One year out from the largest sporting event in the world, the Australian Sailing Team is set to start racing…
AUS Sailing Team is ready for the 2015 Olympic Trials
One year out from the largest sporting event in the world, the Australian Sailing Team is set to start racing at the second Olympic Sailing Test Event to be held on Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 15-22 August.
339 sailors from 52 nations have arrived in Rio for the Aquece Rio (Warm-up) – International Sailing Regatta 2015 with racing starting on Saturday, 15 August.
The Aquece Rio International Regatta is the second official Test Event for the sport of sailing and will see ten Australian sailors, including four London 2012 Olympic medallists, compete against their international rivals in six of the ten Olympic classes in what is a key dress rehearsal at the 2016 sailing venue.
The Olympic sailing program comprises ten boat classes and last year the Australian Sailing Team secured national qualification for all but three of the nine Olympic classes Australia is expecting to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The selection period for Australian Sailors to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games continues until May 2016.
At the Rio Test Event, Australian Sailing will be represented in all of the six of these boat classes that are already qualified with the following sailors representing Australia:
- 470M: Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD)
- 49er: Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW)
- Laser: Tom Burton (NSW)
- Nacra17: Jason Waterhouse (NSW) and Lisa Darmanin (NSW)
- Finn: Jake Lilley (QLD)
- 49erFX: Olivia Price (NSW) and Jaime Ryan (QLD)
Racing is scheduled to commence at 13:00 local time on Saturday 15 August (Laser) with racing concluding on Saturday 22 August. Medal Races in the Laser, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra17 are scheduled for Friday, 21 August with Medal Races for the Men’s 470 and Finn classes to follow Saturday, 22 August.
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Laser World #1 Tom Burton (NSW) represents Australia at the Rio Test event after recently finishing the Laser World Championship with a Bronze medal.
After winning the Test Event in 2014 Burton is enjoying being back on Rio Waters:
“Last year I won the Test Event and I will be trying to repeat that and win again this year. We had a test regatta last week, which I won as well and it’s been good conditions for me here in Rio, so hopefully it all goes well next week”
“I’ve been here for nearly a month and it’s my third time here. The biggest difference this year is that it will only be one boat per country and to not to have other team mates out there. Everyone seems to be a little bit more serious this time around and keeps to themselves a bit more. The weather has been great, the beaches are good and other than the launching area, the water hasn’t been too bad.”
Australia’s second ranked Laser sailor and World #2 Matthew Wearn (WA), who finished fifth at the World Champs, trained with Tom in Rio in the lead up into the regatta, but will not compete as only one competitor from each nation is permitted to race. But Tom Burton appreciates the advantages of having a training partner with him:
“Matt (Wearn) has been here with me for the whole month and we’ve been training a lot together. He’s one of the quickest in the world so it’s been good and we can just go out there sailing together and if one of us is having a bad day the other can really touch him up. It keeps us both on our toes and it’s good to chat with someone in debriefs and in day-to-day life who speaks your language.”
Tom Burton’s coach are Michael Blackburn / Jared West.
The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta runs from 15 – 22 August and will be based at Marina da Gloria on Rio’s inner harbour. The Test Event allows the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to evaluate and make key decisions in advance of making the final decisions that will govern the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Six race courses will be tested throughout the week. Three are outside of Guanabara Bay and three are inside. Courses outside include Pai, Copacabana and Niteroi whilst the inside courses are Pão de Açúcar, Ponte and Escola Naval. All will be tested throughout the week by the ten Olympic sailing events. Click here to view the racing areas.
The Rio Test Event regatta is based on the same format and schedule for racing that will be used one year on at the Rio Olympic Games with ISAF regulations permitting countries only one entrant per nation.
Australian Sailing is the performance arm of Yachting Australia in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and with support from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC). The Australian Sailing Team is the national representative team for Olympic and Paralympic class sailing.
The Australian Sailing Squad is the development program of the Australian Sailing Team and provides the pathway from elite youth to Olympic level competition.