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Rio Intergalactic

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10 of the best 49er teams and 4 of the best 49erFX teams face off in Olympic waters to test themselves and the race course 2 years out from the games.  Teams from Britain, Austria, Ireland, Germany Denmark, have joined the Brazilian teams in a training camp and regatta to get comfortable with the area.

The 4 regatta days of the Intergalactics posed an interesting challenge for the sailors format wise.  They want to learn about sailing full size beats, but with only 10 boats face lower racing density than normal.  Allan Norregaard, a member of the 49er class format committee suggested to have full size single lap race instead of double lap races.  To keep the downwinds the same as normal, teams will race to a leeward gate set 200m below the start line, round and then finish to windward back through the start line.  “It will be just like club racing back home commented Ireland’s Matt McGovern, check out all the details from his helm Ryan Seaton.

The teams have scheduled 6 of the 1 lap races each day but have also set a maximum time of 3 hours, so they’ll stop racing at which ever limit they hit first.  Each day the teams will decide what format to use and what area to sail in based on the forecast.

The Intergalactics is about Rio fun as much as it’s about getting to know the Olympic race courses.  There is a full social schedule each day and teams must participate in the social or face disqualification;)

On the morning of day 1, a hike up to the Chinese Vista for breakfast.  The view was fantastic in the morning light as hundreds of local cyclists journeyed up the windy and step but quiet roads through the largest metro jungle in the world.  The climb takes about 30 minutes, and then roads continue for another hour along the hillsides all the way to the Christ the Redeemer statue pictured above.  Breakfast was followed by a trip to a local waterfall for Tommyshowers and a bit of heat relief, as the morning temperatures quickly jumped over 35 degrees.  The 6 am start isn’t normal for the sailors, but was worth it… already facing disqualification are the Austrians, who didn’t make the journey.

Dave

After Day 1 there is a BBQ at the ramp, Day 2 is Pizza night, and Saturday night is Samba night.  It’s going to be a full regatta!  Each day’s winner will receive a bottle of Kashasa and the overall winners will receive Seiko watches and return airfare to the 2014 Intergalactics!  The atmosphere at this training camp has been fantastic, with loads of top 10 sailors pushing themselves and each other on the water followed by quality socializing and exploration of this interesting and dynamic city.

Another interesting twist is that a local NGO will be showing up on Saturday with the local and international press to ask the international teams about the water quality in Rio. The goal of this organization is to force the local water company to accept public oversight for it’s actions and enforce sewage treatment for the area.

The top ranked sailors include:

49er

  • Allan Norregaard / Anders Thomsen – DEN
  • Dylan Fletcher / Alain Sign – GBR
  • Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel – GER
  • Dave Evans / Ed Pows – GBR
  • Nico Delle Karth / Niko Relsh – AUT
  • Ryan Seaton / Matt McGovern – IRL
  • Benjamin Bildstein/David Hussl – AUT
  • Dante / Thomas Lowbeer – BRA
  • Marco Grael / Gabriel Borges – BRA
  • The Brazilian fleet!

49erFX

  • Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth – GBR
  • Frances Peters / Nicola Groves – GBR
  • Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze – BRA
  • Juju Senff / Gabriela Nicolino

Waterfall Tree Rio

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This is the first Intergalactic Championship of Rio and is the brainchild of Brazilian sail Thomas Lowbeer.  Thomas is the South American president and organized a number of foreign teams who wanted to spend time in Rio to come in December and have a regatta.

There are top 49er teams in both the 49er & 49erFX including:

  • Allan Norregaard / Anders Thomsen – DEN
  • Dylan Fletcher / Alain Sign – GBR
  • Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel – GER
  • Dave Evans / Ed Pows – GBR
  • Nico Delle Karth / Niko Relsh – AUT
  • Ryan Seaton / Matt McGovern – IRL
  • The Brazilian fleet!

49erFX

  • Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth – GBR
  • Frances Peters / Nicola Groves – GBR
  • Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze – BRA
  • Juju Senff / Gabriela Nicolino

The 4 day regatta should be a fun one with so many top 10 teams all chasing the Olympic dream!