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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - AUS LEADERBOARD Crew weights in the Olympic classes

by Andy Rice on 2 Nov 2007
Heavy Air - Star Europeans 2007 - Lake Garda - fairly obvious why Star crews are the heaviest of the Olympic sailors Fried Elliott

This is Part 4 of a series of articles running on looking at the Events and Equipment that will be contesting the Olympic Sailing Regatta in Weymouth in 2012.

On 9 November, just a few days from now, the International Sailing Federation will vote on which 10 Events will constitute the Olympic Regatta in Weymouth 2012. An interesting task, considering that there are currently 11 Categories, so ONE MUST GO. This is your opportunity to have your say, by taking part in the Olympic Classes 2012 Survey. More than 1,000 sailors have already shared their views. Read on, and then if you want to add your voice to the Survey, which closes on Monday morning, 5 November, click on the link below,

Olympic Classes Survey:

now, on to the main article of the day…


I can feel it in my bones. The topic of crew weight is really going to get you going. I know this because of the huge amount of feedback that has flooded into The Survey on this very subject. Some say there is nothing for the little people to sail, others say there’s nothing for the big people. All depends on your point of view, I suppose.

So I decided to take a look at the competitive weights currently operating within the 11 fleets. Now, before you remind me that Qingdao is just around the corner and that every Olympic aspirant is on an emaciation diet for the anticipated light – or complete lack of – wind in China, here’s what I did.

Firstly I asked a few sailors, people like Darren Bundock in the Tornado and Carol Cronin (former top American Yngling sailor) their views. But beyond that I took a look at the official website for the ISAF World Championships in Cascais earlier this summer. If you go to, you’ll see that under the Entry List for each class, the sailors have provided their crew weights in kilograms.

Now, the good thing about Cascais was that it was predicted to be windy. Do you remember the slogan for the event?

'The wind is calling…'

Well, as it turned out, the wind wasn’t just calling, it was howling! So I have made the assumption that sailors would have wanted to perform well in the anticipated strong winds and their crew weights would be representative of a normal Olympic cycle building up to an Olympic Regatta where any type of wind could be expected. It’s certainly the case that many sailors went on a crash diet immediately after Cascais in a bid to lose as much weight as possible before the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao a month later.

So I took the weights of the top 10 finishers in each class World Championship at Cascais, and did a few sums.

Below is a table of the Men’s and Women’s Classes, where I’ve shown the average (mean) weight for the top 10 in each fleet, plus the full range of weights in the top 10:

Men’s and Open Olympic Classes (Top 10 in Cascais)

Laser – Average Weight: 81kg. Weight Range: 78 – 84kg
Finn – Average Weight: 100kg. Weight Range: 94 – 110kg
RS-X - Average Weight: 73kg. Weight Range: 68 – 79kg
49er Helm - Average Weight: 71kg. Weight Range: 68 – 77kg
49er Crew - Average Weight: 77kg. Weight Range: 72 – 80kg
470 Helm - Average Weight: 65kg. Weight Range: 60 – 67kg
470 Crew - Average Weight: 71kg. Weight Range: 65 – 75kg
Tornado Helm - Average Weight: 73kg. Weight Range: 69 – 79kg
Tornado Crew - Average Weight: 76kg. Weight Range: 71 – 79kg
Star Helm - Average Weight: 94kg. Weight Range: 80 – 110kg
Star Crew - Average Weight: 102kg. Weight Range: 90 – 115kg

Women’s Olympic Classes (Top 10 in Cascais)

Laser Radial - Average Weight: 66kg. Weight Range: 58 – 70kg
RS-X - Average Weight: 57kg. Weight Range: 52 – 62kg
470 Helm - Average Weight: 57kg. Weight Range: 49 – 65kg
470 Crew - Average Weight: 67kg. Weight Range: 61 – 70kg
Yngling Helm - Average Weight: 67kg. Weight Range: 60 – 79kg
Yngling Middle - Average Weight: 67kg. Weight Range: 55 – 74kg
Yngling Crew - Average Weight: 66kg. Weight Range: 60 – 82kg

Now, there are a few things you should know. Not all of the weights were accurate. In fact, how would you know the accuracy of any them? But I’ve had to make the assumption that for every sailor that overestimated his weight, there was another that underestimated.

However, I had to remove some weights where they were just plain nonsense.

For example, all of the British weights gave the same statistics for every sailor in a given fleet. To give you an example, all the British Laser sailors come in at a standard 1.80 metres tall, and 80kg in weight. All the Finn sailors are 1.90 metres tall, and 90kg in weight. Perhaps this is the secret to Team GBR’s success… they’re CLONING their sailors!!!

For the rest of this story see:

Related articles:

>>>> 470 looking like the fall-guy at ISAF meeting -

>>>> Can you afford to go to the Olympics -

>>>> Olympic 2012 classes - cut them to 8 -

>>>> The Rise and Rise of the Olympic Dinghy -
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