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Positions on a Racing Sailboat

Positions on a Racing Sailboat | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Gabriel Hannon

August 30, 2022

‍ The success of a racing sailboat depends entirely on the ability of each person on the boat to know and execute their role in high-pressure situations.

While boat-dependent, all positions are some combination of the responsibilities of driver, bow, tactician, trimmer, and pit. The driver makes the final decisions and steers, while the other crew members play various roles providing information, trimming sails, and keeping the boat moving fast.

The fundamental responsibilities of sailboat racing do not change, regardless of the number of people aboard. Someone in a one-person dinghy has to be able to keep track of the course, make tactical decisions, trim sails, steer, watch for new breeze and other boats, and ensure that they are set up for the next leg. On a larger boat, with more sails, more controls, and more required coordination, these jobs still exist and are distributed amongst various crew members. We will go through the basic crew setups of various one-design racing boats from one through four crew members to develop how the increase in crew and complexity begins to distribute the responsibilities of making the boat go fast across the team. Then, we will make some general claims about bigger boats, but as everything gets more confusing in the larger crews, we will not specify too much.

Over years of racing boats of all sizes, I’ve seen these crew roles respond to personal skills, different boat setups, strange habits, and teamwork to the point where everyone can respond to different events seamlessly. Sometimes these roles are perfectly well-defined, but sometimes a quick-thinking crew will switch positions on a dime to make up for a mistake in an entirely unorthodox way that is somehow perfect. On smaller boats, people have different priorities and different ways to work through all their responsibilities, but on all the best boats it is the people who know how to excel in their role, and how to make life easier for all their teammates by knowing exactly what they need, who make a sailboat go. Let’s get into it!

Table of contents

‍ The One-Person Dinghy: It’s All on You

You could argue that sailing, at its most basic, boils down to one sailor, a handful of lines, and a tiller against the breeze and water. Perhaps it would be a ridiculous argument, as sailing has always relied on people working together, but there is something to seeing who can go out there and be the one to make it work the best. When all the responsibilities for every inch of the boat fall on one person, it is interesting to see who has everything in sync the best. There is no specific title for this position, but I suppose you could call them

The Single-Handed Sailor

There are fundamentally three aspects to sailboat racing: boat speed, boat handling, and tactics. The single-handed sailor has to excel in each dimension. The best case study for a single-handed boat is the ILCA Dingy, once known as the Laser, but other notable racers include the Opti, Finn, RS Aero, Moth, and Wazsp classes.  

Boat speed comes down to trimming the sails properly for the angle to the wind. This means adjusting not only how far in and out the sail is, but also tuning specific control lines to give the sail the ideal shape for wind strength and direction. Making micro-adjustments to sail trim while dealing with all the other aspects of the race may not seem like much, but they can make the difference between winning and falling behind. While on larger boats there are entire positions dedicated to this, the single-handed sailor has to deal with this the whole time.

Other factors in boat speed concern steering through the wind shifts and wave sequences properly and keeping the boat flat by hiking out. This often includes being able to shift weight in precise ways to keep the boat optimally balanced and cutting through the waves.

Boat Handling

While boat speed forms the basis of all sailing, it is also crucial to know how to maneuver the boat through course changes. Windows in sailing races are small, and being able to get a boat into a lane is often a fraught affair. Having the confidence to trim the sails properly and maneuver sharply while still maintaining speed is a huge boost to a racer. Turning points at marks or directional switches while tacking and gybing are where many of the gains in a race come, and a clean tack coming into the top mark on port can mean the difference between leading the fleet and having to duck behind a parade of 30 boats. Being able to put on the brakes and accelerate quickly is key in tight spaces along the start line, and is a weapon for the best sailors.

Singlehanded racers have total control over their boat handling. Changes in direction come down to perfect synchronization of sail trim, steering, and body weight, and the single-handed sailor has to account for how every single adjustment affects these maneuvers. Some of the best boat handlers grow up racing single-handed boats; the feel developed sailing solo is hard to beat but requires years of fine-tuning and muscle memory.

All the speed and maneuverability in the world does not do much if you don’t know where to put the boat. Like any sport, the fundamentals are simple, but becoming a master takes a lifetime. The single-handed sailor must hold the entire course, the regularity of the wind shifts, the tendencies of the current, the positions of the other sailors, and their own plans in the front of their minds while pushing the boat as hard as possible.

While this is no place to discuss the intricacies of upwind tactics or the fastest lines on a downwind in different boats, the singlehanded sailor has to be able to think and make decisions tactically then execute those decisions themselves. This is such a large task that bigger boats will often have someone whose entire job is just to call breeze and tactics.

The single-handed sailor is without a doubt a jack-of-all-trades. We will discuss various terms for different crew-members on bigger boats, and while you could use the terms ‘skipper’ or ‘driver’ for the single-handed sailor, this does not quite say it all, so we save these positions for the bigger boats. We will not explicitly break the other boats down by who is in charge of boat speed, boat handling, and tactics, but roles can generally sort into various levels of responsibility for these categories.  

The Two-Person Racer: The Best (or worst) Way to Get to Know Another Person

On a two-person boat, of which common examples include the various 420 classes, the Olympic Classes (470, 49er, Nacra 17) among many others, responsibilities are slightly split, but this distribution comes with the tradeoff of greatly increased complexity and coordination requirements. Double-handed boats tend to have at least two, and often three, sails, require more involved tuning, move much faster, and occasionally require single or double trapezing. The very best doublehanded pairings move as one, but this type of coordination requires both sailors to have an intimate knowledge of their role and the dynamic balance of the boat. Without further ado, the common positions:

The Skipper (Driver)

The skipper of the boat steers the boat. On different types of boats, they have different trimming and setting responsibilities, most often including the mainsheet--though the 49er is a notable exception. You can call them either a skipper or a driver, but you rarely say that ‘you skipper;’ instead, you would say that ‘you drive,’ so the latter term has begun to stick as the position as well.

As they are the person driving the boat, the driver tends to make the final tactical decision. They do this in collaboration with the crew, who is often going to be feeding information about the course and competitors to the driver, but the final decision comes down to the person holding the stick (forgive the vernacular, if you may).

Different double-handed teams often have different dynamics. In some, the driver will primarily be focused on tactics, while the crew has to keep their head in the boat making it go fast, while in others the skipper lets the crew make such calls while focusing on the breeze right in front of them, it all depends. Boat handling requires nigh on perfect coordination, and skippers must keep their crews alerted to any upcoming maneuvers.  

The unsung heroes of many a double-handed pairing, a good driver can sail well with an ok crew, but a crack crew can take a skipper with some potential to the top of the fleet.

