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What is Yacht Racing? (Here’s All You Need To Know)

what is a yacht race

Have you ever watched a yacht race, with its colorful sails gliding across the water in a graceful dance? Have you ever wondered what it takes to participate in yacht racing? This article will take you through all you need to know about yacht racing, from the different types of yachts and races, to sailing clubs and regattas, technical knowledge and skills, safety, and the benefits of yacht racing.

We’ll also explore some of the most popular events and races.

So whether you’re an avid sailor or just curious about this exciting sport, you’ll find all the information you need here.

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Yacht racing is a competitive sport and recreational activity involving sailing yachts .

It is most popular in areas with strong maritime cultures, such as the UK, US and Australia.

Races typically involve a course that boats must follow, which can vary in length depending on the type of race.

Competitors often use advanced sailboat designs, and use tactics and strategy to try to outmaneuver their opponents in order to be the first to cross the finish line.

Types of Yachts Used in Racing

Yacht racing can be done with a wide variety of boats, from dinghies and keelboats to multihulls and offshore racing boats.

Dinghies are small, lightweight boats with a single sail and are often used in competitive racing.

Keelboats, on the other hand, are larger and heavier boats with a fixed keel and two or more sails.

Multihulls, like the popular catamaran, are boats with two or more hulls and are designed with speed and agility in mind.

Finally, offshore racing boats are designed for long-distance racing and are typically larger and more powerful than other types of yachts.

No matter what type of yacht you choose to race, they will all have common features that make them suitable for racing.

All yachts must have a mast, sails, hull and rigging, and will usually feature a deck, compass, and navigation equipment.

Additionally, racing yachts are often fitted with safety features such as life jackets, flares, and emergency radios.

Each type of yacht has its own unique characteristics, and some are better suited for certain types of racing than others.

For example, dinghies are better suited for short-course racing, while offshore racing boats are better for long-distance racing.

Additionally, keelboats and multihulls are often used for more challenging types of racing, such as distance racing or match racing.

No matter what type of yacht you choose for racing, it is important to remember that safety should always be your first priority.

Be sure to check the weather conditions before heading out and make sure that you have the proper safety equipment on board.

Additionally, it is important to get professional instruction or join a sailing club to ensure you have the necessary skills to race safely and enjoyably.

Types of Races

what is a yacht race

Yacht racing events can take place in a wide variety of forms and formats, from long-distance ocean racing to short-course inshore racing in protected bays and estuaries.

Each type of race requires different skills and equipment, and the type of race you choose to participate in will depend on your sailing experience, budget and the type of boat you have.

Long-distance ocean racing is a popular form of yacht racing, with races often taking place over several days and often involving multiple stages.

These races often have several classes of boat competing, with each boat competing in its own class.

These races may involve sailing around a set course or route, or they may be point-to-point races, where the boats sail from one point to another.

Inshore racing is the most common form of yacht racing, with races typically taking place over a few hours or a single day.

This type of racing is often conducted in protected waters, such as bays and estuaries, and generally involves shorter course lengths than ocean racing.

Inshore races may involve multiple classes of boat, or they may be one-design classes, where all boats are the same model and size.

Multi-hull racing is another popular type of yacht racing and involves boats with two or more hulls.

These boats are generally faster and more agile than monohulls, and races are often held over a short course.

These races can be highly competitive, with teams of experienced sailors vying for position and race victory.

Offshore racing is similar to ocean racing, but often involves much longer distances and more challenging conditions.

Races may take place over several days and multiple stages, and require a high level of experience and skill.

Offshore racing boats are usually specially designed for speed and agility, and may have multiple crew members on board to help manage the boat in challenging conditions.

Sailing Clubs and Regattas

Yacht racing is a popular sport around the world, with sailing clubs and regattas held in many countries.

Sailing clubs are organizations where members can come together to race, learn, and enjoy their shared passion for the sport.

Membership in a sailing club usually includes access to the clubs facilities, equipment, and training classes.

Regattas are large-scale yacht racing events, often hosted by a sailing club.

The regatta can be organized for any type of boat, from dinghys to offshore racing boats, and the races can be held over a series of days.

The goal of the regatta is to crown the winner of the overall race, or the individual class honours.

Sailing clubs and regattas are a great way for sailors of all levels to come together and compete.

They give sailors an opportunity to hone their skills, network, and make friends with other passionate sailors.

Additionally, these events are often open to the public, so they give the general public a chance to see the amazing spectacle of yacht racing up close.

If youre looking for an exciting and fun way to get involved with sailing, look no further than your local sailing club or regatta.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

what is a yacht race

Yacht racing is a sport that requires a great deal of technical knowledge and skill.

Competitors must be familiar with the physics and dynamics of sailing, including how to read the wind and manipulate their vessel to maximize speed and maneuverability.

They must also be able to understand the principles of navigation, so they can accurately plot a course and adjust it to take advantage of the prevailing wind and current conditions.

Furthermore, competitors must be able to read the weather and use that information to their advantage in the race.

Finally, competitors need to have a good understanding of the rules of the race and how to adhere to them.

Yacht racing is a complex sport with a steep learning curve, and it requires a great deal of experience and practice to master.

Safety is a key element of yacht racing, as it involves operating large vessels in often unpredictable and hazardous conditions.

All racers must be properly equipped with the appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets, flares, and a first aid kit.

It is also essential that all racers are familiar with the rules of the race, and have a good understanding of the safety protocols that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

All yacht racing events must be properly insured, and there are often medical personnel on standby in case of an emergency.

Before any race, all participants must sign a waiver declaring that they understand the risks involved and accept responsibility for their own safety.

Benefits of Yacht Racing

what is a yacht race

Yacht racing is a great way to challenge yourself and take part in a thrilling sport.

It offers numerous benefits to those that participate, from improved physical health and mental well-being to an opportunity to travel and explore new places.

Whether youre a beginner or an experienced sailor, yacht racing provides an exciting and rewarding experience.

One of the main benefits of yacht racing is its impact on physical health.

It requires a great deal of strength and endurance, as the sailors must use their arms and legs to control the boats sails and rudder.

Its also a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health.

Additionally, sailing is a low-impact sport, meaning theres less risk of injury than other more strenuous activities like running or cycling.

Yacht racing also has many mental benefits.

Its a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the ocean, as well as the camaraderie and excitement of competing in a team.

Additionally, it gives sailors the opportunity to put their problem-solving skills to the test, as they must think quickly and strategize in order to succeed.

Yacht racing also requires quick decision-making, which can help to improve mental acuity and develop a more acute awareness of ones surroundings.

Finally, yacht racing is a great way to explore new places and meet new people.

Races often take place in different locations around the world, meaning sailors can get a glimpse into different cultures and explore new destinations.

Additionally, yacht racing provides an opportunity to socialize with other sailors, as well as make connections in the sailing community.

Overall, yacht racing is a great way to challenge yourself and reap the numerous physical, mental, and social benefits that come with it.

With its exciting races and stunning locations, its no wonder that yacht racing has become a popular sport around the world.

Popular Events and Races

Yacht racing is an exciting and popular sport with events and races held all over the world.

From the world-famous Americas Cup to local regattas, there are races and events of all sizes and skill levels.

The Americas Cup is the oldest and most prestigious yacht race in the world, with the first race held in 1851.

Held every 3-4 years in a different location, the Americas Cup pits the worlds best sailors against each other in a battle of boat speed, tactics and teamwork.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is another major race, held annually in Australia.

The race begins in Sydney Harbour and ends in the port of Hobart, Tasmania and is known for its unpredictable and challenging conditions.

The Whitbread Round the World Race (now known as The Volvo Ocean Race) is a grueling nine-month, round-the-world yacht race.

This race is one of the most challenging and dangerous races in the world.

In addition to these larger races, there are many smaller local and national regattas and races that offer an opportunity for sailors of all skill levels to compete.

From small dinghy races to larger keelboat and offshore racing events, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in yacht racing.

Yacht racing is a fun, competitive and rewarding sport and with so many events and races available, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Whether you are a competitive sailor or just looking to have some fun on the water, yacht racing is the perfect sport for you.

Final Thoughts

Yacht racing is an exciting and challenging sport that is enjoyed by many around the world.

With a variety of yacht types, races and events to choose from, there is something for everyone.

To get started, it is important to have a good understanding of the technical skills and knowledge needed, as well as the safety protocols associated with the sport.

With the right preparation and dedication, yacht racing can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

If you’re interested in taking up this exciting sport, make sure you check out your local sailing clubs and regattas to find out what’s on offer.

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Racing Rules and Regulations

  • by yachtman
  • September 6, 2023 August 26, 2023

what is a yacht race

Yacht racing is an exciting sport! It requires skill, accuracy, and knowledge of rules . These regulations guarantee fair play and safety. To really appreciate the activity, you must understand the regulations.

At first, navigating the rules may seem intimidating. But breaking them down into chunks makes it easier. One important point is the hierarchy between boats. It shows which boat should give way in different situations.

It’s also important to know the race signals. They communicate crucial info, such as race starts and course changes. Participants and spectators need to know these.

Stay updated on any rule changes or amendments issued by World Sailing . They refine existing regulations and add new ones to improve the sport. Knowing the latest rules will give you confidence.

Finally, read case studies of past incidents/disputes during yacht races. This way you can learn from mistakes and be ready for unexpected situations.

