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Online Sailing Betting

Sailing betting, or yachting betting, as it is sometimes known, has grown from a niche betting market into one of the more popular betting categories globally. Technically yachting is the term for recreational sailing, but in the case of online betting, yachting refers to the practise of racing sailboats, whether it be dinghies or larger boats. For those punters who are new to the sport, sailing or yachting is where sailors use sail craft to race from one destination to the other.

The smaller boats are called dinghies and are sailed around a set course, as with the races in the Olympics. While there are plenty of sailing events happening around the world, there are a handful of races that are considered the “Grand Slams” of the racing world. These include the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Yacht Race, the Bermuda Race and the Sydney to Hobart race. Once, every 4 years, the Olympics also offers plenty of sailing betting opportunities as countries from all over the world compete for bronze, silver and gold medals in the various classes.

The Rise of Competitive Sailing

Sailing has become a major spectator sport thanks to the introduction of live streams and day-by-day television coverage. This has also spurred on the popularity of sailing betting, as the sport is becoming better known. With major races like the America’s Cup, each boat will have a web-cam on board showing the conditions while GPS trackers keep spectators and officials aware of their exact location at all times. With dinghy racing, each course is set out in a bay or harbour where land-based viewing is possible.

Types of Sailing Bets

In its most basic form, sailing is essentially a racing sport with all competitors aiming to win a leg or the race. The easiest way to understand sailing betting is to compare it to rally racing. With larger races like the America’s Cup or the Volvo Ocean Race, the entire race is broken down into certain legs, lasting anywhere from 7 days up to 3 weeks. The entire race can take month, and in the case of the Volvo Ocean Race, a full 9 months from start to finish.

With these kinds of races, there are 3 main types of sailing bets that come up most often:

  • Race Winner – Betting on the boat or team to win the race
  • Leg Winner – Betting on a boat or team to win a specific leg
  • Placing - Betting on a boat or team to place 1st to 3rd in the race.

There are also a number of prop bets that can be placed, including which team will round a certain point first, who will have the highest average speed, the shortest distance and so on. With dinghy racing, the types of sailing bets can change, especially in the Olympics. Bets can be placed on individual athletes as well as teams or countries partaking in the races. Dinghy races are also conducted in heats where you can place bets on a specific heat or the end result.

What to Know Before You Bet

Like all professional sports, there are a number of factors to consider before you decide to place a bet on sailing. Sailing in particular is a very technical sport with multiple factors playing a role. In the longer races, boat design and the crew generally determine who will place where. Knowing the advancements in the boat and who is leading the crew can go a long way to predicting the result. There is also a possibility of a boat breaking a mast or hitting a reef, delaying or sometimes removing a team from the race altogether. With dinghy racing, the outcomes are more predictable with individual sailors all racing the same craft. Here, it is all down to the skill of the sailor as all other conditions are equal.

Sailing betting can be enjoyed at many of the sportsbooks we recommend, and you can wager on local and international races and events from your PC or mobile.