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Yacht Racing - Flying And Time Starts

( Originally Published 1911 )

YEARS ago a fleet of yachts was started in a race from their anchors, when it was necessary to weigh anchor, hoist the headsails, and depart. This way of starting cut out all skill in maneuvering, and it came down to the crew who were able to get their craft under sail first.

The time start is now used among the larger racing classes, that is, the preparatory signal is fired at a certain hour, and from then the yachts are under the racing rules. Five minutes after this signal the starting signal is given, and the yachts can start any time after, within three or five minutes, as the case may be. Their time is taken as they cross, up to the three or five minute signal, which is the handicap gun, and after this signal they are handicapped. This kind of start calls for jockeying and skill, and among the larger yachts, which are slow to turn and act as compared with the smaller classes, seems to be the best sort of send-away.

The flying start, however, is the most ex-citing, as your time is taken from the send-away gun, there being no allowed time to start in, but it means handicap if you do not get away on gun-fire. This start is used all over the country among the smaller boats and certainly is by far the best.

If a time start was given for the smaller classes it would be next to impossible to get the starting time correct on each boat on ac-count of their numbers ; and if the boats were sailing in restricted classes, and boat for boat, that is, no time allowance, it would mean complicated figuring, thus making it impossible in many cases to tell who had won until the "times" had all been figured out. Such a finish is decidedly unsatisfactory.

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