The business of sailing records would be a real mess if not for the forethought shown in 1972 when the International Yacht Racing Union (now International Sailing Federation) established the World Sailing Speed Record Council. The council’s experience and authority ensure standards are such that new records allow for repeatable conditions, and attempts to break existing records find no shortcuts.
WSSRC is the lone authority for sailing records, but not every record gets recorded. Records need substance and uniqueness, and should involve only performance. Yet there are many records in WSSRC’s book, maybe too many, recognizing solo or crewed efforts, multihull or monohull boats, etc. WSSRC will recognize gender records too, but not efforts that involve the human condition, such as age (youngest or oldest) or ability/disability. The group is expert in measuring speed, it says, while seeing measuring people as less of an exact science.