APOIO RIO – 2016
Presentation at the ‘Sail for Gold’ Regatta at Weymouth/Portland - June 2012
Hosted by Castle Cove Sailing Club
This document can also be downloaded as a PDF here.
Welcome and thank you for your time to meet with us this evening.
My name is Colin Reed and Jorge Rodriques (Finn sailors from ICRJ, Rio de Janeiro).
We are two humble missionaries seeking to understand the position of the International Sailing Teams (IST’s) wrt the provision of facilities for training in Guanabarra Bay for the 2016 Olympics.
First of all, an explanation of ‘‘Apoio Rio 2016’’, literally ‘Help Rio 2016’
‘Apoio Rio 2016’ is being set-up to work in conjunction with FEVERJ and other established Brazilian sailing federations, to provide the operations side of team training support.
‘Apoio Rio 2016’ will provide coordination, representation, advice and other services to help the IST’s any way that we can.
The philosophy proposed here is to form a community. Lessons learned will be used for the benefit of all.
The need for on-site training is fundamental for any Olympic competition.
IST’s have their way of working, so it is fundamental for Brazil to understand what is required to assist the IST’s.
That said, it will be important for the IST’s to have knowledge of conditions in Brazil and the way things work.
Both sides have a lot to learn, and no doubt adjustments will be made on both sides.
Sailing is the only Olympic sport that requires full training facilities three/four years before the actual event.
At present these training facilities do not exist, but there are resources available.
These need to be identified and brought into use.
It will take a great deal of effort and coordination from everyone involved.
Marina da Gloria is scheduled to be rebuilt for the 2016 Olympics.
Work has not started, and doesn’t look like starting any time soon, and there are “issues” in play.
Any comment here would be speculative, but the normal course of life in Brazil is expected.
No doubt the venue will be ready on the day. Early? Brazil doesn’t do early, it’s not in the country’s DNA.
2, Weather Conditions in Guanabarra Bay
Normal Summer Weather. Winds inside the Bay are driven by thermal effects, with little or no wind at night, a light northerly in the morning, and a building sea breeze from the south/south west.
The sea breeze generally establishes itself by 11.00 – 12.00 across most of the Bay area.
Once the sea breeze is stable, time for sailing training will be between 11.00 to 18.00 hrs.
By mid afternoon, the sea breeze can become very strong. With the interference of the high relief mountains, (Sugar Loaf, Morro do Urca, and Morro do Leme), these heavy gusts of wind slam down into the Bay with sudden and variable directions.
During this time, ‘wind over tide’ effects can produce some interesting and uncomfortable conditions.
By 16.00, as the sun starts its descent, this sea breeze will start to diminish. By night fall the wind generally fall away altogether.
Abnormal Summer Weather. In the hot summer months, cyclonic cold fronts from Argentina, produce violent storms, with heavy rain and strong winds. Duration is generally not long, usually 3 or 4 days, leaving strong seas running outside the Bay, and bringing heavy, long period, swells into the Bay.
In Winter, the thermal effects are greatly reduced. In normal conditions the light morning northerly breeze can be stronger, sometimes not. The sea breeze may overcome the northerly breeze, and if it does, the time for training in stable winds is greatly reduced compared to summer months.
In the winter months, night time falls quickly. The wind can die even quicker. A lot of paddling, or towing, can be expected to return boats to your host club.
During winter, the cold fronts from Argentina are correspondingly stronger. These conditions can be expected to last longer. Experience shows these weather fronts can park over Rio for up to two weeks, giving lively wind gradients, with cold overcast conditions with showers, sometimes prolonged.
The effects of the tide (range of around 1.3 metres) flooding into an area close to 400 sq km, are strong and complex.
The tidal stream ebbs and floods through the narrow entrance to the Bay at Sugar Loaf Mountain.
This entrance is complicated by a small fortified island (disused) that causes many back flows and eddies.
These are quite pronounced, and are easily seen as the difference between sea water (clean) and Bay water (not clean)
Tide flows into the many separate bays around the periphery of Guanabarra bay is also an issue.
Note The highest high tide is 1.25m, The lowest low tide is 0.05m. The highest high tide does not coincide with the lowest low tide.
3, Conditions outside the Bay
Here the IST’s are not at a big disadvantage, as there is very little racing outside of the Bay in open waters.
Normal Summer weather. Winds outside Guanabarra Bay are driven by the general area weather system gradients. There are some thermal effects, generally small.
Winds are generally very different from inside the Bay, more inconsistent and lighter in strength.
Sea breeze effects close to shore will dissipate earlier than inside the Bay.
Daily time duration for sailing training is variable.
