Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio

Start 49erFX - 2014 49er and 49erFX European Championships - Day 5
Red Bull 49erFX team of Molly Meech and Alex Maloney report on their second tour in Europe and the just concluded European Championships

We have mixed emotions about our time in Helsinki. A week on from the 2014 Europeans the dust has settled, and we are able to see our strengths and weaknesses more clearly - our performance over the competition had its highs and lows, but we are happy with a 3rd place. We think our campaign is on track, and most importantly we have identified the major gaps, which we will look to improve on going forward and before the Worlds this year.

Since competing, we have had some great time away from the boat park and were able to see some amazing places. After packing up and loading the trailer, which has made its way back down to Spain, we had a great team dinner in Helsinki, and a bit of a boogie with the other sailors until sunrise (which isn’t that impressive being so far north, the stars are rarely out!). The next day we headed to Berlin where we had four days of being hosted by friends and Molly’s old flatmate Louisa - a bunch of kiwis exploring the city.

Our first day has been pretty chilled here in Rio, spent checking out the local sailing club and then waiting for our missing baggage to arrive. The scenery is breath-taking, with the mountains that surround the bay and steep cliffs leading into the water. You can just imagine what Rio would have looked like when the explorers first found it. Before humans inhabited the bays, it must have been a luscious, beautiful paradise, where we have been told whales once had their breeding grounds.

Unfortunately, with the hillside Favelas, comes the run off of human waste, and the once clean water now looks not so appealing with rubbish swimming in it and the water taking on a dirty brown colour. We have our fingers crossed that all of our team makes it out of Rio without getting sick!

For the remainder of this blog including first thoughts on the Olympic venue at Rio and the much discussed pollution issue click here

The view from the NZL Sailing Team’s base camp in Rio
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