That’s right. Zach and I are finally sailing on the Olympic waters of Rio De Janeiro just two years out from the 2016 Olympic Games. Moments like this are incredibly surreal. This is the place that has been in our sights for the last three years. This is the place we hope to make history in 2016. We are really excited to be here!
Despite our excitement, we are focused on the task at hand. To get to Rio in 2016, we need to qualify the country and our first chance is in September at the ISAF Combined World Championships. No doubt we have pointed out the significance of this event in every blog we have posted, and for good reason. We would consider the last year and a half a huge success if we were to finish in the top ten countries at the Worlds. We will have proven that despite our time away from training on the water, we have continued to show world class progress in every other facet of our program. Results are undoubtedly an important and simple indicator of a team’s success, but the time and energy needed onshore to make an Olympic campaign successful is equally as important.
We are here in Rio to build on the progress we saw at the Europeans by sharpening our racing skills against top International teams. We want close crosses, tough lanes, starting line battles, and raw boat speed lineups in the most difficult sailing conditions in the Southern Hemisphere. Guanabara Bay in Rio is known for tricky tidal currents that swirl in and out of the harbor. The geography of the harbor and the sea floor create hidden eddies and varying tidal rates throughout the bay that are ever changing. From the stories we have heard from locals who grew up racing on the bay, Zach and I will have our hands full trying to identify how to play these waters!
Racing begins on August 4th which gives us a week of training before the big event. Until then, we will be logging hours against the worlds best with an informal practice regatta starting on the 30th. In addition to our knowledge on the water, we will also be learning a lot about living here in Rio so we may learn to enjoy the venue for everything it has to offer since we anticipate spending a lot more time here in the future. More updates to come later in the week.
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