Understanding the Basic Rules of Yacht Racing

Understanding the Fundamental Regulations of Yacht Racing

Yacht racing involves a set of basic rules and regulations that govern the competition. These rules are essential for ensuring fair play and safety on the water. To help you understand the fundamental regulations of yacht racing, here is a concise 5-step guide:

  • Start Line Procedure: Before the race begins, all yachts must line up at the designated starting line. This line is typically marked by buoys or flags, and competitors must position themselves according to the rules specified by the race committee.
  • Right of Way: Yacht racing follows a set of right-of-way rules that determine which yacht has precedence in certain situations. For example, a yacht on a starboard tack (wind coming from the right side) usually has right of way over a yacht on a port tack (wind coming from the left side).
  • Mark Roundings: Yacht courses often include marks, such as buoys or flags, that competitors must round during the race. The rules specify how yachts should approach and pass these marks to ensure fair competition and prevent collisions.
  • Protests and Penalties: If a competitor believes that another yacht has violated the rules, they can file a protest with the race committee. The committee will then investigate the incident and may impose penalties on the offending yacht if the protest is upheld.
  • Finishing Line: The race concludes at the finishing line, which is typically marked by buoys or flags. Yachts must pass this line in the correct direction and often have to radio or signal their finish time to the race committee.

These steps outline the key elements of understanding the fundamental regulations of yacht racing. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these rules to ensure a safe and fair competition.

Pro Tip: Before participating in a yacht race, take the time to thoroughly study and understand the specific rules and regulations for that event. This will help you navigate the race effectively and avoid unnecessary penalties.

Get ready to navigate through a sea of confusing jargon as we dive into the essential terminology of yacht racing – it’s like learning a new language, but with more wind in your sails.

Essential Terminology in Yacht Racing

Yacht racing requires a unique language to be mastered by all sailors. Knowing these terms is essential for successful communication and cooperation during races.

Check out some of the key vocab words used in yacht racing:

Plus, other crucial terms like “luffing” (sail fluttering due to lack of wind), “tiller” (lever for steering boat) and “hull speed” (maximum speed a boat can reach in water).

Pro Tip: Get to know these essential yacht racing terms to up your enjoyment of this exciting sport!

Key Rules and Regulations for Yacht Racing

Yacht Racing: A Comprehensive Guide to Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations governing yacht racing are crucial for ensuring fair and competitive events. Understanding these guidelines is essential for both participants and organizers to guarantee a level playing field and maintain the integrity of the sport. Below, we have compiled a table highlighting key rules and regulations for yacht racing in an easily accessible format.

Key Rules and Regulations for Yacht Racing:

These rules and regulations provide a framework that allows for fair competition and keeps participants safe. However, it is important to note that each race may have additional guidelines specific to the event or location, and participants should familiarize themselves with these unique details.

One such incident in the world of yacht racing involved a team that, due to a technical malfunction, found themselves adrift just moments after the race had begun. With quick thinking and teamwork, they managed to rectify the issue, rejoin the race, and ultimately finished in an impressive third place. This story illustrates the resilience and determination required in yacht racing, where unforeseen challenges can arise at any moment.

Yacht racing rules and regulations are comprehensive and necessary for maintaining fairness and safety. By adhering to these guidelines and being prepared for unexpected circumstances, participants can fully engage in the thrilling and competitive world of yacht racing.

Navigating through the racing course is like playing chess, except the pieces are yachts and the stakes are higher – imagine the drama when someone accidentally knocks over the queen!

Racing Course and Markings

Ahoy, mateys! Hop on board for a wild race on the high seas! It’s time to learn about the racing course : a carefully crafted area for a thrilling competition . Keep your eyes peeled for the start line – it marks the beginning of the race. Then, look out for the turn marks ; these designated points show where sailors must change direction. Finally, the finish line indicates the end of the race.

If ye want to be the best sailor, ye must understand these course and marking details. It’s essential for a successful yacht racing experience, so don’t miss out! Time to set sail and make your mark in the world of yacht racing.

Right of Way and Collision Avoidance

In yacht racing, we must pay close attention to the right of way and collision avoidance. Following specific rules and regulations is key to ensuring a fair race and preventing accidents.

Let’s look at the key rules related to right of way and collision avoidance in yacht racing:

These rules are just the beginning of the comprehensive regulations. Now, let’s look at a unique detail. In some cases, when two yachts on different tacks approach a mark, they may have equal rights. It’s important for skippers to communicate and coordinate to avoid possible collisions.

To show the importance of following these rules, here’s a story. During a competitive race, two yachts were nearing a turning point. The skipper of one boat did not yield the right of way, which violated rule number 10. Both boats were damaged and their chances of winning were ruined. This serves as a reminder that even small errors can have big consequences in yacht racing.

Starting and Finishing Procedures

Before the yacht race, boats must gather in the starting area. Skippers must steer clear of any collisions or rule-breaking.

Next comes the starting sequence – with flags or sound signals showing the time until the race starts. Skippers must pay close attention to them.

Once the final signal is given, the yachts race across the start line. Skippers must judge their entry properly to get an advantage and stay within the racing rules.

At the end of the race, the finish line is reached. Skippers should navigate and strategize here to cross it fast while following regulations.

Each race may have different start and finish procedures. Participants must read instructions from race organizers to stick to all rules.

The America’s Cup is one of the oldest sailing competitions. It began in 1851 around the Isle of Wight. It’s a big international event now, with teams competing every few years for the trophy.

Safety Guidelines for Yacht Racing

Safety Measures for Yacht Racing

Yacht racing events prioritize the safety of participants to prevent accidents and mishaps. Here are essential safety guidelines for yacht racing:

  • Adhere to proper safety equipment regulations, including life jackets and distress signaling devices.
  • Ensure all crew members are familiar with emergency procedures and know the location of safety equipment on the yacht.
  • Maintain clear communication channels, using appropriate radio frequencies or signals during the race.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain all equipment on board to ensure it is in proper working condition.
  • Monitor weather conditions and take necessary precautions, such as altering course or seeking shelter in case of inclement weather.
  • Adhere to collision-avoidance rules, maintaining a safe distance from other yachts and objects in the water.

It is important to stay up to date with the latest safety guidelines and regulations in the yacht racing community to ensure the well-being of all participants.

Yacht Racing Safety History:

Throughout the history of yacht racing, safety measures have evolved to enhance participant protection. Collaborations with maritime organizations and advances in technology have led to the development of comprehensive safety regulations and equipment. The efforts have significantly reduced the number of accidents and increased the safety of yacht racing as a sport.

Yacht racing may be a high-stakes sport, but remember, not everyone can pull off the bold fashion statement that is a life jacket.

Personal Safety Equipment

To ensure success in yacht races, it’s important to prioritize safety! All sailors should wear a well-fitted life jacket at all times to provide buoyancy aid. Personal locator beacons transmit distress signals if someone falls overboard. A harness with a tether will keep sailors attached to the boat. Protective clothing, such as gloves, boots and waterproof gear, guards against hypothermia and injuries. Reliable communication devices are necessary for crew members to stay in touch. Also, inspect all safety equipment regularly.

To further enhance safety, organizers can do regular safety drills. Employing support vessels is key for immediate response. Establishing clear communication protocols allows for effective coordination. By following these suggestions, yacht racers can reduce risks and maximize safety levels. Safety equipment and measures are essential elements for successful yacht races!

Safety Precautions on the Water

Yacht racing can be thrilling – but don’t forget to stay safe! Here are some essential tips:

  • Always wear a life jacket : No matter how experienced you are, you can never be too careful.
  • Check weather conditions: Sudden storms or high winds can make racing conditions dangerous.
  • Create a communication plan: Make sure everyone in your crew is informed of any hazards or changes in course.

Plus, don’t forget to research local rules and regulations. Safety should always come first! So, gear up and get ready for a thrilling experience on the water. Enjoy the fun and camaraderie of yacht racing – just remember to stay safe!

Common Penalties and Protest Procedures

Yacht racing penalties and protest procedures involve various rules and regulations that must be followed. To ensure fair competition and resolve any disputes, there are consequences for violations. Here is a breakdown of the common penalties and the procedures for lodging a protest:

It’s important to note that each yacht race may have its specific procedures and penalties, so it’s crucial for participants to familiarize themselves with the rules beforehand. This ensures a fair and competitive environment for all racers.

Understanding the common penalties and protest procedures is vital for yacht racers to navigate the intricacies of the sport. By abiding by the rules and properly addressing any issues through the protest process, participants can ensure a level playing field, maintaining the integrity and fairness of yacht racing.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to compete fairly and enjoy the thrilling experience of yacht racing. Familiarize yourself with the penalties and procedures to avoid any confusion or missed chances. Stay informed and make the most of your yacht racing journey.

“Being disqualified in yacht racing is like being told you’ve won the lottery, but then realizing it’s April Fool’s Day.”

Types of Penalties in Yacht Racing

Penalties in yacht racing are necessary to ensure fairness and compliance with the rules. These penalties act as a deterrent against any wrongdoings or rule-breaking, keeping the sport’s integrity intact.

A descriptive table can help us understand the various types of penalties in yacht racing:

These penalties have serious consequences, which act as a warning to sailors not to take any unfair advantages or act dangerously. Knowing these penalties is essential for competing in yacht racing.

Penalties have been part of yacht racing since the beginning. They were put in place to maintain order in races and create a fair playing field. Over time, these penalties have been adapted to fit the changing dynamics of the sport.

A good grasp of the penalties in yacht racing helps competitors perform better on the water. It also promotes sportsmanship and upholds the spirit of fair play in this exciting discipline.

Initiating and Resolving Protests

  • Pinpoint the issue .
  • Be sure it follows the rules.
  • Gather data, facts, and material.
  • Create a clear and concise statement.
  • Submit the complaint to the right body.
  • Talk to the parties.
  • Look for a fair outcome through negotiation or mediation.
  • Pay attention to deadlines.
  • Respect protocols.
  • Take charge and protect your rights.
  • Act now and make sure your voice is heard!

Strategies and Tactics in Yacht Racing

Strategies and tactics are vital in the world of yacht racing. Understanding the nuances of this sport can make a significant difference in performance. Here, we explore some essential strategies and tactics employed by skilled yacht racers.

In yacht racing, there are unique details to consider, such as utilizing current knowledge to select the best racing route. Additionally, understanding the impact of tidal flows and currents can help racers make more informed decisions during a race.

To become a successful yacht racer, it is crucial to study and practice these strategies and tactics diligently. By mastering these techniques, one can maximize their chances of success and stay ahead of the competition.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to excel in yacht racing. Enhance your skills by incorporating these strategies and tactics into your training regimen. Start implementing them today and take a step closer to becoming a champion on the water.

Positioning and Sail Trim Techniques: Where you’re positioned on the yacht may determine if you’re the first to cross the finish line or the first to take an unexpected dip in the water.

Positioning and Sail Trim Techniques

Table of Positioning & Sail Trim Techniques:

Plus, spinnaker handling has methods like gybing – shifting the spinnaker from one side to the other when sailing downwind. Helm balance is critical to good steering during racing.

Sir Ben Ainslie , a great sailor, said mastering positioning and sail trim techniques is the difference between successful racers and those who have difficulty competing in yacht racing events.

Reading Wind and Weather Conditions

Wind and weather conditions are essential for yacht racing. They let sailors make wise decisions, plan well, and have an edge. Here’s what to know about understanding these conditions:

  • Observation – Skilled sailors look closely at wind direction, strength, and patterns. They keep an eye on clouds, waves, and temperature changes. By doing this, they can predict future weather shifts.
  • Analyzing – Racers check forecasts, barometric readings, and sea temps. They combine this with their observations to get a clear picture of present and future winds.
  • Adaptability – Successful sailors change their strategies with the changing conditions. They often reassess their tactics during the race, to take advantage of good winds or limit bad weather.

Yacht racers also think about local geography, tidal currents, and nearby landforms. This helps them sail complex courses accurately.

Sarah, a seasoned sailor , showed her skill in reading wind and weather conditions. Though she started in a difficult spot due to unfavorable winds, she noticed slight changes in the breeze. She used this knowledge to take risks while maneuvering her boat. Making smart decisions based on changing conditions, Sarah won in speed and tactics.

Reading wind and weather conditions is essential for yacht racers. With keen observation, data analysis, and flexibility, sailors can do well on the water. So, if you’re joining a regatta or a sailing trip, mastering this art is important for success.

Resources and Additional Information

The following section provides additional resources and information related to yacht racing rules and regulations. These resources can be helpful for further understanding and clarifying the various aspects of the sport.

  • Visit reputable online platforms such as yacht racing associations, federations, and governing bodies for comprehensive rules and regulations.
  • Explore websites that provide educational materials, instructional videos, and interactive tools to enhance your knowledge.
  • Delve into specialized publications authored by renowned sailors, coaches, and officials. These books cover a wide range of topics, including racing tactics, strategies, and the intricacies of specific rules.
  • Engage with fellow enthusiasts, experienced sailors, and professionals on sailing forums and online communities. These platforms offer valuable insights, practical tips, and discussions on various rules and racing scenarios.

It is essential to stay updated with the latest developments and amendments in the rules to ensure compliance and maintain fair competition. Continuously seek new sources of information to enhance your understanding of yacht racing regulations and improve your performance on the water.

Yacht racing rules and regulations have evolved over time to ensure fairness and safety in the sport. The sport’s history is replete with instances of rule modifications and adaptations to address emerging challenges and technological advancements. A testament to the sailing community’s commitment to maintaining a level playing field and promoting the spirit of competition.

Get ready to navigate through a sea of paperwork and bureaucracy as we dive into the world of associations and governing bodies—where bold sailors become masters of red tape.

Associations and Governing Bodies

Associations and Governing Bodies are vital for managing various industries. We present an overview of some important associations and governing bodies relevant to distinct sectors. To make it easier to understand, let’s list out the information in a table:

This table shows some examples of associations and governing bodies from many areas. Each association has a major role in setting up standards, creating rules, and promoting collaboration within its industry.

It’s worth noting that there are other associations and governing bodies in other places, each doing their part to foster growth and uphold ethical practices. These organizations often provide materials such as industry-particular research, networking chances, and professional growth programs.

Pro Tip: To stay up to date with the most recent developments in your field, participate actively in related associations or governing bodies. This can help you stay ahead and build valuable connections within your sector.

Recommended Reading and Online Sources

Unlock helpful resources to boost your knowledge! Try these ideas:

  • Read up on industry news with Harvard Business Review .
  • Learn new skills with Coursera or Udemy courses.
  • Check out free materials from universities like MIT OpenCourseWare .
  • Listen to inspiring TED Talks .
  • Get answers in online forums and communities like Stack Overflow .

Go deeper with niche topics. Try IEEE Xplore or JSTOR databases for in-depth research. Master tough concepts with interactive learning platforms like Khan Academy .

Pro Tip: Don’t just consume info, engage with it. Take notes, join discussions, and apply what you learn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is yacht racing?

Yacht racing is a competitive sport where sailboats or yachts compete against each other in a designated course to determine the fastest or most skillful boat.

What are the basic rules of yacht racing?

The basic rules of yacht racing include giving way to other boats, avoiding collisions, understanding right of way, and following course boundaries. Each race may also have specific rules and regulations.

How are yacht racing courses determined?

Yacht racing courses are determined by race organizers and can vary depending on the type of race and the location. Courses typically include marks, buoys, or specific geographic points that boats must navigate around.

What is the role of a race committee in yacht racing?

The race committee is responsible for organizing and overseeing yacht races. They set the course, establish starting and finishing lines, enforce rules, and ensure fair competition.

Do yacht racing rules change for different types of boats?

Yes, yacht racing rules can vary slightly depending on the class or type of boat. Different classes may have specific regulations regarding sail dimensions, equipment, or crew size.

How can I learn more about yacht racing rules and regulations?

To learn more about yacht racing rules and regulations, you can refer to official rulebooks such as the Racing Rules of Sailing published by World Sailing. You can also seek guidance from experienced sailors or enroll in sailing courses.

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what is a yacht race

What Is “Regatta” In Sailing? (Explained For Beginners)

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If you are new to sailing, you may have heard the term “regatta” or even been invited to take part in one. But have you ever wondered what a regatta involves? 

In this article, we will explain what a regatta is and what to expect if you attend as a spectator or even if you want to take part:

Table of Contents

what is a yacht race

So, What Is A Regatta?

A regatta is an event or series of events in which boats of the same class or type race against each other. Traditionally, these boat racing events consisted of rowing or sailing competitions, but more recently, even some powerboat races have been called regattas.  

Many regattas are named after a specific type of boat or class. Some of the more well-known are Olympic sailing classes like the 470s or the Laser class. However, a regatta can also be named after the town or venue where the racing takes place.

Two more well-known regattas are the famous Cowes Week held annually in the Isle of Wight and the Royal St John’s Regatta in North America. Regattas are mainly hosted by either yacht clubs, sailing associations, places, or the sailing schools themselves.

What Happens At A Regatta?

A sailing regatta can be a one-day or multi-day event lasting up to a maximum of one week or even longer for the ocean crossing events. Many regattas are amateur or non-professional competitions, while others are more glamorous events such as The America’s Cup.

The one thing that they all have in common is that they are usually well-organized events, with established rules and regulations which describe the procedures, duration, and timing of the races.

No matter the format, a regatta normally starts with a procession of the boats, not only competing ones. Some bigger events may also include boats of historical interest, such as tall ships, which add a certain drama to the event. All the boats will fly their signal flags during the procession, making it a very colorful event for the spectators.

The procession is followed by actual racing, where boats and teams compete in different classes. A class is where boats of the same design race against each other. The racing occurs during a sequence of events that may take all day or be held over more than one day.

A regatta can be organized as a championship for a particular type or class of boat. However, they are often organized by local clubs just for the thrill and excitement for people who love sailing, as a learning curve for amateur and professional sailors, and for advertising the sport to gain more members.

Regattas are very social events with teams expected to stay for the duration and participate in all aspects of the racing. Spectators are welcome to watch by booking a space on their boat or a spectator boat, as long as they stay off the course.

Most evenings, there will be parties, dinners, or other social activities, with the actual regatta culminating in a prize-giving ceremony where the winners are awarded cups, monetary prizes, or wreaths. Plus, the winners will get an honorary mention in their yacht club newsletters.

What Is The Meaning Of The Word “Regatta”?

The dictionary describes the meaning of the word regatta as a boat race with rowing boats, sailing yachts, or other vessels. It also describes a regatta as an organized series of boat races.

However, the word regatta originates from the early Venetian word “regata,” literally meaning a fight or contest. The word regatta was first documented in the 15th century when sailors used it for a gondola race in Venice.

The word regatta has been used as a name for boat competitions since the 18th century.

How Long Is A Regatta Race?

A regatta race will depend entirely on the different classes, the organizers, and the rules implemented by the different sailing associations. In addition, a regatta race can have many different classes within one race!

Regatta sailing is one of the most complicated sports in the world. However, regatta sailing is still popular among amateurs, leisure sailors, and professional sportspeople alike.

There are two main types of regatta sailing that will determine how long a regatta race is:

Short Course or Buoy Racing:

Short Course or Buoy Racing is where sailboats start simultaneously and sail around a set course (usually marked by buoys, hence the name buoy racing) for a pre-set or pre-agreed number of times. 

The first over the line usually wins as long as no penalties have been incurred. These round-the-buoy races last anywhere between 5 – 30 minutes.

