HomeSportsSailingSailing Sport: Know the history, formats, races & top players

Sailing Sport: Know the history, formats, races & top players

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We all know that sailing is a type of water sport that is played in some of the most prominent countries around the world. It is done through a yacht. The meaning of sailing is the use of yachts and bigger rowboats, as opposed to dinghy racing, which uses open boats. Let’s explore the meaning and everything about the sailing sport.

Sailing sports- History 

All about sailing sports- Kreedon
Image source:- Britannica

Sailing has been used for journeys and fishery for centuries, but it only became a sport in the seventeenth century. The Dutch are said to have been the first to race yachts for fun. They presented Charles II with a ship, and the sport quickly gained popularity in England before spreading to America.

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Yachting was a leisure sport for the wealthy until the 2nd half of the twentieth century. However, materials like plywood had become accessible during the 1950s and 1960s, making boat building quicker and simpler than ever before, making the sport more accessible to everyone. Today, it is a sport relished by millions of people all over the world, both competitively and for leisure. Everything from rivers and lakes to the vast open ocean.

Events and Racing formats 

Just like other sports, sailing sport also comprises various professionals and amateur tournaments both at different levels of national and international. Sailing joined the Olympics in 1900. The sport gained popularity in the 1960s, as more and more nations began to participate. Around 270 athletes from 62 countries competed in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Aside from the Olympic games, here is the list of the top 5 sailing races in India. 

S.noSailing tournaments
1.Cowes Week
2.Volvo Ocean Race
3.America’s Cup
4.Vendee Globe
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Image Source:-

Sailing- Cowes Week 

Cowes Week is an iconic part of the British sports calendar as one of the globe’s largest and oldest annual sailing regattas. 8,000 participants compete at Solent, ranging from world champion pros to beginners.

Volvo Ocean Race 

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The Volvo Ocean Race, formerly titled the Whitbread Round the World Race, has occurred every 3 years since 1973. It begins in Europe in October and is regarded as the world’s longest and most difficult professional tournament, lasting nearly nine months and requiring athletes to contend with adverse weather circumstances.

America’s Cup

America’s Cup, which began in 1851, is one of the oldest major sailboat races. The leading professional sailors, boat designers, and the bulk of affluent business people and sponsors flock to the event because of its distinguished reputation.

Vendee Globe 

The Vendee Globe takes its name from the French department of Vendee, where the race begins and ends. This is commonly regarded as one of the most difficult and severe sporting events. It is a solitary, non-stop round-the-world race. It lasts for more than 3 months and happens every four years.

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The Barcolana Regatta is one of the biggest and most well-known in the Mediterranean. Its first race took place in 1969, and it is held annually in the Gulf of Trieste, Italy. The event draws tens of thousands of competitors, including 25,000 sailors and 250,000 visitors who can watch the race from a variety of locations across Trieste.

The basic rules of sailing sports

  • Boats on a port tack must maintain a safe distance from boats on a starboard tack.
  • When boats are in the same direction and overlapped, the boat to windward (the boat nearest to the wind) must keep clear of the boat to leeward (the boat furthest from the wind).
  • Boats on the same tack but not overlapped, the boat in front must maintain clear of the boat in front. 
  • While tacking, a boat must keep clear of other boats that are not tacking.
  • Even if you have right of way, it is your responsibility to avoid a crash once it is obvious that the other boat is not maintaining clear.
  • Unless you gain the right of way as a result of the other boat’s conduct, you must first give the other boat enough distance to keep clear. (15th Rule)
  • Even if it has the right-of-way, a boat changing direction must do so in such a way that the laden boat has an opportunity to “stay clear”.
  • If you catch up towards another boat and wish to pass it to leeward, you must not luff further than you would have if the other boat wasn’t there.

Sailing sports in India 

indian sports
Image source:- News 18

In India, the first known race was sailed on 6 February 1830 in the western city of Bombay, and sailing as a sport in India may be traced back to that date. There were five major sailing clubs in India when the British left in 1947: Bombay, Madras, Bangalore, Barrackpore, and Nainital. Currently, clubs may be found in Kerala, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad, and Bhopal. The governing body for sailing, windsurfing, and motorboating in India is the Yachting Association of India. On May 15, 1960, the Yachting Association of India was formally established. Peter Conway of England was named the national sailing coach in 2011. With backing from the Indian Navy and the Yachting Association of India, India’s first National Sailing School (NSS) was established at the Upper Lake in Bhopal in 2006.

India has won a total of 20 medals in the Asian Games, in which they’ve bagged a single gold, 7 silver, and 12 bronze. 

Here is the list of following sailors who represented India in the Olympics Olympic year Players Category 
1. Germany Munich, 1972Soli Contractor and A.A. Basith29th in Flying Dutchman Class
2.The United States Los Angeles, 1984Farokh Tarapore & Dhruv Bhandari17th in 470 Class
3. South Korea Seoul, 1988 F. Tarapore & Kelly Rao17th in 470 Class
4. Spain Barcelona, 1992F. Tarapore & Cyrus Cama23rd in 470 Class
5. Greece Athens, 2004Malav Shroff & Sumeet Patel19th in 49er Class
6.China Beijing, 2008Nachhatar Singh Johal23rd in Finn Class
7.Japan Tokyo 2020Vishnu Saravanan

Nethra Kumanan

17th in Men’s 49er, 

20th in Men’s Laser

35th in Women’s Laser Radial

Best Indian Sailors 

S.noPlayer name 
1. Vishnu Saravanan
2.KC Ganapathy
3.Varun Thakkar
4. Nethra Kumanan

Sailing sports- Vishnu Saravanan

Vishnu Saravanan - KreedOn
Image Source: The Quint

Vishnu is a 22-year-old sailor who was born in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore. He qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and won a bronze medal at the Under-21 World Championships in Croatia in 2019, his first notable achievement. 

KC Ganapathy

Who is KC Ganapathy? - KreedOn

Kelapanda Chengappa Ganapathy is a proficient sailor from India. He currently represents India in the 49er event on a global scale. The tag team of KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar first got to taste tremendous success when they won bronze in sailing at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

Varun Thakkar

KC Ganapathy- KreedOn
Image Source:

Varun Thakkar is an Indian professional sailor who was born on February 10, 1995, in Tamil Nadu. He is presently representing India in international sailing competitions in the 49er class of boats. Thakkar managed to secure first place in the 49er Class at the Mussanah Open Championship 2021 at Millennium Resort in Oman. 

Netra Kumanan

Nethra Kumanan, Sailing - KreedOn
Image Source: News18

Nethra Kumanan is an Indian sailor, who won a bronze medal at the 2020 Miami Sailing World Cup. She is also the first Indian female sailor to win an Olympic qualification. Netra got her name in the history books became the first Indian woman to win a bronze medal at the World Sailing Cup in January 2020.

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Abhishek Mishra
Greetings, I'm Abhishek Mishra, a passionate sports writer, and football fanatic. Currently, I'm pursuing Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from GGSIPU, DELHI. I have a keen interest in sports and I aspire to become a sports journalist. I want to work in the overall development of sports and also work towards the grassroots and athlete recognition of our country.


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