While people can carry on sailing for the rest of their lives, sailing at Olympic level is fiercely competitive and requires top-level fitness.
Sailing at this kind of level is physically and mentally challenging. At the elite level, it is not just only competitive, it is a highly sophisticated science that requires athletes to be highly fit and agile, as well as tactically and mechanically aware. This level of sailing requires more than just technical boat-handling skills - the equipment sailors use, their diet, their problem-solving abilities and their reaction times all can make a difference to performance.
Typical build: Muscular with powerful arms and legs. Those who sail at competitive level must have a good sense of balance and be physically strong. They have to be agile and their reaction times need to be quick.
Technique: Sailing at a competitive level is physically and mentally challenging. This level of sailing requires more than just technical boat-handling skills - the equipment sailors use, their diet, their problem-solving abilities and their reaction times all can make a difference to performance.
Training programme:Top level fitness is required and to reach Olympic competitive standards, those who sail need to train five times a week on the water.
Cardiovascular fitness: Weight training and a high level of cardiovascular fitness are essential for those who take part in the sailing event.
Resistance training and muscles: Muscle strength plays a major role in sailing, especially the muscles of the back, the trunk, the stomach, the arms and the legs. The legs can be strengthened by means of weights work.
Reaction time: Reaction time needs to be fast, as conditions on the water can change in a split second.
Endurance training: Power endurance training is essential and participants need to achieve top level fitness to compete in lengthy events.
Nutrition: Today's athletes follow eating plans that are more scientific than ever before. Many professional athletes have their own nutritionists and certainly all the Olympic teams will have at least one.