Distance or Offshore Racing:

Distance or Offshore Racing is where sailboats race over longer distances and use landmarks, buoys, or other objects to mark their course. 

These races can last a few hours, days, or even weeks. The Sydney to Hobart annual regatta is a great example of this and takes place on Boxing Day each year and usually lasts between 2 – 4 days.

How Hard Is It To Sail A Regatta?

While there are many myths about taking part in a regatta, the races are open for all levels, from beginner to professional. While no one expects an amateur sailor to join a round-the-world yacht race (without some training), your local yacht club should be able to accommodate everyone!

If you are keen to participate in a regatta but don’t have any experience, then your local yacht club should be your first port of call. Many of these will have weekly racing programs where guests can join a members’ boat to gain some experience or see if this is a sport for you.

If you decide that sailing and racing is your thing, then the next step would be to join a beginner sailing course to learn the basics and to be able to follow commands. Safety is always a priority on a sailboat, especially during regattas, as there is always a chance of a dramatic moment on a racing yacht, and things can happen fast.

A crew member may get tangled up in the lines, someone else will not hear a command and can get hit by a boom, or there is even a danger of someone falling overboard!

As you become more experienced, you will then be able to appreciate the tactics involved in sailing a regatta. But like anything, sailing a regatta may seem hard at first, but you must learn to walk before you can run, and then everything will fall into place.

Is Regatta For Everyone Or By Invite-Only?

Whether a regatta is for everyone or by invite only will depend on the status of the race.

Many club-level regattas are open for everyone to join, and they even encourage novice sailors to participate. 

However, at a national level or one-class racing events, these regattas are more likely to be invite-only as they want the best of the best to compete:

Why Are Regattas So Popular?

Regattas are so popular because not only are they fun to take part in, but they are also fun from a spectator’s point of view.

A regatta is often a social event with spectator points along the shore, spectator boats to watch all the action from the water, parties, live music, and events for the kids.

You can also choose to attend all kinds of regatta, from a classic yacht regatta, with beautiful wooden boats, to a modern racing yacht regatta with their modern racing machines. Every regatta is different, and it’s not only about enjoying the boats.

You can also enjoy the varying landscapes, the view of the sails on the water, the mood of the sea and the wind, plus the action of the crews themselves working like a well-oiled machine.

A regatta is a healthy and fun outdoor experience which, once you get addicted, you will want to take part in, as either a spectator or a participant, time and time again.

Regattas 101

What Is A Regatta?

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Most Famous Yacht Races And Luxury Regattas In The World

From the prestigious america’s cup to the rolex sydney hobart yacht race, these are the world's most famous yacht races and luxury regattas..

By: Olivia Michel Published: Oct 09, 2023 08:00 AM UTC

Most Famous Yacht Races And Luxury Regattas In The World

Whether you’re a sailor looking for your next yacht racing adventure or a spectator hoping to soak up the exclusive atmosphere of a luxury superyacht regatta, we take a look at the most famous yacht races in the world you should be keeping tabs on.

Watching one of the world’s top yacht races is how many seasoned sailors have first become interested in the sport of sailing. A display of skill, style and perseverance, significant sailing events take place in major yachting hubs around the world every month of the year. And every three to four years, yachting enthusiasts can gear up to watch extreme around-the-world regattas such as the Vendèe Globe or The Ocean Race.

The top sailing race in the world is currently considered the America’s Cup, a prestigious yacht race begun in 1851 and raced on AC75 foiling boats. But there are also plenty of traditional sailing events to capture audiences of all inclinations, such as the Boxing Day Sydney Hobart yacht race, which involves sloops and cutters sailing along the sun-kissed shorelines of Australia, or exclusive regattas raced on luxury mega yachts, such as the St Barth’s Bucket. If you’re serious about sailing, these top sailing yacht racing events are a must-have inclusion in your calendar.

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The most famous yacht races around the world, 1. the barcolana.

most famous yacht races Top sailing racing events

The Barcolana, organised by the Società Velicia di Barcola e Grignano, has earned a place in The Guinness Book of World Records for being the most crowded yacht regatta in the world. Its first edition in 1969 saw only 51 sailing boats compete, but now, the annual event has grown to see more than 2,000 sailboats descend on the Gulf of Trieste every October. Boats of varying sizes and classes, from Optimists and maxis to classic yachts, are welcome to participate, with races accompanied by a slew of parties and events on shore.

Next edition: October 8, 2023

2. SailGP series

most famous yacht races Top sailing yacht racing events

A recent addition to the yachting calendar, SailGP competitions only began in 2019 but have nonetheless quickly gained popularity, with Olympic and America’s Cup sailors taking part. Created by Oracle founder Larry Ellison and champion yachtsman Russell Coutts, the SailGP regattas are raced on F50 foiling catamarans for a cash prize of USD 1 million. Competitions in the series have taken place in scenic locations all over the world, from Saint Tropez and Sydney to Los Angeles, Auckland, and the UAE. Its most recent edition took place from 23 to 24 September 2023 in Taranto, Italy .

Next edition: October 14-15, 2023 (Cádiz, Spain)

3. Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

most famous yacht races Top sailing yacht racing events

Hosted annually by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, this race covers a distance of 630 nautical miles (1,166.76 km) between the starting point in Sydney Harbour and the finish line in Tasmanian port Hobart. Since the first edition in 1945, The race has always started on Boxing Day and is sailed through the night. The current time record broken by LDV Comanche stands at one day, 9 hours and 15 minutes. It is considered one of the most testing yacht races in the world.

Next edition: December 26, 2023

4. The IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge

what is a yacht race

The IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge comprises the three most important annual regattas in the Caribbean. The first is the RORC Caribbean 600 , open to vessels nine metres and above. It is held each February in English Harbour and hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Antigua Yacht Club.

This is followed by the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta a few weeks later, which now pulls in over 200 entrants annually and offers visitors on shore a chance to enjoy the local nightlife with accompanying daily parties and musical performances.

The ultimate winner of the Caribbean Maxi Challenge is then crowned after the event is closed off with Les Voiles de Saint-Barth April Richard Mille in April. This regatta has become one of the most respected yachting events in the Caribbean since it was first founded in 2010, and has been supported by celebrity ambassadors including Pierre Casiraghi and the late Jimmy Buffett.

Next edition: February, March & April 2024

5. St Barths Bucket

(Image: St Barths Bucket/ Michael Kurtz Photography)

(Image: St Barths Bucket/ Michael Kurtz Photography)

(Image: St Barths Bucket/ Michael Kurtz Photography)

Taking place in Saint Barthélemy’s Port Gustavia, the Bucket is open to superyachts measuring over 30.5 metres. Races for yachts in the 90ft, 100ft and the Corinthian Spirit class have also been introduced in recent years. The race’s name comes from its history as a spin-off of the Nantucket Bucket, in which the winner of the first race in 1986 won a bucket as first prize in the absence of a proper trophy. The first St Barth’s Bucket was raced in 1995 with just four yachts. Since then, the race has grown in popularity and is accredited with putting the Caribbean on the map in terms of regatta racing.

Next edition: March 21-24, 2024

6. Antigua Sailing Week

what is a yacht race

Launched in 1968, Antigua Sailing Week was created by local hoteliers to encourage international tourism to the Caribbean island. It takes place every spring and is attended by around 100 sailboats ranging between seven and 30 metres. Races take place in the waters between English Harbour, Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour, and are accompanied by on-shore festivities including a reggae concert.

Next edition: April 27-May 3, 2024

7. The Giorgio Armani superyacht regatta

most famous yacht races Top sailing yacht racing events

The Giorgio Armani superyacht regatta is held every June in the Italian yachting hotspot of Porto Cervo. It has always been hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and prior to the change in sponsorship in 2021 was known as the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta. Open only to superyachts measuring 27 metres and above, the competitive racing atmosphere on the water is complemented by glamorous parties along the coastline each night.

Next edition: June 2024

8. The Superyacht Cup Palma

what is a yacht race

Taking place every June in the waters outside the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca, this invitation-only regatta is for sailing yachts over 24 metres. It was launched in 1996 and has now become the longest-running regatta in Europe specifically for superyachts. Between 20 and 30 superyachts normally participate, accompanied by numerous other spectators that drop anchor nearby to watch the race and enjoy on-shore parties.

Next edition: June 19-20, 2024

9. The Newport Bermuda Race

most famous yacht races Top sailing yacht racing events

The Newport Bermuda Race takes place every two years. It started as a challenge in 1906 when Thomas Fleming Day set out to prove sceptics wrong that amateur sailors could indeed race offshore in boats smaller than 80ft. It is now considered one of the classic off-shore regattas, with the racecourse covering a 635 nautical mile (1,176.02 km) stretch between the US yachting mecca of Newport and the British island of Bermuda. The race is considered a friendly and welcoming competition for new sailors, with approximately 25 percent of the racing boats captained by first-time skippers.

Next edition: June 21, 2024

10. Cowes Week

Benjamin Elliott/ Unsplash

Taking place in the waters of the Solent Strait around and the Isle of Wight, Cowes week has been held every August since 1826. Founded by Britain ’s King George IV, It is one of the longest-running regattas in the world. It is an important date in the “British social season” each summer, with royals and aristocrats still regularly making appearances. The races attract hundreds of boats and thousands of visitors, with the port town becoming a bustle of social activity during the racing.

Every other year, Cowes is preceded by the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race , an important offshore race hosted by the UK’s Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Yacht Squadron. The race is open to sailboats measuring between nine and 21 metres and follows a course that begins in Cowes and rounds Ireland’s Fastnet Rock before finishing in the French town of Cherbourg.

