Competitive Sailing

Yacht sailing is a sport based to control the dynamics of a boat powered only by the wind in its sails. Sailing as a sport can be recreational or competitive. Sailing competitions are called regattas and sailboats.

Light candle and Cruise Sail

Sailboats are considered to be those of smaller lengths, set on land before and after navigation. They are usually defined with measures, weights, and identical rigs, which regulate the organisms that govern the different classes. They usually have small or collapsible rudders and orzas.

Cruise ships are those others, usually of greater length, that remain all the time afloat since their orza and their rudder are not removable. They can belong to a class or be unique designs. Many cruise ships are used only for competitions, or regattas and that require special maintenance in clean and protected boatyards.


Until 1868 sailing competitions were defined by particular rules developed by each yacht club, which represented many problems of arbitration and interpretation when several clubs wanted to compete with each other. The 1 of July of 1868 an event sponsored by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club British to create rules that could be accepted by all Congress. In 1906 the metric system was taken in the measurement rules, and in 1907 an international body was founded that regulates the entire sailing competition.

It is currently called the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and is the entity responsible for publishing the sailing Regatta Regulations. The ISAF directs both light sailing, Olympic, and cruising, although some cruise regattas, in particular, use an international measurement system (IMS) that regulates the Offshore Racing Council (ORC).

Candle Light

Within the dinghy sailing, the most prestigious competitions are the world championships of each class (Snipe, Optimist, Vaurien, Sunfish, etc.), and the Olympic Games.

Olympic Candle

Sailing became an Olympic sport at the 1900 Paris Olympics. Four years before his debut in Athens, but adverse weather conditions prevented him. He was present in all the Games, except in San Luis 1904. Also, it has undergone many variations in terms of classes and categories.

The high figure of the Olympic candle was the Danish Paul Bert Elvstrøm, who won four gold medals between 1948 and 1960. Later he came to compete with his daughter, already without much fortune. Briton Frances Rivett-Carnac was the first woman to get a gold medal, winning it with her husband in 1908 in the seven-meter category. Since 1984 there are specific tests for women apart from open classes.