Detroit sailor Gulari qualifies for Olympic final

John Niyo
The Detroit News
Bora Gulari of the United States and Louisa Chafee of the United States compete in the Nacra 17 Mixed class on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After some rough sailing to start his Olympic debut, Detroit’s Bora Gulari and crew Louisa Chafee qualified for Tuesday’s final in the mixed Nacra 17 regatta.

And while they won’t win a medal – the highest they could finish fifth based on the cumulative scoring – they will come away satisfied with their performance.

Gulari, 40, who sails out of Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, sat 19th out of 20 boats nearly halfway through the 12-race qualifying schedule last week, stymied equipment problems and the weather.

But the U.S. team rallied with an impressive weekend to grab one of the 10 berths in Tuesday's medal race. Gulari and Chafee produced seven consecutive top-10 finishes, including third in the last of three races Sunday to vault past boats from Brazil, Denmark and Spain into ninth place.

“Throughout the day of racing, we actually didn’t want to know what (the points) were looking like,” Chafee said. “We knew that if we just went out there relaxed and had fun, good things would happen.”