Next edition: August 2024

11. The America’s Cup

what is a yacht race

The America’s Cup is arguably the most important event in the yachting world – perhaps even more so than the Olympic sailing competitions. First raced around the Isle of Wight in 1851, the competition was named in honour of the first winner, an iconic, US-built yacht christened America. The competition to win the “Auld Mug” trophy now takes place every three to four years in a different location. Though the race was first competed on board wooden schooners, today’s competition has evolved into a race between advanced hydrofoil vessels that can reach speeds of almost 100 kmph.

Next edition: August – October 2024

12. The Vendée Globe

most famous yacht races Top sailing yacht racing events

The Vendée Globe is the most extreme around-the-world race in the sailing calendar. Begun in 1989, it is known as “The Everest of the Seas” and takes place every four years. The racecourse is a global circumnavigation of just under 45,000km, beginning and ending in Vendée, France . It is sailed single-handedly by one solo helmsman on board an 18.28-metre sailboat and can take around 74 days at sea to complete. Sailors can drop anchor but are not allowed to step ashore at any point if they wish to win the trophy.

Next edition: January 2025

13. The Ocean Race

most famous yacht races Top sailing yacht racing events

Designed for sailboats measuring no more than 20 metres LOA, The Ocean Race is arguably one of the most well-known around-the-world sailing challenges. Formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race and then the Volvo Ocean Race, It has occurred every three to four years since 1973 and takes more than half a year to complete. It is a true test of perseverance, with some sections involving more than 20 days of nonstop sailing. The third leg of the race is regarded as the most difficult because sailors have to battle the treacherous conditions of the Antarctic Ocean. In 1990, the race was famously won by the all-female crew of Maiden, skippered by Tracy Edwards MBE.

Next edition: 2025

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(Hero image credit: Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta, Featured image credit: Rolex/ Carlo Borlenghi)

This story first appeared here

Related: The World’s Most Luxurious Yacht Rentals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What is the most famous yacht race in the world? The America’s Cup is the oldest and most famous yachting race in the world.

– What is the famous round the world yacht race? The Vendèe Globe is the most famous round the world yacht race on account of the extreme requirements for entrants to sail singlehandedly, non-stop around the globe.

– What is the longest yacht participating in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race? The yachts Andoo Comanche, Lawconnect, Wild Thing 100 and SHK Scallywag all measure 30.5 metres LOA, making them the longest yachts participating in the 2023 Sydney to Hobart race.

– What is the famous English yacht race? The biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, which occurs around the time of Cowes Week, is the most famous yacht race taking place in English waters.

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Olivia Michel

Olivia Michel

Olivia is a freelance journalist from the UK whose work focuses on superyachts, luxury lifestyle and travel. A former senior digital writer at BOAT International media, her writing has also been published in Yacht Style, Yachting World, SUITCASE and Luxuo magazines. Olivia has two degrees in English Literature as well as an incurable book-buying .. Read More addiction.

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Ocean Globe Race 2023: everything you need to know

Katy Stickland

  • Katy Stickland
  • August 23, 2023

The Ocean Globe Race will see 14 boats and their crews circumnavigating the world without the use of modern equipment, in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Race

All 14 teams taking part in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race will be racing with similar gear and boats as those who raced in the Whitbread Races of old. Credit: Philip McDonald

All 14 teams taking part in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race will be racing with similar gear and boats as those who raced in the Whitbread Races of old. Credit: Philip McDonald Credit: Philip McDonald

What is unique about the Ocean Globe Race?

The Ocean Globe Race is a round-the-world yacht race, held to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973.

The Whitbread Round the World was the forerunner of The Volvo Ocean Race and The Ocean Race.

The first edition in 1973 started from Portsmouth and was the first fully crewed round the world yacht race.

Ramón Carlin, who skippered the Swan 65, Sayula II to victory in the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74. Credit: Getty

Ramón Carlin, who skippered the Swan 65, Sayula II to victory in the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74. Credit: Getty

It followed the route of the great Clipper ships.

18 yachts – between 45ft-74ft- crossed the start line.

The 1973 Whitbread Race was won by the standard production Swan 65 yacht, Sayula II , skippered by Mexican Ramón Carlin. The yacht was crewed by family and friends, not professional sailors; this helped make yacht racing not just for the elite, but for the ordinary sailor.

What is the Ocean Globe Race?

The 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race is a 27,000-mile round the world yacht race with no assistance and without the use of modern technology.

This means the teams can’t use GPS , chartplotters , electric winches , spinnaker socks, Code 0 furling, electric autopilots, mobile phones,  computers, iPads or use synthetic materials like Spectra, Kevlar or Vectron.

Navigation will be done by sextant , paper charts and the stars.

Their only means of communication is via registered, licensed maritime-approved HF Single Side Band (SSB) Radio . HAM Radio transmission is banned.

Two sailors using a sextant during training for the Ocean Globe Race

Navigation is by sextant only. Here, the skipper of Outlaw, and the oldest entrant in the race, Campbell Mackie, 73,  and Outlaw’s crew, British sailor, India Syms take sights. Credit: OGR 2023/Outlaw/Spirit of Adelaide

Weather forecasts will be received via the radio or stand-alone paper print HF Radio weather fax.

Each boat can only carry no more than 11 sails (sloop) or 13 sails (ketch). Teams will be subject to a time penalty if they have to use replacement sails.

Approved items include desalinators, refrigeration, non-GPS digital cameras, electric clocks and headsail furling .

Teams will be penalised for using replacement sails during the 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race. Credit: Translated 9

Teams will be penalised for using replacement sails during the 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race. Credit: Translated 9

The teams will also carry emergency gear, including a GPS chartplotter/AIS MOB plotting and locating system with a sealed screen for emergency use only by authorized crew, AIS Transponder and Alarm, Radar transponder and Alarm, Two SOLAS liferafts (200% crew capacity).

Every week, the team needs to run the boat’s engine for 30 minutes, with the prop turning.

Each boat should also carry standard operating procedures documents for man overboard (MOB), fire, dismasting, steering loss , grounding , serious injury, jury rig and other emergencies. Each team will have already carried out an MOB jury rig and emergency steering trials.

Where does the race start and finish, and what is the route?

The Ocean Globe Race 2023 will start at 1300 on 10 September 2023 from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The route of the 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race. Credit: OGR 23

The route of the 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race. Credit: OGR 23

It will have four legs.

The first leg – 6,650 miles – is from Southampton to Cape Town . The first boats are expected to finish between 9-21 October 2023.

The second leg – 6,650 miles – is from Cape Town to Auckland, New Zealand . It starts on 5 November 2023. The first boats are expected to finish between 14-23 December 2023

The third leg – 8,370 miles – is from Auckland, New Zealand to Punta del Este, Uruguay . It starts on 14 January 2024. The first boats are expected to finish between 9-18 February 2024.

The fourth leg – 5,430 miles – is from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Southampton . The first boats to cross the finish line are expected 1-10 April 2024.

Each team must reach port no later than 48 hours after the restart of the next leg or will be disqualified. A minimum stop of three days is mandatory, but the clock starts with the gun.

Which teams are taking part in the Ocean Globe Race?

218 sailors – 65 women and 153 men – will sail from Southampton. The teams are made of 23 nationalities including 96 crew from France, 31 from Finland, 18 from the UK, 18 from the USA, 11 from Italy and 6 from South Africa.

Tracy Edwards’s Maiden is the only all-female crew taking part. This was the case in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Tracy Edwards and her Maiden Crew. The boat will be racing in the Ocean Globe Race 2023

Just in 1989-90, Maiden will be the only yacht racing with an all female crew. Credit: The Maiden Factor/OGR 2023

The captain, chief mate or one designated Ocean Yachtmaster must sail the entire race.

All entrants – who have to undergo a medical examination and have completed an approved medical/survival training course – must have onboard for each leg:

  • 1 Ocean Yachtmaster
  • 1 Yachtmaster
  • 1 under 24 year old
  • Maximum 70% crew swap at any stopover
  • Maximum 33% professional crew ( 24-70 year old, paid to go sailing)

70% of the crew (including the Yachtmaster Ocean and Yachtmaster) registered for the start leg must complete a 1,500-mile non-stop ocean voyage all together in the entered yacht, after March 2023

The Ocean Globe Race has three classes:

  • Adventure Class (47ft-56ft) is limited to 12 places, with a minimum crew of seven;
  • Sayula Class (56.1ft-66ft) is limited to eight places, with a minimum crew of eight;
  • Flyer Class is limited to eight places for yachts previously entered in the 1973, 1977 or 1981 Whitbread, or ‘relevant’ historic significance and ‘approved’ production-built, ocean-certified, sail-training yachts generally 55ft to 68ft LOA.

Adventure Class

There are 5 teams in this class.

Triana – France

four men on the deck of a boat

The core of the Triana crew. Credit: Projet Triana/OGR2023

Led by Franch media entrepreneur, Jean d’Arthuys, the crew of Triana includes professional French sailor, Sébastien Audigane, who has sailed six roundings of Cape Horn and is a double holder of the Jules Verne Trophy – in 2017 on IDEC with Francis Joyon, and 2005 on Orange 2 with Bruno Peyron.

Audigane is the First Mate onboard  Triana, a 1987-built Swan 53, designed by German Friers.

Sterna – South Africa

The crew of Sterna have completed several Atlantic crossings on the Swan 53; the team are pictured in Martinique. Credit: Allspice Yachting

The crew of Sterna have completed several Atlantic crossings on the Swan 53; the team are pictured in Martinique, ahead of their second transatlantic crossing. Credit: Allspice Yachting

Allspice Yachting entered the Ocean Globe Race in December 2019 after founder Gerrit Louw was inspired by the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

The Swan 53, Sterna of Allspice Yachting will be skippered by professional South African sailor, Rufus Brand, who hopes the race will allow him to fulfil his dream of circumnavigating the world.

