World Sailing is satisfied with the progress being made by Rio 2016 and the Brazilian authorities in preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic & Paralympic Sailing Competition following an official visit from 7-10 March 2016.
Chief Executive Officer Andy Hunt, Rio 2016 Sailing Technical Delegates Alastair Fox and Scott Perry, Chairman of the Events Committee Pablo Masseroni and Medical Commission representative Dr. Nebojša Nikolic met with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, the City, the State, the State Environment Institute (INEA) and the State Company of Water and Sewage (CEDAE) over the four day period.
The health and safety of sailors competing at Rio 2016 is paramount and World Sailing remain focused on delivering an excellent Olympic Sailing Competition on a safe and fair field of play.
World Sailing can report that the redevelopment of Marina da Gloria by BR Marinas is entering the final stages of completion and is on-track to be delivered in early April with many of the marina buildings currently being fitted-out for occupation.
The sewer pipe belt which will prevent sewage entering Marina da Gloria is expected to be completed at the end of March. World Sailing visited the pipe belt works which are largely completed with systems to be tested in April and water testing within Marina da Gloria commencing in early May to monitor changes in the water quality.
In October 2015, World Sailing appointed International Race Official Pedro Rodrigues to work with the Rio 2016 Sustainability Manager, INEA and the World Sailing Race Management Team during the Olympic Games to ensure that the racing areas are free of debris. Operational and contingency plans for ecoboats to remove obstructions in the water and on the field of play were reviewed and adequate procedures are in place.
Further proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of the athletes include the installation of eighteen ecobarriers on rivers running into Guanabara Bay. Nine of the barriers are currently in operation with a further nine to be installed by May.
Dr Nebojša Nikolic said, “I am satisfied with the planning work that is being done ahead of the Games to ensure that the welfare of sailors remains the top priority and that appropriate water testing and protocols are in place to inform decision making at the Games. We will continue to monitor water testing data closely and to educate sailors and officials on what they can do themselves to reduce health risks ahead of the Games.”
Seven racing areas and three reserve days for each of the ten sailing events provides World Sailing with great flexibility. Contingency plans for all scenarios from water quality to wind conditions are in place and World Sailing remains confident in delivering a memorable and successful Olympic Sailing Competition.
World Sailing will continue to monitor the programme of works closely and will review water-testing data and remain in contact with all the relevant authorities on a regular basis.
World Sailing officials will return in May to see the direct impact on the quality of water within Marina da Gloria.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing