Olympic Sailing: Women’s 470 and Nacra 17

I wanted to say something about Sailing events in the Rio Games set to start in 2 days, but it is really hard to track down info.

470sailingSmall boat racing is always chaotic. I’m not sure the 2 images quite convey how out-of-control it can be at times. (In both cases you can click on the image for a larger view.)

I started looking for info on the Women’s 470 event. Now in track and field, “470” would refer to the length of the race, but in sailing it actually refers to the length of the boat. 4.70 meters, with a crew of 2.

The USA Women’s 470 team consists of Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha. Haeger hales from SE Wisconsin, where she grew up sailing on a relatively small lake. This is noteworthy given that almost everyone else on the team is a coastal/ocean sailor. (Bora Gulari – see below – is from Detroit.) Provancha is from San Diego, CA.

Nacra17But try and find information on the Nacra 17 team representing the US. See, it is not a Men’s event and it is not a Women’s event. The teams are one man and one woman. Since the US Olympic site is divided into Men’s and Women’s events…. If you didn’t know that Nacra 17 was an event, you wouldn’t find it. And most of the news stories talk about the French and Australian teams, because 1) sailing is big in those 2 countries and 2) they are currently winning everything.

Bora Gulari (of Detroit) and Louisa Chafee (from Rhode Island) are sailing the Nacra 17 for the USA. This is a beach cat on steroids. Or something. And yes, it is a foiling cat. (Welcome to the future.) A new 2016 Nacra 17 will set you back about $20,000. Here is a video of a Nacra 17 that is flying on flat water. Remember that these folks are sailing in waters that are contaminated. Yuck

That’s all the time I have right now.