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Getting Started in Sailboat Racing Paperback – May 24, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO WORK YOUR WAY UP THROUGH THE FLEET

If you sail—even a little—you’ve probably thought about trying your hand at racing. Now you can stop thinking and do it. Getting Started in Sailboat Racing makes this endlessly fascinating lifetime sport accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try.

This complete course in racing fundamentals breaks the racing experience down into bite-size pieces, making the process easier to understand and reflecting the leg-by-leg nature of a typical race. With scores of helpful illustrations, this user-friendly manual takes you around the buoys, explaining the rules and tactics that apply to each part of the race. You’ll learn how to:

*Execute quick, competitive starts *Maximize speed and efficiency on the windward leg *Maneuver for position around the windward mark *Take full advantage of downwind and reaching legs *Handle the spinnaker and beat the crowd at the jibe and leeward marks *Eke out every last bit of speed as you sprint to the finish

There are few things in this world more satisfying than racing a sailboat. Get in on the action and find out what you’ve been missing. All you need is a competitive spirit and a little help from Getting Started in Sailboat Racing.

Adam Cort is a former editor and regular contributor to Sailing magazine and a lifelong sailor, racing everything from dinghies to big keelboats. Richard Stearns is an America’s Cup veteran and a career sailor, sailmaker, and boatbuilder. He has participated in 28 Chicago–Mackinac races, winning it twice, and has compiled an impressive record of international victories including three wins in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit (SORC).

From the Back Cover

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO WORK YOUR WAY UP THROUGH THE FLEET

If you sail—even a little—you’ve probably thought about trying your hand at racing. Now you can stop thinking and do it. Getting Started in Sailboat Racing makes this endlessly fascinating lifetime sport accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try.

This complete course in racing fundamentals breaks the racing experience down into bite-size pieces, making the process easier to understand and reflecting the leg-by-leg nature of a typical race. With scores of helpful illustrations, this user-friendly manual takes you around the buoys, explaining the rules and tactics that apply to each part of the race. You’ll learn how to:

  • Execute quick, competitive starts
  • Maximize speed and efficiency on the windward leg
  • Maneuver for position around the windward mark
  • Take full advantage of downwind and reaching legs
  • Handle the spinnaker and beat the crowd at the jibe and leeward marks
  • Eke out every last bit of speed as you sprint to the finish

There are few things in this world more satisfying than racing a sailboat. Get in on the action and find out what you’ve been missing. All you need is a competitive spirit and a little help from Getting Started in Sailboat Racing.

Adam Cort is a former editor and regular contributor to Sailing magazine and a lifelong sailor, racing everything from dinghies to big keelboats. Richard Stearns is an America’s Cup veteran and a career sailor, sailmaker, and boatbuilder. He has participated in 28 Chicago–Mackinac races, winning it twice, and has compiled an impressive record of international victories including three wins in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit (SORC).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (May 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071424008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071424004
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Comfort on April 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this to be an excellent how-to guide that concisely explained the nuts and bolts of sailboat racing for the novice. Too many other books on racing, by big-name sailors, seem to me to be full of a lot of hot air, and lack an emphasis on the basics. Cort and Stearns do a great job of covering rules and tactics from start to finish.
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Stearns and Cort do a great job explaining sailboat racing with clarity and brevity and a dash of humor. I've read Melges, the Colgates, Stuart Walker and those are all fine authors. But I think "Getting Started.." is much easier to understand. The little quizzes with their answers right after the questions at the end of each section hammer home the essential principles.

This might just be a series of happy accidents but I bought the book at the beginning of September, '05, and we won the next four races in our Colgate 26 racing on Lake Michigan near Holland, MI.
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I have raced my 36 ft sloop lightly for the last 5 years and wanted a book to help me improve my finish (2nd every time but only 5 in class). I have now read 7 books on the subject. Most frustrated me as they only talk about racing upwind and downwind. My class races up, down, and reaching. To make matters worse, my class is no spinnaker. So, typically the upwind talk is how to tune a boat with a fractional rig, which I don't have, or a spinnaker, which I don't use. Some only talk about boats so small you can tip them over. This book covers everything, up, down, reaching, no spinnaker. It talks about little and big boats. It does as good a job on tactics as any of the books and in fact better than most. It is an easy read and not full of typos like some of the others. I highly recommend it.
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The title of this book can be a little misleading. It provides a wealth of information for racers of all skill levels and experience, presented in an easy to understand format. The authors' styles are entertaining to say the least. The best value I've found yet for books of this type.
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Each time I pick this book up I learn something new. While it's written to introduce racing, it's really a useful reference to improve your racing over time.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject, regardless of skill level.
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I'm going to use this in our yacht club's "Introduction to Sailboat Racing" class. It's a good starter book for someone just getting into the sport and it's written with a nice blend of folksy antecdotes and hard "bullet point" information. There just enough of each subject to get a taste, but not so much as to overwhelm. Other books and on-the-water experience will fill in the blanks. Q&A review at the end of the chapters highlights the key information. If you're just getting started in sailboat racing, "Getting Started" is a good way to do it.
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I have to say, this book got me to second place in a regatta filled with 4 and 5 year racers. It is clear and consice and takes into account the fact that you may or may not have ever raced before. Principals are clearly explained in everyday language and the important rules are explained. For those people looking to start Wednesday night racing - this is your book!
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There are two differences between this book and most others on racing - first of all it makes a whole, understandable picture of racing which leaves the reader feeling she could approach a race and make necessary decisions. Most other books analyze aspects of racing but leave the reader asking 'but how do you know what to DO?' this book focuses on the whole more so than the pieces. The other difference is the approach. Most books are trying to crack the code on how to win races. This book seems to me to have a different perspective which I'd summarize as follows: 'it's very hard to win a sailboat race, but the good news is half the people taking risks and trying to do it get it wrong and end up at the back of the pack. On the other hand, it's NOT actually that hard to do decently in a sailboat race, and that's what this book is about doing. Let's learn to take part in races and do respectably, so we're in a position to have fun, learn, and take advantage if something goes really right'. So you learn things like 'if you're not sure what to do do the following and it will probably turn out alright but not fantastic'. So if you're already a reliable strong finisher and want to know the fine points of claiming those last couple positions ahead of you, this is not the book for you. For everyone else it's a gem.
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