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Saturday, 06 January 2007 23:59

Sailing - History

A dramatic steeping manoeuvre: sailors 'trapezing'  Sailing - History
Sailing was known as 'yachting' in every Olympic Games until Sydney 2000

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

International yacht racing began in 1851 when the New York Yacht Club's 101ft schooner named America won a race around the Isle of Wight in England. The trophy was renamed the America's Cup, after the yacht, not after the country.

Sailing was first contested at the 1900 Olympics. It made its next Olympic appearance in 1908, and has been on every Olympic programme since. In 1960, a universal code of racing rules was agreed.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the governing global authority and consists of 117 member nations.

Recent trends have been towards smaller and more easily affordable boats, with fewer crew members. In some of the early Olympics, boats had as many as 10 to 12 crew members.

Women have always been allowed to compete in Olympic sailing with men, but in 1984, separate sailing events were introduced.

Sailing glided into the Asian Games at the 6th Asian Games in 1970 in Bangkok, Thailand.


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