Established: 1900 when sailing first joined the Olympic Games programme
Greatest Team Achievement: 55 Olympic sailing medals, including 26 gold, making Great Britain the leading Olympic Classes sailing nation
Team Goal/Target: To be the best sailing nation in the world
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The British Sailing Team in the Olympic and Paralympic classes consists of two squads of sailors – the Podium Squad and Podium Potential Squad. These sailors participate in regattas around the world and take part in the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Each win brings them closer to their goal – to be selected to be part of Team GB, or Paralympics GB representing Britain at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Olympic class competitions comprise 10 classes: Finn, Laser/Laser Radial, 470 (men’s and women’s), 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17, RS:X (men’s and women’s windsurfers), and three Paralympic classes: the 2.4mR, SKUD18 and Sonar.
The team is managed by the Royal Yachting Association, and is made up of approximately 100 sailors who compete in thirteen different classes. The sailors are backed up by support staff including coaches, nutritionists, meteorologists, psychologists and physiotherapists.
Great Britain is the world’s leading Olympic Classes sailing nation, having won more gold medals than any other in Olympic history. British sailors topped the medals tables in Sydney, Athens and Beijing and won more medals than their rivals on home waters at London 2012, including a fourth gold medal for Sir Ben Ainslie who then became the world’s most decorated Olympic sailor.