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What is One-Design Sailing?

Would you rather …
have the faster boat?
or be the better sailor?

If you answered "the better sailor," then you've already grasped the concept of one-design sailing. If you answered "the faster boat owner," you may take some convincing but we're willing to try!

One-design sailors are committed to a concept -- sailboat racing is more fun and more competitive when sailing almost identical boats. Racing then becomes a contest of skill, not a test of equipment. You've seen this concept demonstrated by the finest sailors in the world … at the Olympics, where boats are exactly the same size and weight, with identical sails and crew. Unlike handicap formula racing where speed is a product of boat design, the specific intent of one-design racing is that the boat NOT provide any advantage to the sailor. It's the skill of the skipper and crew that outmaneuvers the competition.

At Atlanta Yacht Club, as at most of the inland lake sailing clubs, one-design sailing rules! Whether sailing at home or at a regatta, Thistles race only against Thistles, Snipes against Snipes, Y-Flyers against Y-Flyers, and so on, with a separate start for each fleet. So when the first Laser crosses the finish line he doesn't have to wait for his time to be computed -- he gets the gun, he won the race. It's that simple!

And we one-design sailors like it that way.

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