Responsible for trimming the headsail and setting and managing the spinnaker on boats that carry them, the crew’s primary roles is to keep the boat going fast. They often can make the small sail trim and control adjustments that the driver cannot. Especially upwind, the crew scans the course for new breeze, other boats, lay lines, and any information that the skipper could need to make the best decisions possible.

A good way to consider some, but not all, skipper-crew relationships is that the crew can get all the micro-considerations out of the way so that the skipper can focus on the big picture. The small picture adjustments in terms of sail control and angle of heel keep the boat moving and the skipper zippered into the feel of the course. In turn, this allows the skipper to plan ahead and keep the crew involved in decision making, making sure that they don’t screw their crew with a crash tack or sudden gybe.

Still, on some teams, the crew makes all of the outside the boat decisions while the driver just drives the boat as fast as they can. This often works with spacier skippers, of which there are many, and highlights the value of a strong-willed crew. Crews are often on-the-water coaches for high-strung skippers and are key to the success of a team. On more athletic boats, a crew can crucially contribute to boat speed and handling through trimming, ooching, and body-weight adjustments.

All of this is to say that a crew, both as a single person on a double-handed boat and as an ensemble on larger boats, is never to be considered an accessory to the skipper, but are crucial parts of a competitive racing team.

The Three or Four Person Boat: I Thought That Was Your Job!

Having outlined the general dynamics of a skipper-crew pairing, it is not particularly helpful to discuss exact boat setups and interactions. From here, we will provide terms and positions with general roles. These are all subject to change, but once you reach boats of three or more people, roles become highly specialized, as boats of this size begin to get complex enough that you cannot do everything on your own. Let’s run through the general roles that must be filled on boats of up to four, with the knowledge that these can be switched around and combined depending on skill, boat setup, and breeze.

Things change yet they stay ever the same. The bigger the boat, the more boat the driver has to deal with, but the role does not fundamentally change. The driver still has their hand on the stick, and, despite the best attempts of various crewmembers, still is the final decision maker on the boat. Sometimes they will trim the mainsheet as well, but other times they will leave this to a member of the crew

The bigger the boat, the less running around the skipper does and the more focused they are on sailing the perfect line through the fleet. Even their ability to scan the course and make tactical evaluations wanes on the bigger boats, as they must put more trust in their crews to make the right reads. They are still ultimately responsible for putting the boat in the right spot, but they are ultimately unable to control everything that is happening on the boat.

Debatably the easiest analog to the crew on a double-handed boat, the bow is, if nothing else, the most likely person on the boat to get soaking wet. Sitting the farthest forward, they are occasionally responsible for trimming the jib--particularly on three-person boats--but primarily have to deal with setting the spinnaker and dealing with front-of-boat controls.

They can play a role calling tactics, breeze, and other boats, but because they are so often busy with the chaos of boat handling in crucial spots and are often far away from the skipper, they mostly need to focus on their role setting the chute and managing the complications near the front of the boat.


Often sitting at the hip of the skipper, different boats have different assignments for their trimmers, which can range from main-trimming across the whole course to only touching the spinnaker off the breeze to controlling the jib instead of the bow. Regardless of the particulars, they need to make the adjustments that keep the boat moving fast, and need to be continually in sync with how the skipper wants to sail.

The person in this position is often responsible for communicating details about the course and from the rest of the crew to the driver. Their role gives them more time to look around and make fine adjustments, rather than having a continuous responsibility, so they are in the perfect position to survey the information at hand and collaborate with the skipper on decision making.

On three-person boats, this is generally one person playing both roles in active collaboration with a driver. On certain four-person boats, this can lead to two trimmers who alternate between calling tactics and trimming different sails depending on the leg. Other times, this role is fully bifurcated, with one person trimming and another entirely responsible for looking around and making calls, with only a menial role controlling the sails, but this looks different on every team.

While Nascar has its pit crews, beginning at four-person boats, sailing just has its pit person. As boats get bigger, sails and various lines are more prone to twists, knots, and the generalized snarls that give sailors across the world excuses to flex their famous propensity for swearing.

The pit is responsible for eliminating, or at least minimizing, these disasters via preventative prep. They do not have a conventional job trimming sails, per se, but they are the ones who make sure that everyone else can the sails set cleanly. They prefeed sheets, ‘run the tapes’ on off-the-breeze sails to make sure they aren’t twisted and are notorious neat freaks. They often are responsible for raising and lowering sails around mark roundings; these events are almost always chaotic and never go according to plan, so it is the pit who has to coordinate the chaos as much as possible and clean up the mess in time for the next explosion. Unheralded, often stuck below decks, the pit can be the difference between a boat running smoothly and a stream of curses over a huge gash in a thousand dollar spinnaker.

Now This Is Getting Ridiculous: The Road to Specialization

As of this point, we have covered the key roles on just about any sized boat. As you get to bigger and more specialized boats, the situations will call for more and more crew members doing increasingly focused work. While having talented sailors on a larger boat is no less important than having them on a smaller dinghy, there are simply not that many parts that have to be moving all the time to fully occupy more than a few people at a time.

Still, when they are needed, during gybes, mark roundings, sets, and douses, these extra crew members are crucial. On certain boats, there is an entire position dedicated to trimming the twings during gybes; the position is only slightly more serious than the sound of the ropes. Still, the other crew members are so busy during the gybes that they need the extra pair of hands. Furthermore, having a sharp sailor in a position like that ensures another pair of eyes and hands to spot problems and step in if needed. Knowledge and quick action are unlikely to go unappreciated on any boat, even if it is only in a very specific setting.

There is, however, one more term for extra crew members on boats of this size, and it is distinctly unspecialized: meet the ‘rail meat.’ On sufficiently big boats, where heeling is slow but a fact of life, every now and then you just need a big ole guy to sit on the edge and hang out to windward. A flat boat is a fast boat, and sometimes you just need someone hanging out over the rail, skilled and mobile or not.

Finally, on high-performance boats, like America’s Cup boats or the new-fangled SailGP league, rail meat is replaced by ‘grinders,’ who specialize in turning hydraulic cranks like they’re in a CrossFit gym. Sometimes drawn from other sports, famously including rugby players on New Zealand’s America’s Cup team, grinders may not have the tactical acumen to step into a single-handed boat and win the day, but they are key pieces to winning teams and are no less a sailor than anyone else.

Hopefully, next time you go down to the water and someone tells you they need someone to run their bow, this has done enough for you to know exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into! Happy sailing!

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I have been sailing since I was 7 years old. Since then I've been a US sailing certified instructor for over 8 years, raced at every level of one-design and college sailing in fleet, team, and match racing, and love sharing my knowledge of sailing with others!

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The Blistering Speed of SailGP

The catamarans use wings, not sails, and hydrofoils help the boat fly over the water. It’s like a fast video game, with consequences.

