2014 Olympic Test event

  • Posted on: 14 August 2014
  • By: Sophie Ainsworth

We can’t quite believe it ourselves, but whilst we were out in Rio for the 2014 Olympic test event, the date for two years until the Olympic games passed. We now have less than two years!

We were out in Rio over the British winter period, it is beginning to feel a lot more like home, the city doesn’t seem as daunting anymore. It could well have been something to do with the torrential rain that greeted us. If we get our way we will spend a lot of time here over next couple of years, so it really is important for us to enjoy spending time in Rio. As with any city you must keep your wits about you or it could go wrong rapidly.

This was Sophie’s first test event, and one of many to add to Charlotte’s repertoire. There was a friendly and supportive environment amongst the British Sailing Team, as a team we went up Sugar Loaf and Christ Redeemer but unfortunately as anyone could have predicted it was cloudy and raining. To finish our tourist day off we went to see two local Rio football teams play in the World Cup final stadium, the atmosphere was electric, it is definitely something everyone should do once but we will stick to the sport of Sailing!

We finished fifth overall in the 2014 Olympic test event. It was another chance for us to race in the Olympic venue, as well as being a warm up for the Olympics two years in advance. It gives the host nation and organisers a chance to run through the regatta. In the build up to the regatta, we got lots of racing in with a sea breeze filling in every day, however, we did have to contend with some rain, the fact the sea breeze doesn’t come in before one and it’s dark at half past five. Our regatta consisted of two days of fleet racing and two theatre style races, two days were lost due to a lack of wind. The theme of our regatta seemed to be that we sailed well for ninety percent of the time but lost points through silly mistakes for the other ten percent. The highlight was the theatre style racing, we finished second and five retrospectively in the two races; it’s never really been a strength of ours so we were chuffed to finish on a high.

We have to prepare ourselves for the fact that an Olympics in Rio might not get as much racing in as we like, and not because of a lack of wind but because of a lack of days and light as it is the winter. With ten Olympic classes and only five courses to race on, every class lost races. We already know that ISAF (sailings organising body) has reduced the Olympic regatta from a six to five days for us. Every day over the next two years counts, as we may only have a limited amount of time at the Olympics to make it matter. Congratulations to the rest of the British Sailing Team that managed to achieve eight podium finishes across seven of the ten Olympic classes, next year we hope to contribute to that.

Next stop – Santander to prepare for our World Championships in September.