Plain Sailing

5 Facts about Olympic Sailing

If you’re like the other sailors here in the office, you’re likely fascinated by the Olympic Sailing (and the diving, and the rowing, and the gymnastics, and the cycling, but, heck, mainly the sailing!)

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After disappointing TV for the first couple of days, the boss has even splashed out on a brand new TV for the office that allows us to watch the BBC red button programmes (in the background – we’re all still working, honest!)

But what do you know of the history of the Olympic sailing?  Here’s a few interesting facts!:

  • Sailing was included in the original Olympiad in Athens in 1896, but, due a lack of suitable boats available, and zero foreign competitors, the competition was cancelled :( - so it made its debut in the 1900 Olympics instead.
  • Team GB are the best nation at sailing in the world – officially!  Our haul of 25 gold, 18 silver and 11 bronze medals over the years is more than even all the sailors in the USA (who are second), and more than France and Spain combined!
  • Olympic sailing used to be called ‘yachting’.  And boats were originally classed based upon the weight of the boat (in tons), then, from 1908, the length of the boat (in metres) after it was decided that this was fairer, and now by design.
  • There also used to be ‘match-race’ head-to-head format races, in a knock-out style competition.  (Everyone in our office thinks this would be more exciting!)
  • As at dinghy level, Olympic races did not used to be gender denominated: if you were a good enough sailor, it didn’t matter what sex you were!  Not many women were allowed to take part, though, so they created separate mens and womens events in 1988.

Come on Team GB!