Yachting traditionally is thought of in terms of the fun that can be had on a luxury yacht in the Caribbean, the Greek islands, or some other exotic location. And to be sure, a yacht is an ideal way to combine the adventure of being on the water for days or weeks and the kind of luxury that really makes your holiday memorable and relaxing.

Another entire world of yachting that is just as exciting and bursting with activity is the world of yacht racing or yachting for speed. This seems to be a natural evolution on the original design of the Yacht when the boat was designed by the Dutch to chase down pirates. Those yachts had to be fast and very maneuverable to live up to their purpose. While those rough and tumble days in the history of yachting were long ago, modern yachts designed for racing are sleek and efficient machines just as much.

When it comes to the capital of competitive yachting, some would say that the little town of Cowes in England on the Isle of Wight often claims that title. The Cowes Week is a yacht sailing festival that draws enthusiasts from far and wide. The event is neatly organized so those who are “hardcore” competitive yachting devotees can engage in world-class racing. But there are also some lower-key races called “class” races for those of us who would like to race our yachts but maybe are not as dedicated to it just yet.

The best records we have reported that the earliest occurrence of racing sailing yachts was in the Netherlands sometime in the 17th century. From there it spread to England and other parts of Europe. But it was when one of the most well known international yacht races was launched in 1851 that the sport of competitive sailing really started to take notice. That was of course when the American Yacht club in New York was challenged to a race by the English who dominated the sport and that gave birth to the famous America’s Cup Regatta. More trivia about this race is that from 1851 to 1983, the New York Yacht Club never lost this race when Australia finally captured it with the Australia II racing yacht.

If you have an interest in getting involved in yacht racing, it is a common sport around the world so you no doubt will be able to find a good yachting club near you that can help you develop your interest in the sport until it is a full-fledged obsession. You will need access to a good-sized body of water with strong winds not only to develop your skills in racing but to find competitions to begin your path to victory. While the majority of the well-known yacht races are held on saltwater where there are ample waves and winds that make for an exciting race, you will be able to find races on large lakes as well.

While developing the knowledge and tailoring a yacht for racing is a much different approach than outfitting a yacht for a luxury cruise, it can be an awful lot of fun and a rewarding hobby as well. If you have the ability to store more than one yacht, it’s fun to have several racing yachts and then keep the ones you use for relaxation nearby as well. You may find that the family is just as enthusiastic about the competitive side of yachting as they are the luxury side. It can truly be an addictive hobby to enjoy.

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