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By Kimball Livingston

A generation ago, sailing would not, could not have made the short list of team sports played at highway speeds. The boats that most people race are considered fast at nine knots; screaming at 15. That’s about 10 to 17 m.p.h.

Then came the F50 catamaran in 2019, with wings instead of sails and hydrofoils that lift the boats above the friction of the water, reaching speeds beyond 60 m.p.h., as they seemingly fly above the ocean. Indeed, the crew member helping make that happen is called the flight controller, who manipulates the elevations and angles of the left and right hydrofoils centered between bow and stern.

In SailGP lingo, the controller can fly the boat higher or lower. Higher is faster, but riskier because it also gets the boat closer to a nosedive.

The boats also require a new breed of helmsmen — they call themselves drivers — who direct the rapid-fire team choreography in which decisions must be made in fractions of a second.

The wing trimmer, a term from sail trimming days, shapes the wing — an airfoil — for speed and stability. Compared with fabric sails, a wing can provide more stability even while producing more speed. SailGP wings are built from carbon fiber with titanium fittings under a light plastic wrap. The old days of eyeballing sail shape are gone from these boats.

Data from racing and practicing is accumulated and analyzed to determine optimum wing shape for speed in different conditions, and the trimmer uses hydraulic controls to achieve the target settings.

With more moving parts than an airplane wing, an F50 wing has a larger menu of shape settings.

Given more wind, a sailboat tips over farther and farther until it spills wind out of the sails or loses control. Up to a point, SailGP catamarans just keep going faster. The British team hit a record 53.05 knots. or 61.05 m.p.h., during practice last summer.

“Compared to traditional boats, what is striking in SailGP is the complexity of the control systems,” said Nathan Outteridge , a two-time Olympic medalist who drives for the Japanese team. “I should say that driving is pretty easy, until things go wrong.”

Jason Waterhouse , an Olympic medalist who is flight controller for the Australian team, manages the hydrofoils that go up and down at precise angles with precise timing. Get it wrong, and the boat can nosedive.

“I have to have muscle memory,” Waterhouse said about operating the buttons and dials. It’s like a fast video game, with consequences.

Waterhouse also controls the rake, or angle, on the horizontal flaps on the two rudders the driver uses to steer. The flight controller contributes to level flight by dialing in as much as seven degrees of differential rake between the rudder flaps. The flap on the side being pushed down by the wind is angled to push up, and the flap on the opposite side is angled to push down.

“It adds an extra 300-400 kilos [650 to 900 pounds] of righting moment,” Waterhouse said, referring to the forces working to keep the boat from tipping over.

Paul Campbell-James, the wing trimmer for the U.S. team, said that because much of the boat’s hydraulic power was generated by a battery instead of by a crew member turning a grinding pedestal, his team had given that grinder a second job.

“We set up our forward-facing grinder to also be a tactician,” Campbell-James said. The grinder spins the pedestal’s handles to generate power for the hydraulics but also looks for wind shifts.

Wing shape on these boats has taken over most of the trim-in, trim-out of normal sail control, while contributing to level flight. The key is negative camber, shaping the upper wing to pull opposite to the lower wing, countering the forces trying to tip the boat over. Negative camber adds to the effect of the rudder flaps to make for level sailing. Old school it is not.

In turning maneuvers, the crew switches sides and Campbell-James crosses the boat first to take over driving duties before others follow him across. As they come, if he wobbles the helm, the motion could flick his teammates off the deck.

At the same time, he has to keep the boat level in a dynamic turn, press a foot button to raise a hydrofoil, respond as the wing loads up on the new side and hang on against “G-forces that are unbelievable because, remember, you might be going 50 knots. That’s a lot going on.”

What are Drivers, Flight Controllers, Wing Trimmers and Grinders? F50 crew roles explained

Know your Flight Controller from your Wing Trimmer? How about your Driver from your Grinder?

SailGP's cutting-edge F50 catamaran is a technological marvel and only the most elite athletes can fly one of these boats, which hit speeds of nearly 100 km/h (62 mph) in the perfect conditions.

The crew have to be at the top of their game each time they race the F50, but do you actually know what each of the people onboard are doing on the boat to ensure it flies across the waves?

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For those SailGP fans not so up to speed with the intriciacies of the F50, we join Japan SailGP Team Driver Nathan Outteridge for a brief explanation of each role on the F50.

“The main thing the Driver does on the boat is make the decision where to go on the racecourse," says Outteridge. "They communicate to the crew what the plan is.

“Furthermore, most of the skippers in the teams, myself included, are heavily involved in the logistics of the event.”

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Flight Controller

Outteridge continues: “The Flight Controller is responsible for keeping the boat in the air. Every time the boat touches the water is a time the Flight Controller has made a mistake.

“He needs to keep the boat flat and keep the boat locked in going fast. He needs to have a very good relationship with the Driver and Wing Trimmer to make sure the boat is locked in and going quick.”

Wing Trimmer

“The Wing Trimmer needs to have a really good understanding of how to generate power, and how to distribute that power on the boat," says Outteridge.

Japan teammate Chris Draper, who trims the wing on the F50, adds: “I can basically control all the power in the boat at any one moment.

"I have to put the wing in the right shape and communicate to Nathan the best modes to sail to get to the goal as quickly as possible.”

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“At the front of the boat we have two Grinders positioned," finishes Outteridge. "One Grinder faces forward and one Grinder faces backwards. Both of the Grinders at the front are turning the handle for the winch to make sure we can trim the wing sheet as effectively as possible.

“Leo Takahashi is our primary No.1 Grinder and he faces forward, and Yuki Kasatani is grinding facing backwards. He’s looking at [Wing Trimmer] Chris Draper in the eyes and making sure he knows what Chris needs in terms of the amount of power.

“He also has to be very brave, because he’s going round the racecourse extremely fast facing backwards, so he has to have a lot of trust in the guys behind him.”

Learn more about the crew roles on one of SailGP's cutting-edge F50s by watching the below video

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What Each Crew Position Wants You to Know

This article is a guide to show how small improvements can make a big difference for your fellow crew. Read on to learn what your crew wants you to remember each race!

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While it’s important to master your position on the boat, it’s equally as important to understand what’s going on in other domains and what you can do to make your teammates’ life easier and help the boat sail smoothly.

We reached out to a mix of successful sailors to find out what they want the other crew members to keep in mind to help them execute their job the best they can. Here’s what they had to say.

“The race is not over until the spinnaker comes down. It is easy to switch to recovery mode right after crossing the finish line, but this can be costly with a messy takedown, ripped or wet sail. To go along with this, after races finish send the jib bag up before the food bag! It’s frustrating for the bow when I’m are ready to flake the jib and everybody is eating.

