The 470 (Four-Seventy) is a double-handed monohull planing dinghy with a centreboard, Bermuda rig, and centre sheeting. Equipped with a spinnaker, trapeze and a large sail-area-to-weight ratio, it is designed to plane easily, and good teamwork necessary to sail it well. The name comes from the overall length of the boat in centimetres (i.e., the boat is 4.70 metres long).
|Crew||2 (single trapeze)|
|Draft||150 mm (5.9 in)|
970 mm (3 ft 2 in)
|Hull weight||120 kg (260 lb)|
|LOA||4,700 mm (15 ft 5 in)|
|LWL||4,400 mm (14 ft 5 in)|
|Beam||1,690 mm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Mainsail area||9.12 m2 (98.2 sq ft)|
|Jib/genoa area||3.58 m2 (38.5 sq ft)|
|Spinnaker area||13 m2 (140 sq ft)|
|Current Olympic equipment|
The 470 is a popular class with both individuals and sailing schools, offering a good introduction to high-performance boats without being excessively difficult to handle, but it is not a boat designed for beginners. Its smaller sister, the 420, is a stepping stone to the 470.
The 470 was designed in 1963 by the Frenchman André Cornu as a modern fibreglass planing dinghy to appeal to sailors of different sizes and ages. This formula succeeded, and the boat spread around the world. In 1969, the class was given international status and it has been an Olympic class since 1976. In 1988, the first Olympic women's sailing event used the 470.
World and Continental Championships are organised every year with separate starts for women and men/mixed teams. There is also a World Championship for juniors and a Master World Championship. The 470 is used in regional championships such as the Asian, Mediterranean, and PanAm Games. Entries are limited in important international races, encouraging more competition by requiring qualifying races in most countries.
In the World Championships more than 30 countries have been represented. There are 65 member nations in the International Class Association and more than 40,000 boats have been built in 20 countries.
The 470 may be raced in a mixed fleet of boats, its performance being adjusted by the Portsmouth Yardstick handicapping scheme. In the RYA-administered scheme, the 470 has a Portsmouth number of 973. In the US Sailing-administered scheme, it has a D-PN of 86.3.
The 470 is a strict one-design class, and its builder must be approved a Licensed Builder by World Sailing. The class design may evolve, but its intent is to use proven, economical, and environmentally sound materials, currently fibreglass with integral buoyancy tanks for the hull.
The 470 dinghy is 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) long with a 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in) mast. Its weight without sails is 120 kg (264 lb 9 oz). Additional specifications are shown in the sidebar above right.
At the Olympic Games, the 470 Class was initially an open class, but since the 1988 games there have been separate events for men and women. Since 2008 each consists of a 10-race series, with teams being awarded points on a point-per-place system, and each team's worst result being discarded. The top 10 boats qualify for the medal race, in which double points are awarded.