Runaway Leaders, Dempsey and Picon

Guanabara Bay delivered some great sailing conditions to launch the Olympic Sailing Competition today, but it was still very, very tricky out there.

Men’s Windsurfer – RS:X

Nick Dempsey (GBR) could scarcely believe the fairy tale start to his fifth Olympic Games. Just days away from his 36th birthday, the British veteran managed to pick up scores of 1,1,2. The defending Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe couldn’t quite match that level of excellence, but his freshly shaved head wasn’t hurting the Dutchman too much either as he finished the day with ever-improving scores of 5,3,1. Asked why he had shaved his head, as he had done four years earlier at London 2012, he said, “The Olympics are a good excuse to shave my head. Otherwise my wife wouldn’t let me do it.”

Dempsey was rightly pleased with his day. “A perfect start. I was pretty nervous this morning, really nervous. Training has been going really well, sailing fast. I was just nervous about something not going right, but it went so well. In the last race, the breeze dropped a few bombs on the course. It caught a few people out, a few people did well out of it, and I managed to hold on to 2nd, which was probably the best bit of the day.”

The issue of debris in the water has been a big talking point in the build-up to these Games, but Dempsey said, “Today was the best it’s ever been. When you’re winning a race and going fast, the only thing you worry about is another factor, like hitting something in the water, breaking a fin. But it didn’t, the water was fine and it’s a good result for Rio.”

Byron Kokkalanis also sailed very solidly to notch up scores of 2,2,6, and puts him in 3rd overall on equal points with Rijsselberghe.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition

Women’s Windsurfer – RS:X

Charline Picon (FRA) had a stunning start to her week, scoring 1,2,1 from the opening three races. Next best was Stefaniya Elfutina (RUS) who lies in second place ahead of Flavia Tartaglini (ITA). The defending Olympic Champion Marina Alabau (ESP) had a solid day to lie in 5th overall but one of the other pre-event favourites, Bryony Shaw (GBR) struggled and sits in tenth at the moment.

Picon was breathing a sigh of relief after racing. “I had a lot of pressure and to begin like that? Well I couldn’t have imagined that yesterday because I was a little bit stressed. I’m happy but I need to stay focussed.”

Local sailor Patricia Freitas (BRA) revelled in the stronger breezes to lie in sixth overall. “We had a very good day, sunshine and strong winds, unexpected for this time of year. The Brazilian spirit is everywhere, it’s very special for us to have people watching us racing because that doesn’t happen very often in sailing. Thanks to the Bay we can set up a good place for the people to watch, and when we were rounding the mark near the beach I could recognise a few friends. It was a great spirit and great to be part of.”


The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing CompetitionThe Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition

Text – World Sailing
Photography – Sailing Energy

Find information below on how to follow the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.

A full list of sailors racing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is available to view here – Results will be available on World Sailing’s Olympic Website when racing starts on Monday 8 August here –

The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking. Live tracking will be available when racing commences via –

Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7″ or greater screens.

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The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. The competition status screen will be available when racing commences via –

Sailing journalist Craig Leweck will be following the racing LIVE on World Sailing’s Olympic Blog throughout Rio 2016. Follow LIVE here –

World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here –

To find out who your Olympic broadcaster is, click here – The following link – – will redirect you to the Rights Holding Broadcaster in your country.

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