08/06/2009 18:17 +0300
| TENNIS |
A means of transport since
antiquity, the competitive sport of sailing is a unique
combination of athleticism, skill and technology used to
harness the power of the wind and waves.
Sailing was first contested
as an Olympic sport in Paris in 1900, although the race
format and the classes of competing boats have changed
significantly since then reflecting the global spread of the
sport as sailing has become more accessible around the
world. Olympic racing is now conducted with boats
categorised into one-design classes based on similar weights
Races are sailed in what is
known as a fleet racing format: fleets of equally-matched
boats racing around the same course area at the same time.
The boats race around courses, which incorporate a variety
of different sailing angles: upwind, downwind and reaching.
Races are scheduled to last
between 30 and 75 minutes depending on the event. Scores are
awarded according to finishing positions in each race. Each
event consists of a ten-race opening series (15 for the
49er), from which each boat can exclude one score. The ten
boats with the lowest accumulated scores at the end of the
opening series qualify for the Medal Race. In this race on a
shorter course, the points scored are doubled and added to
the opening series’ scores to decide the top ten positions.
Boats are identified on the
water by national flags on sails and the crew names on the
mainsail. The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Racing
Rules of Sailing are in force for all boats racing.
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