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Posts Tagged ‘guanabara bay’

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The Rio countdown continues, and the latest bit of prurient news for those waiting for the action is a gem.  According to The Daily Beast, the IOC has ordered 450,000 condoms for the 10,000+ athletes in the Olympic Villlage for the month and change they’re on the ground. That’s around 40 rubbers per olympian, and evidence that fold medal marksman Mark Russell wasn’t lying when he called the Olympic Village “the most testosterone fuelled place on earth.” The Guardian reported that ‘after Beijing 2008, an Olympic table-tennis player divulged the secrets of the “sex fest” and the “volcanic release of pent-up hedonism” that apparently happens when thousands of athletes at the top of their game come together.”‘  Maybe this is why so many athletes dedicate half their lives to the Olympics?

Gone Viral

ISAF World Sailing is proving just how serious it is about their sailors’ health in Rio; we recently had a peek at an urgent memo from an unnamed ISAF official to all “International Technical Officers” that concluded that “athletes, coaches, and race officials…did not have a significantly increased health risk through water contact…above the normal tourist population visiting Rio.”  And we think they actually expect everyone to believe that.

In other words, sailors with raw, frequently abraded and cut-up bodies, immersed in water proven to be filled with nasty viruses, have no more chance of getting sick than a tourist at a hotel in Copacabana.  Their caveat is that this warm, safe place is only available to those who follow the World Sailing safe list below.  And again, they aren’t joking.  From the memo:

On the water:

Rub hands and forearms with alcohol based disinfectant for 3 minutes, including:
– both hands, then forearms, then both hands again for a total of 30 seconds
-repeat the same 30 second provedure 5 times, each time with new disinfectant
-wait for the hands to dry fully before eating or drinking on board
– rinse your mouth with mouthwast (containing 0.05% chlrohexidine digluconate…) before eating or drinking

On shore after disembarking:

-use the water hose to shower immediately on return from sailing
-your recovery procedure may require to you drink and eat immediately on arrival on land after sailing.  Before you actually do so – wash your hands with liquid soap and water for 60 seconds and dry them with paper towels.

Aaaaand…..you’re good!

Russian Dressing

Our final Olympic news impacts sailing far less than other sports, and it’s not really news at all just yet; the IOC has delayed its decision on whether to ban all of Russia from competing in Rio after WADA investigator Richard McLaren found Russia to be behind a comprehensive program of state-sponsored doping.  If you’ve been hiding in a cave and missed this fascinating story of what may be the biggest program of cheating in the history of sport, it’s worth having a look (start with the Beeb here.)

The IOC also said it will:

  • Not organise or back any sports events or meetings in Russia, including the European Games, scheduled for June 2019;
  • Start disciplinary action against Russian officials named in the report compiled by Dr Richard McLaren;
  • Ban Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko from the Rio Games;
  • Urge McLaren to continue his work and name individual Russian cheats;
  • Encourage individual sports federations to look for any Russian infringements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code.

 

 

July 19th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 10.52.02 AMChaos in Brazil is nothing new, but the past several months have seen things deteriorate in an unprecedented way. Just last week, over a million people protested the corrupt government and demanded President Dilma Rousseff’s resignation, but that was just a prologue.  Since then, that same President named the past President as her Chief of Staff, prompting the judicial release of wiretapped recordings of the President seemingly admitting she was appointing him to her cabinet to spare him from arrest for corruption.

That forced the people back into the streets, and with the worst recession in a century well on its way and the Zika Virus and pollution scandals destroying any chance the country had of converting the billions they’ve spent on the Olympics into tourism industry growth, it is entirely possible we’ll see a full national riot or a straight-up coup d’etat at some point in the next few months, if not during the Olympics.  It’s sobering stuff.

At the Olympic venue itself, somehow ISAF World Sailing is delighted that the Marina De Gloria sewage outflow will (possibly, maybe, hopefully) be capped sometime in May.  This is the same pipe past CEO Peter Sowrey promised to cap by last November regardless of politics…just before he got the boot.  We’re not oddsmakers, but we’re definitely not taking the bet that this time they’re telling the truth about the May date.  A better bet would be a few days before the Olympics starts.

The rowers are at least as nervous as the sailors (and the Divers are bitching now, too), especially given the kind of abuse their hands get.  The chemical, physical, and mental preparation for this one is on a level none have seen before, but Olympians are programmed to act, and they’ll bite down on their dental dams and get to work.  Few, if any, are turning down their spot out of fear – it’s just not in their genes.  Unfortunately for organizers, spectators are susceptible to fear, and they’re staying home.

It didn’t help that the mayor told the public not to blow their money on waterfront tickets, and instead set their chairs up on free land, “drink your beer in peace with your family…and watch the rowing for free.”

Bad news for the Olympics, but good news for the athletes and the media – it makes life easier for us.  And for sailing, it’s a mixed blessing – more people (online, anyway) and mainstream reporters will be paying attention to Guanabara Bay than to any Olympic sailing venue in history.  As long as no one loses a medal after getting a dead body wrapped around their rudder or loses a limb or their life from some shit-borne zombie virus, there’s a real chance sailing could win some new spectators – something the sport desperately needs after its second-to-last performance among all sports broadcasts in 2012.

Who says Sailing Anarchy can’t find a silver lining? Here’s the place to talk about everything Rio 2016.

 

 

March 18th, 2016 by admin

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There have been precious few counterpoints to the Rio pollution monster, and while the author of the below piece is wrong about quite a few things (namely that our own SA staff spent dozens of hours in-country investigating the situation on both water and land, talking to locals, and speaking with Brazilian scientists), it’s good to see some of that famous Brazilian pride come out. 

Hi there, I am a sailor from Rio. until recently on 49er campaign for the Olympics. just lost the qualifying to Marco Grael (yes, Torben’s son). I see you are a big critic on Rio pollution. Not sure how much of it is to make news and get hits or how much of it is actually of interest to you.

I did notice as well that you have never talked to a single Brazilian regarding this matter. Never contacted a single club in Guanabara Bay, I dare to say you have never even sailed there. You might find some different pov.

Dont get me wrong, I am not trying to state that there is no pollution, or that people should not push for depolution. I just want to raise a point – can sailing be done in Guanabara Bay?

I think it’s histerical to hear that ISAF president says he would resign if he doenst get depolution. What does he know about politics in Rio? Did you know that there are 15 municipalities around the bay? that the biggest water treatment plant in Latin America is right there, but the Mayor of that town refuses to clean the shit of the neigbour town?

Anyway, again off the point, but would just like to overstate how these brits are still thinking collonialy.

Every year, the Opti Nationals are packed with over 100 little kids. Every year Rio has the biggest fleet from all states. So this means that every year, on your opinion, really stupid parents allow their sons and daughters to face death when sailing their optis around the bay, or the lagoon (even worse polution). But aren’t these the same parents who run one of the biggest economies on the planet?

Is there a chance they are not too stupid? that they know, albeit polluted, it is not as harmful as advertised?

I find it really strange that all these little kids manage to sail their way around the plastic bags, find their gusts, round their marks, and those big boys with medals and sponsors, cant even put their boats on the water.

Getting your info from germ free americans, or isaf bureocrats might not be the best source of info.

Through this Olympic Cicle I have hosted 8-10 teams from different countries and classes. Still to find 1 who says this place isnt paradise. Can you picture this with crystal clear water? I think it’s just a way of making it fair with everywhere else.

Cheers from a SA follower
Thomas Low-Beer

 

January 29th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.58.56 AMAs Mr. Clean works on the report of his 8-day trip hanging with the US Sailing Team Sperry, combing through the pollution of Guanabara Bay, and the endless ass parade that are Copacabana and Ipanema Beach, we figured we’d share some information with you that explains why we don’t ask Olympic Athletes whether they ‘feel comfortable’ competing in nasty and dangerous water.  Because around half of them would literally choose death in five years if it guaranteed them a medal.  From a New York Times piece on doping comes this description of the Goldman Dilemma, and here’s a pertinent study.

There’s a well-known survey in sports, known as the Goldman Dilemma. For it, a researcher, Bob Goldman, began asking elite athletes in the 1980s whether they would take a drug that guaranteed them a gold medal but would also kill them within five years. More than half of the athletes said yes. When he repeated the survey biannually for the next decade, the results were always the same. About half of the athletes were quite ready to take the bargain.

Only recently did researchers get around to asking nonathletes the same question. In results published online in February, 2009 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, exactly 2 of the 250 people surveyed in Sydney, Australia, said that they would take a drug that would ensure both success and an early death. “We were surprised,” James Connor, Ph.D., a lecturer at the University of New South Wales and one of the study’s authors, said in an e-mail message. “I expected 10-20 percent yes.” His conclusion, unassailable if inexplicable, is that “elite athletes are different from the general population, especially on desire to win.”

Check back later in the week for Sailing Anarchy’s carefully researched and written onclusion on the water problem.  And in the meantime, let’s give new ISAF CEO Peter Sowery some props for at least getting a threat to move the racing on record.

August 24th, 2015 by admin

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With so many Olympic sailors having grown up as part of the SA community, we’re especially pissed about the continuing mess in Guanabara Bay, Brazil. Longtime sailing cheerleader Glenn McCarthy is staying on top of it with one smart solution; we pulled this piece from Chicago Now.

HOW HARD IS IT TO MOVE A VENUE?

