Introduction to Sailing

National Federation
Irish Sailing Association
3 Park Road,
Dun Laoghaire,
Co. Dublin

Tel: (+353 1) 280 0239
Fax: (+353 1) 280 7558

Email: [email protected]

Competition consists of several races and depending on the class, points are awarded equating to the position where the boats finishes (i.e. 1st receives one point, 2nd receives two points etc). All classes sail 11 races in an Olympic regatta except for the 49er class which sail 16. Classes will sail up to three races on a day dependent on the weather.

Olympic History
The first Olympic sailing (or yachting, as it was known up to and including 1996) events were conducted in Paris in 1900, although some noted historians have questioned the legitimacy of those events as Olympic events.
London 1908 saw sailing commence its unbroken run as an Olympic sport. Since then, the classes of competing boats and scoring systems have seen many changes. Women have always been permitted to sail in the Olympic regatta but events exclusively for women sailors were introducedBarcelona 1992.

Technical Details
The athlete’s score corresponds to his or her final position. Thus first place scores 1 point, second place 2 points, and so on. The winner is the competitor with the lowest aggregate score in all races, after the worst score or scores having been discarded.

Field of Play
The Sailing field of play consists of four waterways, which define the courses that competitors have to complete in. These courses are indicated with marker buoys that are laid daily for the duration of the Games. Weather conditions play a decisive part. Every shift in wind strength or direction means that the buoys have to be repositioned. Committees at sea monitor the weather and lay the buoys accordingly.


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