Sailing at the 2016 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Sailing, Rio 2016.png
Venues Marina da Gloria
Dates First race: 8 August 2016 (Meulan)
Last race: 18 August 2016
← 2012
2020 →
Sailing at the
2016 Summer Olympics

Sailing pictogram.svg
List of sailors
RS:X men women
Laser Radial women
Laser men
Finn men
470 men women
49erFX women
49er men
Nacra 17 mixed

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.


Equipment and event changes[edit]

  • The (RS:X), Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470, and 49er all return for 2016.
  • The keelboat disipline 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.
  • In terms of gender 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 Badmington are the other olympic sports with a mixed discipline.
  • Women’s skiff discipline has been added using the same equipment as the mens skiff disipline 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 News[edit]

Following the announcement of the game 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 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.[8]

Event news[edit]

Both the Finn Gold medal, RS:X Mens gold and silver medal, 470 Womens gold were effectively decided before the medal race. The 49er class gold was decided with both the final series race and medal race remaining.

Medal race course while providing a spectacular background had its critics due to the variable wind conditions.

Competition format[edit]


For more details on this topic, see Sailing at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Qualification.

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.[9]

Classes (equipment)[edit]

Class Type Event Sailors Trapeze Mainsail Jib/Genoa Spinnaker First OG Olympics so far
RS:X Sailboard Venus symbol.svg 1 + 2008 3
RS:X Sailboard Mars symbol.svg 1 + 2008 3
Laser Radial Dinghy Venus symbol.svg 1 + 2008 3
Laser Dinghy Mars symbol.svg 1 + 1996 6
Finn Dinghy Mars symbol.svg 1 0 + 1952 17
470 Dinghy Venus symbol.svg 2 1 + + + 1988 8
470 Dinghy Mars symbol.svg 2 1 + + + 1976 11
49er Skiff Mars symbol.svg 2 2 + + + 2000 5
49erFX Skiff Venus symbol.svg 2 2 + + + 2016 1
Nacra 17 Multihull Mars symbol.svg & Venus symbol.svgPair 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.[10] Any ties in the final rankings were broken in favour of the competitor/crew finishing higher in the Medal Race.[11]

Competition schedule[edit]

The competition started on 8 August and finished on 18 August.[12]

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 ●●● ●●● ●●● ●●●

Weather forecast[edit]

The weather forecast was available in Serviço Meteorológico Esportivo – Weather forecast for sailing.


Participating nations[edit]


Medal summary[edit]

Medal table[edit]


*   Host nation (Brazil)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Great Britain 2 1 0 3
2 Netherlands 2 0 0 2
3 Australia 1 3 0 4
4 New Zealand 1 2 1 4
5 Croatia 1 1 0 2
6 France 1 0 2 3
7 Argentina 1 0 0 1
Brazil* 1 0 0 1
9 China 0 1 0 1
Ireland 0 1 0 1
Slovenia 0 1 0 1
12 Denmark 0 0 2 2
13 Austria 0 0 1 1
Germany 0 0 1 1
Greece 0 0 1 1
Russia 0 0 1 1
United States 0 0 1 1
Total 10 10 10 30

Women’s events[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
RS-X insigna.png
2016: Women’s RS:X
Charline Picon
Chen Peina
Stefania Elfutina
Laser Radial insigna.png
2016: Laser Radial
Marit Bouwmeester
Annalise Murphy
Anne-Marie Rindom
470 insigna.png
2016: Women’s 470
 Great Britain (GBR)
Hannah Mills
Saskia Clark
 New Zealand (NZL)
Jo Aleh
Olivia Powrie
 France (FRA)
Camille Lecointre
Hélène Defrance
49er insigna.png
2016: 49erFX
 Brazil (BRA)
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
 New Zealand (NZL)
Alex Maloney
Molly Meech
 Denmark (DEN)
Jena Mai Hansen
Katja Salskov-Iversen

Men’s events[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
RS-X insigna.png
2016: Men’s RS:X
Dorian van Rijsselberghe
Nick Dempsey
 Great Britain
Pierre Le Coq
Laser insigna.png
2016: Laser
Tom Burton
Tonči Stipanović
Sam Meech
 New Zealand
Finn insigna.png
2016: Finn
Giles Scott
 Great Britain
Vasilij Žbogar
Caleb Paine
 United States
470 insigna.png
2016: Men’s 470
 Croatia (CRO)
Šime Fantela
Igor Marenić
 Australia (AUS)
Mathew Belcher
William Ryan
 Greece (GRE)
Panagiotis Mantis
Pavlos Kagialis
49er insigna.png
2016: 49er
 New Zealand (NZL)
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 Australia (AUS)
Nathan Outteridge
Iain Jensen
 Germany (GER)
Erik Heil
Thomas Plößel

Mixed events[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
NO Class insigna.png
2016: Nacra 17
 Argentina (ARG)
Santiago Lange
Cecilia Carranza Saroli
 Australia (AUS)
Jason Waterhouse
Lisa Darmanin
 Austria (AUT)
Thomas Zajac
Tanja Frank