I am happy to see the tactician’s general awareness of the bow team. We understand tacking mid jib-flake can’t always be avoided, but a quick cleanup with everyone cooperating makes life much easier. Lastly, my lifeline is the pit position, I like when this person is attentive and stays by their position until the bow team finishes cleaning up between races!” Anonymous bowman

“The mast is a lot easier when trimmers have patience on the set. They can pop the spinnaker open by sheeting too early and make the mast and foredeck look terrible! My key teammates are sewer and pit: a spinnaker set never works well if the trimmers, mast, sewer and pit are working independently, but when we hit on all cylinders, the set will be a thing of beauty. The other critical players to a happy mast are the tactician and helmsman. If the boat isn't in proper orientation to the wind when it is time to take the spinnaker down disaster can strike. A great bow/mast team will make it work, but a little waggle to help collapse the spinnaker goes a long way for a clean drop.” Andrew Spaulding*

“Be mindful of where things are thrown. For example: a jib change on the run, I may not be the one putting the old jib or bag down below, so I ask teammates to be mindful of the flaked kite halyard. I flake it once and then spend the rest of my run focusing on weight placement, pole position, finding the leeward marks and it becomes time consuming to have my head in the boat for longer than necessary.

The pit is in the middle of two groups. When it comes to maneuvers, the bow and brain trust may not always be on the same page, and I often have to decide which one to follow. If the back of the boat is calling for something that the bow is not ready to do; I can't force the issue. I can facilitate it, convey the sense of urgency, but I can't take the spinnaker down or jibe it by myself. This communication becomes easier if I receive clear and timely information from either end of the boat.” Scott Murin

Headsail Trimmer:

“Acknowledgment of communication. If I ask a teammate to do something, they should either act on it immediately or answer ‘copy’. If there is no acknowledgment, the person making the request often asks two or three times getting louder each time. I often see this situation and, my ultimate pet peeve is when the teammate finally answers and says ‘I HEARD YOU!’ When people say “copy” I can leave the task with them and move on. My other suggestion is to make habit of saying the person’s name before making a request so their attention is grabbed and time is not wasted by repeating what they didn’t hear before their name was called (this could be the difference between a collision and a race win).” Morgan Trubovich

“A briefing with the days goals. There should be a morning discussion describing the weather, potential courses, and anything else important. After the team is on the same page, people can break into groups depending on who they need to interact with throughout the day. I talk to my offside trimmer and grinders about what situations may come up and then I talk to the main trimmer about possible sails and boat settings.

It is also important to have quiet and calm maneuvers. I like to have ongoing discussions about what’s to come so when the boat is actually turning everyone has already anticipated their weight placement and I can focus on feeling the sheet run through my hands.” Dave Gerber

Main Trimmer:

“The most important thing is pressure calls and relatives. A main trimmer is ‘head in the boat’ which only gives them so much feel, so consistent and accurate information are crucial for boat speed. I am happy with simple dialogue with the tactician to know what modes are expected. If we develop standard steps, it becomes easy to be on same page.

The jib and main must also cooperate, they are constantly working together to make the boat do what the tactician wants. As a main trimmer, I let the jib do what they want and communicate when they are hitting the main or when they can be tighter. It’s good to develop concise key words and terminologies for any maneuver where the main has to be fine-tuned; some examples: high build, high kill, half tack, speed build, or racing.” Luke Lawrence

“I love it when new crew get onboard, listen to the race conversation and offer input where it might be lacking or where he/she can contribute value.  For example, if no one is calling breeze on the rail, it’s great to have a crew take the initiative to make very concise and valuable breeze calls (Puff on in 3, 2, 1….).   It’s also great when new crew take a few minutes to observe, listen and see what info or help might be needed instead of diving right in without first watching or thinking. It's valuable when a crew member offers input and "finishes the sentence."  How many times have you heard someone say "...the right has a lot of pressure...." AND what??? Inquiring minds want to know. Finish the sentence: "... and they look strong/are headed/etc."   Completing the sentence and picture for the tactician, driver and speed team is extremely helpful.   A positive attitude and imploring the “5 second rule” (does what I’m about to say make sense and is it valuable? Am I finishing the sentence with my comment? ) make any crew a welcome addition to my boat." Ms. Sailsalot

“Come with a game face on. There is always time for bar talk, but it shouldn’t be before racing. I appreciate team members who get to the boat and prepare their position for racing. When people scatter and aren’t responsible for their area it takes away from what I need to be doing as a tactician and the performance suffers.” Geoff Ewenson

“Clear and short communication. I am happy when the trimmers and I are in sync with what steps we will take as conditions change. It is helpful for me to understand which way the trimmer is likely to move the leads, etc. as the breeze changes. For me, tactical input and observations are certainly invited before situations happen, especially 10 minutes before a start.” George Szabo

Boat Captain:

“Ask questions at the right time. I love when people want to learn and be involved with how the boat comes together, but choose a time when not much else is going on, probably not when I’ve just sat down to service a winch. I love it when each crew member takes responsibility for their station and addresses problems early, and to take it one step further if they are part of the solution whether it be a short term regatta fix or the long term ultimate fix, it’s fun to bounce ideas off others.

My life becomes easier when teammates self-delegate. I think of tasks as skilled and unskilled; if you are unsure how to help with the skilled boat work, there are always unskilled items that can be taken care of. Examples: filling water bottles, organizing down below, grabbing food and clean up. And if you still don’t know what to do, ask yourself, ‘If I were running this boat, what would I want done right now?’” Kyle Kant

*Editor’s Note: Shortly after publishing this piece, our team received the very sad news of Andrew Spaulding’s untimely passing. He was much loved by the sailing community and our team’s deepest sympathies go out to his friends, family and everyone who’s lives were touched by his wonderful spirit.

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Ben Ainslie: America’s Cup grinders don’t just wind handles

There’s a perception that most of the new America’s Cup sailors do nothing but grind. The absence of the big, set-piece, choreographed manoeuvres — such as setting, dowsing and gybing spinnakers with 16-man crews — has led some to believe that the modern Cup sailor has little to do except wind on the handles.

But it’s the physical demands of winding on the handles that now puts these sailors into the same league as world-class endurance athletes and news stories about foiling tacks have shown how critical technique is throughout the crew.

The now-stated goal of Cup teams going into next summer’s racing is to keep the boat on its foils or “flying” right around the race track – and this starts with solid straight-line technique. The boat’s foils use the same technology as an aircraft wing and just as a wing lifts a plane off the ground, the wings — or aerofoils — of an America’s Cup boat lift it out of the water.

The main wingsail works in the same way as an aircraft wing except it’s rotated to stand up straight, rather than lie flat. The harder the wind blows, the more force it makes for the wing to push the boat forward. When the boat is going fast enough, the hydrofoils can create enough force to lift the boat out of the water.

