Sailing as a sport and recreation owes its creation to Piracy. The traders and sea farers were in deep trouble when they couldn't recover their lost assets from the sea thieves. Thus began the building of jaghtschips, or hunting ships; the word jaght in Dutch meaning “ to hunt”.
The jaghtschips, a swift, maneuverable sailing vessel about 14 to 20 m (about 45 to 65 ft) in length was renamed Yachtships by the English. These vessels were fast and flexible and were used to catch pirates. But it soon caught the fancy of the Lords and Kings and they soon adopted them for their pleasure cruising in the Thames River. King Charles II popularized the sport in England after receiving a yacht as a gift from the Dutch people.
Eventually, yachting developed as a speed sport and the first recorded Yachting race - “The 100 Guineas Cup race”, renamed as the “Americas Cup”, was held in the year. Yachting was later adopted by the International Olympic Committee as an official sport in 1900 at Paris.
In the late 19th century Yachting was revolutionized by the appearance of various types of power-driven craft, particularly steam yachts. These enormous steam yachts were gradually succeeded by smaller, less costly, cabin cruisers powered by gasoline or diesel engines.
Sailing achieved unprecedented heights of popularity with amateur Yachters after World War II. Reduced maintenance costs with the use of fiberglass and aluminum for hulls and nylons, a general rise in personal income, better communication links and the construction of several Marinas contributed to the surge in Yachting Activity in this century.