10 Summer Olympics Sailing Terms

Yahoo Contributor Network

The 2012 Summer Olympics will be starting July 27 and feature a variety of competitive sports. One of the sports that will be featured during the Summer Olympics is sailing.

In order to be successful during the event, the sails need to be placed so that the wind can cut through the sails, just like an airplane wing. There is a lot of technique used in sailing, since the boat cannot go straight through the wind and has to be moved in all directions to maintain forward momentum.

There are a lot of different terms that are used for sailing, so it is important to know the terms in order to enjoy watching the sailing tournament during the Summer Olympics. Here are the 10 most important sailing terms to watch out for during the 2012 Summer Olympics:

Rudder: The rudder is the metal or wooden plate, which attaches to the stern and is responsible for steering the sailboat. The rudder is often used to help direct the angle of the sails, which can help the boat gradually move forward.

Spar: The spar is responsible for holding up the sail. The spar is often wooden or metal pole that is attached to the sail, but it can also be a mast or boom. If the spar is damaged, the sail might not stay upright, which would hinder the movement of the boat.

Starboard: Starboard is the right side of the boat, which is the opposite side of the port. When you look at the boat while starboard, you should see the bow basically in front of you.

Trim: Trim is used to describe when someone is changing the angle of the sails, and it is referred to often during the Summer Olympics.

Wake: The wake of the boat is used to describe the track the boat is on, which is seen behind the boat. As the boat moves forward, it is fairly easy to see the wake looking into the water, and it can help locate the direction of a boat.

Bear Away: Bear away is when the boat is being steered away from the wind, which is essential to keep the boat moving forward.

Beat: A beat is when the boat is sailing away or against the wind by using the tacking method. The tacking method is when the boat starts to move in a zigzag motion in the direction of the wind, and beating is often used to keep the momentum going over the sails.

Boom: A boom is the spar that is at the foot of the sail and is similar to a mast or pole. The boom can help the boat move in the right direction, and it is essential during high wind situations.

Buoy: The buoy is a floating object in the water, which is used to help the captain know where he or she is located at. A buoy can be many different sizes and colors and can be compared to a mile marker on the highway.

Leeward: Leeward is when the boat moves away from the wind, which is also the direction of the wind. If a boat is moving leeward, the boat is moving away from the wind and is experiencing downwind.

Jeanne Rose has been watching the Olympics with her family ever since she was little, and enjoys the sport of sailing.

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