• What is the SAILING Champions League?

    The competition of the best national sailing clubs on an international level. The best clubs are competing in the SAILING Champions League against each other. A well-known system, that we know from other sports.

  • How is the system for the SAILING Champions League?

    Three to four events take place each year. An event consists of four days. There are two semifinals pr three qualifiers and one final to find the SAILING Champions League champion.

    Qualified clubs for the semifinals:

    • Ranks 1 to 4 or 1 to 5 from each sailing league (depends on number of qualifier events)
    • Hosting club of the qualifier
    • Wild cards granted by the SCL steering committee

    Qualified clubs for the final:

    • Qualified clubs from qualifiers
    • Hosting club
    • Three top-ranked clubs from SAILING Champions League – Asia Pacific
  • What are the qualification criteria for the SAILING Champions League?

    An intact national sailing league as well as compliance with the Rule Book of the International Sailing League Association (ISLA).


  • How does the scoring for an SCL event look like?

    SCL uses the Low Point System of World Sailing. Each club gets points according to the result in a race, i.e. first place = 1 point, second place = 2 points, and so on. A boat that did not start, did not finish, retired or was disqualified shall be scored points for the finishing place one more than the number of boats entered in the series. All race results are counting for the overall ranking. In the end, the club with the lowest overall score wins. Ties will be broken as written in Addendum A of the Racing Rules of Sailing of World Sailing.

  • How are the wild cards for the qualifiers allocated?

    The wild cards are allocated by the ISLA (International Sailing League Association). In general, they are granted in favor of the countries and clubs that are in the process of establishing their own league or planning to do so shortly or countries, that are too small to establish their own league, but nevertheless have well-respected clubs, for example Malta or Monaco.

  • Can a club apply for hosting a SAILING Champions League event?

    Yes. The SAILING Champions League has been in Copenhagen, Porto Cervo, St. Petersburg and St. Moritz. All European sailing clubs (because Europe has the most sailing leagues) are welcome to get in touch with the SCL organisers to ask for the requirements to host an SCL event.

  • Which requirements are obligatory for a club to host an SCL event?

    A club must feel able to meet the requirements of an SCL event with 32 clubs and the challenging league format including a tight schedule on the water. Ideally the club can access a fleet of eight to nine one-design boats. The club is responsible for the smooth process on water (race committee, shuttle, umpire, spectator boats, press boats, photographer). The organisation of the onshore events are managed together with the SCL team. The work of the race office including the registration of the clubs is done by the SCL team. The club must have a defined budget for hosting an SCL event including the budget for live broadcasting.

  • How much is the starting fee per SAILING Champions League event?

    The starting fee per event is 1,000 Euro.


  • What is the International Sailing League Association (ISLA)?

    ISLA (International Sailing League Association) is the world governing body for national league sailing. ISLA is responsible for the promotion, development and success of the national league sailing format as exemplified by the SAILING Champions League events held in Europe each year.

    ISLA is the organizing authority of the SAILING Champions League events and is responsible for the Management Manual (Rule Book) of the national league sailing format.

    ISLA was established on 17 June 2016 to structure, organize and support national league sailing around the world.

    The mission of ISLA is to provide a framework for competitive and dynamic sail boat racing for all sailors across the entire sailing community in each nation: from the highly competitive first division competition for sailing looking for Olympic type competition to a more club like environment in the second division fleets.

  • What are the objectives of ISLA?
    • Publish, edit and maintain a rulebook (Management Manuel) to establish a strict racing format for all national sailing leagues around the world
    • Assist the conception and development of the national sailing league format in countries that have not begun this activity
    • Support and assist young national sailing league countries to further develop their league
    • Coordinate the ISLA and national sailing league activities with World Sailing
    • Provide solutions to national sailing leagues for development sponsors
    • Provide solutions to national sailing leagues for broadcasting and software services
    • Ensure that the SCL tournament structure and events continues to serve as the ultimate destination for national sailing league competitions
    • Cooperation with boat builders, sailmakers and sailing gear suppliers to furnish the best material for the national sailing league format
    • Run education program Umpires, national sailing leagues and World Sailing
    • Provide a platform where national sailing leagues can compare best practice of League Sailing across the world
  • How does a sailing leagues become member of ISLA?

    You can become a member via a membership application. Find all information here.

    A National Sailing League shall pay an annual membership fee to ISLA.


  • What is the basic concept of league sailing?

    The idea is simple and basically well known, since the mode is closely related to the league formats in other sports. Club competition, club against club, standardised ‘field’ or course, league ranking, league qualification, promotion and relegation, spectator friendly, team sport.

  • What are the success factors of a sailing league?

    The focus of all activities is on the sailing clubs! As a host, as a participant, as an ambassador for the public. But the most important effect that we’ve seen is the movement within the clubs. The sailors identify with their club, they are proud to have the honour to represent their club in the National Sailing League. Young and old, men and women, sailors from various classes are sailing together as a team for their club and fight for the reputation.

