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Sail-World.com - Contributors Guidelines

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com on 24 Oct 2008
Sail-World.com/NZ ©
Sail-World.com and its two companion titles Powerboat-World and MarineBusinessNews have a large world-wide audience in more than sixty countries.

Our Sail-World websites encompass all forms of sailing, including cruising. Whether it is racing in yachts, skiffs or dinghies, regattas, twilights or ocean races, there is always a story waiting to be told.

The Sail-World archives contain 40,000+ stories, one of the largest sailing news databases in the world, they are indexed by major search engines include Google and Yahoo and news feeds like NewsNow and are routinely searched by mainstream and sailing media.

Sail-World is happy to receive your articles.

Be it profiles of people and boats, cruising destinations, tuning, tactics, techniques, safety and seamanship, repors on regattas or indeed just about anything to do with sailing, we are happy to review and publish appropriate articles and pictures.

We do need you to upload both copy and pictures via our special upload system, which ensures we receive your contribution, with correct titles, image captions etc.

Submit News, stories and Images into Sail-World & Powerboat-World and MarineBusinessNews.com Click here or any time look at the top right hand side of the site, where is says Submit News & Images

Guidelines: We accept upwards of 140 words, as long as there are lots of accompanying pictures. Many simple stories can be told in 300-500 words. A feature length story could be 1500 words or more.

Do not use FULL CAPS in titles, boat names o sailors names. Mainstream websites do not us full caps under any circumstances. There is a long tradtion online that FULL CAPS = SHOUTING. Do not use. Please.

Keep the story tight and punchy.


Remember that your title should be short and without a full stop or commas. (IN SW format there is a limit to the number of characters you can use in a headline. Excess words are automatically cut off.)

The header paragraph should contain information that is in the text of your article and it should be an interesting lead into the story to entice the reader.

Regatta, championship and any race reports should attempt to explain how the winners achieved the podium position. Better tactics and techniques, faster boat, better sails, combination of all, etc. Also include dramatic or significant events, breakdowns, collisions, recoveries from poor starts, tight finishes and any ‘names’ that have entered.

We need to know where the event was held, the organising authority, the Club that hosted the event, what the weather was like etc. Please give first and family names of the winning boat and crew (for up to three person crew, otherwise, just the skipper’s).

The easiest way to avoid longish paragraphs and to marshal ideas clearly, is to use the active, not the passive tense, ie. ‘The cat sat on the mat,’ rather than, ‘The mat was sat upon by the cat.’

Consider also the length of sentences. Write comes naturaly in the first draft and then go back and break it up. Sometimes we have to break up 100 word sentences in contributions we receive. That is not good writing.

If you are having difficulty in constructing an article, make a list of all the pieces of information you want to convey to the reader, then number them in order of importance and start your story with the most important one.

For a race report you should try to answer the following points (maybe do a sentence of paragraph about each):

1. When the event was held, where it was was held, who organised it
2. What the weather was like over the day/series, did it change? Did this effect the race/results/ one boat more than others?
3. How many competitors sailed, where they came from
4. Where there any well-known competitors in the fleet, do they sail regularly in the class, or where they sailing just for this event. Why?
5. Give an overview of the racing who won, by how much and why.
6. What notable controversial incidents happened during the racing/event. Did these effect the race/series outcome
7. Any intesting technical issues from the event/boats/competitors?
8. What happens next? What is the next event on the callendar for the sailors/class? What was the significance of this event in the grand scheme of things?


In non-technical articles, it is always good to include quotes from information sources.

Style:

The best way of knowing how we like to things written is to look at the articles on our website. Following are some pointers on the style we like to follow for consistency. It will take a lot of the time and effort out of the editing process if you follow this style.

Style Points:

When using a boat’s name in the text of an article, do not put quote marks around the name.

Do not put the boat name in italics or bold, neither of these methods, will translate to the web.

Two-man crews give both names as follows:

Over the Moon, a 470 sailed by Jim Moon/Fred Kwok, but in result details at the bottom of your article, initials only, eg. 1. Over the Moon (J.Moon/F.Kwok)

Use first names and family names at first mention in text; thereafter, the family name only.

Clubs, associations etc. spell in full at first mention, say Yachting Association of Sri Lanka, or Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, thereafter abbreviate to - YA Sri Lanka and RPAYC.

Spell out numbers under ten in text, ie. one, two, three, all the way up to nine and then 10 onwards in numeric.

This is most important as it relates to placings in a race.

'XYZ rounded the windward mark 3rd, but faded to finish 4th' will be corrected to

XYZ rounded the windward mark third, but faded to finish fourth.

Abbreviate times, in race details, to hr m s.

Abbreviate dimensions. eg - m cm mm sq m.

Collective nouns: Associations, companies, countries, clubs, etc, are to be construed as singular. eg The Royal Hong Kong Yacht has re-elected its Commodore, not ‘their’ Commodore.

Abbreviate 18ft skiffs, 16ft skiffs, etc, as detailed, not 18 foot etc.

Be careful with the nomenclature 49ers not 49'ers, OK Dinghy, not Ok dinghy

Use ‘I will’ rather than I'll, and similar, unless using quotes or conversation style.

Don’t use &, use and, unless it is the formal name of a company eg. Smith & Sowersby Ltd. sponsored the Flying Elevens.

Offshore racing: Text and details should identify the designer or type of boats named as well as the owner. eg, ‘Bob Steel’s Nelson Marek 46, Quest, has won the Rolex Sydney-Hobart on corrected time.’ Include the yacht club the boat represents where possible in the story but do not overload an individual boat description with adjectives. We do not want to read about Bob Steel's blue hulled, CYCA, Nelson Marek 46 Quest.

Please supply detailed results for the first five places in major races in the following style:

Ragamuffin (S.Fischer), Farr 50, corrected time 23hr 1min 2sec;

Quest (B. Steel) J35, 23.01.01, etc.

If a defending champion does not finish in a top five place, also add his/her place eg. 8. Quest (B. Steel). That also goes for first regional crews placed in international event, if not in top five finishers.

Please take care with owners and sailors names. Contributions with the names misspelled are not considered well. Do not rely on memory, use the event entry list as a guide at least.

Remember spell checkers find misspelled words not miss-used words 'of' instead of 'off' etc.

While you may have a perfectly written story in your head, its ease to leave out a word or use a singular instead of a plural. So you stories do need editing, Often another sailors will find errors or ommissions in your copy.

One of the best ways to proof your story is to read it out loud.

Please submit headings, where possible, as follows: ‘Macky leads Bethwaite in Yngling event’

Remember no full stops at the end of the title.

Location
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