Presently, at the Skipper's Guide, we have noticed that there are a lot of yacht races taking place around the world such as the Route Du Rhum and Velux 5 Oceans races. The London Olympics are soon to arrive on these shores, and the Olympic Sailing Team have been preparing. Everybody who ventures out on a boat or yacht will on occasion find themselves inadvertently racing. Its human nature. There is always that time when you approach another boat and sense them reacting with secret eye contact and slight 'trimming' of the sales. We can't record too many incidents when the Skipper's Guide hears of 'road rage' on the high sea, most of these events pass with one side giving up. Occasional words may be exchanged and may be a gesture of sorts! But this is competition, and it can be said that everybody who takes a boat or yacht out on the water is in competition but, its competition against the elements.
A lot of people are impressed when they see a fleet of dinghies hurtling across the water and as most classes allow colorful sails, the images can be both exciting and impressive. The complexities of racing and the cost of getting involved can be perceived as restrictive. Racing any sailing boat or yacht appears to involve some 'mad' ritual which is acted out in slow motion some distance away from spectators. Of course for those that have got involved, the reality on board a boat is that it is never a sedate or calm sport. The boat is constantly moving (or trying to move) and the crew is constantly working on the rules (in their heads) and looking at 'if/then/else' type scenarios. It all seems so easy for those involved and its difficult for them to understand why nobody else is so impressed with what may or may not have happened.
Any yacht or dinghy racing is widely perceived as being the best place to learn and improve all the required skills. When racing yachts and dinghies, you will be trying to get the greatest speed, and this will involve you in high amounts of concentration and energy. You may also find yourself at sea in weather conditions which you would not normally consider ideal. With practice and experience, this all starts to work like clockwork and you begin to operate with instinct. Very rarely do you see a racing yacht or dinghy being sailed badly? When any yacht or dinghy racing expect decides to cruise, the boat is still usually sailed in a competent fashion.
There are many ways to get into this sport, but in reality, the best place is to start at club level. Local sailing clubs usually contain a full mixture of abilities where the novice can rub shoulders with better and more accomplished competitors and all within a relatively 'low key' environment. There are usually only minimal entry requirements, and there will be a club that will welcome you. Learn your craft and make your mistakes at the beginning and build on your experiences. Find a class of boat that suits your budget.