Major Sailing Regattas

Sailing is an ’other-worldly’ experience, much like dancing and skiing. The thrill and adrenaline rush are intoxicating. It challenges and heightens the mind and body, and inspires the spirit.

Sailing races, called regattas, have been around since ancient Greek and Roman times, and likely older in the Middle East and India. In 1661, King Charles II raced his own yacht in a sail race. Sail racing was very popular in the maritime countries of England and the Netherlands. The oldest yacht clubs were formed in England in 1775, Ireland 1777, Australia 1837, New Zealand 1840, U.S. in 1845, and Canada 1856.

A race sails on a determined course or for long distance on open waters Sailing regattas are sponsored by yacht clubs and corporations. It is an expensive sport due to the cost of a boat or yacht, crews, travel, events, promotion, and prize money.

America’s Cup

America's Cup World Series - Wikipedia

The world’s oldest international competition, the America’s Cup yacht race was formed in 1851. The race is held every 3 to 4 years, the last one in 2021. A challenger race is held to determine who will be the single challenger against the defending title holder. For 132 years it was a British vs. American race, the title was held by the New York Yacht Club from 1857 to 1983. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron successfully defended the 36th America’s Cup in 2021 using an AC75 foiling monohull.

Cowes Week


Cowes Week, formed in 1826, involves 40 daily races with 500 boats and 2,500 competitors in multiple divisions. The race runs between the Southern English Channel and the Isle of Wight, UK. It is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

Vendee Globe


The Vendee Globe yacht race in France was formed in 1989 and is held every four years. It is known as the “Everest of the seas” for its difficulty. The race is a solo non-stop 24,000 nautical mile round the world from France on the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, around Anarctica, around Cape Horn, and back to France. The race is open to monohull yachts conforming the open IMOCA 60 class criteria. In 2020-2021 there were 33 starters and 25 finishers from France, England, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, and Finland. France took the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places

The Ocean Race


The Ocean Race is a round the world 40,000 nautical mile yacht race starting in Alicante, Spain and ending in different ports from October to July every 3 to 4 years. It is one of the pinnacles of yacht racing. There are 7 to 10 competitor teams and the route has 9 to 10 stopover ports around the world. Yachts used include the Volvo Ocean 65 and the IMOCA 60 with crews of 7 to 10. The 2022-23 race had competitor teams from the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania, Poland, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Mexico, Portugal, and France.

Newport Bermuda


The Newport to Bermuda yacht race is one of the top classic regattas formed in 1906. In June 165 yachts leave Newport, Rhode Island for a 635 nautical mile race to Bermuda. There ae seven classes of races of both amateurs and professionals. In 2023 racing teams were from the U.S., England, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Bermuda, and Cayman.

Sydney Hogart


An annual 630 nautical mile yacht race from Sydney, Australia to Hogart, Tasmania which was formed in 1945. It is one of the classic big offshore races and involves single mast sloops. In 2023 there were 103 starter boats and 85 finished.

Chicago Mackinac


The 333 mile Chicago to Mackinac yacht race was formed in 1898. The race is on Lake Michigan from Chicago to Mackinac Island in Lake Huron in the northern most tip of the Michigan Lower Peninsula. Over 300 boats compete.



SailGP is a commercial sailing series of races around the world intended to grow the sailing race audience. It was formed in 2019 by Larry Ellison. All race teams use high performance F50 foiling catamarans with the same technology to ensure the race is based on skill, not secret technology. Current teams are U.S., England, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Demark, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland.

Teams compete across a season of multiple grand prix around the world. The 2022-23 stopover ports were in Bermuda, Chicago, Plymouth-UK, Copenhagen, St. Tropez-France, Cadiz-Spain, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney-Australia, New Zealand, and San Francisco.

Saint Maarten Regatta

Throwing it Back at the 42nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Heineken

Formed in 1980, the Heineken sponsored Saint Maarten Regatta is the largest Caribbean sail race. It involves 8 races over 4 days with 284 boats from 37 countries.



One of the most crowded regattas with 2,689 boats, 25,000 sailors, and 250,000 spectators. Formed in 1969 the Barcolana race starts in Trieste, Italy for a 15 mile course in the Gulf of Trieste.



Fastnet is biennial British yacht race formed in 1924. It is one of the big classic offshore races. The course is a 625 nautical mile race from the Isle of Wight, rounding the southern coast of Ireland, and finishing in Cherbourg, France. There are four divisions – IMOCA 60, Class 40, Multihull, and Monohull.

Hamilton Island Race

2023 Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 2

Hamilton Island is Australia’s largest offshore yachting regattas. Formed in 1984, the race attracts 250 teams to sail near the Whitsundy Islands in the Great Barrier Reef in northwest Australia.



The Transpacific is a biennial offshore yacht race over 2,225 nautical miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Formed in 1906, it is one of the premier offshore yacht races. The race has nine different divisions.


Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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