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Sailing Regattas Part I A brief introduction to sailing history

Regattas I - History

Originally and from the 15th century documented as a gondola race in Venice, the word regatta has been the general name for boat competitions since the 18th century. Regattas nowadays include rowing, canoeing, windsurfing and sailing. Regatta sailing is probably one of the most complex sports in the world - but still, or because of that, very popular among amateurs, leisure sailors and professional sportsmen.

Sailing regatta is a boat competition in which a previously defined route is driven by at least two boats within a given period (less than one hour up to several months). A differentiation is made between single-class regattas, for which only boats of the same class are permitted, and regattas that allow boats of different classes to compete against each other.

Depending on the race, different courses are given, which the participants have to sail off. There are usually several races within each regatta, and the individual results are added according to a fixed procedure to determine the winner. In contrast to most sports, the sailors with the fewest points get the better placement.

The aim of regattas is to cross the finish line first. However, the speed alone is no decisive factor for victory in the different races, but particularly the strategy and tactics of the individual sailors. It is only through the use of tactical maneuvers, the accurate observation of the enemy and the assessment of possible wind directions that the sailors are able to be faster and reach the finish line before the other participants. In doing so, the sailors must still comply with a variety of rules, which are controlled by referees to water and a jury on land.

Prior to a regatta, there is a call for tenders describing the conditions and requirements of the regatta, and after registration, the participants receive a detailed sailing instruction with the announcement of courses, rules and signals. In order to be able to participate in a regatta, however, it is not only necessary to register or apply. The sailors have to master their boat perfectly and know how a tactical situation on the water can be used to their own advantage. Participation in a sailing regatta can also be quite expensive. In addition to the cost for the boat, the equipment, the insurance and the transport, registration fees and participation fees must also be paid, which can go into the millions (for example America`s Cup) depending on the regatta. However, there are also a large number of national and international sailing regattas that enable sailors to participate much more cheaply and with normal means.

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