World Match Racing Tour.

ISAF Special Event


A match race is a duel between two identically-matched boats and at the end of the race there is a winner -and a loser.

Match racing has its own set of rules, which are slightly different from the regular racing rules that create very close, aggressive competition in which collisions are certainly not rare.

Match racing also has on-the-water umpiring, with official doling out "instant justice" on the water.

Match racing is tremendously exciting to participate in. And, unlike some other sailing competitions, match racing can be thrilling to watch. Before the start, the boats vie for control, circling each other and trying to wipe each other off on spectator boats in an elaborate game of cat and mouse followed by nip and tuck racing around two lap a windward-leeward course before finishing downwind. Races last 15-20 minutes and the winner isn't usually decided until the very end of the race.



  • The match racing course resembles an oval shape with the Start/Finish line close to shore.
  • The course consists of a starting line, between two marks, laid at right angles to the wind's direction.
  • The boats begin from the starting line and sail upwind to the first mark to be rounded to the starboard (right side). The spinnakers are set, and the duel continues downwind to the second mark that is laid in close proximity to the starting line 100-meters further up the course.
  • The boats round the marks 2-3 times before the winner crosses the Finish line.