But we have to work as a team to achieve this. The wing trimmer needs to adjust the wing to keep the boat supplied with the right amount of power to keep us flying — and we need to be in constant communication to get this right.

My job is to control the foils when we are straight-line sailing. The rudders help keep the boat flying but the real power needed to keep it in the air comes from the two sets of hydrofoils that are located further forward. I can adjust the rake using the hydraulic power generated by the four guys on the grinders, which is where world-class athleticism is required.

By changing the rake I change the angle of the foil as it goes through the water and this alters the amount of lift that the foil creates — and even the direction upwards or downwards. I need to adjust the board rake to get the right amount of lift to keep the ride height stable enough to fly through lifts, headers, puffs and lulls. When we are straight-line sailing these adjustments are often tiny and measured in fractions of degrees.

The rest of the crew join in when we come to the corners. The challenge is to transfer the momentum of the boat from one foil to the other at full speed, while turning through 70 or 80 degrees — a bit like a skier turning a corner. When we are locked in and going straight the weight is on the two uphill edges, which gives us some sense of security. The tricky part in the turn is to transfer the weight on to the new edges at speed.

When it comes to a tack or gybe, six guys are needed to co-ordinate the process. In a gybe, the wing trimmer moves first and starts to cross the boat. I begin the turn as the wing trimmer arrives on the new side and takes the new sheet. The trimmer then has to drop the new board and it’s crucial that it touches down at the right angle to provide the right amount of lift without destabilising the boat’s motion.

I start crossing the boat while the wing trimmer steers through the remainder of the gybe and adjusts the new board rake to maintain stable flight through the turn. The grinder then lifts the old board as we accelerate out of the gybe and settle on the new angle.

Once across the boat, I take the new wheel and resume control of direction and board rake. This releases the trimmer, who is the last to cross. The four guys at the front grind like crazy to restore the hydraulic power we’ve used in the turn, ready for the next adjustment.

In a tack, the challenge is multiplied by the need to maintain enough speed to keep foiling as the boat is turned into the wind and motive force is lost — pulling this off is as difficult as it is to achieve a reach-to-reach gybe in 25 knots in the old America’s Cup monohulls .

So if anyone tells you those at the front are just winding handles — tell them otherwise!

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The Sailor’s Grind Is the Best Workout You’ve Never Tried

The twice-a-week workout that’s preparing Team Oracle USA for their third-straight championship.


By Michael Finn

Next July, Bermuda’s Great Sound will host the 35th America’s Cup , one of the oldest and most-watched sailing races in the world. Six teams will compete for the 165-year-old trophy: USA, New Zealand, Sweden, Japan, France and Britain. Under the command of skipper James Spithill and funded by Larry Ellison , the billionaire Oracle co-founder, Team USA has held the cup for six years — and they plan on keeping it.

Team USA’s desire to win can be seen most clearly in their training regimen. It is relentless. Since they last won the cup in 2013, the sailors have been lifting, running and dieting almost non-stop, and it shows in their rugby-player physiques. Yacht racing demands gargantuan levels of core, arm and lower-back strength, along with incredible stamina and sharp focus; indeed, the fastest sailing crews are among the world’s most gifted athletes .

Craig MacFarlane and Scott Tindal are the two men responsible for keeping Team USA in cup-winning shape. As physical performance manager, MacFarlane oversees the team’s workout routine. Tindal, the head physiotherapist and team nutritionist, mostly handles recovery and diet. Together, MacFarlane and Tindal build a holistic training regimen for each sailor. Some sailors need more strength training; others need more cardio . But every sailor has one workout in common, built around one core-shredding exercise called “grinding.” And it just might be one of the best workouts you’ve never tried.

“Grinding is a whole body exercise , not just upper body,” MacFarlane said. “You generate power from the floor through your hips and upper body. It’s a cyclic movement where you synchronize a pushing and pulling movement with opposing arms.” On racing cats like the USA-17 , grinding is how the sailors control the boat’s gears. The grinding pedestal looks and functions much like a bike pedal, with two opposing cranks on each side, only it’s propped up to meet at the sailor’s torso. You grip the handles and start grinding, either forward or backward, and the sail trims up or down, which in turn changes the boat’s speed.

In the gym, grinding is a bit different. Team USA uses special grinding machines — sort of like trimmed-down ellipticals — that are rarely found in traditional gyms. Luckily, for us landlubbers, there are ways to train just like Team USA without the special machinery. The following workout, which is adapted from Team USA’s twice-a-week cardio and grinding session, is meant to blast the lower back, arms, lungs and heart. And it can be done in just about any gym .

1 Start on the rowing machine. Row at a steady pace for 30 seconds. When 30 seconds is up, jump off the machine and begin a 20-second shuttle run. Run 10 meters out, and 10 meters back in. Repeat 4 times. With 10 seconds remaining of the last set, row at maximum effort.

2 Run. Once you’ve finished the grinding/rowing, and your heart rate is around 85 percent of its maximum rate, MacFarlane says to start running at a “bloody good clip.” This is where your heart and lungs go into overdrive, while your upper body muscles take a short break. Run 1 lap (a quarter of a mile), and return to the weights.

3 Dumbbell thrusters (x10). Begin like you would an Olympic clean. Squat low with your feet slightly wider shoulder-width apart. Grab the dumbbells (use a high-rep weight, around 20 pounds) off the floor, explode upwards, and extend the dumbbells over your head. Alternatively, swap in a barbell for more weight. “If you look at a squat movement, it’s the whole body. If the dumbbell heavy enough, and you lift it over your head, your rate will stay up. It’s one of the hardest movements you can do. If you’re lifting a barbell, it’s even harder, because you’re lifting more weight,” MacFarlane said.

4 Pull-ups (x12). For more challenge, do full chin-ups or kipping pull-ups (an acrobatic upward lunge as you swing your body upward), or, for a core-centric exercise, raise your toes to the bar.

5 Kettlebell swings (x15). Here’s where the workout begins to wind down. MacFarlane says kettlebell swings are perfect for sailors, as they work the posterior muscle chain (sailors are constantly hunched over). Sit low, arch your back, drop the kettlebell through your inner thigh and then burst your arms upward, ending the movement at the top of your head.

6 Work your brain with a puzzle. At this point, your lungs will be screaming and you heart will be thumping through your chest. It’ll be hard to focus. This is the perfect time to train your mind to make game-time decisions. MacFarlane has the sailors do a small geometric puzzle — though a simple game on your phone would be a good alternative.

