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San Diego Sailor Prepares For Olympic Debut

 Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha hold the American flag in this undated photo.
Onne van der Wal / US Sailing
Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha hold the American flag in this undated photo.

San Diego Sailor Prepares For Olympic Debut
San Diego Sailor Prepares For Olympic Debut GUEST: Briana Provancha, sailor, U.S. Olympic team

Sailor Briana Provancha, a San Diego native, has been traveling to Rio de Janeiro for the past two years to train for her first Olympics.

The Rio de Janeiro Games kicks off next week, and Provancha said the course is especially difficult because most of the race will be close to land with strong wind patterns near the mountains. She will be sailing in the two-person dinghy 470 class, named for its length in centimeters (it's about 15 1/2 feet long), with crewmate Annie Haeger.

Provancha started sailing when she was 8 years old at Mission Bay Yacht Club, she told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday.

"I love the water and my dad was always in the water. ... Mother Nature, there's just something about it," she said.

But the athlete said the sport may not make good TV for hometown fans unfamiliar with sailing.

"Sailing is very hard to watch," she said. "You’re doing laps around buoys. If you round a buoy in front of someone else, you’re beating them. Otherwise, it’s really hard to tell who’s ahead."