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© Neil Hawkins
© Neil Hawkins
© Neil Hawkins

Team Racing

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An Introduction to Team Racing

We do not pretend that everyone who sails wants to go team racing or that when you try it you have to enjoy this branch of sailing. However if you want lots of short highly competitive races where boat handling skills count for more than the size of your bank balance then team racing could be for you.

Here is a brief description of what constitutes team racing.

The essential features of a team race are as follows:-

  • Each team comprises helms (and crews for crewed boats) in 2, 3 or 4 boats.
  • Only two teams contest the race.
  • All the boats in a race must be the same class and reasonably well matched for performance.
  • The winning team in a race is determined by the total points score of all the boats in the team.
  • An event comprises a number of races (possibly a very large number of races!) where the teams with the greatest number of wins (or least losses) progress onto the next stage of the competition.
  • Races are ideally quite short just 10 to 15 minutes is adequate. With lots of short races, team racing fits the current trend in sailboat racing.
  • Events can either be "bring your own boat" (BYOB) or "boats provided" (BP).

Unlike fleet racing run under normal rules, where the winning boat wins the event, team racing results are awarded to teams compromising a number of helms. This means that the sharing of boats is perfectly possible and teams do not have to trail craft about the country. Since there is a practical limit on the number of team races that can occupy a course at any one time, even events with hundreds of helms can be run with only 24 boats. Small events can be successful with just 4 or 6 boats and up to half a dozen teams

Team racing has developed rapidly over the last few years into a sport that is now recognised by the international body for sailing - the ISAF. Those of you that remember the old Dunhill Trophy and University team racing of years ago may recall a bash and crash approach to mark rounding and a mystical method of totting up penalties with bits of red and green ribbon. Rules observance is now the name of the game. On the water penalties with 360 and 720 turns for the guilty make for rapid exoneration of a misdeed and there are on-the-water judges to ensure compliance at events where calls get tight.

 For more info see the UK Team Racing Association website


Chris Warburton
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Team Racing News & Notices

19 Jun 15 Report on Old Joe Team Race
18 Oct 11 Youth & Junior Team Racing...What an improvement !
01 Jun 11 Team Racing League 2012!
18 Apr 10 GP Team take the 2010 Flamank Trophy + Photos
08 Mar 10 Team Racing League - League 1
09 Feb 10 Team Racing League Starts 20th Feb !
07 Oct 09 The Dave Danbury Day - Report & Results
06 Oct 09 The Dave Danbury Day - OVER 3,200 RAISED !