Best books for yacht racing

Whilst the best way to learn how to race - is racing, there quickly comes a time when the learning curve levels off and the savvy racing sailor will turn her mind to learning old lessons from wise heads.

Like sailing generally, there is an awful lot to yacht racing, from sail trim, boat selection, crew management, navigation, tactics - and rules!

In no particular order, here are five books we consider worth dipping into if you are an aspiring Sir Ben Ainslie!

High Performance Sailing: Faster Racing Techniques

Readable and full of knowledge learned. This is an excellent book and considered a bible by some. The legendary Kelvin Hughes is quoted as saying that it’s a book that no serious yachtsman should be without.

Buy it on Amazon

Sailing Smart: Winning Techniques, Tactics & Strategy

Good practical tips for sailing a boat fast coupled with a variety of anecdotes from its author, Buddy Melges.  The book was written in the eighties, but some things never change.  Not really a book for beginners, but there is wisdom and knowledge here.

Buy it on Amazon

Winning in One Designs.

A book by Dave Perry, it seems generally acknowledged by many that this is a must-have book for the aspiring racing sailor.

Buy it on Amazon

The Rules in Practice 2017 - 2020

Like any sport, understanding the rules is a necessity. However, in sailing, a deep understanding of the rules can give the intelligent and wiley competitor a distinct advantage.  The author, Brian Willis, has been Chairman of the Jury or Chief Umpire in many of the World’s most prestigious sailing events including the America’s Cup and the Olympics.  So there’s that!

Buy it on Amazon

Sail Smart by Mark Chisnell.

Not to be confused with Sailing Smart at number 3, above, Sail Smart concentrates largely on how to best use your instruments to give you the sailing advantage on the water.

Buy it on Amazon