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Home / Racing / Pursuit Racing - all you need to know
Home / Racing / Pursuit Racing - all you need to know

Pursuit Racing - all you need to know

How does a Pursuit Race work?

In a pursuit race, boats of different speeds start at different times based on their RYA Portsmouth Number (PN). All boats are finished at the same time which for 2022 is 60 minutes after the base time/ start. 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 Pursuit has an added element each helm is also started according to their own personal 'Grade' within their class. A top sailor will have a Grade rating of A. Helms with progressively less experience/ success will be assigned the "B", "C" or "D grades which gives them earlier start times. This is explained in the YouTube video referenced below. Also, best to speak to your class captain who can help decide.

Our start times are a simple number of minutes past the base time. E.g. A Laser 4.7 D grade sailor is the base time. A Firefly B Grade sailor is 7 minutes past. An Oppy C is 16 minutes past. The times are shown on a counter board by the Race Officer, visible on the water. In the Downloads section following you will find the start times based upon your boat type and sailor Grade. Everyone finishes together so that is the easy bit.

To make clear the start is due to happen a 3,2,1,Go sequence with flags and hoots will run before the base time/ start.

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.

For Youtube summary of Pursuit Racing, click Pursuit Racing Intro.

Start times

In the table in the PDF you will find your exact start times for the races. The race officers will show the counter board and are very good at calling out the next starter before the hoots,


Last updated 09:10 on 6 June 2022

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