British Virgin Islands Sailors Renew Olympic Quest


Dean Greenaway reports from Tortola writing that, this week in Miami, 49er sailors Alec Anderson and Chris Brockbank are continuing the quest to reach Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and end a 20-year absence by the British Virgin Islands in Olympic sailing. Here are excerpts:

The BVI duo, who have been in Coconut Grove training on and off since November, are competing in the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, which is the first World Cup sailing event of 2015.

The series of five events put on by the International Sailing Federation began in China in September followed by another in Australia in November. “Since this is a qualifying year, all the top teams will be here,” Anderson noted. “A lot of teams will be trying to prove to their nations that they are the team to choose for the Olympic Games so it’s going to be full on, full competition, exciting racing.”

There are two more 2016 Olympic Games qualifying opportunities for the 49er sailors, following last year’s competition in Santander, Spain. The World Championships are scheduled for Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November, where 3 to 4 spots will be handed out.

Ten teams qualified in Santander and Brazil has an automatic qualifier as hosts, bringing the total to 14 of the 20 available. The final qualifier will be during the Continental Cup at the beginning of 2016, where the final six places will be secured.

[. . .] As they begin competition at the Olympic Classes Regatta, Anderson said training has been going well and they have spent lots of time on their own in Miami for six weeks working on the basics and feeling comfortable with the boat under different conditions. He said they had good coaching and got really comfortable with the boat.

[. . .] Anderson said two 49ers have been purchased and will arrive in the BVI next month. He said they will be based here so that international teams can come down during the summer and train with them as they seek to qualify for a spot in 2016. [. . .]

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