Aquece Rio-Olympic Test Event

Sailors from all 10 Olympic classes get the chance to test the waters and prove their worth a year ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Report from ISAF. Full results available here.

During racing, live tracking will be available here.

A steady 10-12 knot southerly breeze inside Guanabara Bay under a beating Brazilian sun enabled some interesting racing for the competitors. Meanwhile, outside of Guanabara Bay, it was a different story as the wind failed to materialize for the sailors to compete.


With the fleets sailing inside completing their scheduled races, the decision to move those from outside the Bay to inside was made, enabling a single early evening race for each fleet.

In total, the Pão de Açúcar, Escola Naval and Ponte courses played host to eight fleets who completed 15 races between them.

Nacra 17


Germany’s Paul Kohlhoff and Carolina Werner continue to impress in the Nacra 17. It was a near perfect day for them as they took a second and two firsts to grab hold of the lead.

The Germans have eased their way into the Nacra 17 and are firmly on their way to hitting a peak in time for the Olympic Games. “We’re not doing anything special,” answered Kohlhoff when asked about his secret to success, “We’ve been solid. We started well all day and we’ve been pretty quick. We’re not much quicker than anyone else; we’re just on the quickest side of the fleet and managed to get a few good shifts and big puffs.”

Kohlhoff and Werner won their first gold at Kieler-Woche earlier this year but at the Olympic Test Event, the quality of the fleet is extremely high and is almost a replica of the Olympic Games. At the midway point of the event Kohlhoff didn’t expect to lead but he and Werner won’t be getting too carried away as anything can change in a given moment.


“We’re keeping focused and doing things right,” said Kohlhoff. “We just came from a really good World Championship [finishing fifth] and that was not really expected as well.

“We had three good races today and everything went fine, it was fair racing. The current was not too bad and everywhere was at the same strength and I think the Race Officers did a really great job.”

Eight points separate the Germans and Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) who are second overall.


Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) put in a solid shift on the water and occupy third place. The day’s other race win went the way of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL). However the Kiwis, who were overnight leaders, drop down to fourth overall following a third and a 13th.

Nacra 17 sailors are up-to-date with their schedule and will enjoy a day off on 18 August to re-charge their batteries for the second half of the competition.

Men’s and Women’s 470

It was a good day for American 470 sailors as Stu McNay and Dave Hughes grabbed the lead in the Men’s 470 and Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha put serious pressure on the overnight leaders in the Women’s division.

McNay and Hughes started the day off exceedingly well with a race victory. A ninth followed which subsequently handed them the lead by one point over Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE).

“We’re feeling good,” commented McNay. “There are always opportunities to be better. Luckily the results thus far have taken care of themselves. This is a class where you have to pay your dues. There is a lot of nuance with the tuning, and the different modes available, but there’s always the opportunity to improve your tactics and strategy. The 470 is a fascinating class to sail, especially in a place like Rio.”

The day’s remaining race win went the way of Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) who occupy third overall.

After four Men’s 470 races just ten points split the top seven with plenty of racing remaining.

Haeger and Provancha put the pressure on overnight leaders Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) after a third and a sixth to sit within one point of them heading into the third day. The Chinese pair defeated the Americans by one spot in the opening race of the day but they came through in 13th in the second, which they discard.

Chen and Gao will look to keep mistakes at a minimum in the coming days but for Provancha, it was a well-executed day on the water, “We’ve spent a lot of time down here and worked hard in the practice races to be able to form a game plan and get our communication on point.

“The plan is working. We are doing what we’ve been practicing, but we have a long way to go until next summer. Everyone is racing well, so we’re trying to minimize mistakes.”

Race wins in the women’s fleet were picked up by Marina Gallego and Fatima Reyes (ESP) as well as Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR).

49er and 49erFX

The 49er sailors enjoyed four good races on the Pão de Açúcar racing area and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) revelled in the conditions. Burling and Tuke took three race wins on the day and as a result have lifted themselves up to top spot. Their other result, which was an 11th, is their discarded score.