The First Mate and navigator is South African Melissa Du Toit.

Sterna of Allspice Yachting is a modified Swan 53, built in 1988. Some of the yacht’s unique features include a custom keel with an improved righting movement, a 135hp engine (instead of the normal 85hp engine) and expanded water and diesel tanks for offshore sailing .

Allspice Yachting bought the yacht in 2021 for the Ocean Globe Race, and a crew sailed her from Grenada to the boat’s home port of Cape Town to prepare Sterna for the race.

Galiana WithSecure – Finland

The crew of Galiana WithSecure ahead of the Ocean Globe Race

The skipper of Galiana WithSecure , Tapio Lehtinen hopes the Ocean Globe Race will result in a new generation of offshore Finnish yacht racers. Credit: Sanoma Media Finland Kaikki oikeudet/Juhani Niiranen/HS

The Swan 55 will be skippered by the 2018 and 2022 Golden Globe Race veteran, Finnish sailor, Tapio Lehtinen. First mate is Ville Norra, who has a history of sailing keelboats and offshore.

The Galiana WithSecure team is one of the youngest taking part in the Ocean Globe Race , with the majority of those on board under 30 years of age; only two members of the team have ‘strong racing DNA’, while the others come from Optimist, Sea Scout or other sailing backgrounds.

Lehtinen is a veteran of the 1981-82 Whitbread Race when at the age of 23, he earned a place as watch captain on Skopbank Finland , a C&C Baltic 51 skippered by Kenneth Gahmberg.

His motivation for entering the Ocean Globe Race with a young team is to encourage young Finnish sailors into ocean sailing; Lehtinen also wants to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans and has only partnered with companies and organisations which promote solutions to this global problem.

Outlaw – Australia

Men and women standing on the stage in front of a poster promoting the Ocean Globe Race

Some members of the Outlaw crew. Credit: Aïda Valceanu/ OGR2023

The Baltic 55, Outlaw , is a Whitbread Race veteran, having raced in the 1985-86 edition as Equity and Law .

Built in 1984 to Lloyds of London specifications, the Douglas Peterson-designed Outlaw will be skippered by Campbell Mackie.

The Australian sailor has 70,000 ocean miles under his belt, having taken part in the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Race and the 2017-18 edition, where he was First Mate on Sanya , the winning boat.

First Mate is Dutch professional sailor, Rinze Vallinga.

Godspeed – USA

A crew standing on the deck of a boat at night

The crew of Godspeed is made up of American military veterans. Credit: Skeleton Crew

The Swan 51, Godspeed is the only American boat to enter the race.

The skipper is Taylor Grieger, a former US Navy veteran, who has assembled a crew made up of representatives from the US military services.

Grieger suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after years spent as a US Navy rescue swimmer. Along with friend, Stephen O’Shea, he sailed a leaking 1983 Watkins 36CC from Pensacola, Florida, through the Panama Canal and down the South American coast to Cape Horn . The film of their voyage – Hell or High Seas – has been released.

Following this, Grieger set up Skeleton Crew Adventures, to help other veterans to recover from PTSD through sailing.

Sayula Class

There are four entries in this class.

Explorer – Australia

A crew of a yacht smiling

The crew of Explorer, skippered by Mark Sinclair. Credit: Don McIntyre/ OGR2023

Explorer was designed by Olin Stephens and was launched in 1977. The boat is owned by the founder of the Ocean Globe Race, Don McIntyre.

The yacht will be skippered by 2018 and 2022 Golden Globe Race veteran, UK-born Australian Mark Sinclair , who has circumnavigated the world with one stop.

The Yachtmaster Offshore, a former Royal Australian Navy Commander, has over 60,000 sailing miles under his belt.

Explorer ‘s Chief Mate is Terry Kavanagh, a liveboard sailor from Ireland who was circumnavigating the world aboard his yacht when he decided to take part in the race. He also has experience sailing in Arctic Norway.

White Shadow – Spain

A woman wearing a lifejacket sailing a boat

Crew training aboard White Shadow in the Mediterranean. Credit: OGR/ White Shadow

The only Spanish entry in the Ocean Globe Race, White Shadow is a Swan 57, built in 1978.

The yacht will be skippered by owner French offshore racer, Jean-Christophe Petit, who has also completed four Atlantic crossings .

The mixed crew  – from France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Argentina, Belgium and Colombia – are aged from 20 to 57.

Evrika – France

A yacht with white sails and a hull sailing in the Ocean Globe Race

The Swan 65, Evrika . At the time, the Swan 65 was the largest GRP construction yacht , and was one of the designs that led the racing circuit in the 70s-80s. Credit: Sophie Dingwall

Previously owned by Pink Floyd’s Rick Wright, who lived aboard her in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, Evrika also has strong racing credentials, having won the Swan Cup in the 1980s.

The Swan 65 was built in 1982 with a ketch rig ; the yacht has been extensively restored for the race including a new teak deck, and remodelling down below, including layout changes in the forward cabin. Nearly all changes were in keeping with the yacht’s original style and materials.

Evrika will be skippered by French sailor and boat builder Dominique Dubois.

Originally the team was to race the Swan 651, Futuro , but in February 2023, the boat was blown from its cradle during Storm Gérard; the damage cost more than the value of the boat.

Dubois then bought Evrika from Brit Richard Little, who had entered the Ocean Globe Race, but later withdrew.

Spirit of Helsinki – Finland

A boat, which is taking part in the Ocean Globe Race, moored by a pontoon

The crew of Spirit of Helsinki prepare to leave Finland for the race start in Southampton. Credit: OGR2023 / Team Spirit of Helsinki

Designed by German Frers and built by Nautor in 1984, the Swan 651 sloop, Spirit of Helsinki was built specifically for the Whitbread Round the World Race and was raced to third place in the 1986 edition under the name Fazer Finland .

The all Finnish crew is led by hotel entrepreneur and amateur sailor and racer, Jussi Paavoseppä.

First Mate is professional sea captain Pasi Palmu, who has worked as a full-time racing sailor and sailing coach for over 15 years.

Flyer Class

There are 5 entries in this class.

Maiden – UK

A group of woman sailors wearing red tshirts standing on the deck of Maiden near tower Bridge, London

The Maiden crew: Skipper: Heather Thomas (UK), First Mate: Rachel Burgess (UK) Crew: Willow Bland (UK) Lana Coomes (USA), Payal Gupta (India), Ami Hopkins (UK), Vuyisile Jaca (South Africa), Junella King (Antigua), Molly Lapointe (Porto Rico/USA), Kate Legard (UK), Najiba Noori (Afghanistan), Flavia Onore (Italy), Dhanya A Pilo (India). Credit: The Maiden Factor-Kaia Bint Savage

Maiden is the only UK entry in the race.

The Bruce-Farr 58ft yacht will be skippered by British sailor, Heather Thomas, 26 and her crew will be all female – just as in the 1989-90 Whitbread Race when the boat was skippered by Tracy Edwards.

Thomas, who was previously a watch leader on the training vessel James Cook, run by the Ocean Youth Trust North, has previously sailed the Pacific leg of the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Race with the Da Nang Viet Nam team, after winning a place onboard.

The yacht was skippered by Wendy Tuck, who went on to become the first woman to win a round the world yacht race when she led her Sanya Serenity Coast team to victory in the 2017-18 edition of the Clipper Race .

The Maiden team ranges in age from 18 to 42, with the majority of the crew competing in all four legs of the race.

Previously to the Ocean Globe Race, Maide n has been sailing around the world to promote education for girls through The Maiden Factor.

Pen Duick VI – France

Marie Tabarly raising her arms on the deck of her yacht

Marie Tabarly has sailed Pen Duick VI since she was a child. Credit: James Tomlinsen

Led by the daughter of French sailing legend, Éric Tabarly, the Pen Duick VI team’s goal is not just the race, but to raise awareness of the Elemen’Terre project, which looks at environmental and social global issues.

Marie Tabarly is one of two female skippers in the race (the other is Maiden ‘s skipper, Heather Thomas).

The professional racing sailor, who competed in the 15th Transat Jacques Vabre with Louis Duc aboard the IMOCA 60, Kostum Lantana Paysage , has extensive offshore experience, having sailed Pen Duick VI since childhood. She has also recently completed a circumnavigation of the world with Pen Duick VI .

A large yacht sailing

At 73ft LOA, Pen Duick VI is the largest yacht taking part in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race

The 73ft Pen Duick VI was built specifically by Éric Tabarly for the 1973-74 Whitbread Race.

The yacht dismasted twice in the race – during the 1st and 3rd legs, but she was repaired and went on to win the 1974 Bermuda-Plymouth race, the 1976 Atlantic Triangle Race and the 1976 OSTAR.

Renamed Euromarché, the yacht came 5th in the 1981-82 Whitbread Race.

Neptune – France

Designed by André Mauric, Neptune was launched in July 1977, before racing in the 1977-78 Whitbread Race to 8th place.

The 60ft aluminium sloop will be skippered by professional ophthalmologist Tanneguy Raffray, who is one of France’s most successful International 8 metre class racers, aboard Hispania IV , which he restored.

A person racing in a boat during a race

Neptune racing in the 1977 Whitbread Race. Credit: Ocean Frontiers OGR/ GGR/CG580

The refit of Neptune for the Ocean Globe Race was overseen by Finot-Conq naval architect, Erwan Gourdon, who is also part of the crew, and included four watertight bulkheads, furling headsails and a new sail plan.

