Rio 2016 puts sailing back at the heart of the Olympics

Marina da Gloria - venue for the Olympic Regatta in Rio 2016
Marina da Gloria - venue for the Olympic Regatta in Rio 2016

Rio de Janeiro winning the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games is exciting news. The first time the Games will take place in South America, for starters. Rio is a really exciting city, some would say too exciting. Anyone who has seen the film 'City of God' would know something about that.

But what's it going to be like for sailing?

Well, it puts sailing right back at the heart of the Olympic Games, something we haven't seen since the racing on Sydney Harbour in 2000.

But... I've been to Rio twice to report on the stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, and I can scarcely recall a breath of wind the whole time I was there. Then again, that was in March, and the Games will be in August. So here's hoping it will be a little breezier than that.

Weather expert Chris Bedford provides this analysis on the Scuttlebutt website:

"Because sea breezes are weaker and the wind is more variable, average wind speeds are the lightest of the four cities at around 7 knots. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The wind is fairly predictable and it is often obvious in the morning whether an offshore wind will likely tamp out any chances of a sea breeze or if a light sea breeze be able to blow up into the sailing area."

Click here, to read the rest of Chris's views on Rio weather.

Of course the fact that sailing is one of Brazil's strongest Olympic sports can only be good. The st
Isabel Swan getting wetrong legacy of success laid down by the likes of Torben Grael and Robert Scheidt means that there will be strong local attention on yachting.

So why, by the way, do you think Rio won the bid ahead of the other contenders Madrid, Chicag
o and Tokyo? After all, even the Obamas flew in to make the case for the Windy City.

Here's our theory. Isabel Swan (pictured right, and below with Pele) was one of the delegates for the Rio bid.
How could the Olympic selection committee resist? Isabel won a bronze medal in the 470 in Qingdao last year, crewing for Fernanda Oliveira, but now she's teaming up with Torben Grael's daughter Martine, who won the ISAF Youth Worlds in Brazil earlier this summer.

Isabel Swan with Pele and other Brazilian sports stars
© AP Photo: Isabel winning the Rio bid with Pele

Below you'll see a cool video of Isabel sailing with Fernanda in the 470....











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