72 Hours in Bermuda


Bermuda is more than a summer getaway. The volcanic archipelago is rich in history, mystery, adventure, golf and art that has inspired Georgia O’Keeffe, Homer Winslow and John Lennon. Read the Story

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Invisible Hand: This Pac 52 racer sees the TP52 class return to its offshore roots

Yachting World

  • February 4, 2020

Invisible Hand one of a new generation of 52-footers that represents a return to the offshore roots of the TP52 class, and a resurgence of level-rating grand prix racing on the west coast of the US. Erik Simonson reports

The original Transpac 52 Class ( TP52 ) left an indelible mark on US west coast sailing, but the few that were left racing in California represented a wide range of vintages and race only under handicap. The launch of the Pac 52, a new offshore-specified 52ft class, in 2017 was an attempt to recapture some of that TP spirit and get level rating grand prix racing started up again in California.

The TP52 story began in 2000, when a contingent of Californian sailors sought a new racing class, something smaller than the 70ft sleds that had been surfing their way to victory in the 2,225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac Race for the previous two decades. They were after a planing design of about 50ft that was simple to sail, could handle round-the-cans races and scoot across the Pacific in a hurry.

The Transpac Yacht Club, which organises the biennial race, proposed a new class to a few local naval architects, including teams from Alan Andrews Yacht Design, Nelson Marek and Reichel/Pugh. The club settled on a 52ft box rule concept, and enlisted designer Bill Lee to help form the rule. Their aim was to have new boats on the start line of the 2001 Transpac Race: the TP52 was launched.


A pre-regatta blackout period only allows teams to practise for three days out of the seven leading up to a regatta, to keep crew bills down. Photo: Sharon Green /

For the following five years there was glory aplenty for west coast TP52s both inshore and offshore, including trans-Pacific races. But the TPs evolved rapidly, adopting square-topped mains and bowsprits. The first generation boats aged quickly as the costs of remaining competitive spiralled, and with no formal organisation or class association, west coast orders slowed.

In Europe, however, the Mediterranean circuit had surged in popularity. By 2006 the Audi TP52 MedCup had become the pinnacle of grand prix racing, with the original offshore element set aside in favour of hardcore inshore racing. The boats got stiffer, lighter and faster. They were largely built in Europe and sailed with European professional crews. If you wanted to race TP52s on a level rating, the Med was the place to be.

Enter the ‘core of four’: American owners Manouch Moshayedi, Victor Wild, Frank Slootman and Tom Holthus. These founding members banded together to form the Pac 52 Class Association, primarily to bring grand prix level rating racing back to the west coast of the USA. Although each owner comes from a slightly different yacht racing background, they all wanted to eliminate the handicap element in the new class.

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The first Pac 52 started life as a new 52-footer for Beau Geste Racing team. When Manouch Moshayedi, owner of the 100-footer Rio , heard that a new Beau Geste was in build at Cookson Boats in Auckland, he contacted Victor Wild, who was also keen to get into some grand prix level racing.

With the tooling already in place, a second boat could be built cost-effectively (now sailing as Wild’s Fox ). If they bulk ordered material and found a couple of other perspective owners, they could save even more and have the nucleus of a new class. The Pac 52 Class was born.

The association was formed with three main elements at its core: a level rating class rule; cost effectiveness; and a mutually agreed schedule. The boats are intended to be lighter and faster than the Super Series TP52s (the current crop of TP52s that race on a purely inshore circuit including the Med, Miami and Key West) but capable of racing offshore and costing much less. Getting into the class with a new boat can come in between US$1.8-2.2 million, compared to a Super Series boat at about $3 million (£2.32 million).


The Pac 52 rig is around 60cm taller than the Super Series TP52s, with 10cm extra draught. Photo: Cynthia Sinclair

Four of the Pac 52s were built at Cookson’s, the sole exception being Moshayedi’s Rio , which was built at Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai. Rio utilised the existing plug made for Super Series boat Platoon, a Judel/Vrolijk design, while Provezza (another Judel/Vrolijk Super Series design) provided the mould for Beau Geste, which in turn led to Fox , Invisible Hand and Bad Pak . Theoretically any of the recent Super Series moulds would work, with a deeper keel and taller rig added.

While Beau Geste , Fox and Rio are set up for inshore racing, Invisible Hand and Bad Pak opted for an offshore package. By modifying the Vrolijk deck and adding 150mm freeboard to the bow and 125mm to the stern, Mick Cookson created enough room to allow crawling access to the aft cockpit bunks and make space for a navigator. The two offshore boats have removable galleys and bunks, and can carry watermakers.

The hull of the Pac 52 has a core of foam. The deck has a honeycomb core, which is a slightly less expensive yet more robust alternative to the Nomex construction of the Super Series sisterships. The offshore-moded Invisible Hand and Bad Pak run lines above deck and have eliminated most through-hull protrusions, making them much dryer. Invisible Hand ’s steering can be switched from wheels to tiller with minimal effort, while Bad Pak ’s owner chose a two-wheel configuration.

One of the biggest weight savings was in the engine. Pac 52s have Lombardini 40hp models, which provide a little less power than the Yanmar 57hp models specified for the Super Series TPs, but weigh 100kg less.

The new class sports a 600mm taller mast, which is placed further aft, increasing the J measurement (jib foretriangle). The smaller main improves the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) rating when competing in non-class events. Brent Rhune, pro bowman on Bad Pak , says this configuration gives the boats increased power at the lower end of the wind scale.

“The Pac 52 starts planing in 14-15 knots, adding an extra gear or two,” he says. For quick-response rig tuning, Pac 52s have hydraulic headstays, mast deflectors and mast-foot adjusters, powered by a hydraulic rotary pump on the aft coffee grinder.


As with the Super Series TPs, the pit area on the inshore-moded Pac 52s is offset to starboard for fast port-hand mark roundings. It is recessed for reduced windage, with control lines run under deck. Photo: Invisible Hand Sailing

“Set-up on the Pac 52 is all-important: rig tune, mast butt [foot] and rake,” adds Rhune. “Figuring out the crossover of leaving the jib up versus taking it down and hoisting the staysail, thus keeping two guys off the bow at the top mark and three guys at the bottom, ends up earning you boat lengths.”

Cost control

Deck gear packages vary. Fox sports an array of top-end Harken ceramic winches, a hydraulic mast ram and forestay, carbon fibre gearing, and aerodynamic coffee grinders. Invisible Hand and Bad Pak carry a more conventional package with corresponding cost savings.

A key aim of the class association is keeping costs realistic, with an owner-driver rule and limit on seven professional sailors per crew. There are also limitations on new sails, use of support RIBs, and a ‘blackout’ period before each regatta to discourage expensive and lengthy pre-regatta training.


