Please select your home edition
Edition
Harken AUS Reflex 728

Please Stop using Heats when you mean Races

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 4 Jan 2014
13’ Skiffs National Championship, Manly, Brisbane Michael Chittenden
In sport whether its athletics, rowing or surfing, elimination series are run with heats, quarter finals, semis and finals.

So when non sailors read about heats in sailing, they reasonably expect they are part of an elimination series. But in sailing that is not the case … some classes and sailors use the word Heat when they mean Race.


Does it matter? Yes it does.

Wearing our Event PR hats, we often spend a lot of time on water trying to put sailing into simple terms, for mainstream media, even Sports Editors, preparing to do a live cross for Television or Radio.

They are constantly fearful; they say 'it’s so hard to understand sailing and I don’t want to get it wrong.'

There is enough confusion without adding more.

Well known International Race Officer Peter Moor is the founding chairman of an organisation call SATUH – Sailors Against Use of Heats.

Both he and another highly regarded Race Officer Denis Thompson, will almost chant in unison 'there is no reference to the term Heats in ISAF’s Racing Rules of Sailing.’

Using Heats when you mean Races is an old habit, still residual it seems in skiff classes for example.

Skiffies understand that terminology, but outsiders don't. Now days skiff sailors are on boats quite radically different to those of a century ago, so as the boats have developed the terminology must also.

The ISAF position is that we need to simplify sailing so it’s easier for people to understand.

The use of Heats instead of Races in a non elimination context is confusing.

Please don’t do it ….

If you have a differing opinion let's hear it.

But while you are formulating your argument consider that some European languages use the word regatta interchangeably between a race and a regatta.

So in the English translations that some ESL event media distribute -Sailors can win three regattas in a seven regatta series but still lose the regatta.

So now you be confused too?

So we change the relevant words to race ... in the interests of clarity.

Just like not using Heat when you mean Race ... is that fair enough??

We are working hard to spread the joy of sailing across the world, as the largest sailing news network in the world our stories can be read in 78 languages.

We have a 1244 sailing technical words and phrases translated into 15 languages, so far, to enhance the reader experience, can you imagine what difficulties Heats and Races causes?
T Clewring J-classAbell Point Marina 660x82 MoorSafety at Sea - Baltic - 2

Related Articles

Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Day 4 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
The Mistral finally blew itself out on Day 4, permitting the Race Committee to run two coastal course The Mistral finally blew itself out on Day 4, permitting the Race Committee to run two coastal courses for the 52 participating yachts in breezes that started at 15 knots and slowly faded as the afternoon wore on. Day 5 (Friday) saw the winds lighten further bringing some changes to the podium positions of several divisions
Posted on 10 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
The Mistral is in and howling at Porto Cervo! After a brief lull to permit racing on Day 2 after the Day 1 cancellation, The Mistral is in and howling at Porto Cervo! After a brief lull to permit racing on Day 2 after the Day 1 cancellation, we have a second 'Lay Day' on Wednesday with racing again cancelled due to high wind speeds and a large seaway. The conditions were near enough perfect on Day 2 however, with 17-18 knots and a short sea, the breeze dropping later in the day.
Posted on 7 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 20126 - DAY 2 Images & VIDEO
The fleet of 49 maxis finally hit the water in north-westerly winds of 17-18 knots and a short and sharp seaway. The S The fleet of 49 maxis finally hit the waters off Porto Cervo in north-westerly winds of 17-18 knots and a short and sharp seaway on Day 2. The Super and Mini maxis headed out for a coastal race and the Maxi 72s & Wally fleet competed in two windward/leeward races. The choppy seas made for exciting footage and images.
Posted on 7 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug