Windsurfing, Kitesurfing & Sailing

Windsurfing in Olympics Rio 2016: The Race Course

What is the windsurfing race course going to look like at the Rio 2016 Olympics?

Windsurfing was nearly axed from the Olympics in 2012 – but it’s back again for Rio 2016. Photo: Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy via. ISAF

Windsurfing is a truly exciting sport to watch when it comes to Olympic racing. At the Rio 2016 Olympics, there are two windsurfing events – the men’s RS:X and women’s RS:X.

36 countries have qualified to compete in the men’s RS:X fleet and 26 for the women’s. Every sailor races on the same board – Neil Pryde RS:X – with same sail, fin and daggerboard.

Windsurfers will complete a 12 race series. Points are awarded depending on their finishing position. So first place receives one point, second place two points – and so on.

If a competitor is disqualified or doesn’t finish a race, they will be awarded one more point than the total number of competitors i.e. if there are 20 competitors, they will be awarded 21 points.

After the 12 races, the top ten windsurfers will then go on to compete in the final. The worst points from their lowest race will be discarded and then the rest added up. In the Medal Race, the winner is awarded two points for first place, four points for second place and so on.

The competitor with the lowest combined points will win. If you are interested in the basic rules, read our article on windsurfing racing rules here. You can see the race course – which will be windward/leeward or trapezoid – below.

The Rio 2016 course as set by the IOC and ISAF. Photo: ISAF World Sailing

There are some concerns about the Olympic venue for Rio 2016. The waters in Guanabara Bay are very polluted. “This is by far the worst water quality we’ve seen in our sailing careers,” Austria sailing coach Ivan Bujala told Sport and Wisdom.

From Team GB, Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw are the pair to watch out for. Read about the windsurfing Team GB competitors here.

Windsurfing In The Olympics: An Essential Guide To The Rio 2016 Windsurfing Events, The Rules And Schedule

The RS:X events will take place at Marina da Gloria on Guanabara Bay, Brazil. The bay is a well known world-class sailing venue – back in 2009, it was a stopover point for the Volvo Ocean Race and in 2007, it was the sailing venue for the Pan American Games.

An artist’s rendering of the Marina da Gloria, ready for the windsurfing and sailing events at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Photo: Rio 2016/BCMF Arquitetos

It is currently scheduled to start on Monday 8th August and continue until Monday 15th August, but this may change depending on weather conditions.

You will be able to watch all of the events on the BBC. Brazil are four hours time difference behind us, which won’t be too problematic if you are hoping to catch the events live on TV in the UK.

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