Harken Derm

Blind Match Race Training

Published on May 19th, 2016

Blind Sailing Unlimited teamed up with Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan (SEAS), the Women’s International Match Racing Association (WIMRA), and Community Boating Inc. to hold a Blind Match Racing Clinic on May 14-16 in Boston, MA. The clinic, which used the Homerus acoustic mark system, was organized to encourage participation at the 2016 Blind Match Racing World Championship to be held September 21-25 in Sheboygan, WI.

Blind match racing is unique in the world of blind sailing as the visually impaired sailors race the boats with no sighted assistance onboard. They navigate the course through the use of the Homerus acoustic marks, each making a distinct sound, while each boat also emits a sound based off of which tack the boat is on. Through these audible clues the sailors not only make their way around the course without sighted help, but also engage the other team in classic match racing style.

Seven blind sailors and five sighted guide from across the country participated in the clinic held in Community Boating’s boats on the Charles River.

“Boston is where blind sailing began in the United States, over twenty years ago,” said Blind Sailing Unlimited Chairman, Kris Scheppe. “I am thrilled to see blind match racing take hold in the US, as more and more gain interest and learn from these clinics.”

This was the third in a series of U.S. blind match racing clinics. Upcoming events include:
May 27 – Burlington, VT
June 10-12 – Newport, RI
July 9-13 – Sheboygan, WI
September 14-16 – Sheboygan, WI

Source: Kris Scheppe, kris@blindsailingunlimited.org

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