The 49er is one of the most exhilarating of all of the Olympic Classes, providing exciting racing over short courses. 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. Designed by Australian architect Julian Bethwaite in 1995, the class made its debut at the 2000 Sydney Games.


Length: 4.995m (16ft)

Breadth: 2.9m (9ft)

Weight: 70kg (155lb)

Type: Skiff

Crew: 2

Designer: Frank Bethwaite

Year: 1995

Beijing 2008 Olympic Results

Gold: Jonas Warrer / Martin Kirketerp Ibsen - Denmark

Silver: Iker Martinez / Xavier Fernandez - Spain

Bronze: Jan-Peter Peckolt / Hannes Peckolt - Germany

Athens 2004 Olympic Results

Gold: Iker Martinez / Xavier Fernandez - Spain

Silver: Rodion Luka / George Leonchuk - Ukraine

Bronze: Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks – Great Britain