Several teams enjoyed good results on the day. Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) sailed their way to a bullet and two thirds after a disappointing opening race where they came through in 18th. The Germans sit fifth overall.

Kings of consistency, Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA) posted four results in the top ten and are sixth. Out of the 20-boat fleet they are the only crew who count a full scorecard of single figure scores.

The 49erFX fleet were scheduled to sail on the Niteroi course but light winds meant they were unable to sail on that course. With six racing areas being tested throughout the week the Race Management team have great flexibility with racing areas and the decision to move to the Pão de Açúcar course was made.

In a light early evening breeze the Pan-American Games gold medallists Victoria Travascio and Maria Sol Branz (ARG) took the single race victory over Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA). The Argentineans, light wind specialists, have enjoyed the breeze they’ve faced so far and occupy second place.

Overnight leaders Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) discard their 11th place and hold on to top spot.


Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) picked up where he left off the day prior, at the top of the bunch. A second place in the single Finn race sees him retain his overnight lead.

Originally scheduled to sail on Copacabana, the Finn fleet were moved to the Ponte area and Tapio Nirkko (FIN) knew exactly how to play the course. Leading from the first mark the Finnish sailor barely looked troubled as he took out a convincing victory over Postma by 20 seconds,

Nirkko is second overall whilst a third for Jonathan Lobert (FRA) sees him tied with the Fin.

Laser and Laser Radial

Heading into the day the Laser and Laser Radial sailors were prepared for a big challenge on the Pai course, the furthest racing area away from Marina da Gloria. Out in the open sea, big winds and waves were predicted but both failed to materialize.

In the end, the flatter waters of Escola Naval were used for a single race apiece.

Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) took the single Laser Radial race win and is third overall. Gintare Scheidt (LTU) continues to lead the pack.

In the Laser, Tom Burton (AUS) crossed the finish line 19 seconds ahead of Nick Thompson (GBR) for his first win of the week and as a result is seventh overall.

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) holds onto his lead even though he finished in 16th place.

The Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and 49erFX will catch up on their schedule on 18 August whilst the 49er and Nacra 17 fleets enjoy a day of rest. The Men’s and Women’s RS:X will be back in the mix on Tuesday as they get down to the business end of the competition.

Racing commences at 13:00 local time.

