Sailing at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Sailing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was held from 8–18 August at Marina da Gloria in Guanabara Bay. The sailing classes had two changes from the 2012 Summer Olympics events. There were 10 events.

at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Sailing, Rio 2016.png
VenuesMarina da Gloria
Dates8–18 August 2016
No. of events10
Competitors380 (217 male, 163 female) from 68 nations
← 2012
2020 →


Equipment and event changesEdit

  • The RS:X, Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470, and 49er all return for 2016.
  • The keelboat discipline has been dropped, meaning that both women's (Elliott 6m) and men's (the Star) are not part of the program. This is the first time the Olympics have not featured a keelboat.
  • The multihull discipline has been reintroduced using the Nacra 17 since the Tornado was dropped for London 2012.
  • A mixed gender event was introduced for the first time in Olympics Sailing. This follows to some degree the paralympic sailing competition which in 2008 introduced a two-person keelboat discipline in the Skud 18 with a requirement for at least one of the two person crew to be female. Tennis and Badminton are the other olympic sports with a mixed discipline.
  • Women's skiff discipline has been added using the same equipment as the men's skiff discipline but with a slightly reduced sailplan 49erFX
  • Kiteboarding was initially voted by the ISAF Council in May 2012 to replace windsurfing with kitesurfing and reaffirmed that vote on 9 November 2012.[1] The move was controversial as former gold medalist and IOC member Barbara Kendall said she would challenge the decision and that "it’s exciting for kiteboarding but tragic for windsurfing. Kiteboarding really is a sport that should be at the X-Games." However, on 10 November 2012, the delegates at the International Sailing Federation’s General Assembly voted to keep windsurfing at the 2016 Olympic Games, overturning the ISAF Council's decision which had already been partially implemented within ISAF Events and Rankings.[2]

Competition incidentsEdit

Following the announcement of the games, water pollution became a hot topic, and a commitment to cleaning up the water was given by the hosts. This target was not fully achieved and water quality issues were frequently in the media.[3][4][5] World Sailing examined various options including holding the racing fully outside the bay or even moving the event to Buzios.[6] However, in the end only the Belgian sailor Evi Van Acker reported that her Olympics were affected.[7] The German sailor Erik Heil was also infected by multi-resistant germs during an Olympic test event in Rio.[8] The location for sailing events was a source of concern for athletes since scientists had found drug-resistant super bacteria in Guanabara Bay due to the daily dumping of hospital waste and household raw sewage into the rivers and ocean. The Brazilian federal government's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation lab also found the genes of super bacteria in a river that empties into Guanabara Bay.[3][4]

Just before the games the launch ramp collapsed but no one was injured.[9]

Competition formatEdit


A total of 380 athletes competed in the sailing competitions of the Games. The qualification period began at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in September 2014. As hosts, Brazil was guaranteed one quota place in each of the ten events.[10]

Classes (equipment)Edit

Class Type Event Sailors Trapeze Mainsail Jib/Genoa Spinnaker First OG Olympics so far
RS:X Sailboard women 1 - + - - 2008 3
RS:X Sailboard men 1 - + - - 2008 3
Laser Radial Dinghy women 1 - + - - 2008 3
Laser Dinghy men 1 - + - - 1996 6
Finn Dinghy men 1 - + 1952 17
470 Dinghy women 2 1 + + + 1988 8
470 Dinghy men 2 1 + + + 1976 11
49er Skiff men 2 2 + + + 2000 5
49erFX Skiff women 2 2 + + + 2016 1
Nacra 17 Multihull mixed 2 2 + + + 2016 1


Racing at the 2016 Olympics was fleet racing where all competitors started and sailed the course together. They were scored according to the low-point system, where first place is scored 1, second place is scored 2, etc. There was a series of preliminary races followed by the final Medal Race. The RS:X, 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 classes had 12 preliminary races, other classes have 10.

