Olympic sailing is really confusing

Published on October 25th, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Sailing is confusing, and for the Olympics, it’s really confusing. We have event names, like Men’s One Person Dinghy and Mixed Multihull, which isn’t that confusing. But we rarely use the event names, preferring instead to use the equipment name, like ILCA 7 and Nacra 17.

Sailing has 10 events, but 20 possible event names, plus both events and equipment change all the time. A report on Olympics.com tried to answer the question, ‘What are the differences between the Olympic sailing events at Paris 2024?’

To double down on the confusion, the report seeks to offer “insight into the nuances of and differences that may exist between some disciplines which can seem very similar.” This should be good!

Then there is the Laser which was introduced at the 1996 Games and is now called the ILCA. Or the 49erFX which was introduced at the 2016 Games, but is often referred to as the FX or spelled incorrectly as the 49er FX.

The Windsurfing event is its own worst enemy. Introduced in 1984, it has changed equipment five times, with the latest shift to the iQFOiL for the 2024 Games. Note the use of upper- and lower-case letters. This gets screwed up all the time.

Take the test: Name all ten events and the equipment to be used at Paris 2024 (answer here).

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