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Home / Racing / Wednesday Racing and how a pursuit race works
Home / Racing / Wednesday Racing and how a pursuit race works

Wednesday Racing and how a pursuit race works

Wednesday evening racing is one of our most popuar activities.It is particularly good for those getting to know the club or just starting to race. The ambience is relaxed and everyone is there to enjoy a great evening. The format is a 45 minute handicap race starting at 17:45 followed by a pursuit race that finishes at 20:00 with first starters at 1830. In a pursuit race each entrant is given a personalised start time so that the least experienced sailor should still have a chance of winning. and the start line is less busy.


In a pursuit race, boats of different speeds start at different times based on their RYA Handicap rating (PY number). All boats are finished at the same time and the boat that is in front at that time is the winner. In theory, every boat would be at the same place at the finish time but vagaries of wind, tactics, personal performance etc. means the boats are usually well spread out.

At Spinnaker, our Wednesday Night Pursuit has an added element each helm is also started according to their own personal handicap within their class. Each class of boat has an easily calculated start time using the boat's PY number and the finish time of 2000. This is the "A" start time for that class. A top sailor will be asked to start at this time. Helms with progressively less experience will be assigned the "B", "C" or "D grades which gives them earlier start times. Any helm swapping between classes should keep their rating designation for their new class, but overall results will be calculated only on their results from one boat. Check your start time before setting off with the Race Officer.

With all boats sailing the course right up to the finish gun, it is a tough task for the Race Officers to log every position - even aided by a photo. For this reason it is important for each helm to note the sail number of the boat in front and the boat behind and to sign off with this information in the Club House at the end.

It is not necessary to compete in the earlier handicap race to enter the pursuit race.

Below you will find the exact start times for the races. Don't worry - the race officers are very good at calling out the minutes before the beeps, and usually shout out 'oppy D' or 'solo A' is that helps too.


Last updated 10:06 on 24 February 2021

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