Watching sail races for the first time is sure to light a fire and even get you to buy a boat with the idea to either run or enjoy with friends or family. However, it won’t take long before you start to appreciate the skills of professional racers, the manoeuvres they use. The way they seem to know exactly what’s needed to make a boat run at its absolute peak.
While professional racing might seem complicated and almost impossible to get to without years of experience, the GP represents only a small part of what’s out there for you as a beginner. Even with just a few hours of practice, you can join your first race and get some decent results. All while learning more about your boat, applying upgrades and getting even better results with the next meet.
There are a few things to take into consideration when you get into racing, which is why we’ve come up with a list of top tips that are sure to give you an advantage when you start.
Choose Where You Want to Start
With the sailing community being so prominent globally. You won’t have a hard time finding a regatta that’s suitable for your needs, stills level, confidence and the type of racing you’d like to take part in.
There are many to choose from, but be considerate when you start, not only for your racing experience level but where your boat would do too. Beer-can racing might be the answer for most as professional yacht clubs hold these races as a fun-day event, which usually takes place as often as once a week. This is a great way to find your way around the boat, chat to other racers and get the tips you need to go from being confused about learning some essential racing skills.
With pursuit races, you can get into professional racing, but also be considered according to your speed and what your boat is capable of. These racers are the ones where all boats complete, but the race committee carefully decides on the order. For example, the slow boats will go. First, those that are a little faster will follow, and the fastest are released later. There aren’t any classes, meaning the first boat to cross the line will win, giving you a great reason to push yourself and the boat.
Understand the Rules
Sail racing comes in various shapes and sizes, each offering unique rules and requirements. Therefore, it’s important to understand the rules, ask questions if you must and make sure you know the route for your class.
This ensures you don’t go the wrong way or get disqualified shortly after setting sail. This is yet another reason why getting started with fun-day racing is recommended as you get to know the rules, how it all works and get to take your time with learning.