The six member Irish Olympic sailing team will be treated to an overhauled Olympic venue in Rio this August for the Olympic Games Regatta. Marina da Glória has been expanded and modernised, with new leisure facilities aimed at attracting city residents and visitors. It's been a tough time for the organisrs battling a tide of protest over water pollution in Rio waters.
The new-look venue for the sailing events of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games is now fully open to the public and ready for competition. On Thursday city authorities unveiled the modernised Marina da Glória, following a 70 million reais (US$19m) refit.
As well as being expanded and redesigned, the marina has been completely integrated with Flamengo Park, one of the most popular leisure areas in Rio de Janeiro. The marina’s waterfront boardwalk, which used to be accessible only to boat owners, is now open to the public and will be connected to the park.
'Before, the Marina da Glória did not welcome locals. Today, it is a new, revitalised space with its arms wide open for visitors'
Marco Aurélio Sá Ribeiro, president of the Brazilian sailing confederation
As part of the renovation, the capacity of the venue has been significantly increased. The number of berths in the water has gone from 140 to 415 and the number of dry stacks has increased from 70 to 240. The marina’s jetties have been redesigned, new electricity and water infrastructure installed and a modern pavilion for athletes has been completed. A car park with space for 470 cars has been built and security for the boats has been improved.
As well as the investment in new sailing facilities, the marina now contains an extensive leisure area for the general public, including four restaurants, a delicatessen, bicycle path and bike racks. After the Paralympic Games the venue will be used for sports, cultural events and entertainment. The marina will also offer sailing and diving courses as well as boat rentals and will have a special area for fishing.