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Yacht Racing - The Fleet Race

( Originally Published 1911 )

THE Fleet Race is the common type of race for a number of boats, each one for himself. There is possibly some luck in the finishes of the Fleet Race, as the crack boat may get away badly at the start, being covered by a quantity of the slower boats, and so being unable to get clear of the slow ones until it is too late to win ; one of the faster boats by that time having worked out quite a safe lead. This is often the case, and in many respects the race is, for this reason, not so satisfactory.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier chapters, it is impossible for one boat to cover both sections ; when in going to windward part go one way and part another hunting for flukes. If luck is against the best boat she will lose through no fault of her own, whereas in the Match Race and Team Race you can stay with your competitors. This view is taken, of course, by the owner of the best boat in a Fleet Race, and the man with the slower boat wants to win some of the time, even if he does get a little lift by the wind favoring him.

Most of the general points that are possible to give in a work of this sort I have mentioned in previous chapters, so there is no use in speaking of them again here. I will say, however, that good judgment and careful attention to winds and tides will win in the long run over the man who is careless and by luck has fallen into first place now and then.

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