"Allowing different impairment groups to compete together..."

Rutland Sailability 419
Rutland Sailability

Sailing has been used as means of transport for thousands of years, but it took off as a leisure activity  around 400 years ago in Holland.

Sailing, which was first included in the Paralympic Games as a demonstration event at Atlanta 1996, is open to male and female athletes with a physical or visual impairment. 

Around 28 countries currently compete in Sailing events around the world.

The sport has a classification system that assigns points between one (those with the lowest functional ability) and seven (athletes with the highest functional ability) allowing different impairment groups to compete together by limiting the crew points in a boat at any one time.

There are three boat classes at the Paralympic Games: the Single- Person Keelboat (2.4mR), the Two- Person Keelboat (SKUD18) and the Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar). Weather permitting,  11 races are sailed and final placings are determined by the accumulation of points scored in each race, with one race discarded (the boat’s worst placing). The team that incurs the fewest points in total is the winner.

Sailing is a very adaptable sport at a non-elite level, meaning a wide range of impairments can be catered for. 

Other Sports