World Sailing is the international governing body and highest authority for the sport of sailing. The federation is responsible for the establishment of the Racing Rules of Sailing and regulations that apply for all sailing competitions. Despite the incredible popularity of the sport worldwide, it will always remain the responsibility of World Sailing to further promote the sport internationally. Apart from the Racing Rules, the highest standards are ensured through the training of judges, umpires, and the administrators overseeing competitions or running member federations.  

There are over a hundred Class Associations as members of World Sailing, which entitles each of them to hold a World Championship in that class. Strategies for the federation include building a strong image for sailing, providing a transparent governance structure that will appeal to all stakeholders, ensuring a safe environment at competitions, and delivering long-term growth through leadership and partner collaboration. The headquarters are based in Paddington, London.  

The International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU) was founded in Paris in October 1907 from the sole requirement that sailing had to have a uniform set of rules and measurement standards. Over 50 years later in 1960, a universal code of racing rules was finally agreed and implemented. IYRU changed its name to the International Sailing Federation in August 1996 to fall in line with the Olympic programme. Sailing forms an integral part of the Summer Games and the federation’s responsibility is to manage all these competitions in various classes. Currently the federation has over 140 member nations.

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