Invisible Hand ’s chamfered bow is designed to encourage waves that break over the bow to roll off the deck. Photo: Invisible Hand Sailing

Five Pac 52 Class events were scheduled for 2017, the inaugural year, including the Rolex Big Boat Series in September, with a break in the middle to allow the offshore boats some bluewater time.

Brent Rhune says the fleet is living up to its promise from a sailor’s perspective: “The boats are a blast to sail, just like their predecessors. Although we have just five boats at this point, the racing is close, with nose-to-tail mark roundings, lead changes, camping [sitting] on opponents on the beat, and so on.”

Ruben Gabriel, who races on Invisible Hand , says the pro-am ethos of the fleet is also a big draw. “It’s half-pro, half-amateur racing against each other in a very competitive environment. Everything is rapid fire, everything rises another notch. Every action is precise and deliberate; there is no wasted effort.

“Even the pre-race and post-race debriefs are exacting. Sharing stories and hearing tales from the pros is a great learning experience.”


LOA (max): 15.85m (52ft) Beam (max): 4.5m (14ft 9in) Draught (max): 3.6m (11ft 9in) Displacement (min): 6,900kg (15,200lb) Sail area (upwind max): 171m 2 (1,840ft 2 ) Asymmetric (max): 272m 2 (2,927ft 2 ) TCF (max): 1.208

A version of this article was first published in the September 2017 edition of Yachting World.

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Engineering:Grinder (sailing position)

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grinder yacht racing

A grinder is a crew member on a yacht whose duties include operating manual winches (called "coffee grinders") that raise and trim the sails and move the boom. [1] It is a physically demanding role with a significant impact on a racing yacht's overall performance. [2]

The AC50 class yachts used in the America's Cup competition have four positions (on each side) for grinders. These must be continuously operated to generate the hydraulic pressure needed by the yacht's controls. Until 2017, the machinery was arm operated winches. However, in 2017 Team New Zealand changed their grinding system to pedal operated positions (cyclors) similar to exercise bikes. This change reportedly gained a 40% increase in power delivered to the hydraulic system. [3] In 2018, a decision was made to ban cyclors in the 36th America's Cup (2021) [4] They were subsequently re-allowed for AC37 (2024). [5]

  • ↑ Fountain, Henry (13 February 2010). "Motors Have Muscled Out the Grinders" . New York Times . .  
  • ↑ Pearson, SN; Hume, PA; Cronin, JB; Slyfield, D (September 2009). "Strength and power determinants of grinding performance in America's Cup sailors.". Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23 (6): 1883–9. doi : 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b2ba55 . PMID   19675468 .  
  • ↑ Miles Dilworth, "Oracle Team USA: America’s Cup Defenders copy Kiwis in surprise move to pedal power" , The Telegraph , 15 May 2017.
  • ↑ Cheree Kinnear, "America's Cup: AC75 Class Rule explained" , NZ Herald , 2 April 2018, retrieved and archived 20 August 2018.
  • ↑ World, Yachting (2021-11-16). "America's Cup: Protocol released for 37th AC" (in en-US). Yachting World . . Retrieved 2022-12-03 .  
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Sail GP: how do supercharged racing yachts go so fast? An engineer explains

grinder yacht racing

Head of Engineering, Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, Solent University

Disclosure statement

Jonathan Ridley does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Sailing used to be considered as a rather sedate pastime. But in the past few years, the world of yacht racing has been revolutionised by the arrival of hydrofoil-supported catamarans, known as “foilers”. These vessels, more akin to high-performance aircraft than yachts, combine the laws of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics to create vessels capable of speeds of up to 50 knots, which is far faster than the wind propelling them.

An F50 catamaran preparing for the Sail GP series recently even broke this barrier, reaching an incredible speed of 50.22 knots (57.8mph) purely powered by the wind. This was achieved in a wind of just 19.3 knots (22.2mph). F50s are 15-metre-long, 8.8-metre-wide hydrofoil catamarans propelled by rigid sails and capable of such astounding speeds that Sail GP has been called the “ Formula One of sailing ”. How are these yachts able to go so fast? The answer lies in some simple fluid dynamics.

As a vessel’s hull moves through the water, there are two primary physical mechanisms that create drag and slow the vessel down. To build a faster boat you have to find ways to overcome the drag force.

The first mechanism is friction. As the water flows past the hull, a microscopic layer of water is effectively attached to the hull and is pulled along with the yacht. A second layer of water then attaches to the first layer, and the sliding or shearing between them creates friction.

On the outside of this is a third layer, which slides over the inner layers creating more friction, and so on. Together, these layers are known as the boundary layer – and it’s the shearing of the boundary layer’s molecules against each other that creates frictional drag.

grinder yacht racing

A yacht also makes waves as it pushes the water around and under the hull from the bow (front) to the stern (back) of the boat. The waves form two distinctive patterns around the yacht (one at each end), known as Kelvin Wave patterns.

These waves, which move at the same speed as the yacht, are very energetic. This creates drag on the boat known as the wave-making drag, which is responsible for around 90% of the total drag. As the yacht accelerates to faster speeds (close to the “hull speed”, explained later), these waves get higher and longer.

These two effects combine to produce a phenomenon known as “ hull speed ”, which is the fastest the boat can travel – and in conventional single-hull yachts it is very slow. A single-hull yacht of the same size as the F50 has a hull speed of around 12 mph.

However, it’s possible to reduce both the frictional and wave-making drag and overcome this hull-speed limit by building a yacht with hydrofoils . Hydrofoils are small, underwater wings. These act in the same way as an aircraft wing, creating a lift force which acts against gravity, lifting our yacht upwards so that the hull is clear of the water.

grinder yacht racing

While an aircraft’s wings are very large, the high density of water compared to air means that we only need very small hydrofoils to produce a lot of the important lift force. A hydrofoil just the size of three A3 sheets of paper, when moving at just 10 mph, can produce enough lift to pick up a large person.

This significantly reduces the surface area and the volume of the boat that is underwater, which cuts the frictional drag and the wave-making drag, respectively. The combined effect is a reduction in the overall drag to a fraction of its original amount, so that the yacht is capable of sailing much faster than it could without hydrofoils.

The other innovation that helps boost the speed of racing yachts is the use of rigid sails . The power available from traditional sails to drive the boat forward is relatively small, limited by the fact that the sail’s forces have to act in equilibrium with a range of other forces, and that fabric sails do not make an ideal shape for creating power. Rigid sails, which are very similar in design to an aircraft wing, form a much more efficient shape than traditional sails, effectively giving the yacht a larger engine and more power.

As the yacht accelerates from the driving force of these sails, it experiences what is known as “ apparent wind ”. Imagine a completely calm day, with no wind. As you walk, you experience a breeze in your face at the same speed that you are walking. If there was a wind blowing too, you would feel a mixture of the real (or “true” wind) and the breeze you have generated.

