Dempsey

Park confident in sailing success as Rio reaches the one year countdown

Written by RYA | 05 August 2015

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park assesses the British Sailing Team's prospects and Rio's readiness with one year to go

British Sailing Team Manager Stephen Park believes his charges are well-placed to meet the challenges of Rio 2016 and continue British sailing’s Games success as the Olympic countdown clock hit one year to go today (5 August).

British sailors have been training at the Brazilian venue for over a week ahead of the 2015 Aquece Rio International Regatta – the second official Test Event for sailing – which commences on Guanabara Bay in ten days’ time.

Some 15 sailors – a full-sized Olympic team with one boat in each of the ten events – will contest this Test Event, which provides the opportunity to learn about Rio’s unique and challenging sailing conditions and the chance to set down a marker at the Games venue in Rio 2016’s final official dress rehearsal for the sport.



“As we look at the British Sailing Team with a year to go, we’ve got to be confident we’re in a good place,” said Park, who is heading into his fourth Games as the British Sailing Team manager. “We need to have a situation where we have all, or nearly all, of our ten events as possibilities of realistic medal positions if we want to be successful in winning a number of medals next year, and right now I think we’re looking good for that. 

“We’ve certainly got as strong a team as we’ve had in recent Games and feel confident that we’re going to be able to go into the Olympics and come away with another significant contribution to the Team GB medal haul.”

Park continued: “We’ve got plenty of talent within the team – sailors who really have put in some good performances over recent weeks, months and years, and in addition we have a good mix of some younger sailors coming through, some new first time Olympians and indeed some older hands.”

“I am sure that this mix of age, experience, youth and enthusiasm is going to help create a great team atmosphere and be good for our 2016 performance.”

Park says the team is enjoying its time in Rio, in spite of some well-documented challenges with the venue.

“Rio is definitely an exciting venue and an exciting city.  There’s no doubt when you’re here that you feel that the city is very much alive and everyone in the team is very excited to be here, and enjoys their time in Rio.  We’re really enjoying the in-venue preparation time for this Games. 

“From a sailing perspective, the Olympic marina is currently a building site, although the construction is taking place at a high rate of knots.  The marina manager has confirmed that they are expecting all the building work to be complete by the beginning of January so it should look good by the time we get to the Games itself.  Certainly for this upcoming Test Event the venue is going to be a bit of a challenge, as the building goes on around us.

“Of course the water is already there and we’ll be able to go sailing.  That said, there are some challenges both in terms of the water quality and actually some of the floating debris in the water, but efforts are being made and those efforts appear to be increasing in pace as we get closer towards the Olympic Games.  I’m sure by the time that we get to the Games itself physical debris will not be an issue and hopefully at the end of the day, the water quality won’t come into play in terms of affecting anybody’s regattas.  

“Personally, I’m confident that Rio is going to have all the facilities in place by the time they need them, ready for next year,  the Games itself will look fantastic, be a great advert for Rio around the world as they host the Greatest Show on Earth.”

Read more from Stephen Park on the British Sailing Team’s Rio preparations in his latest blog.

British Sailing Team for the Aquece Rio International Regatta (15-22 August):
Laser – Nick Thompson
Laser Radial – Alison Young
Finn – Giles Scott
RS:X Men – Nick Dempsey
RS:X Women – Bryony Shaw
470 Men – Luke Patience-Elliot Willis
470 Women – Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark
49er – John Pink-Stuart Bithell
49erFX – Charlotte Dobson-Sophie Ainsworth
Nacra 17 – John Gimson-Hannah Diamond

For all the latest news and updates from the British Sailing Team, follow us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing.

Share




Funding Partner

Official Partners

Official Suppliers