The Sailing World Championships are the most important event organized by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). They are held every four years and bring together all Olympic classes in a single competition. Other years each class celebrates its World Championship separately. Santander 2014 will be the qualifier for Rio 2016.

The past ISAF Sailing World Championships were held in Cadiz (Spain) in 2003, in Cascais (Portugal) in 2007 and in Perth (Australia) in December 2011. 960 ships, 1,400 sailors and 95 countries represented are the most important numbers of this event, which moves about 5,000 people.