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London Olympics Information » About the Olympics » Olympics 2012 Sports and Disciplines » Sailing


Sailing, which was also called yachting till 1996, is believed to have been imported from the Netherlands by King Charles II in the mid-1600s after he returned from his exile in Europe and reinstated monarchy in England. The first yacht club was formed in the Island of Cork, Ireland, in 1720. The first major international yachting event was held in the form of America Cup when an American syndicate from the New York Yacht Club sailed across the Atlantic in the schooner America to take part in a race around the Isle of Wight.

The event was included in the 1896 Olympic Games but could not take place due to inclement weather. Sailing began its uninterrupted run from the London 1908 Olympic Games onwards. Sailing competitions at the Olympics are held in different classes or types of boats. Since the 2008 Olympic Games, it was decided to schedule eleven races for each event other than the 49er class, which will involve 16 races. There will now be 10 different classes, with races for men, women and open crews. The points are divided depending upon the position of the competitors in every race. The winning sailor or crew has the fewest points.

Great Britain has dominated the Olympic sailing events, winning 20 gold medals so far.

List of events
470 Two Person Dinghy MenLaser Radial One Person Ding Women
Laser One Person Dinghy MenRS:X Windsurfer Women
RS:X Windsurfer MenYngling Keelboat Women
Star Keelboat Men49er Skiff Mixed
470 Two Person Dinghy WomenFinn Heavyweight Dinghy Mixed
Tornado Multihull Mixed


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