Portal:Sailing

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THE SAILING PORTAL

Olympic sailing classes

Sailing is a well organized and recognized sport. There is a broad variety of kinds of races and sailboats used for racing. Much racing is done around buoys or similar marks in protected waters, while some longer offshore races cross open water. All kinds of boats are used for racing, including small dinghies, catamarans, boats designed primarily for cruising, and purpose-built raceboats. The Racing Rules of Sailing govern the conduct of yacht racing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, model boat racing, dinghy racing and virtually any other form of racing around a course with more than one vessel while powered by the wind.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Sailing

Olympic sailing classes

The eight Olympic classes designs scheduled in London 2012.

The Olympic sailing classes were used in the sport of Sailing/Yachting during the Olympic Summer Games since 1896. Since then, 46 different classes have been used.

Over a period of more than 112 years, in a sport that uses complex technical equipment, it goes without saying that classes will be discontinued for use at the Olympics. Reasons for discontinuation of a class did vary from economical, logistical and technological to emotional and even political. Some of the discontinued classes remain very strong International - or National classes. Others filled a niche in a specific area like sailing schools or local club racing. Some faded away.

The “Former Olympic Sailing Classes”, together with their crews form an important and significant part of the history of sailing in general and Olympic Sailing in particular. These tables give an overview of the classes and when they were used for Olympic sailing.

Selected article

Finn dinghy.svg

The Finn dinghy is the men's single-handed, cat-rigged Olympic class for sailing. It was designed by Swedish canoe designer, Rickard Sarby, in 1949 for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Since the 1952 debut of the boat, the design has been in every summer Olympics, making it one of the most prolific Olympic sailboats.

Although the Finn hull has changed little since 1949, there have been developments to the rig. The original spars were made of wood until the late 60’s and early 70’s when there was a slow change to Aluminum masts. Aluminum is significantly more flexible and gives more control over sail shape. It became common place after the 1972 Summer Olympics in Kiel when they were first supplied to Olympic sailors. Recently, carbon fiber masts have become common place in competitive Finn fleets. The sails too have gone through revolution and are now commonly made of Kevlar.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Finn (dinghy)

Selected biography


Sir Russell Coutts, KNZM, CBE (born 1 March 1962 in Wellington New Zealand) is a competitive sailor. His achievements include a Gold medal in the Finn Class in the 1984 Olympic Games, winning the America's Cup four times, the ISAF World Youth championships, three World Match Racing Championships, numerous international match race wins and IOR, IMS and One Design World Championship victories. He has a perfect record in America's Cup racing with 20 wins to 0 losses.

In New Zealand he has been honoured with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and the Knight Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit and has twice been the International Yacht Racing Union’s World Sailor of the Year. He holds an impressive record in the America's Cup, with 14 wins and 2 losses since 1995 winning four America's Cups (1995, 2000, 2003, 2010).

In 2005, he designed – together with Slovenian designer Andrej Justin – a new boat called the RC 44; a high performance one design racer created for top level racing in international regattas under strictly controlled Class Rules. The concept and the design features of the RC 44 are dedicated to the amateur helmsmen racing in fleet racing sailing events.

In July 2007, Coutts was named CEO and Skipper of BMW Oracle Racing, sponsored by Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the United States Challenger to the 2010 America's Cup. He was involved in the pre-match litigation between the challengers Golden Gate Yacht Club and Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), in which the court decided that the GGYC was the rightful Challenger of Record. Cup Defender SNG's team was Alinghi. Coutts' yacht USA beat the defending yacht Alinghi 5 by considerable margins in both races.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Russell Coutts

Multiple medalists at the Summer Olympics

Brazilian Torben Grael is the only Olympic sailor with five Olympic medals. The most successful sailor is Paul Elvström with four gold medals.

# Sailor Country Period Gold medal olympic.svg Silver medal olympic.svg Bronze medal olympic.svg Tot. Classes
1 Paul Elvström  Denmark (DEN) 1948–1960 4 0 0 4 Firefly/Finn
2 Jochen Schümann  Germany (GER) 1976–2000 3 1 0 4 Finn/Soling
Valentin Mankin  Soviet Union (URS) 1968–1980 3 1 0 4 Finn/Tempest/Star
Ben Ainslie  Great Britain (GBR) 1996–2012 4 1 0 5 Laser/Finn
5 Robert Scheidt  Brazil (BRA) 1996–2012 2 2 1 5 Laser/Star
6 Torben Grael  Brazil (BRA) 1984–2004 2 1 2 5 Soling/Star
7 Magnus Konow  Norway (NOR) 1912–1936 2 1 0 3 12 Metre/8 Metre/6 Metre
Rodney Pattisson  Great Britain (GBR) 1968–1976 2 1 0 3 Flying Dutchman
Mark Reynolds  United States (USA) 1988–2000 2 1 0 3 Star
10 Tore Holm  Sweden (SWE) 1920–1948 2 0 2 4 40m2 class/8 Metre/6 Metre
Four or more medals
Alessandra Sensini  Italy (ITA) 1996–2008 1 1 2 4 Mistral/RS:X
Carlos Espínola  Argentina (ARG) 1996–2008 0 2 2 4 Mistral/Tornado
Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Multiple medalists

History of Sailing

The cup.

Throughout history sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording mankind greater mobility than travel over land, whether for trade, transport or warfare, and the capacity for fishing. The earliest representation of a ship under sail appears on a painted disc found in Kuwait dating to the late 5th millennium BC. Advances in sailing technology from the Middle Ages onward enabled Arab, Chinese, Indian and European explorers to make longer voyages into regions with extreme weather and climatic conditions. There were improvements in sails, masts and rigging; navigation equipment improved. From the 15th century onwards, European ships went further north, stayed longer on the Grand Banks and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and eventually began to explore the Pacific Northwest and the Western Arctic.

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Sailing events

International classification

The ISAF officially includes the following seven categories of sailing classes.

Official name Dettails
Olympic Olympic sailing classes
Centreboard Dinghy sailing
Multihull Multihull
Keelboat Keelboat
Windsurfing Windsurfing
Yacht Yacht
Radio Radio-controlled boat
Current Olympic classes
Category Class Male Female Team Times
Dinghy Finn x Singles 16ª cons.
49er x 2 4ª cons.
470 x x 2 10ª cons.
Laser x Singles 6ª cons.
Laser Radial x Singles 2ª cons.
Keelboat Star x 2 18ª
Elliott 6m x 3, Match racing debutto
Windsurf RS:X x x Singles 3ª cons.
Sailing pictogram.svg More about...International Class

Associated Wikimedia

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