The ISAF Sailing World Championships is the principal qualification event for the Olympic Sailing Competition. Only the events and equipment included in the next Olympic Sailing Competition are included in the programme of the Championships.
The largest congregation of Olympic sailors converged on Cadiz in southwest Spain for the first ISAF World Championships from 11-24 September 2003.
From 28 June-13 July 2007, Cascais, Portugal hosted the second edition of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. Building on the success of Cadiz four years earlier, 1,350 sailors and 900 boats represented 76 nations in the biggest Olympic sailing event yet. Footage of the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships was broadcast on television networks across 61 nations with a worldwide TV footprint of 564 million viewers.
Perth, Australia hosted the third ISAF Worlds in December 2011. 1200 sailors from 79 nations took part, racing for world championship glory and Olympic qualification. As the principal qualification event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, 75% of all national places were decided.
The next ISAF Sailing World Championships will be held in Santander, Spain in 2014.