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Sailing at the Olympics

Sailing has been one of the Olympic sports since the first Olympic Games (known as yachting until 2000). The first events in 1896 were canceled, and it was not included in the 1904 program, but has been in every other Olympic program. See also our info about Kiteboarding and Windsurfing at the Olympics.

Sailing raceSailing race

Current Olympic Sailing Events (Tokyo 2020)

RS:X – windsurf
Laser – one-person dinghy
Finn – heavyweight one-person dinghy
470 – two-person dinghy
49er – skiff

RS:X – windsurf
Laser Radial – one-person dinghy
470 – two-person dinghy
49er FX – skiff

Nacra 17 - multihull

Changes for Paris 2024

At the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, a kiteboarding event will be added to the sailing program. Formula Kite will be the official kiteboarding class, mixed-relay racing on boards with hydrofoils (Kite-foil racing). Formula Kite features a hydrofoil kiteboard and a ram-air kite. As a demonstration, kite-foil racing was an exhibition sport at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Changes for Tokyo 2020

Compared to the 2016 Games, there have been no changes to competition events.

Changes for Rio 2016

The International Sailing Federation announced in May 2012 that kitesurfing would replace windsurfing for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but this was later overturned. Compared to the 2012 Games, there have been several changes to competition events. Both women's (Elliott 6m) and men's (the Star) keelboat events have been taken off the program. Multi-hulls have returned, represented by the Nacra 17. A women's skiff event has been added, represented by the 49erFX. The Sailing Competition of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will take place on Marina da Gloria in Guanabara Bay.

2012 London Games

There were two changes from the Beijing 2008 sailing events. A new event for the 2012 Summer Olympics was Women's Keelboat Match Racing, using the Elliott 6m. The Women's Match Race replaced the Yngling competition and the Tornado Class Catamaran competition has been dropped.


Related Pages

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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