Tips to Win Double-Handed Races

Double-handed races are becoming increasingly popular with all forms of racing, including inshore and or shore events. Since more and more sailors are taking part in this form of racing, it is essential to understand the fundamentals of the game and what the best setup would be to claim a victory!

So, what does double-handed even mean? It says a crew consists of only two people. This makes it a lot harder and challenging, especially when taking part in races such as the day and night event with Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Seems impossible to win against other boats with full crews, right? Well, in 2013 Alexis Loison and his father instantly claimed their way into flame by winning the event outright as a double-handed team. They were the only team of the sort and managed to keep all the others with their JPK10.10.

Professional Tips from Alexis Loison

When asking the professional for tips behind the success, he gave loads of details, starting with how much easier it is to stay in control with just two sailors. He adds that there’s no need to pull together as a team and try to keep up with what everyone is doing as it’s either you or your partner who has to take care of it. Of course, this means a lot more work, and you need to stay sharp throughout the race.

He also adds that the autopilot technology certainly makes it easier and possible for just a double-handed team to take control of the boat. He states there is no sitting on the rails for an extended period as you need to cover everything. Including navigation, the helm and all while working on manoeuvres for the best possible results.

Alexis went into more detail about the tips for running double-handed and explained that the first important detail comes in with your partner and how well you prepare for the event. Before even getting afloat, you need to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page. This means speaking about the roles, which covers what, the possible weather conditions and how it all comes together.

Knowing the boat, you’ll be using is the next step to success. Not only do you need something that two sailors can control, but you need to ensure that both parties know how it all works and what the boat is capable of while recognizing the limits as well. As Alexis mentioned, having practiced all the manoeuvres on the ship is essential and would sure help a lot in the race.

He also says having two rudders is another essential addition to the boat. During the race, they found themselves racing against another JPK10.10 with a full crew and only one rudder. He says the other team might have had new hands and weights. It was the fact that they had double rudders that made them faster.