Windsurfing: learn the points of sail | Photo: Carter/PWA

The points of sail represent the range of angles and directions that the windsurfer and the board can sail in relation to the wind.

There six essential points of sail: the no-go zone, close-hauled, close reach, beam reach, broad reach and run. A windsurfer will always be on either a starboard tack or port tack, except when headed to the wind (in irons).

In theory, if you sail in a circle, you will navigate through all of these points of sail. But before taking a look at the board's orientation in relation to the wind, let's analyze them one by one:

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Downwind: the most unstable point of sailing | Photo: Carter/PWA

Learning how to sail downwind is a basic windsurfing technique. Discover how find the balance quick and easy.

If you're a windsurfing beginner and you've just managed to sail upwind, you will need to master the art of sailing with the wind. Initially, the problem is just that you feel too much power in the sail.

As a result, it's never easy to keep the right balance between you, the board and the sail. The first useful tip is that you should keep your body low, and use it to counterbalance the increased pull of the rig.

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Aquece Rio 2014: don't touch that water | Photo: Aquece Rio

Raw sewage. All RS:X windsurfers taking part in the upcoming Aquece Rio, in Brazil, will be competing and training in highly contaminated waters.

The Olympic test event will take place in the race area of Marina da Gloria and Guanabara Bay between August 13th-22nd, but the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is worried about the quality of the local waters.

"Sailors were concerned with objects that may interfere with racing during the Olympic Games, and in response the state government launched a tender of up to $11 million for 17 eco barriers to be put in place. These eco barriers will prevent floating garbage from entering Guanabara Bay and the race areas," ISAF tells in an official statement.

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