Windsurfing, Kitesurfing & Sailing

Windsurfing in Olympics Rio 2016: The Rules

Not sure what the rules are for windsurfing racing at the Olympics? Read on...

Windsurfing racing rules are very similar to sailing rules. Photo: iStock

There are many rules when it comes to windsurfing in the Olympics. If you know the rules of sailing racing, then you are already ahead of the game – as they are very similar.

The windsurfers are set to 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. After the 12 races, the top ten will go on to compete in the final.

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

With 36 men and 26 women competing in the RS:X windsurfing events at the Rio 2016 Olympics, it is set to be an exciting series. Find out who is competing in windsurfing for Team GB here.

A quick peak at the Rio 2016 Olympic windsurfing RS:X test event. Photo: ISAF

Here are a few basic windsurfing race rules to get you started:

  • At the start, don’t cross the line until the starting signal goes off.
  • When windsurfers are on opposite tacks, a board on port tack gives way to starboard tack. An easier way to spot this – if the windsurfer’s right hand is in front on the boom, they are entitled to hold their course – the other person has to dodge out of the way.
  • When boards are on the same tack and overlapped, the windward board has to keep clear of the leeward board.
  • When boards are on the same tack and not overlapped, the board behind must give lots of space when overtaking.
  • Competitors must avoid collisions at all costs – so no bashing into anyone!

If you are interested, read up on the full ISAF World Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing here.

Not sure what the course is going to be like? Read our article on the Rio 2016 Olympic windsurfing race course here.

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