    In addition: A simple set of rules, short races, six to eight boats, professional public relations and social media activities, a firm organisation on the water and ashore. But also the constant communication of the organisers with the clubs and its sailors is crucial.

  • Which clubs are eligible to start?

    In general, all clubs are eligible to start that have an official status of their national sailing association. If a league is established for the first time, and even if a 1st and 2nd division exist, a qualification for the starting allowance makes sense. But to do this, there have to be teams facing relegation and newcomers, who have to prove themselves in the qualification.

  • How many events should a sailing league have?

    Between three and seven events per year. Each event normally consists of three racing days. The idea is to manage 45 races in total (three races per flight, each race with six boats, which means, that each club has sailed once after one flight). With 18 clubs this means a maximum of 15 races per event per club.

  • How much is the starting fee for a sailing league event?

    An average of 200 to 400 Euro per league event (three days) per club. Some countries have a starting fee of 1,000 Euro, depending on logistics, event management, branding, etc. Defined by each country itself. Of course, sponsors are helpful to keep the starting fee moderate for the clubs.

  • Which sailing format does a national sailing league use?

    Fleet Race. Up-and-down sailing with a windward mark and a leeward gate. The duration of each race is between 12 and 15 minutes maximum.

  • Which boat class should be selected?

    The ideal league boat fulfills the following criteria: One-design, simple to sail by three to five crew members, easy to transport with a trailer, gennaker or spinnaker. In most countries, the J/70 has established itself, a boat, that is not just sailed in the leagues, but also became a new one-design boat class. But a Melges24, Melges20, Delphia24 or similar boats would be also suitable for the league sport.

    Each league uses between four and eight boats for a league event. One spare boat in case of damages can also be helpful.

  • Who provides the boats?

    The boats are ideally provided centrally by the league organisation. Advantage: Similar boats, similar condition, similar trim settings, uniform appearance and more simple for the participating sailing clubs. Another possibility for the league organisation is to make a sponsoring agreement with a national retailer: The retailer could not get a better “test drive experience” for the sailors.

  • How does the system works with less boats than participating clubs?

    A race is sailed with four/six/eight boats. Let’s take six boats as an example: Six clubs are racing in one race at the same time. Six further clubs are sitting on a RIB to be shuttled to their boats right after the first group crossed the finish line, because the second starting signal will be just three minutes later. The remaining six club teams are waiting ashore. The rotation of the teams continues like this. The pairings (club against club encounters) of the single races are rotating according to a fixed pattern (pairing list). The goal: The same number of races (45 in total during three days, 15 races per club and league weekend), the best possible distribution of encounters (club against club).

  • How many people are required to organise a national sailing league?

    Ideally between three to four persons: A project manager, a person for the onshore organisation, a person for the offshore organisation as well as a person for PR and social media. To produce video footage and images, a cameraman and a photographer should also be hired. Plus the numerous volunteers, that are needed for a sailing regatta by default: Race committee, jury (umpire), buoy tender, starting vessel, etc.

  • How many countries have already established a national sailing league?

    Since 2013, 17 European countries and the USA founded a sailing league. There are more countries to follow.

  • How many clubs are competing in the national sailing leagues?

    If you sum up the clubs in all countries, there are already over 300 clubs competing in league sailing. Usually between 18 and 80 clubs per country.

  • How successful are the leagues in the different countries?

    The leagues gain wide support in all countries. Sailors, clubs, media, sponsors, cities and the associations love the format. It’s not exaggerated to say that league sailing revolutionised the sport of sailing.

  • How are the leagues organised in the countries?

    Very differently. In some countries, the clubs did join forces to form a national league association. In other countries, the league format was pushed forward by a few clubs ­– often supported by a professional agency. But most of the times, the national sailing association was the driving force – like in Denmark, Sweden, Austria or now in France.

    The result in most countries will most probably be a triangular relationship: national sailing association – league association – agency/marketer.

  • Is there some "start-up aid" for founding a league?

    Yes, there is. “Konzeptwerft”, the creator of the sailing league format, offers support for countries to found a league. Background information, presentations, check lists onshore/offshore, Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions as well as a kick-off workshop are supposed to make the start easier. Why invent everything again or find out yourself, if proven concepts can be reproduced?!

  • Is there a management manual as a guideline?

    Yes. There is a management manual, the so-called rule book. You find it here.

    With the cooperation of different, national league organisations, the most important rules are defined (obligatory rules and optional recommendations), which enable the comparison and standardisation of the leagues. This is especially relevant regarding the qualification for the international SAILING Champions League.

  • Are there possibilities to get support for marketing?

    Yes, there are. Even today, we are trying to convince global partners to invest in the SAILING Champions League as well as in the national league markets. But “Konzeptwerft” can also support on a local level.

  • How can a country manage the live broadcasting of their league?

    With SAP Sailing Analytics, SAP has developed a tool providing professional broadcasting of a league events (GPS tracking, live leaderboard, overall leaderboard, relevant statistics and performance data). We can get you in contact with SAP. More information about the services offered: