Allan finishes first day of Olympic sailing

| 09/08/2016
CNS Local Life

Cayman’s Olympic sailor Florence Allan

(CNS): Florence Allan became the third member of the Cayman Islands Olympic team to compete in the Rio games Monday, 8 August, when she took part in the first day of the women’s Laser Radial sailing competition. Although Allan found herself at the bottom of the pack, finishing 36th and 35th in the two races from a line-up of 37 starters, the 18-year-old still has several more races ahead in her Olympic debut. The competition includes four sailing days, with the fifth day the medalling race.

Not as nervous as she expected to be, Allan said it was still a tough day as heavier sailors took advantage of the strong winds.

“It was really hard today for me but after the first race I just had to reset and just kind of get focused again,” she said. “It was hard to keep up with everyone. I was last in the first race but I improved a couple of positions in the second race so I am happy about that,” she told the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee pool reporter Jade Webster.

“It’s probably the hardest regatta that I have been on and that I will do,” she said, but added, “This is the Olympics and it’s supposed to be hard.”

Despite the struggles she said she was pleased with her performance in parts of the race but she was expecting things to get even more challenging as the week goes on.

Tested by the level of competition, the novice Olympian, like all of the other competitors, is faced with the added concern of pollution in Guanabara Bay where the sailing is taking place. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised athletes to spend as little time in the water as possible  (See WHO Q&A). But Allan said that she hadn’t noticed too much debris actually floating in the bay.

Media have been reporting about the water in Rio as a result of the heavy levels of pollution as well as garbage. WHO has said that it is well known that significant amounts of untreated sewage from the surrounding urban area runs into the recreational waters around Rio de Janeiro. The organisation is warning that athletes might suffer from illnesses such as stomach upsets and respiratory tract infections.

In an advisory, WHO said, “It is suggested that all athletes should cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters prior to exposure, try to avoid swallowing the water, wash/shower as soon as possible after exposure and, as far as possible, minimise their time in the water and avoid going in the water after heavy rainfall if possible.”

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Category: Sports

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A quick check on Wind Guru for this week , shows stronger winds from midday Wednesday until Friday morning. Wishing Florence the best of luck in her races

  2. Anonymous says:

    The introduction of tripartite qualifiers into the Olympics was a bad decision by the ISAF, when there are so many qualification opportunities based on merit and so many better sailors cannot get a qualification slot. It would have been better to allow multiple sailors from other nations to compete. Cayman sailors have qualified on merit in the past.