Three-person keelboat - open

Designed in 1979 by American Bruce Kirby, the Sonar has become a top choice for Paralympic racing.

The keelboat’s crew-friendly configuration allows disabled sailors to sail efficiently and safely and enjoy a high level of performance and excitement. The racer has a well contoured sit-in cockpit and when the wind gets up and sailors are sitting on the side deck, there is no tendency to fall forward into the boat unless she takes a real knock-down, which is a rare event in a Sonar.

There's no turning backwards and dangling your legs over the side; sailors face into the boat and whether up on the deck or sitting down on the seats, the sailor’s backside is always higher than their feet. In competition, the Sonar is sailed by three people with a fourth crew member available in case one sailor is unable to take part in the race.

The Sonar has been sailed in the Paralympics since sailing was included as a Paralympic sport in 2000.


Length: 7m (22ft 11in)
Breadth: 2.4m (7ft 10.5in)
Weight: 950kg (2094lb 6.26oz)
Type: Keelboat
Crew: 3
Designer: Bruce Kirby
Year: 1979 

London 2012 Paralympics Results

Gold: Udo Hessels, Marcel Van de Veen, Mischa Rossen - Netherlands

Silver: Jens Kroker, Robert Prem, Siegmund Mainka - Germany

Bronze - Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg, Per Eugen Kristiansen - Norway

Beijing 2008 Paralympics Results

Gold: Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka - Germany

Silver: Bruno Jourdren, Herve Larhant, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary - France

Bronze: Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden, Graeme Martin - Australia

Athens 2004 Paralympics Results

Gold: Dror Cohen, Arnon Efrati and Benni Vexler - Israel

Silver: Udo Hessels, Marcel Van De Veen, Mischa Roseen and Annette Ten Dam - Netherlands

Bronze: John Ross-Duggan, Jean Paul Creignou, Bradley Johnson and Roger Cleworth - USA


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