Olympic Sailing

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

Image courtesy of Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 in Paris and has appeared at every Olympic Games since 1908. It is one of the oldest sports on the Olympic program.

The first Olympic Yachting regatta had already been planned for the first Modern Olympics in Greece in 1896 but was cancelled due to rough weather at the time.

While yachting was not one of the original sports of the Olympics in Ancient Greece, it was probably there that the competitive aspect of the past time of sailing started to develop.

Women have always been able to compete in Olympic sailing with men, but in 1988 separate sailing events were introduced exclusively for women.

In the early Olympic Games, sailing was dominated by bigger boats, sometimes with as many as 10-12 sailors, and time handicaps were used to adjudicate the races. Starting from 1924 and increasingly from the 1950s onwards, the trend has been towards smaller and smaller one-design boats with fewer crew members.

In the last 20 years, equipment trials have resulted in several new boats reflecting the latest developments in the sport.

The recent line up of boats is a mixture between classes with a long and distinguished history, like the Finn, and those reflecting the design and technology advances in the sport, such as the 49er and the Nacra 17.

In 2016 a multi-hull class returned to the Olympic program with the introduction of a mixed-gender event – the Nacra 17 mixed-multihull. The 49er FX was also new on the program.

An ever increasing range of materials and designs has seen sailing develop rapidly, with mass-produced one-design boats helping the sport spread into all corners of the globe, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, the state-of-the-art yachts have become more and more spectacular.

The development and popularization of windsurfers, kitesurfers, skiffs and multihulls have pushed back the boundaries for sailing's thrill seekers, whilst the Olympic Games, the America's Cup, the great ocean races and record breakers continue to provide the sport with new heroes.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition features 380 athletes from 66 nations, in 274 boats racing across ten Olympic disciplines. Racing runs from Monday 8 August through to Thursday 18 August 2016 with 217 male and 163 female sailors racing out of Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sailing made its Olympic debut in 1900 and has been a mainstay at every Olympic Games since 1908. For more information or requests please contact Daniel Smith at World Sailing on marketing@sailing.org or phone +44 (0) 7771 542 131.

Image courtesy of Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Olympic Boat Classes

The boat classes for Tokyo 2020 will be announced by World Sailing in 2017.  In Rio, there were 10 different Olympic Boat classes, including four women’s classes (RS:X, Laser Radial, 470, 49erFX); four men’s classes (RS:X, Laser, 470, 49er, Finn,) and for the first time, a mixed-gender event (Nacra 17).

  • Men’s & Women’s Windsurfing (RS:X)
  • Men’s & Women’s One-Person Dinghy (Laser / Laser Radial)
  • Men’s Heavy-weight Dinghy (Finn)
  • Men’s & Women’s Two-Person Dinghy (470)
  • Men’s & Women’s Skiff (49er / 49erFX)
  • Mixed-Multihull (Nacra17)