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Amo Yachts - What is a sailing race?

What is a sailing race?

You’ve probably heard of the Oxford-Cambridge regatta, one of the world’s best-known sporting competitions. This sporting event stands out as a rowing event that pits both universities against each other on the River Thames.

In addition to this type of competition we can find the races of sailboats. Below we explain everything about this type of regatta.

What is a sailing regatta?

It is known as a sailing race or regatta a sporting competition that measures the speed of boats. The duration of these tests can take from several hours to several days.

Regatistas en una carrera de velero

Sailing regattas can be either light sailing or cruise sailing. In the first case, the course is restricted by buoys or beacons, in most cases in the shape of a triangle; in the second case the course is also marked by beacons, but it is sailed from port to port.

There is also an oceanic or transoceanic regatta; that is, when the marked routes cross different seas.

Some of the best known maneuvers that are usually done in a regatta are:

  • Turned by avante. A turn is made against the wind. To do this, the rod is turned leeward and the steering sails are changed. It is also necessary for the sailors to vary their position.
  • Round tack. Just like the previous one, the sailors must change their position. On this occasion, the rod is tucked upwind and the band sails are changed.

What types of regatta are there?

As we have seen before, sailing races can be divided into dinghy sails or cruising sails. This division is based on the type of boat available to sailors.

  • Dinghy sailing. Small boats, without motor propulsion and the competition takes place near the coast.
  • Cruise sailing. Sailboats of great dimensions and that usually have propulsion to motor. For that reason, they are usually the boats that are used for different lengths.

Is it necessary to have experience to take part in a regatta?

It is not necessary to have previous experience to participate in a regatta, although it is the most recommendable thing. Similarly, although it is not necessary to have knowledge of sailing, it is important to have some notions to know how to move around the boat and enjoy the competition even more.

What do I have to wear to a regatta?

A sailboat is usually a small boat. In the same way, the weight of the ship has a great influence on the regatta; therefore, it is best to wear light, comfortable and waterproof clothing.

It is necessary that this luggage, in the case of the races of several days, does not occupy much space. It is also recommended that the shoes you use have a white non-slip sole to avoid any possible fall.

Regatistas en un velero

What are the rules of a regatta?

The first thing you should know before starting a race is the scoring system you are going to use. The points system is the best known and is called manga to each of the tests that are performed.

On this occasion, the boat that wins is the one that, when all the races are over, has the fewest points. In order to calculate it, the results are recorded according to the order of arrival: the first obtains 1 point, the second 2 and so on.

Once all the races are finished, each team can rule out its worst result. Normally about 9 tasks are carried out, although in some races less are done and others can be contested up to 15 races.

What are the best known sailing regattas in Spain?

In addition to the Volvo Ocean Race, the best-known transoceanic competition that passes through our country, these are the two most recognized sporting events held in Spain:

  • Salt Route. This regatta is made up of different races that have their starting point in different parts of the country but with a similarity, they all end up in Ibiza. It is one of the best known and is usually held at Easter.
  • Ophiusa Regatta. Known for being one of the most important regattas in the Mediterranean Sea, this sporting competition has its starting point in Port Sitges-Aiguadolç, in Barcelona, and ends in Savina, on Formentera.