On Friday, April 24, 2015 the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), “the world governing body of sailing threatened to move all of its events for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics out of the city’s Guanabara Bay if action isn’t taken quickly to clean the heavily polluted body of water that many sailors have described as an “open sewer.”” AP / Washington Post
GN024 is the site where the Super Bug was found in the same area where the boat marina is. Most of the 55 rivers that feed into the bay have been declared dead by scientists. GN093 has been the cleaner of the sites, because it is in the open ocean and the currents that run along the shore bring cleaner water through this area. The tide is 2.5 feet and goes in and out twice a day which flushes the waters around GN093, GN064 and GN306.
Two of the race courses are inside Guanabara Bay (at GN064 & GN306), and the other two are just outside the bay in the open ocean (around GN093). ISAF’s solution is that all racing must be moved to the open ocean course area. The marina is near GN024.
At last ISAF is starting to feel their oats, but their solution is anemic and completely incomplete.
Some sailors have become sick sailing in Guanabara Bay, sailors have run into garbage in Guanabara Bay damaging their boats. Just how does this proposal from ISAF get boats and sailors from inside Guanabara Bay where the marina is, out to the ocean courses some 5 kilometers (3 miles) away, or about 20 to 30 minutes of sailing, without the sailors contacting the water getting sick, or their boats running into debris damaging them and preventing them from competing for the day or days?
Will they bring in barges with launching ramps moving the sailors and fleet of boats from the marina out to the ocean course each day, launch and retrieve the boats from this floating platform, then return the barges back to shore with the teams and their boats after racing? This could work, but there’s no suggestion to do it. In absence of a solution like this, the same exact problems exists. the problem hasn’t been solved. Boats can become damaged before racing, sailors can become ill isolated from racing for a portion of the Games. The ISAF solution continues to provide a great potential of an unfair contest.
This has been ridiculous for years, and just doesn’t seem to get any better. ISAF, here’s what you need to do. Either require the barge solution, or abandon the Guanabara Bay venue entirely. Move to a different venue in a different town in Brazil in open ocean water that is much cleaner and safer than Guanabara Bay.
Stop playing pussy foot and get this done right.
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