At the end of the preliminary races, the top ten boats in each class (i.e. those with the lowest total scores) advanced to the Medal Race. Each boat might exclude one race from their total. The Medal Race could not be excluded from the series score and counts double. The boat with the lowest overall total after all races was the winner.[11] Any ties in the final rankings were broken in favour of the competitor/crew finishing higher in the Medal Race.[12]

Competition scheduleEdit

The competition started on 8 August and finished on 18 August.[13]

Preliminary race Medal race
Date →
Event ↓
Mon 8 Tue 9 Wed 10 Thu 11 Fri 12 Sat 13 Sun 14 Mon 15 Tue 16 Wed 17 Thu 18
Men's RS:X ●●● ●●● ●●● ●●●
Women's RS:X ●●● ●●● ●●● ●●●
Men's Laser ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●
Women's Laser Radial ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●
Men's Finn ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●
Mixed Nacra 17 ●● ●●●● ●●● ●●●
Men's 470 ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●
Women's 470 ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●
Men's 49er ●●● ●●● ●●● ●●●
Women's 49erFX ●●● ●●● ●●● ●●●


Participating nationsEdit


Medal summaryEdit

Medal tableEdit


  *   Host nation (Brazil)

1  Great Britain2103
2  Netherlands2002
3  Australia1304
4  New Zealand1214
5  Croatia1102
6  France1023
7  Argentina1001
9  China0101
12  Denmark0022
13  Austria0011
  United States0011
Totals (17 entries)10101030

Men's eventsEdit

Games Gold Silver Bronze
Dorian van Rijsselberghe
Nick Dempsey
  Great Britain
Pierre Le Coq
Tom Burton
Tonči Stipanović
Sam Meech
  New Zealand
Giles Scott
  Great Britain
Vasilij Žbogar
Caleb Paine
  United States
  Croatia (CRO)
Šime Fantela
Igor Marenić
  Australia (AUS)
Mathew Belcher
William Ryan
  Greece (GRE)
Panagiotis Mantis
Pavlos Kagialis
  New Zealand (NZL)
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
  Australia (AUS)
Nathan Outteridge
Iain Jensen
  Germany (GER)
Erik Heil
Thomas Plößel

Women's eventsEdit

Games Gold Silver Bronze
Charline Picon
Chen Peina
Stefania Elfutina
Laser Radial
Marit Bouwmeester
Annalise Murphy
Anne-Marie Rindom
  Great Britain (GBR)
Hannah Mills
Saskia Clark
  New Zealand (NZL)
Jo Aleh
Polly Powrie
  France (FRA)
Camille Lecointre
Hélène Defrance
  Brazil (BRA)
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
  New Zealand (NZL)
Alex Maloney
Molly Meech
  Denmark (DEN)
Jena Mai Hansen
Katja Salskov-Iversen

Mixed eventsEdit

Games Gold Silver Bronze
Nacra 17
  Argentina (ARG)
Santiago Lange
Cecilia Carranza Saroli
  Australia (AUS)
Jason Waterhouse
Lisa Darmanin
  Austria (AUT)
Thomas Zajac
Tanja Frank


  1. ^ 'Kiteboarding to replace windsurfing at 2016 Rio Olympics' Article, 7 May 2012 at
  2. ^ "RYA statement on ISAF 2016 events vote". RYA. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Exclusive: Studies find 'super bacteria' in Rio's Olympic venues, top beaches". Reuters. 11 June 2016. The findings from two unpublished academic studies seen by Reuters concern Rio's most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals.
  4. ^ a b "Scientists reportedly find super bacteria in several Rio Olympic venues". Fox News. 11 June 2016. A 2014 study had already shown the presence of super bacteria off one of the beaches in Guanabara Bay, where sailing and wind-surfing events are going to be held. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already declared super bacteria an urgent public health crisis.
  5. ^ "'Rio 2016 Olympics: Pollution threat muddies waters as Games draw near'". 2 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Ex-World Sailing chief 'voted out for trying to oust polluted Olympic venue'". 26 January 2016.
  7. ^ "'Evi Van Acker: how a dream may become a nightmare'". 11 August 2016.
  8. ^ "German sailor blames infections on water at Rio 2016 Olympic test event". The Guardian. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  9. ^ 'Rio 2016: Olympic sailing ramp collapses...' Article, 1 August 2016, at
  10. ^ Qualification summary February 2014.
  11. ^ Competition format for Rio Olympics, 31 March 2016, at
  12. ^ Article about scoring at
  13. ^ "Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition" at

External linksEdit