the governing body for the sport of yachting. Previously called the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU), which introduced the International Metre Class in 1907, it changed its name in August 1996. The ISAF, which currently (2004) consists of 114 member nations, is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the governing authority for sailing worldwide. As such, it is responsible for the promotion and development of the sport internationally and has established several international events including the ISAF Team Racing and Match Racing World Championships. It also manages sailing at the Olympic Games, develops the racing rules for all sailing competitions, trains judges, umpires, and other administrators, and represents sailors in all matters concerning the sport. There are currently 79 ISAF International and Recognized Classes, ranging from the smallest, the Optimist Dinghy, to the largest, the Maxi One-Design.
Subjects: Maritime History.