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.