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One of the most traditional Olympic sports, sailing was only adapted for Paralympians recently. It featured in the Atlanta Games in 1996 as a demonstration sport and four years later, in Sydney 2000, it was included in the Paralympic programme.

Paralympic sailing is open to athletes with any type of disability. In London 2012, a total of 80 sailors took part in the regattas.

There are three categories of the sport and no gender based division.  Men and women compete together in the 2.4mR, Sonar and SKUD 18 classes. The 2.4mR is an individual event, while the Sonar includes three athletes and the SKUD 18 consists of doubles, with at least one team member having to be female.


The scoring system based on the ability level allows athletes with several types of disabilities to compete together. After an assessment by the classifying committee, points are assigned based on functional abilities. Points go from 1 to 7, from the lowest level to the highest level of functional ability. Visually impaired athletes are placed in one of the three competition classes, based on their visual acuity and field of vision. In order to ensure that athletes with different scores and thus, different levels of disability are able to compete, the total number of points may not be higher than 14 per boat. 



From goalkeeper to sailor

In August 2006, Bruno was a promising goalkeeper at São Paulo Football Club, but his career was brought to an end when he became quadriplegic after a car accident. Indeed, the accident killed his teammate Weverson and his friend Natália Lane, a volleyball player. Bruno, who won the U-17 World Cup with Brazil in 2003, was in hospital for over eight months. Then, in 2009 he found a new calling in life. He started sailing twice a week in a club in São Paulo and soon began to stand out. He became a coxswain and alongside Elaine Cunha, qualified for his first Paralympics in 2012. They finished the competition in 11th place, with 96 points and are some of Brazil’s medal hopefuls for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

See also

Brazilian Sailing Confederation (CBVela)

International Sailing Federation (ISAF)