UA-74833448-1 Olympic Sailing Waters – Sportswave.ca
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Olympic Sailing Waters

We continue to follow the travels of Nikola and Luke while they continue to travel in hopes of achieving Gold in the next Olympic Games.

This time they travel to Rio de Janeiro where they learn how to navigate the waters at various areas in and around Rio.

Enjoy the read and thanks to Nikola and Luke for the story.

The breeze co-operated for the entire duration of our trip, allowing us to take advantage of the conditions and letting us sail every day; even Ian jumped in for a couple days of crewing for Luke to give Nikola a break.

We were staying as close as you can get to the boats, in ‘box’ apartments at the IATE Yacht Club right in Rio.

Although the rooms were a bit cramped, the location made it well worth it. It is one of the safest, if not the safest area in Rio.

The yacht club is tucked right underneath the ‘Sugarloaf’ – one of the iconic mountains of Rio.

We were fortunate that these accommodations enabled our team to stay close, allowing us to become much closer as a team by spending almost every waking minute either working on the boat, working out in the gym, debriefing over coffee or out on the water.

The trip provided a really good balance between focusing on the technical side of the boats and racing them.

The only down side was that our schedule didn’t leave us much time for exploring the beautiful sights of Rio.

We had to satisfy ourselves with the breathtaking views from the water!

We sailed two events in Rio. The first event was the South American Championships, which were held inside the harbour on the leeward side of Sugarloaf Mountain.

We were faced with some very tricky wind and current conditions.

The tides in Rio come in from the ocean with incredible force and swirl around the bay causing huge differences across the course, making it vital to not only read the wind but also the flow of the water.

We managed to have some really good races and finished the event 6th overall, beating some of the world’s best.

The training with Ian undoubtedly helped improve our speed leading up the event, enabling us to focus more on decision making while racing.

After we finished the South Americans we had a week of training before starting the second event “Copa De Vela”, which was run out of Niterói (a 15 minute coach boat ride across the bay – you wouldn’t even attempt to drive this as it would take a long, long time).

In this event we had mostly strong winds and, once again, really tough competition. A shorter racecourse kept us on our toes, our speed was really good but we ended up on the wrong side of a few shifts and had some bad luck.

A collision on day 2 broke our rudder mechanism forcing us to drop out of 2 races. We also had some other unforeseen gear failure in the last race of the regatta.

Despite all of our hiccups, we finished 13th overall; the experience gained was invaluable and we really feel like it helped us elevate our sailing and will give us something to build on in the New Year.

Although most of the trip went according to plan – we did get to experience Rio in a different light as well – both of us were robbed by an ATM and Nikola got a bout of food poisoning on the way home.

We are thankful, after 30 hours of travel that we are back at home and looking forward to a two-week break with our families before getting back to racing in Miami.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support over the last years, and we look forward to sharing our adventures with you as we race into 2015.

We wish you all the very best for the holidays.

Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Nikola and Luke