US Sailing Team Sperry Men's 470 Stu McNay Davin Hughes Rio Test Event
US Sailing Team Sperry’s Stuart McNay and David Hughes opened Monday with a victory in the first race, followed by a 9th, moving the pair into the overall lead in the Men’s 470.“We’re feeling good. There are always opportunities to be better,” said McNay. “Luckily the results thus far have taken care of themselves.” McNay and Hughes have been on a hot streak, having won major events such as ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and the 470 Europeans. McNay attributed that success to a steady approach, combined with patience. “This is a class where you have to pay your dues. There is a lot of nuance with the tuning, and the different modes available, but theres always the opportunity to improve your tactics and strategy. The 470 is a fascinating class to sail, especially in a place like Rio.” US Sailing Team Sperry/Will Ricketson
US Sailing Team Sperry Paige Railey Rio Test Event
USA’s Paige Railey looked to be in for a tough day on Monday when she rounded the first windward mark deep in the fleet, but she managed to climb back up to 8th place. The comeback was enough to preserve her 2nd place overall position. “I had a mediocre start, and both sides [of the fleet] passed me [upwind], but I fought back.” said the 2012 Olympian. “Conditions in Rio are always changing, and that means there’s always opportunities to pass. Today we actually had two different breeze directions and two separate areas of current on our course, so if you figured that out, you could make gains.” US Sailing Team Sperry/Onne van der Wal
The Finn class was only able to get in one race on Monday, with the win going to Finland’s Tapio Nirkko . Nirkko said, “It was a good breeze on Ponte course so we had a solid race. I managed to get a clear lane right from the start and had good speed, with pretty safe tactics staying with the other guys and rounded second, There was some confusion about the free pumping and two guys around me got a flag and I got a little bit away from the fleet and then it was a pretty easy job to maintain the lead. It was similar to yesterday, but just later in the day, so the current and wind were a bit different.” Robert Deaves/Finn Class
Australia’s Nacra17 team Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, silver medallists at the recent Nacra17 World Championships, put in a strong performance to finish their second day in overall third. “People were seeing things that we couldn’t see so we didn’t have the greatest day but it was still a consistent day,” says Darmanin. “We got a five, six and a two, which we are really happy with. Consistency really pays off, so it’s good to keep the numbers low. We have a reserve day tomorrow, I have the momentum going but I will just have to stay calm and we’ll give it another go in two days time.” Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/ISAF
Monday was the third day of racing for Australia’s Tom Burton, and after a couple of challenging race days he was happy to finally get a race win in. This catapulted him from 14th into 7th place overall. “It was a long day. We were on Pai course today, so we left the beach early as it is a long way out there, around a 50 minute tow. There was no wind when we got out there, absolute glass, so we were just going up and down in the sea state and I actually started to feel sea sick. We did that for two or three hours before we got the call to come in,” Burton Says. “There was good breeze inside the harbor so some of the fleets there just smashed their races out before we were coming in so we got the course. We had one race on the Naval course and it was pretty tricky to go from sitting around doing nothing to straight away start racing when we got in there. It was pretty tricky with the tide and the shifts but it was good to finally get a good race in.” Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy/ISAF
New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke put the hammer down, racking up three race wins from four races to take the overall lead in the 49er class. “It was a tricky day out there on the close course right under the Sugar Loaf so we’re really pleased to come away we three good results,” says Burling. “We had a bit of a tough one in that second race when we ended up about 12th. We thought we were in really good shape up the first beat, and then just got one thing wrong and we pretty much ended up right at the back and then we were battling through the fleet for the rest of the race to get back to 12th.” Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/ISAF
A the end of racing Monday, the 49er fleet had completed six races, and New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke know there is plenty of racing yet to come. Tuke says, “We’re halfway through the fleet racing series of the regatta. We had two races yesterday which were good for us, just a nice solid start, and it was good to get out and put the hammer down today and get three 1sts.” “Not such a great race in the second one, but it was pleasing the way we bounced back and were able to take to more 1sts. We’re happy but we also know there’s plenty more work to do this week.” Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/ISAF
In the Men’s 470, Brits Luke Patience and Elliot Willis saw among the best days in their fleet with 2,6 to add to their scoresheet from their two races today. They’re now in fifth place overall, just three points from the series leaders, and the double World Champion Willis expects it to be a tight battle for the remainder of the week. “Inherently the fact that it’s a small regatta fleet-wise, we’re looking at a very small points difference come the end of the week,” explained Willis of the 22-boat 470 Men’s fleet. “I think it will all come down to the medal race. “As a personal goal, we’re looking to medal here. It would be awesome to come away with a gold and repeat last week’s performance at the South American Championships.” Ocean Images/British Sailing Team
Renowned Brazilian Laser sailor Robert Scheidt sits in sixth overall after racing on Monday. “There is still a lot that can happen at this event,” says Scheidt. “We must remain focused not to make any mistakes and come up with a good average in the final stage.” Scheidt hopes to sail in his sixth olympic games in 2016. He won a gold medal in Atlanta (1996) and Athens (2004), silver in Sydney (2000) and Beijing (2008), and bronze in London (2012). PedroMartinez / SailingEnergy
For Paul Kohlhoff and Carolina Werner dealt with shifty winds in the Nacra 17. The duo, nicknamed “The German Wonder Kids” after their second place finish in the Junior World Championships this July, recently brought coach David Howlett aboard for some coaching in Rio. “The fact that David Howlett himself is supporting us here on the water is such a great honor,” says Werner. “We can learn so much from his experience and mentality. His main message is that you must always work hard if you want to be good. And we do! “ STG/Sailing Energy