The Sailing regatta at the Tokyo Games will comprise 10 medal events (five for men, four for women, one for a man/woman duo):

  • Men’s RS:X (1-person windsurfer)
  • Men’s Laser (1-person dinghy)
  • Men’s Finn (1-person heavyweight dinghy)
  • Men’s 470 (2-person dinghy)
  • Men’s 49er (2-person skiff)
  • Women’s RS:X (1-person windsurfer)
  • Women‘s Laser Radial (1-person dinghy)
  • Women’s 470 (2-person dinghy)
  • Women’s 49er FX (2-person skiff)
  • Mixed Foiling Narca 17 (2-person multihull)

The venue for sailing at the Tokyo Olympics is the Enoshima Yacht Harbor, which was built for the 1964 Tokyo Games.

The first Olympian to capture four gold medals in the same individual event — in any sport — was Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom, who won the Finn class in 1948, 1952, 1956 and 1960. Another Finn medalist of note is John Bertrand, who earned bronze in 1976 before skippering Australia II to victory at the 1983 America’s Cup, ending 132-year domination by American sailors.

Events with 10 Opening Series Races:

  • Men’s Laser
  • Women’s Laser Radial
  • Men’s Finn
  • Men’s 470
  • Women’s 470

Events with 12 Opening Series Races:

  • Men’s Windsurfer
  • Women’s Windsurfer
  • Men’s 49er
  • Women’s 49er FX
  • Mixed Nacra 17

Opening Series

All competitors/crews will participate in the opening 10- or 12-race series where a low-point scoring system will be used. The winner of each race receives one point, the second-place finisher receives two points, and so on. Failure to finish or disqualification results in the earning of one more point than the total number of competitors (i.e. if there are 20 competitors in an event, a failure to finish would earn a crew 21 points).

At the end of the opening 10- or 12-race series, each crew/competitor’s score from their worst performance will be discarded. The remaining points will determine the rankings.

Medal Race

The ten competitors/ crews with the best (lowest) overall score from the opening series compete in the medal race. Points earned in the medal race are doubled (two points for first place, four points for second, and so on) and added to the total points from the opening series to determine the final rankings.

Schedule & Weather Delays

Sailing is weather dependent; sailing competitions are known for competition schedule changes, which can be made due to not enough wind, too much wind, or unstable wind. If weather conditions on any given day are not ideal, racing may be delayed until the wind is considered suitable by the race committee.

All classes will initially be scheduled to sail two races on each day during the scheduled competition, except the windsurfer, 49ers and Nacra 17 classes, which will sail three races on each day of the scheduled competition. Due to weather conditions, up to one extra race per day may be sailed, with no event being more than one race ahead of the schedule.

It is possible that, due to unsuitable wind conditions, not all scheduled races will be completed by the end of competition. In such cases, at least one race must have been sailed in order to award medals. If the medal race is not completed, medals will be awarded based on the series score for the prior races.

Tie Break Rules

Any tie after the medal race will be broken in favor of the boat finishing with the better placement in the medal race.

If the medal race is not completed, medals will be awarded based on the series total score. If two or more competitors are tied, a two-stage tie break procedure is used.

Ties are broken in favor of the competitor who has:

  1. The most number of first places, then second places, etc.
  2. Achieved a higher placing in the last race of the event


Here’s the expected duration of each event according to World Sailing (as of December 2019):

Event Opening Series Medal Race
Men’s Windsurfer 20-25 minutes 20 minutes
Women’s Windsurfer 20-25 minutes 20 minutes
Men’s Laser 50 minutes 25 minutes
Women’s Laser Radial 50 minutes 25 minutes
Men’s Finn 50 minutes 25 minutes
Men’s 470 50 minutes 25 minutes
Women’s 470 50 minutes 25 minutes
Men’s 49er 30 minutes 20 minutes
Women’s 49er FX 30 minutes 20 minutes
Mixed Nacra 17 30 minutes 20 minutes

More information:

Official Tokyo site – Sailing

USA Sailing

World Sailing