Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023


Know your facts:

  • Sailing has been a sport at Special Olympics World Games since 1995
  • Unified Sports? Yes
  • Estimated number of athletes participating: 45 athletes & 33 Unified partners

The goal of the sailing competitions is to sail a boat as fast as possible around markers on a certain course. Each sailing team consists of two or three members.


Special Olympics feature:

We have created the sailing rules based on the "Racing Rules of Sailing" by World Sailing. The score of each team in its level is based on the total number of race results without the worst result after four races. The winning team will receive one point, the second place team two points and so on. The overall winner is the team with the lowest total number of points at the end of all series sailed.


We have five levels of performance for sailing competitions:

  1. Athletes are responsible for the main sail trim.
  2. Athletes must control the helm during the entire regatta.
  3. The athletes sail with a coach on board. However, they have complete control of the boat.
  4. The entire team consists of Special Olympics athletes.
  5. The athletes compete single handed.

By the way:

Sailing around the world in a westerly direction is more difficult than in an easterly direction.

The photo shows an athlete during a sailing competition.
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The photo shows two athletes on a sailing boat, who give each other a high five.
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The photo shows a dynamic scene of a sailing competition. The boat with two athletes lies diagonally in the water.
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The photo shows a sailing boat with two people on it. It is a Unified Sports team consisting of one athlete and one Unified Partner.
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A picturesque image of a sailboat on the water and against a blue sky.
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Sailing takes place at Wannsee.