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Yachting & Sailing Betting with William Hill
Don’t be left all out at sea when it comes to top international sailing and yachting action, for here at William Hill you’ll be able to dive deep into our latest sailing betting markets and odds.
While boats may have been used as a means for transport for centuries, it wasn’t until the 17th century that people saw fit to jump onboard as a form of sporting competition.
Thanks to Holland’s invention of ‘yaghtschip’ racing, sailing is now a global sport boasting a huge variety of formats and racing disciplines, and you can get involved in all forms of yachting betting here at William Hill.
Like many sports, interest in sailing reaches its zenith when the vessels involved are flying the five-ringed flag of the Olympic Games. And the sport has been doing exactly that for over a century.
Despite being included as an event in what is considered the first Olympic Games in modern history in Athens in 1896 - also known as the Games of the I Olympiad – a lack of available boats meant the sport would have to wait another four years to hand out its first medals.
Instead, in 1900, an estimated 150 sailors, on 64 boats, from six nations, took part at two venues in France, with gold medals being shared amongst France, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland.
Helene de Pourtales, the New York City-born sailor competing for Switzerland, would go down in history as the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
Top sailing betting events
Of course, in the four years that form an Olympic cycle there are plenty of high-profile events to keep international class sailors from twiddling their thumbs.
Few would argue that the America’s Cup is arguably the most famous sailing race on the water. First raced way back in 1851 in the Isle of Wight, the prestigious event features match races between two sailing yachts, represented by a defending yacht club and a challenging yacht club.
The cup itself, known as the Auld Mug and crafted in 1848, is recognised as the oldest international sporting trophy.
Given the increasing number of challengers vying to take on the defending yacht club for the America’s Cup, its associated qualifying play-offs offer a similarly exciting spectacle and opportunity for sailing betting.
Known previously as the Louis Vuitton Cup and from 2021 as the Prada Cup, competing teams face-off in a round-robin format to decide who will win the privilege of challenging the defending club and host.
Then there’s the Sydney-to-Hobart Race, considered one of the most gruelling yacht races in the world and one of Australia’s most treasured sporting events.
Taking place every year since it began in 1945, sailing begins in Sydney on Boxing Day and the winner is the team to first cross the finishing line 630 nautical miles later in Hobart, Tasmania.
The Tattersall’s Cup is awarded to the winner of the handicap competition, based on the size and sailing dimensions of the yacht, and therefore offering another element to consider in the yachting betting markets.
Back across the pond and the Newport Bermuda Race – often referred to simply as the Bermuda Race - is another high-profile event prime for sailing betting.
Comprising a 635-mile ocean race that takes place every two years in June, the event attracts sailors from all over the world. They compete for the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy and a range of other awards handed out in up to seven other divisions based on the class of the boat.
First held in May 1906, when there were three starting teams, the event now commonly attracts over 150 boats braving the Atlantic conditions and setting sail for Bermuda.
When it comes to ocean racing, no event can compete with the distances involved in The Ocean Race, previously known as the Volvo Ocean Race. Held every four years, the route changes regularly but typically begins in Europe in October and comprises nine or 10 legs, featuring in-port races at stopover cities.
The 2017-18 edition began in Alicante, Spain and concluded in The Hague, Netherlands, taking the seven participating teams nine months over 134 sailing days.
Taking in stopovers in Portugal, South Africa, Australia, China, New Zealand, Brazil, the United States, Wales and Sweden, the overall winners of the gruelling event was China’s Dongfeng Race Team, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier
In 2021, The Ocean Race will once again set sail from Alicante.
Get sailing betting news, analysis and predictions at news.williamhill.com
Due to the varying formats of sailing events, each event will bring with it its own range of sailing betting options and markets.
For example, many international sailing races do not feature one single race winner, but instead – in races where competing yachts are different classes – there are likely to be a range of winners divided into divisions based on handicapping.
Take the example of the Newport Bermuda Race, where the St. David’s Lighthouse division is for cruiser-racing boats featuring predominantly amateur racers, while the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division is for professional racing crews manning lightweight, high-performance boats.
In general, however, you will be able to bet on the ‘line winner’, which will be the first boat to cross the finish line, regardless of boat size and classification. Sailing betting markets will also be available for the handicap division winners.
The Sydney to Hobart’s Tattersall’s Cup is one example where the trophy awarded to the handicap competition winner is more renowned than the award for the overall line honours.
Famously, Wild Oats XI became the first team to claim a historic treble in the same year on the Tasman Sea: claiming a new race record, first past the finish line, and overall winner of the Tattersall’s Cup in 2005, before repeating the incredible feat in 2012.
In the case of the America’s Cup, in addition to being able to bet on the outright winner, you’ll also be able to bet on each individual race within the series. You can be sure to find the latest America’s Cup news, previews and sailing betting tips at news.williamhill.com.
Sailing betting guide
The clue may be in the name, but the America’s Cup has been dominated by one nation since the first ever race in 1851. Back then, a New York Yacht Club vessel by the name of ‘America’ took the maiden title in the Isle of Wight, meaning when the next America’s Cup took place 19 years later in 1870, it would be held across the Atlantic.
The competition wouldn’t leave American shores for another 117 years, which is the incredible length of time it took for a challenger to finally outmanoeuvre the hosts, when Australia’s Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II prevailed 4-3.
Since then, the Auld Mug has found temporary new homes including New Zealand and Switzerland, but the Americans have continued to claw it back on a frequent basis. It’s why you’ll rarely see any American yacht clubs too far from the top of the America’s Cup sailing betting markets.
However, one team to keep an eye on ahead of the next America’s Cup in 2021 is Ben Ainslee’s ambitious project to bring the trophy back to British shores for the first time since 1851.
The British sailing legend and the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time is a former America’s Cup winner – as part of the victorious OTUSA team in 2013.
His Portsmouth-based Ineos Team UK will be hoping to qualify for the 36th America’s Cup, hosted in Auckland following Team New Zealand’s victory over Oracle Team USA in Bermuda in 2017.
William Hill have the latest sailing betting and yachting betting odds and markets.