There are few things in life more exhilarating than sailing. Whether it is your own boat, or you are enjoying sailing tours San Diego, skimming over a large body of water powered by wind power is one of the most exciting things you can do. There is also the splendor of the boats to consider, many of them elegant constructions and things of great beauty. It has been that way for a long time. The history of sailing reaches far back in time, almost back to the earliest days of civilization.

The Early Days of Sailing

 Man used sails for transportation across the water as early as 5500 years ago, as indicated by a depiction of a ship under sail on an Egyptian vase dating back to 3500 BCE. Ancient Sumerians established trading routes with square rigged sailing boats at about the same time. Even before that, though, people from Asia sailed small craft from island to island around Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Around 1200 BCE, the people of Oceania used canoes with sails.

The following milestones highlight some of the most noteworthy events in sailing history:

1. About 1000 year ago the Vikings sailed to North America

2. Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492

3. The great era of Arctic exploration by Europeans occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries

4. World trade flourished Around the same time as sailing ships traveled the oceans

5. The HMS Beagle sailed from England in 1831 with Charles Darwin on board

Sailing Become a Sport

It wasn’t long after this that the modern era of sailing began, and it was only a matter of time before recreational sailing began. San Diego sailing charters began offering whale watching and corporate tours in recent years.

The Sport of Sailing

 With something as exciting as sailing, and given the adventurous spirit of humans, sailing as a sport and a competition was inevitable. Some claim sailing became a true sport in 1896, when it was included in the Olympics, but sailing competitions started much earlier than that. The Dutch held races as early as the seventeenth century.  Soon the sport spread to England and eventually to the American colonies. Around this period world competitions began and it was only a matter of time before sailing became a sport in the Olympics.

Nowadays, important sailing races occur throughout the globe, including the following competitions:

1. America’s Cup, the oldest and most prestigious international sailing event

2. The Summer Olympics

3. The Whitbread Around the World Race

4. The Newport-Bermuda Race

A number of racing events now occur across the globe. Competitions are held in nearly every corner of the world. Even the locations such as the Great Lakes hold a series of races, such as the Chicago to Mackinac event held in Lake Michigan. For many, the America’s Cup, though, is the race that all others are measured against.  It began in 1851, when members of the New York Yacht Club raced British sailors around the Isle of Wight. The competition soon became a world event, joined by other countries.

The Present

Whether for recreation or sport, sailing is a great activity with a bright future. Get out on the water today by taking a sailing tour in San Diego.