Only once every four years
The Sailing World Championships, which is held only once every four years, prepares the world’s best sailors for participation in the Olympic Games. In contrast to the Olympic Games, for which only one team per Olympic class per country qualifies, several teams from all countries may participate in this World Championship. As a result, there is a much stronger and larger field of competitors at the World Championships than at the Games.
Qualifying for Paris 2024
Not only do the world’s best sailors compete for the world title for a fortnight, the Allianz World Championships is also a qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Sailing World Championships is the principal qualification event for the Olympic Sailing Competition. Only the events and equipment included in the next Olympic Sailing Competition are included in the programme of the Championships.
The largest congregation of Olympic sailors converged on Cadiz in southwest Spain for the first World Championships from 11-24 September 2003.
From 28 June-13 July 2007, Cascais, Portugal hosted the second edition of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. Building on the success of Cadiz four years earlier, 1,350 sailors and 900 boats represented 76 nations.
Perth, Australia hosted the third Worlds in December 2011. 1,200 sailors from 79 nations took part, racing for world championship glory and Olympic qualification. As the principal qualification event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, 75% of all national places were decided.
Santander hosted the 2014 edition of the Sailing World Championships. More than 1,100 sailors in 700 boats raced over a two week period. The event saw 50% of Rio 2016 Olympic Games places snapped up.
The 2018 Sailing World Championships was held in Aarhus, Denmark in 2018 from 31 July to 12 August 2018. Sailors from over 100 nations raced in the waters in the Docklands overlooking the Bay of Aarhus at the exact spot where Vikings founded Aarhus. Kite surfing was added to the programme for the first time.
About Sailing as an Olympic sport
Sailing was first contested at the 1900 Olympic Games, made its next Olympic appearance in 1908 and has been on every Olympic programme since that year. It is one of the oldest sports on the Olympic programme and its Olympic history is littered with many heroes including some of the sporting world’s great figures.
In effect, sailing made its Olympic debut in Sydney, as it became the first Olympic sport to make a name change. The sport had always been called yachting in the past.