Portal:Sailing

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Introduction

L-2013-Oracle-Team-USA-17.jpg

Sailing employs the wind—acting on sails, wingsails or kites—to propel a craft on the surface of the water (sailing ship, sailboat, windsurfer, or kitesurfer), on ice (iceboat) or on land (land yacht) over a chosen course, which is often part of a larger plan of navigation.

A course defined with respect to the true wind direction is called a point of sail.

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

A Flying Dutchman with the crew on the trapeze whilst the helm hikes out.

In sailing, the trapeze refers to a wire that comes from a point high on the mast, usually where the shrouds are fixed, to a hook on the crew member's harness at approximately waist level. The position when extended on the trapeze is outside the hull, braced against it (or an extension of it outwards) with the soles of the feet, facing the masthead, and clipped on by a hook on the trapeze harness. This gives the crew member more leverage to keep the boat flat by allowing the crew member's centre of gravity to balance the force of the wind in the sails.

An additional benefit is the ability to "walk" along the gunwale to balance the boat's trim fore and aft. This is necessary to prevent racing catamarans such as the Tornado from digging the bow into the water, also called pitchpoling, and causing a nosedive and often a spectacular capsize.

Boats may have only one trapeze, such as the 420, where only the crew uses the trapeze. Boats, such as the 49er, may have trapeze wires for both the skipper and the crew. Trapeze has several colloquial names such as "the wire" or simply "the trap". When a boat loses power in its sails, and heels to the windward side, the crew on the trapeze may get dipped in the water if they do not react in time. Some classes allow footloops on the gunwale to allow those on the trapeze to locate their feet with relative security. This helps to prevent the crew from swinging forward, sometimes round the forestay when the boat decelerates suddenly.

Sailing pictogram.svg More about...Trapeze (sailing)

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

The most successful sailor is Ben Ainslie with a total of four consecutive gold medals and one silver.

# Sailor Country Period Gold medal olympic.svg Silver medal olympic.svg Bronze medal olympic.svg Tot. Classes
1 Ben Ainslie  Great Britain (GBR) 1996–2012 4 1 0 5 Laser/Finn
2 Paul Elvström  Denmark (DEN) 1948–1960 4 0 0 4 Firefly/Finn
Valentin Mankin  Soviet Union (URS) 1968–1980 3 1 0 4 Finn/Tempest/Star
Jochen Schümann  Germany (GER) 1976–2000 3 1 0 4 Finn/Soling
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 Details
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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