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Rio Test Event, ORC Worlds, VOR and more

by Dan Ibsen and the Sail-World Team on 6 Aug 2014
2014 Aquece Rio ISAF ©
The Olympic Classes are in Rio for the first of two test events. Only two years from the Games, nations and top sailors are already spending more and more time in Rio in their preparation for the 2016 Games, including of course the British Sailing Team.

At the same time youth and junior sailors are competing at the Volvo Gill Optimist National and Open Championships in Weymouth.

In Europe, racing this week features large ‘big boat’ events like 2014 ORC World Championships and Copa del Rey, and it also seems that a seventh - and possibly European - VOR boat is underway, only two months before the start in Alicante.

Rio de Janiero is currently hosting the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014 (August 2-9) for all the Olympic Classes. This is a part of the preparations for the organisers ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, but also a possibility for more than 320 sailors from 34 nations to test the five different race courses and using this event to better understand local conditions.

There has been a lot of focus on the water quality in the area, where all the courses will be. Sailors say that the water quality is not the best they have seen, but it is better than last year, and they are happy they are not going to be swimming in it. It looks like the initiatives taken by the City show the first effects, and hopefully the situation will develop continuously during the next two years. IOC already has strong focus on this with regard to all relevant water sports.

The test events has started with light winds, postponements and cancellation, but a cold front pass will hopefully secure better sailing conditions the coming days.

Get the news and reports during the week on

Over 450 of the country’s top youth and junior sailors are race on the same waters where their Team GBR Olympic heroes battled for gold during London 2012. Until eight August, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy are hosting sailors from nineteen different nations for the annual Volvo Gill Optimist British National and Open Championships.

The 2014 ORC World Championships takes place in Kiel this week with 151 boats from 19 countries on the starting lines on three race courses. This is a record for the championship, and the organisers therefore have an extra race course for the qualification rounds with two fleets on both Class B and C, respectively with 59 and 66 boats – too many for one start on the inshore courses. Class A counts 26 boats on the starting line.

The Qualification continues until Thursday, and thereafter the fleets are divided in gold and silver fleets, like the Olympic Classes.

In Southern Europe at the Bay of Palma the 33rd Copa del Rey Mapre has seen suberb racing the first days in glamourous sea breeze conditions. The event also includes the third regatta of the Barclays 52 Super series for the TP52’s.

Follow the race reports and watch the images of the action by Carlo Borlenghi and Max Ranchi.

The October start to the Volvo Ocean Race is close, excitement is building throughout the sailing world and for the first time in the race's storied history, all teams will be sailing One Design Volvo Ocean 65s, turning VOR into a One Design sprint around the world.

According to reports, five teams - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team, Team Alvimedica, Team SCA and the Spanish-flagged entrant - have entered the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, which kicks off on August 9 in Cowes, giving teams their first real opportunity to speed tune against their racecourse rivals prior to the race's start in Alicante this fall.

With only two months to the VOR start, rumours are flying around about a seventh entry from a European country. While speculation is currently trading far higher than stone-sober facts, there is now a very good chance that fans will see another still-unnamed team on the October starting line. Chris Nicholson has been confirmed to Sail-World as the skipperi of the seventh VOR boat. There are no denials from the players, but lots of no comments including one to Sail-World Europe from Vestas in Denmark.

Get VOR reports, including a scoring guide on, and stay tuned for more news about the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, as well as the seventh entry, as it becomes known.

Stay up with the latest sailing news, as it happens, on our websites and - follow the PWA Tenerife World Cup, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014, Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship, Lysekil Womens Match and many more events.

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