  • Years ago, a sailing event in Springfield, IL ran out of water in their lake due to drought, within two weeks, they had it rescheduled at Lake Geneva, WI some 250 miles away.
  • People who sail iceboats retain flexibility as a way of life.  A few years ago their World’s Championship was scheduled to be held in Minnesota, they held out hoping for cold to freeze their lakes, with less than a week to go, they shifted their World’s Championship to the Finger Lakes region of New York, 1,000+ miles away.

There are at least two open ocean venues where major regattas in Brazil have been held, one is 2 hours, 75 miles, away from Rio, another 4 hours away.  Having the sailing portion of the Olympics/Paralympics away from the host city is not uncommon.  In the 1996 Atlanta, GA Games, the sailing venue was 250 miles away in Savannah, GA.  At the 2008 Bejing, China Games sailing was held in Qingdao, China some 430 miles away.  In the 2012 London Games, sailing was in Weymouth, England about 135 miles away.

Sure moving the Olympics and Paralympics might be a tad more work, but there is over one year to do it.  That is ample time.  Rather than scrambling for housing for the competitors and race officials, a cruise ship can be rented and anchored off the beach.  A cruise ship is a floating city and can provide housing, meals, medical facility and lighters/tenders for shuttling people back to the shore.  A cruise ship was rented recently for housing for a convention in San Francisco recently.  Security can be done with a couple of Navy boats around the cruise ship.  Problem solved.

Read on.

 

April 14th, 2015 by admin

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Moth, skiff, and Red Bull Youth AC Anarchist Ian Andrewes checks in from his Nacra 17 action in Rio after 2 weeks of ‘the most effective training camp he’s ever been part of’.  It was also a trip that featured the disturbing sights of toxic sludge, a navy burial at sea right off the harbor mouth, and a fireworks display that sent a yacht club’s members fleeing for their lives; in other words, a typical month in Rio. We dig Ian’s take on the dilemmas of an Olympic trialler and we hope you do too.  Thank him over here, or over here.

When I first came down to Brazil in August after a last-minute decision, it was to compete in the AqueceRio Olympic Test Event. Everything was moving quickly and it wasn’t until my hour-long cab ride back to the airport that I found myself looking out the window, realizing I hadn’t spent enough time in this place. I didn’t understand what made Rio so unique or the way it manages to stay on just this side of total madness. How could I describe it to my friends and family?

I’d get another chance when we came back down this month, and I was determined to learn this place better and try to decide how I truly feel about the controversial waters Guanabara Bay. The Bay has been called one of the most beautiful places in the world, with absolutely perfect sailing conditions, and it’s been described as one of the most polluted and horrendously disgusting bodies of water in the world, completely inappropriate for any waterborne activity.  And both are correct.

My first day back this trip, one of first things I noticed was the lack of trash in the water compared to last summer; conditions that had required a rudder or board cleaning every 50 meters then.   Much can be attributed to the odd garbage scows, roaming the water like giant aquatic Roombas and scooping up everything in their path, including the odd junior in an Opti.  It struck me as a wonderful improvement, but then I started to notice the water color – not the brown of the typical estuarine bay, but the thick, particle-choked haze of the untreated sewage flowing directly into our racing area.

I do believe this place is seriously sick. The waters are not just dirty; they are toxic and poisonous. Every day thousands of dead fish have been washing up on the beaches like its the apocalypse – their rotting bodies adding to the already pungent aroma of raw sewage at low tide. The ones that aren’t quite dead flop around in an epileptic dance of rainbow-hued oily sludge and sand right until their death.

I have noticed a decrease in the amount of garbage in the Bay, but there’s still plenty of work to be done, and I think all the sailors are hoping their organizations keep the pressure up.

Rio is a strange place, difficult to compare easily to other cities I know. Favelas rule the politics despite being made up of the poorest squatters and the nastiest criminals. Some people seem to pay taxes, but most don’t.  In Niteroi, just across the bay, you find multimillion dollar houses along the waterfront, immediately adjacent to squatting families living in shacks made of driftwood, corrugated steel, and dock scraps.  But of course the shacks are loaded with electricity, satellite TV and running water courtesy of the welfare system…All of this disparity and more yet nobody seems all that disgruntled.

In fact, most locals I’ve met seem generally quite happy. Maybe they complain about a politician’s decision or about the bad traffic, but the conversation never seems to carry on past that. Maybe something in the water gives these people such a cheerful disposition.

We’re all hoping that the Olympics will help to shine spotlight the environmental issues in Rio, and that the public attention leads to improved sewage treatment and pollution control, not for us but for the people of Rio.  They deserve better.

As sailors, we need to promote and encourage change that extends far beyond this event.. I will keep coming back to this place as my captivation with the scenery and the strangely pleasant locals only makes me want to see change sooner. I hope each trip down to this gauche city in Brazil will show that steps are being made in the right direction and that it’s not too late.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

December 24th, 2014 by admin

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