for Europe last week and others arriving on the continent over the next few weeks.... [more]
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Rio Olympics 2016 - Water quality improving say Rio authorities
Jeni Bone,
The jewel in the crown of Rio de Janeiro would be Guanabara Bay, venue for rowing and sailing events at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. What a tragedy then that city officials admit that of the 1.3 billion litres (yes, that is correct) of sewerage, effluent, oil and run off that the city creates each day only 40% is treated. The rest goes to the waterways.... [more]
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Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition qualification system published
ISAF,
The qualification system for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Qualification has now been published. The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition regatta venue is the Marina da Glória with racing taking place inside and outside the Guanabara Bay and will feature 380 athletes competing across 10 events.... [more]
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Australian Olympic 470 Gold at Maritime Museum
David Payne ANMM,
Australian Olympic sailing reached an amazing peak at the 2012 Olympics, with the team of sailors claiming three gold medals and one silver medal, making Australia the most successful nation in the sailing events.... [more]
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Sailing World Cup Miami – World Record winning streak ends
Sail-World.com,
After winning 18 470 regattas in a row, Rolex World Sailor of the Year Mat Belcher and his crew Will Ryan ran out of runway at the Sailing World Cup in Miami. The Miami regatta lost two days to light winds and that obviously cost the most consistent 470 sailors in the history of the class the opportunity to extend the run to 19.... [more]
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Australian sailors honoured on Australia Day
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
Congratulations to the Australian sailors who were honoured in the 2014 Australia Day Awards. Beyond the 2012 Olympians we are particularly pleased to see the honour of the octogenarian Peter Campbell, who continues to thrive in Sandy Bay writing like dervish and official extraordinare David Tillett and of course Bob Oatley. We will have more tomorrow.... [more]
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Nacra 17: ISAF's experiment gets big tick from top crew
Richard Gladwell,
The Nacra 17 is enjoying a stellar rise amongst the sailing and multihull community, both because of its design pedigree from US design team of Melvin and Morelli, and the fact that mixed gender crews are offering a new dimension to Olympic sailing. The great experiment has worked.... [more]
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Sailing in 78 languages – Sail-World.com spreads the news world-wide
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
Whether it's the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, the Volvo Ocean Race, the America's Cup, Olympic class or Optimist regattas, sailing news can now be read in 78 languages and with the benefit of modern technology the quality of the translations is improving rapidly.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Belcher says we can't keep winning
ISAF Sailing World Cup - Event Media,
Day 4 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Unfortunately today competitors from 24 countries in the Olympic classes had to sit out racing due to the westerlies gusting in excess of 35 knots that howled across Port Phillip, causing massive seas to build and pound the Sandringham rock wall.... [more]
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Lijia Xu ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 - THAT Speech
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. If you have not heard it, you can catch it now.... [more]
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