The guide to the most significant sailing events during the whole year

The guide to the most significant sailing events during the whole year

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The yacht calendar is full of numerous competitions – Olympic, professional and amateur. We have chosen ten most significant of them.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Games


Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition

Dates: July 24 – August 9, 2020
Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbor, Japan

Since the debut in the 1900 Olympic program, sailing has not been included in it only once – in 1904. In 2020 the World Sailing Commission decided to leave all disciplines that were presented in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 without any significant changes, so we will have an opportunity to follow such competitions:

RS:X – Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser – One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial – One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn – One Person Dinghy (Men)
470 – Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er – Skiff (Men)
49er FX – Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling – Mixed Multihull

350 sailors will introduce their countries and compete for the Olympic gold, with an equal distribution between women and men. Qualification for the Games began in 2018 and will last until June 1, 2020. The latest quota places will be handed out at world championships in selected classes and continental competitions. Being the host of the Games, Japan has been guaranteed one quota place in each of the ten classes.

Alex Thomson Racing Vendee Globe


Vendée Globe

Dates: the start of the race – on November 8, 2020
Venue: around the world

The only solo sailing race around the world that also non-stop and without assistance. Competitors will raise their sails in November, 2020, in the recognized mecca of the world sailing, the city of Les Sables d’Olonne. The first edition of the regatta was in 1989 and only thirteen sailors submitted the race that race. Last time, over the eight seasons of this difficult trial of professionalism and willpower, 167 competitors took the start it and only 89 of them were able to finish.

Vendée Globe was inspired by another iconic race – the Golden Globe Race. In 1968 nine brave sailors started the circumnavigation on a route via three capes (Good Hope, Leuvin and Horne) and only the British sailor Briton Robin Knox-Johnston completed the race in a time of 313 days and returned to France. 20 years later a navigator Philippe Jeantot announced the Vendée Globe race. Competitors have to complete 21,638 miles (40,075 kilometers) and sail down the Atlantic, across the Indian and Pacific oceans, then sail back up the Atlantic. 60 foot sailboats of the IMOCA class take part in the regatta. Perhaps the most famous participant is Alex Thomson on the Hugo Boss racing boat.

The America's Cup World Series in New York City


The America’s Cup World Series

Sardinia – April 23-26, 2020
Next dates will be announced later
Venue: around the world

The America’s Cup match race is one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in the sailing world. It was first held in 1851 and outrun the Football World Cup by 20 years and the modern Olympic Games – by 45 years. It’s awarded to the winner of the series of match races between two sailing yachts. One of them is a defender of the yacht club, who hold the trophy, and another one is a challenger. Currently the America’s Cup is held by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who will stage the next edition.

In the new season it will be held on March 6-21, 2021, in the new 75 foot racing hydrofoiling monohull yachts AC75. During 2020 a circuit of preliminary regattas will be raced around the world. The first America’s Cup World Series regatta will take place in Sardinia at the end of April, 2020. A Christmas Regatta in Auckland, New Zealand, will culminate the preliminary circuit before the main selection regatta of the PRADA Cup (Challenger Selection Series).

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race


Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Dates: December 26-31, 2020
Venue: Sydney, Australia

One of the strongest ocean races in the world and biggest Australian open-air sailing festival are timed to the Boxing Day. The race is starting in Sydney, New South Wales, and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The distance is approximately 630 nautical miles. In 2020 the regatta will be held for the 76th time. Over the years, it ranks in world status with Rolex Fastnet Race, Newport to Bermuda Race. Members of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have repeatedly become champions of numerous regattas around the world.

Cowes Week


Cowes Week

Dates: August 8-15, 2020
Venue: Solent Strait, UK

KOWZ is one of the oldest regattas in the world. It first took place in 1826 and outrun such top events as the America's Cup – by 25 years, Kiel week – by 56 years. In 2020 a Race Village will open its doors on 8th of August. The scale of the regatta is amazing: more than 1,000 yachts take part in competitions, bringing together on the water at least 8,500 yachtsmen. Entry list varies from professional sportsmen performing in Olympic and professional sports classes to those who go to sea on cruise yachts at the weekend.

Kiel Week


Kiel Week

Dates: June 20-28, 2020
Venue: Kiel, Germany

The Kiel Regatta was founded in 1882. This annual sailing event is not only one of the largest sport regatta in the world, but also it’s bringing millions of people from all over Europe to the largest beer/wine festival combined with travelling funfair in Germany – Volksfeste and the biggest tall ships convention for German and international traditional (mainly sailing) ships. The Kiel Week gathers every year more than 5,000 sailors on around 2,000 vessels in different divisions – Olympic, international sport classes, tall ships. On the last day before the Closing Ceremony more than 100 traditional ships and hundreds of yachts are participating in the Tall Ships Parade that was established in 1972, when Kiel hosted the Olympic sailing competitions.




Dates: October 4-13, 2020
Venue: Gulf of Trieste

This spectacular regatta was developed in 1969 as an initiative of the yacht club Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano to end a sailing season. The Barcolana, with over 2,689 registered yachts, marked a new Guinness World Record and became officially the "Largest Sailing Race in the World" in 2018. All participants are divided into groups (divisions) according to the overall length of the yacht. Thus, professionals and sailing enthusiasts can take the same start what makes the event especially exciting to follow the results.

2020 IRC/ORC World Championship


2020 IRC/ORC World Championships

Proposed dates: September 25 – October 3, 2020
Venue: Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Next IRC/ORC Worlds will host the New York Yacht Club. It’s the first time when the championship will be held in the United States since the IMS World Championship in 2000. Usually competitions include 2-3 offshore or coastal races and 6-7 inshore races. ORC and IRC ratings will be used for scoring results in three classes defined by size and rated speeds of yachts.

Rolex TP52 World Championship



Dates: March 30 – April 4
Venue: Cape Town, Africa

The world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit TP52 WORLD SERIES was developed in 2011 by owners of three key teams – Quantum Racing, Azzurra and Rán Racing. There is a mix of stand-alone TP52 regattas that includes six events in 2020, but also these high-performance sailboats will participate most prestigious regattas such as Copa del Rey Mapfre, PalmaVela, Rolex Middle Sea Race in an own TP52 division. At the end of March in Cape Town, an iconic place for racing, is announced the ROLEX TP52 World Championship 2020. It will be the very first visit of TP52 fleet to South Africa, so it will be highly supported by local owners as well as well-known local organisers.

Copa del Rey MAPFRE regatta


Copa del Rey MAPFRE

Dates: 1-8 August, 2020
Venue: Bay of Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The King’s Cup is now a highlight on the international sailing calendar. Competitions have been held annually since 1982, and over a 36-year history it has gained the status as one of the  popular well-run, renowned in the Meditteranean. The King’s Cup is played for six days, five of which include short-course racing in the Olympic loop and one day includes a coastal race of 30 miles. It features the highest level of competition for 100+ teams. Organizers of the regatta, the El Real Club Náutico de Palma, successfully gather participants of the America’s Cup, Olympic medalists and other world's best sailors as well as hundreds of sailing lovers together.

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