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

470 dinghy.svg

The 470 (Four-Seventy) is a double-handed monohull planing dinghy with a centreboard, Bermuda rig, and centre sheeting. The name is the overall length of the boat in centimetres (i.e., the boat is 4.70 metres long). The hull is fibreglass with integral buoyancy tanks. The 470 is equipped with spinnaker and trapeze, making teamwork necessary to sail it well. It has a large sail-area-to-weight ratio, and is designed to plane easily.

The 470 is a popular class with both individuals and sailing schools, offering a good introduction to high-performance boats without being excessively difficult to handle. It is not a boat designed for beginners, however, it's earlier designed smaller sister the 420 is a stepping-stone to the 470. The 470 is an International Sailing Federation International Class and has been an Olympic class since the 1976 games. The Class was initially an open class, but since the 1988 games there have been separate events for men and women.

The 470 was designed in 1963 by the Frenchman André Cornu as a modern fiberglass planing dinghy to appeal to sailors of different sizes and ages. This formula succeeded, and the boat spread around the world. In 1969, the class was given international status and it has been an Olympic class since 1976. In 1988, the first Olympic women's sailing event used the 470.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...470 (dinghy)

Selected biography


Fernando Echavarri Erasun (born August 13, 1972 in Santander, Spain) is a professional yachtsman in the Olympic Tornado Class. Teaming with crew Antón Paz Blanco, he became Spanish, European, World Champion, ISAF Sailor of the year in 2005, Olympic Gold Medalist at the Beijing Games held in Qingdao.

Born and raised in Santander, Fernando's family moved to Pontevedra, Galicia when he was five due to his father medical practice as surgeon chief in the Montecelo Hospital. He has two brothers (Carlos and Javier) and one younger sister (Beatriz).

In 1992, at age 20, the International Sailing Federation chose the Laser (dinghy) as the new one-person dinghy to be competed in Atlanta 1996. At that time, Fernando had joined the Spanish military draft Servicio Militar in the Ejército de Tierra de España. It was in Spring 1993 that Fernando successfully passed the trials to become a member in the Spanish Pre-Olympic Sailing Team Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, a position he held from 1992 to 1996. During these years he was second in the nationals in 1995 and 1996, but missed the final cut to represent Spain in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Although extremely competitive in light and mid air, his performance in windy conditions was not competitive enough. In order to enhance his competitiveness, he raced with a weighted jacket, but, as result, he developed a chronic back injury. A damage that although partially cured, still persist to this day.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Fernando Echavarri

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.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Sailing - History

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

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