GSN and Sailing

The 49er skiff
The world of sailing and yacht racing is vast, exhilarating and complex, just like the sport itself.
One of the few sports that pit man not only against his peers but against the often uncontrollable powers of Nature, Sailing is widely practiced around the world.
Its complexity stems from the bewildering array of classes of boats, from dinghy to skiff to windsurf to catamaran to America Cup boats to ocean going megayacths….To be on the safe side, GSN has begun by tracking the classes that form the essential base of the sport: Olympic classes.
All Olympic classes sail "one-design" boats. Contestants use boats and equipment, from spars down to blocks and tackles, which are identical for all, so it truly is best man (or woman) wins.
At the London 2012 Games, Sailing will offer ten gold medals: four to Women, in the Elliot 6m class (keelboat match race), Laser Radial and 470 (dinghy)and RS:X (windsurf); and six to Men, in the 470, Laser and Finn classes (dinghy), the 49er (skiff), the Star (keelboat), doyen of Olympic classes, and the RS:X (windsurf).
The sport is now regulated by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) founded in 1907 as the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU), changing its name in 1996.
Sailing made its Olympic debut at the 1900 Paris Games, with an emphasis on big boats with large crews and complex handicap systems to allow for difference in crafts. Starting from 1924 and increasingly from the 1950s onwards, the trend has been towards smaller and smaller one-design boats with fewer crew members. Fast, manageable, acrobatic and technical, they are the perfect representation of the sailing world on the Olympic stage.