Normal Winter weather, normally general area weather system gradients predominate. There are some thermal effects, generally small.
Darkness falls quickly, as does the winds.
Data collection outside the bay will be important if ISAF intends to set courses outside the Bay.
Abnormal winter weather, cold fronts from Argentina, are correspondingly stronger. These conditions last longer, and these weather fronts can park for up to two weeks, giving cold windy overcast conditions.
Racing outside in open waters, in these conditions, will be very difficult, if not dangerous.
Large swells reflect off the various mainland mountains and the islands offshore.
Tidal currents will influence these conditions, and waves can be high.
4, Data Gathering
ISAF will mandate the course areas to be used. (three or five may be used)
All areas inside the Bay have big differences, both in wind effects and tidal currents.
It will be important to learn and understand all these differing conditions.
WRT to data gathering, inquires need to be progressed. It is believed that the Marina do Brasil will control this. For certain, the installation of any data gathering buoys will come under their control.
At this stage, it is suggested that CBVM or ISAF Brazil resolve this question.
5, When to Train
One possibility is concentrate on the Olympic months (Aug / Sept). However this could easily cause overload at the host clubs. Also the full range of weather conditions may not manifest itself during this period.
August, low tide is:- 11.23 hrs @ 0.41m. (Good news, as racing will start on a flood tide, in clean sea water).
Therefore, to experience, learn and understand the complex tidal streams in Guanabarra Bay, training programmes could be structured to start when the same low tide occurs as per the tidal predictions.
This will be twice in any calendar month.
This opens up the time available for training, say from the month of May through to mid December, when the temperature range relates more to the winter months.
However, the temperature range in winter does vary from nice warm days (25C), to cold days (15C). Remember, in the Bay, thermal effects generally predominate.
Weather systems at this time of year are known for light winds.
A training period might not get a full range of weather systems, sea breezes, cold fronts, etc.
July can be a particularly dead month for sailing.
Therefore, some training in the summer months is suggested, as the strong sea breeze has a similarity in strength, and more importantly direction, to the winds produced by the cold fronts.
In summer, these sea breezes are more consistent, or less inconsistent, depending on ones perspective.
6, Host Clubs
It must be understood, that host yacht clubs are in reality members clubs with a marine bias.
In ICRJ there are many different sectors, three fishing, the dry sailed formula racers, the dry sailed class racers (e.g. J-24’s), the dinghy sailors, the cruisers, the swimming club, the tennis club, the people who use the gym, and the social members, not forgetting the ‘blue rinse’ brigade, who take coffee on the veranda each morning or afternoon.
Club members with businesses like to host business lunches/dinners et al, in the comfortable restaurant.
All these differing groups want one thing, a car parking space.
Because of this, it will be virtually impossible to find space for team containers on site in any of the host clubs.
Loading and unloading is possible in some clubs that have suitable access for large articulated lorry’s. Some clubs have very restricted entrances that cannot accept this type of traffic.
Therefore, a separate ‘Logistics Base’ is seen as by far the best option, and investigations are underway to bring such a facility into being.
Space in the Clubs
All host clubs have very little spare space. It is the one thing they don’t have.
ICRJ, Rio’s largest club, is full. Every hanger is full, all hard-standings are occupied. Club membership is growing, and the problem increases.
Logistics is the major problem to solve, and hopefully the solution is in sight. ‘Apoio Rio 2016’ is in negotiations to provide the required facilities.
FEVERJ is also in negotiations for a site, but negotiations are slow, and the situation does not look positive.
Please advise your requirements to help with this. The specification is required to become the basis of any subsequent contract.
The Logistics Base will be used for packing and unpacking of team containers, with full facilities (electrical supply potable water supply, rest rooms and showers, and somewhere to eat and make drinks, etc).
During any training period, equipment that is not required on site, e.g containers, container packing material, RIB trailers, et al, can be stored at the Logistics Base to make maximum use of the space on site.
The Logistics Base will also be capable of long term storage in containers.
Long term storage during training period (2013-2016) brings the question of importation (of 2nd hand equipment).
Stored equipment between training periods may need to be quarantined to satisfy Customs requirements. Brazilian customs are strict and enforce the law.
Some teams will ship out at the end of a training period. It is believed that equipment brought into the country for a short period of time, and is seen to be required immediately afterwards in another country, is not technically imported. (think Formula 1 for example)
This major problem regarding importation has been identified and needs resolution. (ISAF / ODA)
Once team equipment is unpacked at the Logistics Base, it can be wet sailed or wet towed to site (the host club). Failing that, dry towing (using team trailers) can be provided by ‘Apoio Rio 2016’.
