Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Road to Brazil

The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games are less than 2 years away. Countries must qualify to compete in the world's most famous quadrennial event. That first chance to do so is now currently unfolding at the ISAF World Championship in Santander, Spain. Because of the large number of RS:X participants, men and women competitors are each divided into 2 fleets. After 5 races, low qualifiers from the blue and yellow fleets were combined and placed into the gold fleets with everyone else moved into the silver fleet.

Of the 62 RS:X women at Santander, 31 have qualified for the gold fleet representing 15 countries which will vie for the 13 Olympic country positions available at this regatta. Of the 98 RS:X men, 49 have qualified for the gold fleet representing 23 countries, who will compete for 18 country slots.  Mexico is now the only North American country in the gold fleets with a chance to qualify; good luck, Demita Vega de Lille and David Mier y Teran !!! Argentina is the lone South American country with a chance to qualify. CAN and USA, men and women, both failed to make it to the gold fleet.  They'll have to wait for the next chance in November 2015 when 6 men and 6 women country slots are up for the taking, at the 2015 RS:X Worlds in Oman.

The 2016 Olympics offers the RS:X Class 26 country slots for women and 36 country slots for men. The Olympics host country, Brazil, is prequalified for both RS:X Classes and does not have to earn a spot. Ironically, 2 Brazilian men and 2 women have qualified for their respective gold fleets.

Last chance to qualify, after the World Championships, will be the Continental Qualifiers. The North America CQ offers 2 RS:X country slots for the men and 1 for the women. Many competitors from Central America and the Caribbean will attend. This event will most likely take place in Miami, FL in early 2016 but the venue has not been officially selected.


Meanwhile, somewhere to the north, on the coast of Denmark, the PWA is holding a wave contest, the KIA Cold Hawaii...