2016 Olympic Sailing in Guanabara Bay, Am I Tilting at Windmills? Part 1

What happens when someone goes rogue and is all alone in their thoughts?  I don’t know, because it’s not happening here.  The following people from the media emailed me or others posted comments on Facebook concerning this series of articles on the wrong decision to have sailing compete in Guanabara Bay for the 2016 Sailing Olympics:

David McCreary, USA, Scuttlebutt Europe, 6/18/2015:
“As editor of Scuttlebutt Europe since 2000, and as ISAF webmaster from 1995-2000 (and in Savannah for the 96 sailing events)… I’ve never heard so many persons describe in absolute horror the water conditions at any event. Anywhere. Ever. My April Fools article about razor sharp “turd cutter” dolphin strikers is not far from reality. Some world class sailor, a near-certain medal winner, is going to have four years of blood and sweat turn into tears when he or she hits a dead dog or other partially submerged animal carcass and pitchpoles. The adverse television publicity will deal a near-death blow to sailing in all future Olympics. We no longer have Jacques Rogge, a Finn sailor, to speak for the sport at the top of the IOC.”

Bob Fisher, UK, Sailing Writer, 6/2/2015:
“On this side of the ditch, I suppose I am the leader of the charge against the polluted site being used and since finishing my three years as Chairman of the Yachting Journalists Association, I have a little more time at my disposal to do some work in this direction.”

Chad Lyons, USA, Windsurfer, 5/13/2015:
“BTW, I have been sharing your posts with the core Windsurfing Guardians in a backchannel thread. Most of the group wants to have a venue change. However there is one member of the core group who has reservations. He has said there will be fallout to a venue change.”

Jake Kavanaugh, UK, business to business journalist, 5/7/2015:
Totally agree with your views – but I know where you are coming from. In Germany they say that if you get someone interested in sailing before the age of 30, you will keep them for life! There is a lot more we can do to promote this healthy outdoor sport, which brings with it a greater appreciation – and therefore protection – of the environment.The strict ecological rules in Croatia bear testimony to that. Media reach, as you say, is key.
Please do keep the updates coming – your efforts for the whole industry are being noticed, and hopefully by the people who can influence things.
Very best wishes for your ongoing campaign to clean things up and promote our wonderful sport.
Kind regards

Peter Nash, UK, BoatingBusiness.com, 5/7/2015:
These buoys will provide the data you need to prove your point and help get the toxic waters of Guanamara Bay cleaned up to keep our sailors and watersports participants safe in the run up to and during the 2016 Olympics.   http://www.marinetechnologynews.com/news/buoys-support-janeiro-olympics-513766″

Jake Kavanaugh, UK, Freelance Marine Journalist UK, 4/29/2015:
Thanks for keeping us appraised. Having visited the Rio Boat Show a while back, I know that they are struggling with the water quality in the area. Appreciate your initiative on this matter.
Best wishes”

Scot Tempesta, US, SailingAnarchy.com, 4/27/2015:
Name Withheld Upon Request, 4/20/2015:
“Thanks and well done for raising the issue.  Unfortunately I am getting very little traction on the issue here as the team/coaching staff are unwilling to address the matter.  Moving to another venue seems obvious but I wonder if ISAF are worried following the IOC dropping sailing for the 2020 Games – maybe the Olympics might do similar if they step out of line?
Tom Benn, UK, TomBenn.com, 4/16/2015:
“I saw this and thought of you!  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-32345508
Good luck with your campaign and keep up the good work!
Best regards,”
Michael Howorth, UK, TheHoworths.com, 4/10/2015:
“Thank you very much for the news story. To see how I have used it on our web site visit www.thehoworths.com and click on Superyacht News. It was also tweeted by @SaltySeadog and to get the story greater coverage we encourage you to retweet it.
Kind regards”
Jeff Morgan, UK, Sailing TV, 4/7/2015:
“Thanks for keeping me up to date with your campaign…Have you had the opportunity to put your points to ISAF… and did they give you the courtesy of a reply?…

Best regards”
Chris Caswell, US, Sailing Magazine, 4/6/2015:
“Fantastic!!  Keep me in the loop.  Did he see my Sailing Column?  Cheers!”

Bob Black, US, Renowned Sailing Writer, 3/30/2015:
“I covered the ’76 Olympics at Kingston for the Associated Press and was Deputy Press Chief in ’84 at Long Beach.  And for years I did the public relations for the American Sailing Council and then the National Sailing Industry Association.  Sailing has enough problems getting favorable attention paid to itself as it is.  To put the peak of sailing (and here I must include the America’s Cup because so few nations participate in that event), the very epitome of small boat sailing into the open sewer that is Rio, is a crime–and as you write, a living, breathing danger to the health of the participants from around the world.”

6/11/2015 Cliff Crowley, NY
Oh, you’re talking about Brazil. I missed that. It could have been NY/Long Island Sound/Bridgeport Harbor. I’m only shocked that people are shocked over this.
5/26/2015 Charles Campion, London, UK
The real question is:
Does being part of the Olympics overall benefit sailing as a sport?
I live in the UK & I would suggest it does not…
4/15/2015 David Bristow, Sugar Land, TX
The organizers are not the ones who will get sick after the sailors ingest or inhale bacteria laden spray, or after a boat trips on debris and the sailors are dumped in the sewage.

4/15/2015 David Carlson
I saw a news report headline this AM- “Massive fish kill at Future Olympic site”.

4/14/2015 Allen Barker, Boston, MA
Ilha Grande, Buzios, or off Recife. Move away from the filth. Santa Catarina could work too.
4/15/2015 Will Schwenger, Kinston, Ont. Canada
Buzios had Youth Worlds in 2009, how much harder can the Olympics be?
Editor’s note – there were 211 boats with 211 sailors at the 2009 Optimist World’s.  The 2016 Sailing Olympics expects 274 boats with 380 sailors.

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