Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Incidence of anthropometric variables on the performance of top Optimist sailors

Antonio Palomino-Martín, Diego Quintana-Santana, Miriam Esther Quiroga-Escudero, Adelina González-Muñoz



The aim of this study was to determine the anthropometric profile of top Optimist sailors to examine how anthropometric variables influence their performance, taking the wind conditions into account. The study comprised 180 sailors (158 males and 22 females) aged 11-15 years competing in the Optimist World Sailing Championship held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, from 23 July to 3 August 2003. A descriptive correlational design was used. Assessments were made before and during the championship. The variables studied were body weight, height, arm span, lengths, fat tissue, muscle tissue, somatotype and performance level, in relation to race finishing place. The mean characteristics presented by the Top Group (sailors ranked 1 to 45) were: body weight (48.3 ± 6.4 kg), height (159.9 ± 5.4 cm), arm span (167.4 ± 6.5 cm), trunk length (37.2 ± 3 cm), lower limb length (90.7 ± 3.9 cm), fat tissue (10.5 ± 1.6%), muscle tissue (45.5 ± 2.1%) and somatotype (endomorphy 2.4 ± 0.9; mesomorphy 4 ± 2.5 and ectomorphy 3.3 ± 0.9). A close relation was observed between finishing place and the variables of weight, height, age, arm span, lower limb length, upper arm girth, sum of skinfolds, muscle weight, bone weight and residual weight. Top sailors tend to be meso-ectomorphic, with significant values for muscle mass and linearity and low fat content.


Dinghy sailing; Body composition; World Championship; Regatta


Carter, J.E.L. (1975). The Heath-Carter Somatotype Method. San Diego State University, San Diego.

Carter, J.E.L. (1982). Body composition of Montreal Olympic athletes. In: JEL Carter (Ed.). Physical structure of Olympic athletes. Part I. The Montreal Olympic Games Anthropological Project. Basel: Karger, 107-116.

Carter, J.E.L. (1984). Age and body size of Olympic athletes. In: JEL Carter (Ed.). Physical structure of Olympic athletes Part II. Kinanthropometry of Olympic athletes. Basel: Karger, 53-79.

Carter, J.E.L., Heath, B.H. (1990). Somatotyping: development and applications. Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge: Cambridge.

De Rose, E.H., Guimaraes, A.C. (1980). A model for optimization of somatotype in young athletes. In: M Ostyn, G Buenen and J Simons. (Eds.), Kinanthropometry II. Baltimore: University Park Press, 77-80.

Durnin, J.V.G., Rahaman, M.M. (1967). The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness. Brit J Nutr., 21: 681-689.

Garrow, J.S., Webster, J. (1985). Quetelet's index (W/H2) as a measure of fatness. Int J Obesity. 9: 147-153.

Glass, G.V., Stanley, J.C. (1974). Métodos estadísticos aplicados a las Ciencias Sociales. Prentice/Hall: Madrid.

Housh, T.J., Johnson, G.O., Housh, D.J., Kenney, K.B., Hughes, R.A., Thorland, W.G., & Cisar, C.J.. (1990). The effects of age and body weight on anthropometric estimations of minimal wrestling weight in high school wrestlers. Res Q Exerc Sport., 61(4), 375-382.

Jacinto, I.C., Menezes, F.S., & Schütz, G.R. (2008). Análise postural de jovens velejadores. Revista Brasileira de Ciência e Movimento, 16(4), 1-19.

Lohman, T.G., Roche, A., & Martorell, R. (1988). Anthropometric standardization reference manual. Human Kinetics: Champaign, IL.

Martorell, R., Mendoza, F., Mueller, W.H., & Pawson, Y.G. (1988). Which side to measurement: right or left? In: TG Lohman, AF Roche and R Martorell (Eds.), Anthropometric standardization reference manual. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics, 87-92.

Matiegka, J. (1921). The testing of physical efficiency. Am J Phys Anthropol. 4, 223-230.

Mcardle, W.D., Katch, F.I., & Katch, V.L. (1990). Fisiología del ejercicio. Energía, nutrición y rendimiento humano. Alianza Deporte: Madrid.

Oliveira, L.F., Polato, D., Alves, R.B., Fraga, S., & Macedo, A.R. (2011). Perfil antropométrico e funcional de velejadores da classe "Optimist". Rev Bras Educ Fís Esporte, 25(1), 173-179.

Rocha, M.S.L. (1975). Peso ósseo do brasileiro de ambos os sexos de 17 a 25 años. Arquivos de Anatomía e Antropología, 1, 445-451.

Tan, B., & Sunarja, F. (2007). Body mass changes and nutrient intake of Optimist class sailors on a race day. J Sport Sci., 25(10), 1137-1140.

Tejada-Medina, V. (2013). Análisis de las variables antropométricas y su influencia sobre el rendimiento deportivo en regatistas de la clase optimist de vela. Editorial Universidad de Granada : Granada.

Würch, A. (1974). La femme et le sport. Médecine Sportive Française, 4(1), 441-445.


Copyright (c) 2017 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.