Yacht Racing: The National Game of Anguilla
Yacht racing is a water sport that includes large sailboats and yachts. In this, multiple yachts are in direct competition with each other. They have to race around a route, which is marked by navigational devices or buoys. If the route is not defined, then two specific points are marked separated by a very long distance, within which they have to race across the open water. The members running a yacht is not specified, but there generally not more than 10-20 members in one yacht. It is quite famous in Anguilla and also the national game of the same country.
Anguilla is a overseas territory of Britain in the Eastern Caribbean. The country is quite famous for its beautiful beaches and sailing sports.
Roots of Yacht Racing
- Around 17th century in the Netherlands, the formal boat racing was started, which effects were also seen in England and the British people established the Royal Yacht Squadron.
- The yacht racing gained huge popularity in the 19th century. Several competitions started to be organized, mainly in England, in which the starting positions were allotted to the participants and buoys were placed in an exact straight line. The participants had to attach their yachts with the buoys using the spring ropes.
- Similar to the today's competitions, that time also yachts had to keep the sails forward of the main mast on deck till the time the starting signal was not given.
- In late 19th century around 1870s, Captain J. W. Hughes, Prince Batthyany-Strattman, and Mr. Dixon Kemp found the Yacht Racing Association. The association wrote standard rules, most of which are still used today including the "Flying Start". Flying Start is a starting point at which the competitors have to be ready in full motion with the highest speed to cross the starting line after the starting signal is given.
Rules of Yacht Racing
- The competitor or boat must give all the possible help to any vessel or person in problem.
- Each boat must possess life-saving equipment for all members of the crew on board. Every member is individually responsible for using their flotation device according to the conditions.
- Every competitor must comply with the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
- Betting and Anti-Corruption Code must be strictly followed by each person competing in the racing.
- There should not be any contact between two boats, if one boat is changing her course, then the other boats must give her clear space.
- If a boat's equipment is on the course side, Flag I is shown.
- There must be no part of the boat in the area, which is formed by the first mark (from the race begins) and the ends of the starting line, otherwise, Flag Z is displayed.
- There is a specific time limit given to each race. If none of the boats are able to complete the race in that time limit, then the race is abandoned.
- Only the members of the boat can help each other. No outside help is provided to them.
- Repeated adjustments of the boat are prohibited.
- The leader of the crew needs to make sure that each of his/her member is aware of the rules. If the rules are not followed properly, then the racing team is immediately disqualified.
Famous Yacht Races in the World
- Volvo Ocean Race:
The race is also known as the Whitbread Round the World Race. It is held after every three years. It was initially named after the British Whitbread brewing company. Later on, its name changed with its new owner, who is Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars and the Volvo Group, which is the Swedish multinational manufacturing company. In this, Netherlands is the only country to win the race three times.
- America's Cup:
The trophy given in this race is also named The America’s Cup, which is the oldest international sporting trophy. In the race, two yachts participate at one time. One yacht is the defender, who is the last winner of the race and another yacht is challenger, who challenges the defender for the cup. The time limit for the race is decided by the defender and the challenger through an agreement.
- Vendee Globe:
This race is said to be the toughest of all. In this, the yacht needs to sail round the world without stopping. Also, the yacht is not allowed to ask for any assistance. It was founded in 1989 by Philippe Jeantot and is conducted after every four years. The race determines an individual strength and edurance.
- Sydney Hobart:
It is one of the ultimate yacht races after Vendee Globe. In this, the yachts start in Sydney, New South Wales and end in Hobart, Tasmania. It is conducted on the Boxing Day and hosted by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
- Fastnet race:
Conducted every two years, the fastnet race is a biennial offshore race, in which the racing team’s offshore and inshore skills are tested as well as their preparation to win and speed potential are noticed. The race is sponsored by Rolex, which is the Swiss watch manufacturing company. The prize given to the winner is known as Fastnet Challenge Cup.
- Louis Vuitton Trophy:
The race is supported by Louis Vuitton and organized after the splendid success of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland. It is a series of four matches in which eight to ten teams participate, out of which only two teams reach to the final round.
- Cowes week:
It is one of the longest running races in the world. It includes nearly 1000 boats, more than 8000 competitors and 40 daily races. The competitors are the world class and Olympic professionals as well as weekend sailors. It is organized by the Cowes Week Limited and held on the area that lies between the Isle of Wight and southern England.
- Antigua Sailing Week:
It is the most important event of Antigua that is held at Nelson’s Dockyard, St. Jones, Antigua. More than 24 countries participate in this race, which also include at least 200 yachts and 5000 spectators. There are five races conducted that include the English Harbor race as well.
- The World Match Racing Tour:
The race is conducted annually by the International Sailing Federation. The winner is awarded USD $1.5 million. The race has gained huge popularity worldwide due to economic and media impact. Today, it is known to millions of households in more than 183 countries around the world.
- Olympic Games:
When the yacht race was first organized at Olympics, it was cancelled due to the lack of competitors. So, its first proper competition was held in 1900 Paris Games. Since then, the number of boats participating in the races has increased to a good number. Additionally, there is some great advancement shown in the equipment used during the race by sailors.
Let us have a look on the World's Most Expensive Yachts
Cost of Making
Streets of Monaco
$450 Million - $1 Billion
The Rising Sun