2012 test bed

James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
LOGOC Sailing Manager Rob Andrews on how preparations are progressing for the sailing at the London Olympics
While the sailors are out on the water busy attempting to win Skandia Sail for Gold, this week the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy is full of people looking at how the venue will work come the time the ‘sailing event’ (as it is known in Olympic parlance) is held in 2012. Within the sailing community the Olympic head honchos from each nation are in town sorting out their team’s arrangements, but there are also a considerable number of more anonymous types checking out the venue, even a lady from OFCOM, the UK communications authorities investigating when the radio waves around the venue are not being contravened. The man overseeing all this is the familiar figure of Rob Andrews, Sailing Manager for the 2012 London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). This week the organisers have had a considerable amount to deal with. Skandia Sail for Gold is the final event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, but as it is held in the venue for the 2012 Games it is understandably the most well attended Olympic classes regatta on the circuit. “To put it into perspective we are dealing with close to 1000 athletes here and at the Olympics we have 380 and at the Paralympics we have 80 - so it is a massive event and that inherently places a huge stress on the infrastructure,” states Andrews. “At the Olympics everyone has gone through an extensive qualification phase so you are dealing with the best sailors in the world whereas here we have a broader spectrum of abilities and when it is blowing 25+ knots it puts more pressure on the systems of race management and rescue. They are quite different animals the World Cup and the Olympics.” On big Tuesday this week, when a front