Women's keelboat showdown


 
We look at the Yngling class and check out who the major players will be over the next few days in Qingdao
The Yngling was introduced to the Olympic Games for 2004 as the Women’s keelboat equipment. The boat is regularly criticised for being a little dull to sail or watch sailing as well as for attracting small numbers to events. However, this year a very strong fleet of contenders must make people sit up and take notice of what can be viewed as the Star for women. While it was only selected recently, the Yngling is relatively old, a design by Jan Linge from Norway for his son in 1967 – the word Yngling actually means ‘youngster’. At the time, the Soling was extremely popular and was being used as an Olympic class and as such the Yngling has got a reputation as a scaled-down Soling. This is not the case though as the design alters in a number of ways, with more beam and higher freeboard for example. This reputation is not entirely amiss though as the boat was designed in part a small sistership to the Soling. By coincidence the year the Yngling was selected for the Olympic Games was also the one when the Soling was removed. Typically the three sailors in a Yngling will be of very different builds, with the middle person the biggest and required to do much of the ’grunt’ work such as spinnaker trim downwind and provides the most righting moment upwind. The bow person tends to be very small but is by a long way the busiest of the three sailors. They are charged with controlling the jib upwind as well as launching and retrieving the spinnaker and handling the spinnaker pole downwind. Finally the helm has a relatively easy life sticking with the tiller and the main both up and downwind. At the last Olympic Games the selection of equipment by

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