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There are many competitons in which disabled and able-bodied athletes compete together. For many athletes this means that they must make adaptations to their equipment to enable them to sail the boat properly.

Sailing at the Paralympic Games is one of the only sports in which athletes of many different disabilities compete against each other on equal terms. All athletes who compete at the Paralympics and Para World Sailing Championship events must have an IFDS Classification which measures their abilities.

The three boats are one person keelboat, two person keelboat and three person keelboat and they are sailed in the 2.4mR, SKUD18 and Sonar respectively.

IFDS Functional Classification

The purpose of the IFDS classification system is to measure the sailor's ability in order to:

  • Enable fair and equitable competition at all levels, for mildly, moderately and severely disabled sailors;
  • In some formats, encourage crews of mixed disability, from mild to severe, to compete together and complement each other;
  • Only measure functional limitations caused by physical disability;
  • Not be affected by the sailing skills, training or talent of the participant.

Find out more by reading the IFDS Functional Classification System & Procedures Manual.

International Classifications are valid for a Paralympic Quadrennium and are the names of all athletes who have been classificed are published on the Para World Sailing website.

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