Sub-menu Navigation

The Boat

The 49er Olympic Class - Men's Skiff

The 49er is one of the most exhilarating of all of the Olympic Classes, providing exciting racing over short courses. The 49er is a double handed twin trapeze skiff type sailing dinghy with a huge sail area (consisting of mainsail, jib and asymmetric spinnaker), twin trapezes and an ultra light hull it can reach up to 30 knots in speed.

The boat requires the crew to have a high level of agility and athleticism as they must make rapid, and often acrobatic movements. The two crew work on different roles with the helm making many tactical decisions, as well as steering, and the crew doing most of the sail control.

The 49er was designed by Australian architect Julian Bethwaite in 1995, with the class made its debut at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia.


49er - Stats

Designer Julian Bethwaite
Year Designed 1996
LOA 4.9m (16 ft 4 in)
Beam 2.4m (7 ft 9 in)
Draft 1.4m (4 ft 6 in)
Mainsail Area 20.0m2
Headsail Area 5.0m2
Spinnaker Area 50.0m2
Hull Weight 74.25 kg (163.7 lb)
Mast Height 7.0m (22 ft 10 in)
Crew 2 (double trapeze)
Olympic Debut 2000 - Sydney, Australia
UK Class Association


49er British Olympic Medals

Athens 2004
Bronze Chris Draper & Simon Hiscocks
Sydney 2000 Silver Ian Barker & Simon Hiscocks


London 2012 Olympic Games Top 3

Gold Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen   Australia (AUS)
Silver Peter Burling & Blair Tuke  New Zealand (NZL)
Bronze Allan Norregaard & Peter Lang  Denmark (DEN)

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Top 3

Gold Jonas Warrer & Martin Kirketerp Denmark (DEN)
Silver Iker Martínez de Lizarduy & Xabier Fernández Spain (ESP)
Bronze Jan-Peter Peckolt & Hannes Peckolt Germany (GER)


Find books for your course at the RYA Shop

eBooks in the cloud
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!
Please select...