Racing Terms: Glossary for newer sailors

Published on September 5th, 2021

If you didn’t grow up sailing, how long did it take you to figure out what sailors mean when they say “put the bow down?” After hearing from newer sailors that the language of racing is hard to decipher, SailZing created a glossary of racing terms and phrases. Here’s a sample:

• Bail out: Tacking away from other boats to obtain clear air. Often used for starting situations.
• In the groove: Sailing close-hauled with the sail trimmed in and the heading such that the sail is neither luffing nor stalling.
• Marshmallow: A less skilled sailor. Some experts advise starting next to a marshmallow.
• Skewed course: A course in which the long tack is significantly longer than the opposite tack. A skewed course is not square to the wind.
• Tiller towards trouble: Expression to help new sailors sail in the groove. Move the tiller toward the luff telltales that are fluttering.

For the full list, click here.

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