Team Racing

Team racing is an exciting and sociable sailing format in which a team of sailors work together to try and establish an overall winning combination for their team over their opposition.  Team races are fast and furious and reward good starting, boat speed, boat handling, rules knowledge and team work skills.

One race typically lasts for about ten minutes but each team usually gets to do between 6 and 16 races during the weekend, with events often running several hundred races in total.   As well as being an exciting form of sailing in its own right, team racing helps to sharpen up many useful fleet racing skills, especially close boat on boat tactics and is also a great transitional step between fleet racing and match racing.

Team racing can be done with 2, 3 or even 4 boats per team with 3-boat team racing being the most common type.  The scoring system is the same as fleet racing with one point for first, two for second and so on, and team with the lowest total number of points wins.  For example, if the British Team raced the Americans and finished with boats in 1st, 4th and 5th they would have a total of 10 points, whereas the Americans would have a total of 11 points (2nd, 3rd and 6th) so the British team would have won.  In 3 boat team racing any score-line with 10 points or less wins.

In the UK there is a well established circuit, with events most weekends from October through to May. At University most of the competitive sailing is team racing, and beyond the Uni circuit there are the National Championships, large international events such as the Wilson Trophy and the ISAF Team Racing World Championship which includes an U21 competition.  In the UK most events are sailed in Fireflies which are really well suited to the close boat on boat action.  Internationally other boats such as 420s and Vanguards are used.


The format of racing consists of a number of round robins, where teams are split into groups and race each team in their group.  These groups are reshuffled at the end of each round so that the best teams move to the top and teams of similar ability get to race each other.  After a number of rounds, the teams progress to knock-out stages, usually consisting of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals which are best of 3 or 5 races.

You will be given a schedule of racing telling you who you are sailing against, what race number and which boats you are in.  For example Race 55, Britain (Yellow 19-21) vs America (Pink 22-24). After each race the teams must swap over so they sail to the change-over point where you should be ready to get into the right boats for your next race.
Umpires follow the races on the water in ribs and may award penalties to anyone who breaks the rules.  If you do break a rule, you can take a penalty by doing a 360 degree turn as soon as possible after the incident.  If you don’t do the spin, and your opposition appeals to the umpire by waving their protest flag, then the umpire will give you a 720 degree penalty turn – which is much more costly to you, and more importantly; to your team!

The course is usually a ‘starboard S’ with 2 beats, 2 reaches and a run.  There are 4 marks to go around, including the unusual starboard-hand windward mark rounding which provides for plenty of action and loads of opportunities to turn the race around.


South Staffs Sailing Club is a friendly club that has members of all ages. We cater for all abilities, from beginners to experienced sailors.

As an RYA Training Centre we provide courses that will enable sailors, whatever their ability, to flourish and really enjoy sailing at the club. If racing is something you aspire to do you will find competitive fleets and tuition available to improve your skills.

We have an active and thriving junior section, with a team of dedicated trainers committed to ensure the children have a fun time and are able to develop a real passion for the sport.

The club has a regular programme of social events and the club members always enjoy any excuse to arrange a good party.

If you would like to visit us, the club is conveniently placed adjacent to Jct 12 on the M6 and just off the A5 near Cannock. You will be made very welcome.

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Why should I sail at South Staffs Sailing Club?

South Staffs Sailing Club is considered to be an extremely friendly club that welcomes new members. You will be joining a group of people who love the sport of dinghy sailing, and are more than happy to share that enthusiasm. The club is run on a self help basis and joining in with the tasks that are needed for the club to function, enables new members to quickly make friends and settle in. For many it has become a long term passion and many members have been active in the club for many years, and for some there are three generations still active.

The club is an approved RYA Training Centre and facilities are available for both adults and juniors. Learn to Sail and Improver courses for adults are run each year. Sunday morning sessions are available for juniors to develop their confidence and enjoyment for the sport. Additional supported free sailing sessions are also available to allow practice and to provide time for skills to be developed.

We have a dedicated team of race coaches, including sailors who have been both National and World Champions so any level of ability at adult or junior level can be accommodated.

Easy access from Staffordshire and the West Midlands via the M6, M6 Toll, A5 and A449. The club is approximately a mile from Junction 12 on the M6.

The club offers competitive fleet racing. We sail a range of single and two handed boats that will suit all standards and sailing abilities. Our fleet captains, instructors and coaches will ensure that everyone can develop their skills and get the maximum enjoyment from sailing at the club.

The club has a strong family foundation, and in some cases multiple generations of the same family are club members. The membership costs reflect that belief and junior membership (up to 17) can be at no or minimal costs when joining with sailing adults. Concession rates are also available for students.

The Social aspect plays an important part in integrating  new Members to the Club and introducing them to other members and so making new friends.

It  has always been a very active aspect of the Club with a variety of events over the Year to suit all ages and tastes. From Quiz Nights, Car Treasure Hunts, Wine Tasting, Summer Ball, Christmas Dinner, Mince Pie Night with Carols and our own Orchestra,  An Annual Dinner Dance and our own House Band all prove very popular.  The Junior Team also put together a very interesting series of Social events for our younger Members.