Sailing Glossary

360: Meaning a "360-degree penalty turn", one complete circle sailed as a penalty for hitting a buoy

720: Meaning a "720-degree penalty turn", two complete circles sailed as a penalty for breaching a rule

Abandon: A ruling by the Race Committee or jury to void a race, although it may be sailed again later

Bear away: To alter course away from the wind

Beat: The line taken to sail most directly into the wind (about 45 degrees from wind direction); also known as "work"

BFD: Meaning Black Flagged - a ruling where a boat is deemed to have prematurely started a race that is started under Black Flag and is disqualified from that race, irrespective of whether that race is subsequently restarted, and awarded the maximum number of points

Buoy: A rounding mark that floats on the water, denoting the required course

DNC: Meaning "did not compete", the ruling when a boat fails to compete in a scheduled race and is awarded the maximum number of points for the race

DNE: Meaning “do not exclude", the ruling when the jury disqualifies a boat from a race and awards the maximum number of points for the race, points which may not be discarded from the overall score later

DNF: Meaning "did not finish", the ruling when a boat fails to finish a race and is awarded the maximum number of points for the race

DNS: Meaning "did not start", the ruling when a competing boat fails to start a race and is awarded the maximum number of points for that race

DSQ: Meaning "disqualified", the ruling when the jury disqualifies a boat from a race and awards the maximum number of points for the race

Fleet racing: A style of race employed exclusively at these Olympic Games where all the competitors sail against each other at once

Forestay: The rigging that secures the mast forward

Gybe: To shift the mainsail from one side to the other when sailing with the wind behind; also "jibe"

Headsail: The sail in front of the mast

Jibe: To shift the mainsail from one side to the other when sailing with the wind behind; also "gybe"

Leeward: The side farthest from the wind

Leg: A part of the course bounded by two marks or buoys

Luffing: Altering course toward the wind

Mark: A buoy that defines the endpoint of a leg of a race

Mast: A vertical spar or pole to which a sail or sails attach

Match racing: One-on-one racing between two boats – a strategy employed in normal fleet racing – typically at the end of a race or series of races to protect a placing

Mixed: A style of competition in which each competing boat must one male and one female athlete

OCS: Meaning "on course side", a ruling where a boat is deemed to have started a race prematurely and is subsequently disqualified from the race and awarded the maximum number of points

Port: A boat's left side when looking forward

Pre-start manoeuvres: Tactical manoeuvres in the water carried out with the intention of being in the best possible position at the starting signal

Race committee: The on-water officials responsible for setting the course, starting, and finishing the race in accordance with the race rules and regulations

RDG: Meaning "redress", a ruling where the jury reinstates or changes a boat's score for a particular race, based on a protest hearing

Reach: To sail across the wind, or between the extremes of beat and run

Rudder: A vertical board hinged to the back of a boat that turns the craft

Run: The course taken to sail most directly downwind, or with the wind

Starboard: A boat's right side when looking forward

Tack: To change direction relative to wind direction (usually in a zigzag manner over the duration of an upwind leg), such as changing from having the wind on the right to having the wind on the left

Trapezoidal: A four-leg course configuration with separate starting and finish lines

UFD: Meaning U-Flagged - a ruling where a boat is deemed to have prematurely started a race that is started under “U” Flag and is disqualified from that race and awarded the maximum number of points, unless that race is subsequently restarted.

Windward: The side closest to the wind

Windward return: A type of course configuration requiring the boats to sail into the wind to a mark, then in the same direction as the wind when returning to a second mark

Work: The course taken to sail most directly into the wind (about 45 degrees from wind direction); also known as "beat”.

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