There are two competition formats at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - fleet racing and match racing.
The fleet racing is run on a low points scoring system - the boat at the end of the competiton who has the least number of points wins.
All of the events finish their competition with a Medal Race, before that they are scheduled to sail 10 races, except the 49er which will sail 15 races. The boat who finishes first in a race scores one point, second place scores two points, third place scores three point and so on. Sailors are allowed to exclude their worst score in the first 10 (15) races.
After completing 10 (15) races, the top ten boats with the lowest score go on to compete in the Medal Race. The points scored in the Medal Race cannot be excluded and are worth double.
12 teams will compete in the women's keelboat event and this is a match racing competition. Each match is sailed between two boats with the first boat to cross the finish line the winner. The winner of each match scores one point and the loser zero points so unlike fleet racing the teams will be aiming for the highest score they can achieve!
The event begins with a round robin series in which all teams compete against each other. After the top eight teams go through to a knock-out series which will result in a semi-final and then the final. There will also be a petit-final to decide the bronze medal and a sail off for fifth to eighth place.