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Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

Remembering the early days of sailing races on TV

by Magnus Smith 17 Mar 13:30 GMT
1999 Hoya Vision Care Ultra 30 Grand Prix round 1 in Sunderland - Kevin Sproul steers Star Alliance © Peter Bentley

Do you remember when certain classes managed to make the breakthrough into television coverage, and have a whole series filmed, not just appear briefly on a single show?

Right now, the SailGP spectacle prepares for Otautahi, Christchurch in one week (23-24 March 2024), but can you recall its TV predecessors...

Early 1990s

The year 1994? I feel young again, just from mentioning it! Back then we had Ultra 30s with a crew of eight crammed in - these videos show them hiking, but the boats did switch to trapezes eventually.

More action here, this time from 1995...

Late 1990s

We now enjoy high quality on-water coverage, and shoreside interviews, from the Audi Laser 5000 Eurocup 1996 on Lake Garda. Andy Rice of Sailjuice looks very young here!

Mid 2000s

Extreme 40 (lowriding) catamaran racing ran from 2005 till 2016.

We turn the clock back to 2010 with the opening day of the UK round of the Extreme Sailing Series at Cowes Week. There were nine crews taking part in five short course races in front of the crowds at Egypt Point.

Let's enjoy some carnage now, to finish our nostalgia run...

The 2010s

The World Match Racing Tour brought keelboats and a whole new discipline to our screens. Here's some coverage from 2014.

What did we miss?

If you can find other great reminders of sailing on TV, let's share them with the world. You can submit video links to us for immediate review.

Today, and the future

SailGP was launched in 2018 with the F50 foiling catamarans, and shows no sign of stopping in 2024. Which of us can possibly predict what is next for televised sailing racing in ten years time?!

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