Don't miss a shift with news from the dedicated source of Olympic Class Windsurfing.

  1. Class Constitution
  2. Championship Rules
  3. Qualification System
  4. '08 Agenda




About Olympic Windsurfing
Windsurfers are the fastest monohull sailing crafts in the world today. It is believed that there are more windsurfers worldwide today than all other sailboats combined, and their popularity continues to grow. This is due to the craft's small size, low cost, portability and the excitement of "flying" over the water as if there were no craft below.
Windsurfers are great athletes, navigators, and sailors. Physically, the best windsurfing sailors are tall, lean and extremely fit. Yet, it is common to see a 105-lb. woman complete a race in the same time as a 160-lb. man, thereby proving that balance and sensitivity to the windsurfer are equally critical.
Windsurfing made its Olympic debut in 1984 (Los Angeles). Races are run on the same "trapezoid" and "Windward-Leeward" courses as all other sailing classes, which incorporate upwind, reaching and downwind legs. A typical day of competition consists of 2-3 races, each lasting around 45 minutes. The Olympic Regatta will consist of 16 races over 9 days (including two rest days).

The Physical Element
Windsurfing is a very physical sport and was made even more so when unlimited "pumping" was allowed after the 1992 Olympics. Pumping the sail creates artificial wind and can greatly increase the sailors speed. Sailors pump as often as they can throughout the race to have the highest speed possible. Pumping is extremely taxing on the body and requires both power and endurance. Studies have shown that Olympic Windsurfers are as fit as elite rowers and cross country skiers. To be competitive sailors must be in top physical condition. However, windsurfing is still a finesse sport and also requires good starts, boatspeed and tactics for success.

The RS:X One-Design Equipment
The RS:X was chosen as the Olympic board in 2004 and will represent its first Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008. The RS:X can be raced in winds of 3 to 30 knots. The board begins to "plane" in winds of 8 knots of wind and can reach speeds over 30 knots. When planning, theboard lifts out of the water like a water ski and dramatically increases speed. RS:X is a One Design Class with all the equipment supplied by NeilPryde and each piece manufactured to a standard specification. This levels the playing field by minimizing the "gear factor" and ensures that the best sailor, not equipment, will win.


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