Sailing (also known as yachting until 2000) has been one of the Olympic sports since the Games of the I Olympiad, held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. Despite being scheduled in the first Olympic program, the races were canceled due to severe weather conditions. Apart from the 1904 Summer Olympics, sailing has been present in every edition of the Olympic Games.
At the 2024 Olympic Games, there are 11 classes competing: iQFoil– Windsurfer (Men/Women) ILCA 6 – One Person Dinghy (Men) ILCA 7 – One Person Dinghy (Women) Kiteboarding – (Men/Women) 470 – Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women) 49er – Skiff (Men) 49er FX – Skiff (Women) Nacra 17 Foiling – Mixed Multihull
For the 2024 Olympic Games, it’s planned to this date that Kite Foiling will replace the Finn class in the Olympic program.
In fleet racing, sailboats start at the same time and sail around a course (usually marked by buoys) a predetermined number of times. Each race last around:
RS:X: between 20 and 25 minutes 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17: 30 minutes Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and 470: 50 minutes
Boats are then scored by the position in which they finish (ex. position 1 get 1 point). The sailor with the less point at the end of competition wins the competition.
At Olympic Games, Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and 470 have a maximum of 10 races each scheduled, while RS:X-windsurfing, 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17 have 12. Maximum races per day is three, excepting 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17 which is 4. But, depending of the wind and of the weather, schedule may change frequently.
The ten highest ranked boats at the conclusion of the opening series of each event will advance to the medal race. For this final race, the points are doubled. If there is a tie, race point scores will be broken in favour of the boat that scored better in the medal race.