From luxury yachts to streamline rowing boats, Olympics to regattas, taking to the water has never been so popular. There's no greater feeling than being out on the open waters, battling against the elements or standing on shore and watching some of the most talented sportspeople in the world show you how it's done.
With various events taking place across the year, we've picked out some of the very best sailing events to catch in the next twelve months.
Qingdao Olympic Sailing port
Olympics Sailing - 29th July to 11th August, 2012
Home to some of the best natural waters for sailing in the UK, Weymouth and Portland - located in Dorset on the south coast of England - is the place to be for sailing at the London Olympics. Ten sailing events will take place here during the Games with ticket holders being able to see the star of the competition, three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie. Unless you're a sailing expert though, rules and points scoring can be pretty tricky to understand so check out the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) or more information.
Did you know...? Great Britain has been the most successful country in each of the last three Olympic sailing competitions in Sydney, 2000, Athens, 2004 and Beijing, 2008.
Vendée Globe, France - starts 10th November, 2012
Taking place every four years, the Vendée Globe is the ultimate test for sailors. The event, which has about 30 competitors, lasts for around three months and is the only round-the-world single-handed yacht race that is sailed non-stop. The 23,000-mile race starts and finishes in Les Sables d'Olonne, passing the west-coasts of Spain and Portugal including Lisbon before heading past the Canary Islands, South Africa, Australia and the east coasts of Brazil and Argentina.
Did you know...? Since the event started in 1989, only half of the 118 boats that have taken part have managed to complete the race.
Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race - 26th December, 2012
Rather than sitting with their feet up on Boxing Day eating too much Christmas turkey, a number of sailors will be preparing to take part in the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race. The 630 nautical miles race - starting in Sydney and finishing in Hobart - is one of the most popular sporting events in Australia with 88 boats taking part in 2011.
Did you know...? During an exceptionally strong storm in the 1998 race, five boats sank and six people died. Only 44 of the 115 boats that started the race made it to Hobart.
Henley Royal Regatta (Rowing) - 3rd July to 7th July, 2013
Although there are many rowing regatta's throughout the year, the Henley Royal Regatta is without doubt the most famous in the world. Taking place over a five-day period, the regatta really is one of the highlights on the sporting calendar, attracting thousands of spectators every year. The event includes over 200 races on this famous course that is traditionally 1 mile and 550 yards long.
Did you know...? A massive £2 million is spent on staging the five-day Regatta every year.
Round the Island Race - 30th June, 2013
Attracting 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors, the annual Round the Island Race takes place around the beautiful Isle of Wight and is one of the largest yacht races in the world. In fact it appeals to some of the best sailors on the planet, as well as families and first-timers with competitors from across the UK, Europe and even as far away as the USA. The course is 50 nautical miles long with various vantage points for spectators along the way.
Did you know...? The race has the 4th largest number of participants in any UK event behind the London Marathon, Great North Run and Great South Run.
If you fancy combining your holiday with a bit of sporting action, we've got great deals on hotels to make sure it's a trip to remember.