Team road trailers must meet the Brazilian regulations. (similar to the USA regulations that require two safety chains in case of ball hitch failure.
It is assumed that ball hitches are the standard 50mm unit. If different, please bring a spare hitch to be attached to our vehicle’s towing bar)
A lighting board will be provided as part of the service.
8, Other Services
‘Apoio Rio 2016’ will consider requests for any other services. If sufficient demand for a particular service is requested, we will find a way to deliver and manage that service.
Here are some ideas that may prove useful:-
Banking: IST’s will need access to Brazilian banking services, bringing saving in bank and transfer fees. Being able to pay accounts in Brazilian Reals via cheque or bank cards will be useful.
This requires registration. It is believed that IST’s can open Brazilian bank accounts via their national consulates. HSCB and ITAU are two of the banks that provide a good international service.
Given the uncertainty regarding the major currencies and their exchange rates, IST’s may wish to take advantage of the high interest rates on savings accounts currently available in Brazil to fix team budgets over the period of operations.
Brazilian banking rules need to be understood to avoid any difficulties.
What the exchange rate will be over the next few years is anybody’s guess.
‘Apoio Rio 2016’ does not expect to become involved in team banking. However, we will help where we can.
Health Services – Rio de Janeiro has excellent private health care.
The doctors are world class and very helpful.
There is a major centre in Botofogo (Polo Medico) where a large number of doctors have their practice.
Most have specialties, and divide their time between the major hospitals and/or belong to the Federal Medical Universities in Rio de Janeiro.
A single consultation is around R$400 reals.
Medical testing is carried out by the major laboratory’s using prescriptions provided by a registered doctor.
A major hospital with full emergency services needs to be identified so that patients can be taken there without delay. This hospital should be able to provide emergency treatment and/or medical stabilisation prior to medical evacuation back to his/her home country.
A major health insurance company recently hosted a major sailing championship in Rio de Janeiro. If the IST’s have an interest, this insurance company could be contacted to provide heath services in Rio de Janeiro.
Insurance Services - a full range of insurance services can be provided by our full licensed professional broker.
9, Commercial Services in Rio de Janeiro
There are a number of service companies in the area. For reference here are a few of them:-
North Sails - Edu Penido (VP of FEVERJ and 470 gold medallist crew) operates a North Sails loft based in ICRJ.
Edu is has also ordered six team support boats built for team coaching purposes.
Edu is also offering high level coaching services. (see www.edupenido.com.br)
Jorge Rodrigues has a partnership with a dinghy builder (Holos Brazil) and is currently building an updated version of the International Finn. Holos Brazil can provide both GRP / Carbon hulls, carbon masts (for Finns) and repairs of all types..
There are a number of chandlery’s in the area:-
One of the main supply of fittings in Brazil is Holt Nautos. (www.nautos.com.br).
The main Holt Nautos outlets can be found in ICRJ, also Marina da Gloria.
There are two other chandlery’s located in ICRJ.
There are also shops available for Harken fittings (Regatta - http://www.regatta.com.br/)
Ronstan (Nautica 30 Nós - http://www.nautica30nos.com.br/)
d Outboard Engines - Here are a few helpful websites:-
d Outboard Engines - Here are a few helpful websites:-
10, Cost Saving Ideas
Brazil has become expensive during recent years. The currency is strong, although it has weakened slightly in the last few months. The costs of living is high.
Accommodation rentals are climbing, and team managers need to understand Brazilian regulations re rental property other than short term lets.
Hotel prices at peak times can exceed an eye watering US$1000/day. Booking early helps, booking locally can save tourist taxes.
The following ideas maybe of interest:-
Laser dinghy’s can be made available for hire. These would be refurbished, little used, hulls. They can be provided fully complete, ex sail. They would be based at ICRJ, for use any time
New International Finn’s to a very good standard are available in Brazil. Carbon masts can also be ordered. (It is recommended sailors bring their sail)
A number of Finn’s could be made available for rent, based at ICRJ.
Learning the complex wind and tidal currents in Guanabarra Bay can be accomplished in any sailing craft. At ICRJ there are a number of unused Snipe dinghy’s that can be brought into service, fully complete.
The local Snipe fleet has some very fast helms. Training against them would be a quick path to learning the complexities of Guanabarra Bay, especially in the first two years of training.
During team training activities, it could be possible to participate in club racing, generally run by ICRJ.
The Brazilian sailors will like the chance to sail against international helms, and international helms can learn from the local sailors who know very well the conditions in Guanabarra Bay.
Note: The details in this document have been written in good faith. No responsibility for the contents is assumed or accepted by the author.