The Sailing Race

As our ‘new to sailing’ series continues, we take you step-by-step through the essential elements of the sailing race

1 Introducing the course

We normally sail one or more laps around a series of markers

2 The start and finish

A good start counts for much more time than you'd think

3 The ‘Racing Rules of Sailing’

Avoiding collisions, and who has right-of-way

4 Sailing instructions

More rules, specific to the area of water you are racing in

5 Penalties

Boats who acknowledge infringing a rule can take a penalty, to save being disqualified

6 Who organises racing?

Mainly organised and run on a 'grassroots' basis by the members

7 Your first race

Don't worry if there is any shouting! Some competitors get rather excited