The team also includes French sailor, Bertrand Delhom, who aims to become the first sailor with Parkinson’s disease to race around the world.

Translated 9 – Italy

People cheering by a body of water

The Translated 9 crew has a party in Rome ahead of leaving for the start village in Southampton, UK. Credit: Antonio Masiello

The first edition of the Whitbread Round the World Race was won in 1974 by the family and friends of Mexican Ramón Carlin, who skippered the Swan 65 yacht, Sayula II.

The Translated 9 team is following in their wake; 1,000 amateurs, new to ocean sailing, applied for a position on the 13-strong crew.

The Swan 65 is being skippered by owner Marco Trombetti and professional racer and boat designer Vittorio Malingri , who was the first Italian to race in a Vendée Globe (1993) and was part of Giovanni Soldini’s crew on the TIM trimaran.

A yacht crew from the 1970s

British skipper Clare Francis and the crew of ADC Accutrac together in 1977 Whitbread. They’re looking forward to meeting the crew of Translated 9 at the Whitbread Reunion on 5 September. Credit: Dr Nick Milligan

Malingri’s son Nico is First Mate and has also previously sailed with Giovanni Soldini

With Nico, Malingri also holds the Dakar to Guadeloupe 20ft Performance record, having sailed 2,551nm in 11 days, 1 hour, 9 minutes and 30 seconds.

The crew also includes 2022 Golden Globe Race veteran, Simon Curwen, who took line honours in the race and was first in the Chichester Class.

The Sparkman and Stephens’s designed Translated 9 was originally ADC Accutrac , which was raced to 5th place by British skipper, Clare Francis in the 1977 Whitbread Around the World Race.

L’Esprit d’Equipe – France

The team of a race yacht on the boat

The L’Esprit d’Équipe team. Credit: Team L’Esprit d’Équipe

The Philippe Briand-designed 58ft yacht was built by Dufour and has strong Whitbread Race roots.

It is the only boat in the Ocean Globe Race to have won at Whitbread Race (in the 1985-86 edition, skippered by Lionel Péan; it was the smallest boat in this edition. Modifications to save weight included shortening the boat’s rear arch, moving the keel further back and installing a 27m mast)

The French team is led by professional boat builder and sailor, Lionel Regnier, a seasoned racer, who won the OSTAR in 2005 and has taken part in three Mini Transats, and numerous Class 40 races, including the 2006 and 2014 Route du Rhum

His First Mate is Pierre-Yves, who has project managed most of Lionel’s races since 2003 and has raced in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Continues below…

Translated (ex ADC Accutrac with Clare Francis in the 1977/78 Whitbread) pictured her with the 1973 winner Sayula is back racing around the world in the Ocean Globe Race. Credit: Team Translated / StudioBorlenghi.

Ocean Globe Race 2023 to start from Southampton

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Pen Duick IV will be one of five former Whitbread Race boats taking part in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race. The boat is sailing

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what is a yacht race

Coming of age: the 1970s yacht designs that have stood the test of time

Sailing in the 1970s was characterised by innovation, enthusiasm, mass participation and home boatbuilding. Rupert Holmes reports

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Peter Poland reflects on pulling out the lead line, lobbing a Walker log over the stern and unpacking a sextant…

Which boats will be raced during the Ocean Globe Race?

L'Esprit d'Équipe is the only boat in the Ocean Globe Race to have won at Whitbread Race (in the 1985-86 edition. Credit: RORC / James Mitchell / James Tomlinson

L’Esprit d’Équipe is the only boat in the Ocean Globe Race to have won at Whitbread Race (in the 1985-86 edition. Credit: RORC / James Mitchell / James Tomlinson

All boats in the Adventure and Sayula classes must be ocean-going GRP production yachts designed before 1988 and from an approved design list which includes the Swan 47, Swan 47, Swan 48, Swan 51, Swan 53, Swan 55, Swan 57, Swan 59, Swan 61, Swan 65, Swan 651, Nicholson 55, Baltic 51, Baltic 55, Baltic 64, Oyster 48 and Grand Soleil 52.

People wearing lifejackets sailing a boat at sea

The Baltic 55, Outlaw was previously raced in the 1985-86 Whitbread Race. Credit: Outlaw Team

All yachts must be fitted with a bow crash bulkhead. A main watertight bulkhead and watertight door are recommended immediately forward of the saloon along with a second watertight bulkhead forward of the rudder post.

Severn former Whitbread Race boats will be taking part in the Ocean Globe Race:

  • Maiden (previously Disque D’Or 3 , 1981-82 Whitbread; raced as Maiden in 1989-90 Whitbread)
  • Pen Duick VI (1973-74 Whitbread; raced as Euromarché in the 1981-82 Whitbread)
  • Translated 9 (previously ADC Accutrac , 1977-78 Whitbread)
  • Neptune (1977-78 Whitbread)
  • L’Esprit d’Equipe (previously 33 Export , 1981-82 Whitbread; L’Esprit d’Equipe , 1985-86 Whitbread; Esprit de Liberté , 1989-90 Whitbread)
  • Outlaw (previously Equity and Law , 1985-86 Whitbread)
  • Spirit of Helsinki (previously Fazer, Finland , 1985-86 Whitbread)

How can I follow the Ocean Globe Race?

All 14 boats can be seen at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. Credit: Ocean Frontiers Ocean Globe Race/ GGR/CG580/Pic suppliers

All 14 boats taking part in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race can be seen at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton from 29 August 2023. Credit: Ocean Frontiers OGR/ GGR/CG580/Pic suppliers

The Ocean Globe Race village at Ocean Village, Southampton will open to the public from 29 August 2023 until the race start. It is free to enter.

Daily events will include celestial navigation demonstrations (2-4, 6 September from 14:00 hrs), as well as a chance to see the 14 boats and meet their crews.

Tours will take place every day from 29 August between 13:o0 hrs and 17:00 hrs and can be booked via Eventbrite in advance or on the day ( https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ocean-globe-race-2023-pontoon-access-tickets-700811284417 ).

Visitors taking a tour will have the option to make a small charitable donation before the tour which will go to support the Blue Marine Foundation, Ocean Youth Trust (South) and The Maiden Factor Foundation.

Tuesday 29 August, 11:00 hrs – Official Ribbon Cutting Friday 1 September, 13:30 hrs – A Welcome from the City of Southampton Friday 1 September, 18:30 hrs – MDL Captain’s Dinner and Charity Auction Saturday, 2 September, 13;00 hrs – Writer and broadcaster, Paul Heiney talks about his tales of sailing the Atlantic single-handed Tuesday 5 September, 17:30 hrs – Whitbread Veterans Reunion Thursday 7 September, 10 hrs – OGR Final Press Conference Friday 8 September, 18:00 hrs – MDL Whitbread 50th Anniversary Farewell Hog Roast Party Saturday 9 September, 14:00 hrs – OGR Teams’ Public Farewell presentation Sunday 10 September, 09:00 hrs – Full Teams parade of honour from MDL Race Village to their yachts 13:00 hrs – RACE START – Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK. Viewing of the start line can be seen from the beaches in Gurnard, Isle of Wight or Lepe Beach in the New Forest.

The race can be followed via the Ocean Globe Race website and Facebook page .

The teams can also be followed via YB Tracking .

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Sailing race

Learn to Race: Sailing Racing Terms

By: Zeke Quezada, ASA Learn To Sail

Understanding sailing terms is vital to effective communication on a sailboat, and American Sailing has plenty of resources for the new sailor to expand their vocabulary. When you begin to crew or even skipper a race boat, it’s even more critical that everyone speaks the same language because naturally, in a race everything happens more quickly.

Ranging from phrases used in everyday language couched in nautical history, to specific terms important to learn for a beginner sailor, learning to speak the language can be a daunting task, but doing so will make for much smoother sailing when you start to learn to race.

Sailors who race have an even more specific language vital to understanding what is going on when attempting to become the local yacht club champion. As you get immersed in the sailing racing culture, you will understand the commonly used terms on board during a yacht race, but your skipper will appreciate a crew who has done their homework. 

If you want to expand on your sailing racing vocabulary and rules knowledge, take a look at the World Sailing Rules , and you’ll round out your sailing language skills. 

For a condensed primer, here are some of the standard sailing race terms you should be familiar with as you venture into the racing scene:

  • Beat – sailing upwind towards the windward mark
  • Reach – sailing perpendicular to the wind, at an angle between a beat and a run
  • Run – sailing downwind away from the windward mark
  • Start line – the line across which boats start a race
  • Starting gun – the signal that starts the race
  • OCS – “on course side,” meaning a boat crossed the start line too early and must restart
  • Layline – the imaginary line that a boat must sail to in order to round a mark without tacking or jibing
  • Mark – An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side, and a race committee vessel surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends. An anchor line or an object attached accidentally to a mark is not part of it.
  • Mark rounding – sailing around a buoy or other fixed object on the course
  • Finish line – the line across which boats finish the race
  • Protest – An allegation made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee, a technical committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.
  • Penalty – a penalty imposed on a boat for breaking a racing rule, typically a time penalty or a penalty turn.
  • Zone – The area around a mark within a distance of three hull lengths of the boat nearer to it. A boat is in the zone when any part of her hull is in the zone.

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what is a yacht race

Sail GP: how do supercharged racing yachts go so fast? An engineer explains

what is a yacht race

Head of Engineering, Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, Solent University

Disclosure statement

Jonathan Ridley does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Sailing used to be considered as a rather sedate pastime. But in the past few years, the world of yacht racing has been revolutionised by the arrival of hydrofoil-supported catamarans, known as “foilers”. These vessels, more akin to high-performance aircraft than yachts, combine the laws of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics to create vessels capable of speeds of up to 50 knots, which is far faster than the wind propelling them.

