May 242006
 
Dinghy Racing

Dinghy Racing Ocean Going Fun

Racing Dinghy’s is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and the ocean.

Racing sailing boats is believed to have started in the Netherlands some time in the 17th century. From there it made its way to England where custom-built racing “yachts” began to emerge.

In 1851, a challenge to an American yacht racing club in New York led to the beginning of the America s Cup , a regatta won by the New York Yacht Club until 1983, when they finally lost to Australia II. Meanwhile, yacht racing continued to evolve, with the development of recognised classes of racing yachts, from small dinghies up to maxi yachts.

These days, yacht racing and dinghy racing are common participant sports around the developed world, particularly where favourable wind conditions and access to reasonably sized bodies of water are available. Most yachting is conducted in salt water, but smaller craft can be – and are – raced on lakes and even large rivers.

Whilst there are many different types of racing vessels, they can generally be separated into the larger yachts, which are larger and contain facilities for extended voyages, and smaller harbour racing craft such as dinghies and skiffs.

Dinghy Races are conducted on sheltered water on smaller craft, usually designed for crews of between one and three people. They are almost all equipped with one mast. Some have only one triangular sail, but most have two configured as a sloop, and usually carry a spinnaker, a large, bulging sail designed for sailing “with the wind”. Most races are conducted between vessels of identical design one design. In these races, with identical equipment the sailors best able to make use of the ambient conditions win.

Dinghy designs vary from small, stable, and slow craft for novice sailors to lightweight, high-speed designs that are very difficult for even experienced crews to sail safely and effectively. Australia’s 18-foot skiff class are the fastest monohull dinghies, reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour even in relatively light winds. Sailing has a reputation for being a boring spectator sport, but skiff racing can be very exciting, particularly in unpredictable conditions where crews struggle to keep their boats upright. Various multi-hull racing classes are even faster.

 5:14 pm  Yachts

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