THE 11 EVENTS
- Men (4 categories): RS:X (windsurfing), Laser (solo dinghy), 470 (2-man dinghy), Star (2-man keel boat)
- Women (4 categories): RS:X (windsurfing), Laser Radial (solo dinghy), 470 (2-man dinghy), Yngling (3-man keel boat)
- Mixed (3 categories): Finn (solo dinghy), 49er (2-person dinghy), Tornado (2-person catamaran)
There are 11 regattas for each event (16 for the 49ers). The winner of each regatta gets 1 point, the 2nd place two points and so on. The winner at the end of the 11 regattas is the competitor(s) with the fewest points. Each competitor or team has their worst result erased (2 worst results in the 49ers competition).
The first regatta is held on the river Thames in England between the boat of the Duke of York and Charles II, from Greenwich to Gravesend.
The first sailing club is created in the United States, the New York Yacht Club (N.Y.Y.C.), and sends a boat, the "America", to participate in the Queens Cup in England. "America" easily wins the Cup ahead of 15 English boats, returns home with the Cup and henceforth lends its name to the competition.
The American Joshua Slocum becomes the first man to succeed in completing a solitary round-the-world crossing, unaided, in his sloop "Spray".
The planned sailing events in the first Games of the modern Olympiad are cancelled due to bad weather.
Sailing makes its Olympic debut in Paris. After a brief non-participation at the Games of 1904 in St Louis, sailing has remained on the Olympic programme ever since.
Two Americans invent the Optimist, a boat which opens up the sport to a wider population.
A women's only 470 event, which had previously been a mixed affair, is organised for the Games in Seoul.
Changes at the Olympics: In wind surfing, the Mistral is replaced by the RS:X,. In women's solo dinghy the Europe category is replaced by the Laser Radial.
- Paul Elvstrom (Denmark)
The greatest. Four consecutive gold medals, in Firefly (1948) and then Finn (1952, 1956, 1960). Nine Olympic appearances between 1948 and 1988. At the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, at the age of 56, he finished 4th in Tornado with his daughter Trine. 8-time world champion in 6 different categories.
- Valentin Mankin (USSR/Ukraine)
The all-rounder. He is the only man to win 3 gold medals in 3 different boats. In 1968, he won the Olympic title in the Finn category, four years later, he was also champion in Tempest and finally in 1980, he picked up a third gold in Star. He also picked up an Olympic silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Games in the Tempest event.
- Harry Melges (United States)
The great American. Bronze medalist in the Flying Dutchman category in 1964, the American had his first moment of glory in 1972 when he won the Olympic Soling event. Twenty years later, he helped Bill Koch, his co-skipper of America 3 win the 1992 America's Cup, one of the few men to win titles in both.