An F50 catamaran preparing for the Sail GP series recently even broke this barrier, reaching an incredible speed of 50.22 knots (57.8mph) purely powered by the wind. This was achieved in a wind of just 19.3 knots (22.2mph). F50s are 15-metre-long, 8.8-metre-wide hydrofoil catamarans propelled by rigid sails and capable of such astounding speeds that Sail GP has been called the “ Formula One of sailing ”. How are these yachts able to go so fast? The answer lies in some simple fluid dynamics.

As a vessel’s hull moves through the water, there are two primary physical mechanisms that create drag and slow the vessel down. To build a faster boat you have to find ways to overcome the drag force.

The first mechanism is friction. As the water flows past the hull, a microscopic layer of water is effectively attached to the hull and is pulled along with the yacht. A second layer of water then attaches to the first layer, and the sliding or shearing between them creates friction.

On the outside of this is a third layer, which slides over the inner layers creating more friction, and so on. Together, these layers are known as the boundary layer – and it’s the shearing of the boundary layer’s molecules against each other that creates frictional drag.

what is a yacht race

A yacht also makes waves as it pushes the water around and under the hull from the bow (front) to the stern (back) of the boat. The waves form two distinctive patterns around the yacht (one at each end), known as Kelvin Wave patterns.

These waves, which move at the same speed as the yacht, are very energetic. This creates drag on the boat known as the wave-making drag, which is responsible for around 90% of the total drag. As the yacht accelerates to faster speeds (close to the “hull speed”, explained later), these waves get higher and longer.

These two effects combine to produce a phenomenon known as “ hull speed ”, which is the fastest the boat can travel – and in conventional single-hull yachts it is very slow. A single-hull yacht of the same size as the F50 has a hull speed of around 12 mph.

However, it’s possible to reduce both the frictional and wave-making drag and overcome this hull-speed limit by building a yacht with hydrofoils . Hydrofoils are small, underwater wings. These act in the same way as an aircraft wing, creating a lift force which acts against gravity, lifting our yacht upwards so that the hull is clear of the water.

what is a yacht race

While an aircraft’s wings are very large, the high density of water compared to air means that we only need very small hydrofoils to produce a lot of the important lift force. A hydrofoil just the size of three A3 sheets of paper, when moving at just 10 mph, can produce enough lift to pick up a large person.

This significantly reduces the surface area and the volume of the boat that is underwater, which cuts the frictional drag and the wave-making drag, respectively. The combined effect is a reduction in the overall drag to a fraction of its original amount, so that the yacht is capable of sailing much faster than it could without hydrofoils.

The other innovation that helps boost the speed of racing yachts is the use of rigid sails . The power available from traditional sails to drive the boat forward is relatively small, limited by the fact that the sail’s forces have to act in equilibrium with a range of other forces, and that fabric sails do not make an ideal shape for creating power. Rigid sails, which are very similar in design to an aircraft wing, form a much more efficient shape than traditional sails, effectively giving the yacht a larger engine and more power.

As the yacht accelerates from the driving force of these sails, it experiences what is known as “ apparent wind ”. Imagine a completely calm day, with no wind. As you walk, you experience a breeze in your face at the same speed that you are walking. If there was a wind blowing too, you would feel a mixture of the real (or “true” wind) and the breeze you have generated.

The two together form the apparent wind, which can be faster than the true wind. If there is enough true wind combined with this apparent wind, then significant force and power can be generated from the sail to propel the yacht, so it can easily sail faster than the wind speed itself.

what is a yacht race

The combined effect of reducing the drag and increasing the driving power results in a yacht that is far faster than those of even a few years ago. But all of this would not be possible without one further advance: materials. In order to be able to “fly”, the yacht must have a low mass, and the hydrofoil itself must be very strong. To achieve the required mass, strength and rigidity using traditional boat-building materials such as wood or aluminium would be very difficult.

This is where modern advanced composite materials such as carbon fibre come in. Production techniques optimising weight, rigidity and strength allow the production of structures that are strong and light enough to produce incredible yachts like the F50.

The engineers who design these high-performance boats (known as naval architects ) are always looking to use new materials and science to get an optimum design. In theory, the F50 should be able to go even faster.

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What time is The Boat Race 2024? Date, start time, TV channel, live stream as Oxford take on Cambridge

O ne of the traditional staples in the British sporting calendar returns this afternoon, as the 169th official Boat Race gets underway on the banks of the River Thames in London. There's been plenty of anticipation ahead of this year's meeting between Oxford and Cambridge universities, after the latter won both men's and women's events in 2023.

First held all the way back in 1829 between the UK's two leading higher education facilities, The Boat Race became an annual event in 1856 and has been contested almost every single year since. The two teams' eight-boats row against one another through a four-mile stretch of the Thames in south London, and the women's race, held annually since 1964, became part of the same day event as the men's in 2015.

After pipping Oxford to victory last year, Cambridge's men's side are looking to go back-to-back in 2024, and they could well get some tips on that from their female counterparts, who are looking to keep The Boat Race trophy in light blue for the seventh event running.

It's a huge weekend in British rowing, and The Sporting News has you covered to catch all the action, either live or on catch-up via your TV or live streaming service.

MORE: When do the Olympics start?

When is The Boat Race? Start time for today's event

Following the reserves races at the start of the day's action, the 78th edition of the women's Boat Race gets underway at 2:46 p.m. GMT on Saturday, March 30, 2024 . One hour later, the men's race will follow, beginning at 3:46 p.m .

Both races traverse a 4.2 mile stretch of the River Thames in south London, starting from Putney Bridge in Wandsworth and travelling through Fulham, Hammersmith and Chiswick before the rowers arrive at the finish line of Chiswick Bridge in Mortlake.

How to watch The Boat Race: TV channel, live stream

As one of the UK's longest-running one-off sporting events, live coverage of The Boat Race is always at a premium. Full build-up to the men's, women's and reserves races will begin in the UK on BBC One from 2:00 p.m. local time (GMT), and ends at 4:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the men's race.

BBC iPlayer is showing this coverage both live and on catch-up for viewers who wish to stream the event this Saturday, while fans worldwide can also tune into Eurovision Sport and the Olympic Channel for streaming both live and after the end of the initial broadcast.

Oxford and Cambridge crews at this year's Boat Race

The men's teams preparing to face off in today's race on the Thames are as follows, with an asterisk indicating that they have competed at the event in previous years:

The women's teams are made up of the exact same number of team members, with Cambridge in particular looking to win their seventh straight race in a row — a feat they haven't matched since 1998.

Who won last year's Boat Race?

It was a year of Cambridge dominance in 2023, with both their men's and women's teams winning the Boat Race to extend the university's lead over Oxford to 86-81 and 47-30 respectively. Featuring two members of the team set to row in the 2024 Boat Race, Cambridge women stormed to a four-and-a-half length victory, completing the 4.2 mile stretch of the Thames in 20 minutes and 29 seconds.

The men's contest was a far closer affair, with Cambridge pipping Oxford by just one-and-a-third lengths to finish in 18 minutes and 18 seconds. The two teams, made of up rowers from across the globe, featured a combined six members who will also be taking to this year's race, five of whom will be hoping to extend Cambridge's winning run.

What time is The Boat Race 2024? Date, start time, TV channel, live stream as Oxford take on Cambridge

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The Term “Boat Raced,” Where Did It Come From?

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Cambridge winning crews stand by the dirty water at the finish where the coxes are usually thrown in

Oxford confirm illnesses before Boat Race but stop short of blaming pollution

  • Thames was shown to have high levels of E coli in race buildup
  • Oxford ‘cannot definitively’ identify cause of the illnesses

Oxford University Boat Club have confirmed three members of their men’s team were suffering from a stomach bug before their Boat Race defeat by Cambridge on Saturday, but said they could not identify the specific cause.

Following a double success for the light blue of Cambridge in the women’s and men’s events Lenny Jenkins, the Oxford men’s seven seat, said: “We’ve had a few guys go down pretty badly with E coli strain … It would have been ideal not to have so much poo in the water.”

A club statement released on Sunday afternoon said they could not confirm E coli – shown to be present in dangerously high levels on the River Thames course before the event – was to blame.

“Three members of the OUBC men’s blue boat came down with a stomach bug in the week of the Boat Race, the origin of which we cannot definitively say,” the statement said.

“These things happen in the final lead up to the race, including in years we have won. We want to again congratulate Cambridge’s men on an exceptional race performance and a well-deserved victory.”

'What a feeling!': Cambridge win Boat Races to do the double over Oxford – video

Asked if they planned to test for E coli the OUBC said: “The athletes received medical advice and treatment which does not include testing in the first instance.” Organisers of the Boat Race had earlier on Sunday contacted Oxford to seek further clarity on the cause of the sickness bug.

James Wallace, the chief executive of River Action, whose pre-race testing highlighted dangerous pollution in the water, told the Guardian: “Let’s be clear. Rowers being sick from training and racing on the Thames is not new, and nor is the news of Thames Water discharging billions of litres of untreated sewage into the river.

“E coli at these high levels can only come from sewage, both raw and treated … Thames Water is the only company responsible for sewage treatment on the Thames.”

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Thames Water has blamed high rainfall but the Government is under increasing pressure to act. The company’s renationalisation is not being ruled out following shareholders’ refusal to release further investment.

“It’s obviously not a great situation,” the Cambridge men’s coach, Rob Baker, said following the victory on Saturday. “We’d like cleaner waterways, I think that’s fair to say. We’d like to not have such a risk for our athletes.”

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