Summer and Winter Olympics at - Everything you need to know about The Olympic Games with the Online Guide to The Olympics - an Olympic Directory - Part of - Sailing - Olympic Sport

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Summer Olympics

Latest news in the world of Sailing.

Summer Sports Winter Sports


An Olympic sport since 1900, sailing events have changed a lot in that time; both in the race format and the classes of competing boats.

Olympic racing is now conducted with boats categorised into one-design classes, based on similar weights and measurements.


Races fall into two categories: fleet racing and match racing.

Sailing - Olympic Competition

Fleet Racing

All competing boats race against each other at the same time.

All Olympic events are fleet races, except the Soling (Yngling) event; where a series of six fleet races determine the top 12 competitors, who then move on to a match racing elimination series.

There's a change in boat type at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games; from Soling to Yngling in the fleet-match race, Keelboat Open class.

Match Racing

Two boats compete head-to-head.


Scores are awarded according to finishing positions in each race, with the lowest accumulated scores throughout the regatta earning the medals.



RS:X - Men's Windsurfer

470 - Double-handed Dinghy
Laser - Single-handed Dinghy
Star - Men's Keelboat

RS:X - Women's Windsurfer

470 - Double-handed Dinghy
Laser - Single-handed Dinghy
Yngling - Women's Keelboat

49er - Skiff
Finn - Heavyweight Dinghy
Tornado - Multihull

Olympic Sailing Classes

470 Class:
The 470 is a double-handed dinghy which has been an Olympic Class since Montreal 1976. The 470 was designed in 1963 by Frenchman André Cornu as a family racer, and in just six years the Class reached International status.

International 470 Class Association.

49er Class:
The 49er is the Olympic Class double-handed high performance dinghy, appearing for the first time at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Many of the principal features of the 49er are relatively new to the sailing world. The 49er is a slightly smaller version of the Eighteen-foot skiff, but with some major differences - it is one design and a double-handed vessel.

International 49er Class Association.

Europe Class:
The Europe is a single-handed racing dinghy sailed throughout the world. A popular class for both men and women, the Europe dinghy was introduced as the Women's single-handed Dinghy Class for the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.

International Europe Class Union.

Finn Class:
The Finn is the Olympic Class men's single-handed dinghy. The first Finn was launched in 1949 by designer Rickard Sarby, and the dinghy first appeared at the Olympic Games in Helsinki 1952.

International Finn Association.

Laser Class:
The Laser was introduced to the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996 as an open single-handed dinghy event. Laser racing is a true test of skill as every Laser in the world is identical and strict class rules guarantee that it is the sailor, not the equipment, that makes the difference.

International Laser Class Association.

Mistral Class:
The Mistral is the men's and women's Olympic sailboard (windsurfing). The International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the governing body of sailing, selected the Mistral for use at the Olympic Regatta in Savannah, at Atlanta 1996, and reselected it again for Sydney 2000.

International Mistral Class Organisation.

Star Class:
The International Star Class is a double-handed keelboat. Designed in 1911 by William Gardner, the Star is the oldest Olympic Class and has been in the Olympic Games since Los Angeles 1932.

International Star Class Yacht Racing Association.

Tornado Class:
The Tornado, a multihull, double-handed vessel, was designed in 1967 specifically as the Olympic Class catamaran. It easily defeated the other challengers in a selection event in England, and sailed its first Olympics in Montreal 1976.

International Tornado Association.

Yngling Class:
The Yngling was designed by Jan Linge in 1967. Linge duplicated his Soling design, making it smaller, more suitable for average-sized people, easier to trail (tow) and less expensive to own. The Yngling made its appearance at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, replacing the Soling.

International Yngling Association.

Sailing - Olympic Greats

Paul Elvstrøm, of Denmark, climbed the podium for gold in the same Olympic sailing event fours times; winning the Firefly class (later to become the Finn monotype class) in London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960.

Valentyn Mankin is the only sailor in Olympic history to win gold medals in three different classes. The Ukrainian, representing the Soviet Union, won the Finn Class at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games; the Tempest at Munich 1972 (he also earned a silver in the same class at Montreal 1976); and the third gold in the Star Class, at the Moscow 1980 Olympics.

Olympic Sports

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Sailing Links

Ariadne House, Town Quay, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 2AQ, United Kingdom.
From its inception in Paris in October 1907, the governing body for the sport of sailing was known as the International Yacht Racing Union. On 5th August 1996, the IYRU changed its name to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

National Sailing Federations

Royal Yachting Association:
The RYA was formed as the Yacht Racing Association, in 1875, to harmonise the right-of-way and handicap rules for yacht racing.

Yachting Australia:
The latest from the world of yachting Down Under.

Yachting New Zealand:
The National body for competitive and recreational sailing in New Zealand, with over 160 member clubs and class associations throughout New Zealand.

General Sailing Links
More than 90,000 boats for sale.

Sailing 1st:
The online regatta sailing service centre featuring upcoming sailing events, latest sailing news, travel solutions, used yacht and dinghy market, web cams at sailing venues and more.

Sailing Info Center:
A collection of sailing and boating articles to help you build and extend your sailing, tactical, strategic, preparation and mental knowledge and skills.

Search for a Sailor:
Search the ISAF database for sailor biographies.

UK Dingy Racing:
Dedicated to the sport of sailing and dinghy racing in particular.

Yachts and Yachting:
The UK's top performance sailing magazine.

Finn Class

Associazione Italiana Classe Finn: (Italy).

British Finn Association.

Dansk Finnjolle Klub: (Denmark).

Deutsche Finnsegler Vereinigung: (Germany).

Finn Club Holland.

Hungarian Finn Class Association.

Svenska Finnjolleförbundet: (Sweden).

US Finn Class.

Laser Class

Australian Laser Association.

Laser Class Association of North America.

L'Association France Laser.

New Zealand Laser Association.

UK Laser Association.

Mistral Class

Australian Windsurfing.

Boards Online.

Professional Windsurfers Association.

Senior and Veteran's Windsurfing Association.

UK Windsurfing Association.

Tornado Class

Australian International Tornado Association.

UK Tornado Class Association.


Norsk Ynglingklubb: (Norway).

United States Yngling Association.

Yngling Club Holland.

Yngling Club Österreich: (Austria)

Yngling Down Under.

Further Reading



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