An Official
Website of the
Sailing Federation
Olympic Games
5 - 21 August 2016

The Sport of Sailing

No ALT tag specified

Sailing, also called yachting, has been practised since antiquity as a means of transport. In the modern sense, yachting probably originated in the Netherlands, and the word seems to come from the Dutch "jaght" or "jaght schip," a light, fast naval craft.

The sport was brought to England by King Charles II in the mid-1600s after his exile to Holland. International yacht racing began in 1851 when a syndicate of members of the New York Yacht Club built a 101-foot schooner named America. The yacht was sailed to England where it won a trophy called the Hundred Guineas Cup. The trophy was renamed The America's Cup and it is the oldest trophy in sport.

Yachting made it's Olympic debut in 1900 and has appeared at every Olympic Games since 1908. The creation of the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU) in 1907 was the first step in developing the worldwide sport of sailing and evolved from the need of racing sailors to have a uniform set of rules and measurement standards. In 1996 the IYRU changed it's name to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and 'yachting' at the Olympic Games became 'sailing'.

An ever increasing range of materials and designs has seen sailing develop rapidly, with mass-produced one-design boats helping the sport spread into all corners of the globe, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, the state-of-the-art yachts have become more and more spectacular. The development and popularization of windsurfers, kitesurfers, skiffs and multihulls have pushed back the boundaries for sailing's thrill seekers, whilst the Olympic Games, the America's Cup, the great ocean races and record breakers continue to provide the sport with new heroes.

Live Sailing
  • London 2012
  • Overall
Other News
© 2015 Copyright ISAF/ISAF UK Ltd. All Rights Reserved Privacy & Cookies delivered by Sotic powered by OpenText WSM