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What is competitive sailing?
Competitive sailing is a an opportunity to get on the water and race against other sailors. Test your skills against the other sailors on the water to see who can make the best of the conditions on the day. There are different formats for racing but a typical race would run for 20-40 minutes. A course is set with a number of laps, the aim is to sail your boat around the course and cross the finish line first.

Watch some video clips about competitive sailing.

Do I need any qualifications to compete?
No qualifications are needed to go racing. If sailing on your own you will need to have sailed before and understand how the boat works and understand some basic sailing rules. If sailing with an experienced volunteer or instructor you could go racing and learn the skills by taking part and learning from the volunteer or instructor.

The three basic rules to understand are:
On opposite tacks
When boats are on opposite tacks a port tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard tack boat.
On the same tack, overlapped
When boats are on the same tack and overlapped a windward boat should keep clear of a leeward boat.
On the same tack not overlapped
When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, a boat clear astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

If you would like more information on all of the racing rules you can purchase one of the books from our online shop, listed in related links above.

How do I get involved?
The chance to take part in racing is available at many Sailability Sites.   
Our Centres of Excellence across the UK comply to high service standards, which include offering opportunities to learn to race are a great place to start your racing journey.
Whether you are an experienced competitor or new to racing you can take part in our National Multiclass regatta which takes place every August.

What types of boats are used?
Each type of boat used for racing has a class association which provides information to its members about what’s happening around the UK and beyond. By becoming a member of your class association you become part of a wider community. This is aimed at all levels of ability and allows knowledge to be shared no matter where you live.

The class association links (above right) are also a great place to find information on the different types of boats used in racing.

Find books for your course at the RYA Shop

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