Sailing, like every other sport, must be supervised by a certified organization. In this case, it is called The International Sailing Federation, and it was created in 1907, in Paris. Also known as simply ISAF, this governing body was originally named the International Yacht Racing Union, and it was only in 1996 when it’s name was changed into The International Sailing Federation. The organization was formed after a meeting of several racing sailors, who wanted to come up with a set of sailing regulations that would be respected by everybody.
They wanted to reach a standard formula, because each yachting club had its own rules, so applying them in races was becoming more and more difficult. As sailing developed an amazing popularity, the need for a standard set of regulations was becoming obvious. At the time of its formation, The International Sailing Federation included yachting authorities of all the major powers in the world, like Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, Holland and Belgium, Norway, and Switzerland. In 1929, the United States joined The International Sailing Federation too. The International Sailing Federation is run by an elected president, and it is now officially recognized as the governing authority for sailing worldwide, by the International Olympic Committee. So among the responsibilities of The International Sailing Federation we can recall internationally promoting this sport, managing it at the Olympics, developing the sailing rules and regulations for competitions and judges, developing sailing at a global level and being the representative of sailors in all matters.
For a proper sailing promotion, The International Sailing Federation is now organizing several events, which have reached a global recognition and an immense popularity. Among them there are the ISAF Sailing Championships at the Olympics, ISAF Sailing World Cup, ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, ISAF Team Racing World Championship, ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship, ISAF Nations Cup and ISAF Match Racing World Championship. There are currently 137 nations which are members of The International Sailing Federation, which are there to make sure that everything involving sailing goes well and that more and more people will have the chance to practice this amazing sport.