Boat Racing for Dummies!

Henri Antoine is an International Race Officer at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This week, he tells us about a recent boat racing training session that was organised for newcomers to sailing racing: Racing for Dummies!

The first ‘Racing for Dummies’ training session was held in Dunkerque, Northen France on Saturday, April 5, 2014, on the premises of the North Sea Yacht Club.

Boat racing for Dummies
A poster advertising “Racing for Dummies” training session

This event was designed to encourage boaters to take part in boat races. Boaters often want to race but are apprehensive about beginning. It is a fear of not understanding how it is done, or looking ridiculous in comparison to more seasoned competitors.

Thierry Maurick, Chairman of YCMN, (the North Sea Yacht Club) immediately found the idea interesting and fun. It was a way to bring a new audience to boat racing without any pressure in a relaxed setting. Hence the idea of the event title “For Dummies”.

The goal: to demystify and “play down” boat racing, which many people believe to be more complicated than it is.

Participants in this Dunkirk training session really enjoyed it and the event was very successful. To make it as accessible as possible, many concrete examples, diagrams and pictures were used.

MaxSea TimeZero Navigator weather forecast  service explained during the boat racing training session
GRIB weather files overlaid on the chart in MaxSea TimeZero

MaxSea TimeZero was used to demonstrate how coastal routes can be easily viewed. In coastal routes in areas where marine navigation is tricky, this helped participants to quickly understand how to approach this type of race. They learned how to read and understand nautical charts in a practical way.

The participants really liked how easy it was to integrate wind information (using GRIB files in TimeZero) and tidal current data. These types of information are of course, very important for boat racing.

There was positive feedback from participants, and another session in mid-May is planned.

This was a great initiative – thanks Henri!

For more information about ISAF, please click here.

To find out more about the North Sea Yachting Club in Dunkerque, France, see their website.

h.

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