Aim of the game
Powered only by the wind, sailing boats crewed by athletes with physical, motor and visual impairments must navigate the designated course faster than their opponents
Why should you watch this?
For the excitement of cheering on your favourite sailors in an event that brings men and women into direct competition at the mercy of the same conditions in the unpredictable waters of the beautiful Guanabara Bay
Side protected from the wind
Equipment used to indicate the wind direction
Side of the boat blown by the wind
Impress your friends
The first international sailing competition for disabled athletes took place in Switzerland in the 1980s
Before its formal introduction to the Paralympic programme at the Sydney 2000 Games, sailing was an exhibition sport at Atlanta 1996
At the Sydney 2000 Games, Australia’s Noel Robins, Jamie Dunross, Graeme Martin and Germany’s Heiko Kroeger, became the first ever Paralympic sailing champions
Competing against 15 men at the London 2012 Games, Britain’s Helena Lucas became the first woman to win gold in the 2.4mR class
Dutch sailor Udo Hessels is the only athlete to take part in four consecutive Paralympic sailing competitions, as well as the exhibition spot at the Atlanta 1996 Games
With a gold and two silver medals in the Sonar class, Germany’s Jens Kroker is the only sailor in the world to hold three Paralympic sailing medals
Paralympic sailing boats are designed for greater stability and are more spacious to allow the crew to move around more easily
Bruno Landgraf, Brazil’s SKUD 18 representative at the London 2012 Games, was a professional goalkeeper until he suffered a serious car accident that left him tetraplegic
Two boats take up position at either end of an imaginary starting line. The course is defined by buoys placed at regular intervals on the water.
In a sport dictated by the wind, competitors need to adapt to the climatic and sailing conditions if they are to win.
Competitions consist of a series of races from which sailors are awarded points depending on their finishing positions, one for first, two for second and so on. The top ten then compete in a final medal race, worth double the number of points, with the winner having the lowest points total at the end.
A single-hull, dual-sail, one-person boat, 4.16m long and weighing 260 kg. Made its debut at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
A single-hull, three-sail, two-person boat, 5.8m long and weighing around 400kg. Made its debut at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
A single-hull, two-sail, three-person boat, 7m long and weighing almost a ton. Made its debut at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Sailors are classified from 1 to 7: the lower the number, the more severe the impairment. The system allows athletes with different impairments to compete together. Sailors compete individually or in crews of two or three.
A three-person team’s combined total cannot exceed 14. In the two-person event, one sailor must be classified 1 or 2, and one must be female.
usaMaureen McKinnon Tucker
Athletes & Teams
|16 - 20||1|
|21 - 25||5|
|26 - 30||16|
|31 - 40||19|