The two together form the apparent wind, which can be faster than the true wind. If there is enough true wind combined with this apparent wind, then significant force and power can be generated from the sail to propel the yacht, so it can easily sail faster than the wind speed itself.

grinder yacht racing

The combined effect of reducing the drag and increasing the driving power results in a yacht that is far faster than those of even a few years ago. But all of this would not be possible without one further advance: materials. In order to be able to “fly”, the yacht must have a low mass, and the hydrofoil itself must be very strong. To achieve the required mass, strength and rigidity using traditional boat-building materials such as wood or aluminium would be very difficult.

This is where modern advanced composite materials such as carbon fibre come in. Production techniques optimising weight, rigidity and strength allow the production of structures that are strong and light enough to produce incredible yachts like the F50.

The engineers who design these high-performance boats (known as naval architects ) are always looking to use new materials and science to get an optimum design. In theory, the F50 should be able to go even faster.

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Cole Brauer becomes first American woman to race sailboat alone and nonstop around world

After a 130-day journey, a jubilant Cole Brauer arrived back in A Coruña, Spain to become the first American woman to race nonstop around the world by herself. (March 7)

This photo provided by Cole Brauer Ocean Racing shows Brauer as she became the first American woman to race nonstop around the world by herself when she arrived Thursday, March 7, 2024, in A Coruña, Spain. (James Tomlinson/Cole Brauer Ocean Racing via AP)

This photo provided by Cole Brauer Ocean Racing shows Brauer as she became the first American woman to race nonstop around the world by herself when she arrived Thursday, March 7, 2024, in A Coruña, Spain. (James Tomlinson/Cole Brauer Ocean Racing via AP)

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A CORUNA, Spain (AP) — Alone, Cole Brauer braved three oceans and the elements as she navigated her sailboat for months.

When she and her 40-foot (12.2-meter) sailboat arrived Thursday in A Coruna, Spain, the 29-year-old became the first American woman to race nonstop around the world by herself, traveling across about 30,000 miles (48,280 kilometers).

Brauer, all 5-foot-2 (1.6-meter) and 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms) of her, is one of more than a dozen sailors competing in the Global Solo Challenge. Brauer was the youngest and only woman in the group that set sail in October from A Coruna.

The starts were staggered. Brauer took off Oct. 29. As of Thursday, some in the field had dropped out of the race.

The race took Brauer south along the west coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope and then eastward toward Australia. From there, she continued east where Brauer faced the unpredictable, treacherous and deadly Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America before continuing northeast across the Atlantic Ocean toward Spain.

The race took her 130 days to complete.

“This is really cool and so overwhelming in every sense of the word,” NBC News reported Brauer saying before drinking Champagne from her trophy Thursday while being celebrated by family and fans.

Ambulances leave Auckland International in Auckland, New Zealand, Monday, March 11, 2024. More than 20 people were injured after what officials described as a "technical event" on a Chilean plane traveling from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland. (Dean Purcell/New Zealand Herald via AP)

While Brauer is the first American woman to race around the globe alone by sea, she is not first woman to do so. Polish sailor Krystina Chojnowska-Liskiewicz finished her 401-day voyage around the globe on April 21, 1978, according to online sailing sites .

Kay Cottee of Australia was the first woman to achieve the feat nonstop, sailing off from Sydney Harbor in Australia in November 1987 and returning 189 days later.

The global voyage is not an easy one, even on a vessel with a full crew.

“Solo sailors, you have to be able to do everything,” Brauer told the NBC “Today” show Thursday. “You need to be able to take care of yourself. You need to be able to get up, even when you’re so exhausted. And you have to be able to fix everything on the boat.”

Satellite communications allowed Brauer to stay in touch with her racing team and connect with fans on social media, where she posted videos from the race and her boat, “First Light.”

Along the way she encountered 30-foot (9.1-meter) waves that tossed her about the boat, according to NBC News.

She injured a rib and even gave herself an IV to fend off dehydration.

Sailing solo means not just being a skipper but a project manager, said Marco Nannini, the race’s organizer. That means steering the vessel, making repairs, knowing the weather and keeping yourself healthy, he said.

“The biggest asset is your mental strength, not the physical one,” Nannini said. “Cole is showing everyone that.”

One of Brauer’s social media posts from Dec. 8 showed her frustration.

“I haven’t really had the bandwidth to get into everything that’s been going on the past 48 hours, but the short version is the autopilot has been acting up again and I needed to replace some parts and do a rudder recalibration,” she wrote. “For once the light air is actually helping, but it’s been exhausting, and I’m sore and tired.”

“It’s all part of the journey, and I’m sure I’ll be feeling better once the work is done and I’ve gotten some sleep,” Brauer added. “But right now things are tough.”

But she’s handled the tough, even though some in the sport believed it wouldn’t be possible due to her gender and small frame.

“I push so much harder when someone’s like, ‘no, you can’t do that,’ or ‘you’re too small,’” Brauer said.

“It would be amazing if there was just one other girl that saw me and said ‘Oh, I can do that, too,’” she added.

This story has been updated to remove an erroneous reference to Brauer being the first American woman to circumnavigate the globe alone in a sailboat.

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40 facts about elektrostal.

Lanette Mayes

Written by Lanette Mayes

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.

This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.

So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elektrostal, known as the “Motor City of Russia,” is a vibrant and growing city with a rich industrial history, offering diverse cultural experiences and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • With its convenient location near Moscow, Elektrostal provides a picturesque landscape, vibrant nightlife, and a range of recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for residents and visitors alike.

Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”

Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.

Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.

Boasts a rich industrial heritage.

Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.

Founded in 1916.

The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.

Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.

A popular destination for nature lovers.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.

Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.

Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.

Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.

Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.

Boasts excellent education facilities.

The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.

A center for scientific research and innovation.

Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.

Surrounded by picturesque lakes.

The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Well-connected transportation system.

Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.

Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.

Home to notable architectural landmarks.

Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.

Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.

Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.

Provides a high standard of healthcare.

Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.

Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.

The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.

A hub for sports enthusiasts.

Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.

Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.

Electric power played a significant role in its early development.

Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.

Boasts a thriving economy.

The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.

Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.

The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.

Popular destination for winter sports.

Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

Promotes environmental sustainability.

Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.

Home to renowned educational institutions.

Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.

Committed to cultural preservation.

The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.

Hosts an annual International Film Festival.

The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.

Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.

Offers a range of housing options.

Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.

Home to notable sports teams.

Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.

Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.

Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.

Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.

Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.

Commemorates historical events.

The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.

Promotes sports and youth development.

Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.

Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.

Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.

The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.

Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.

The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.

A city with a bright future.

Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.

In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.

Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?

A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.

Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?

A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.

Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.

Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.

Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?

A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.

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