In Canoe Sailing, athletes sail small sleek canoes that are propelled by large racing sails that harness the power of the wind. The craft are capable of high speed, creating some great racing and nail-biting finishes.
Just as with Va’a, the first Canoe sailors were Polynesians who used outrigger hulls, later on double hulled catamarans, complete with sails. These were used to explore and populate the Pacific islands.
Canoe Sailing as a sport began in Europe in the 19th century, when canoes for competition and recreational purposes appeared. John MacGregor founded the Canoe Club in 1866, and before long the members of the Canoe Club were developing specialised craft for racing with a rudder and sail.
When the ICF was revived in 1946 the 10 m2 Canoe was adopted as the ICF class, but the first World Championships were not held until 1961 in Hayling Island (GBR). They took place every four years until 1975, after which they have been organised every three years. Canoe Sailing remains a discipline under control of the ICF. For more information see http://www.intcanoe.org/
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