Sailing contains a plethora of jargon that can be extremely confusing to the non-sailor. So, here is a plain English explanation to help you understand the key terms that will help you follow the Atlantic Cup.

  • Class: designation of a category that a racing boat falls into based on the specs with which the boat was built. For instance there are categories known as Class 40, Mini, Figaro, etc.
  • Class 40: a monohull racing boat with a maximum length of 40 feet and the Class of boat that will be used in The Atlantic Cup
  • Double handed: sailing with only two crew members aboard
  • Downwind: sailing away from the wind
  • Fully crewed: sailing with enough crew aboard so that each sailing task is performed by a dedicated individual
  • Hull: the body or shell of the bottom of a boat on which it floats in the water
  • Inshore: sailing in close proximity to land and safe harbor.
  • Knot: the unit of speed for boats. It is equivalent to 1.151mph
  • Mainsail: the sail behind the mast. This sail is also controlled by the boom.
  • Monohull: a boat that has only one hull
  • Nautical Mile: 1,852 meters or approximately 6,076 feet
  • Offshore: sailing in open waters usually greater than 5 nautical miles from land.
  • Program/campaign: term used to describe the team members who run the boat and the race schedule that yacht will follow.
  • Prevailing winds: the typical winds for a particular region and time of year
  • Short-handed: sailing with only one or two people aboard.
  • Spinnaker or Kite: the balloon like sail at the front of the boat used when sailing downwind.
  • Upwind: Sailing towards the wind (a boat can not sail directly into the wind, if it did it would come to a complete stop)
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