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The Hamilton Regatta watches are built for sailors participating in racing. Unlike a race car, sailboats or yachts don't have brakes and don't run on solid ground. So they can't move up to a starting line, all in a row and and "start their engines".
Established before each race there are starting procedures. These procedures spell out how much time they have before their race starts...For example the Navy Regatta Alarm has built into it timers for three starting procedures, 10min, 7min and 5min..If you are in a 7 minute starting procedure race, you start your timer when they give you the signal. During this 7 minutes you are sailing around BEHIND the starting line with the other boats in your race. You make several dashes in the direction of the starting line without crossing it so you can get an idea of your speed. Having an idea of your speed you try to get in a position to make a run at the starting line as close to the end of 7 minutes as you can...The best you can do is hit the starting line exactly when the gun goes off(when your timer hits zero)...A little before and you will have time added to your race as a penalty.....hit it later and you are at risk of others hitting it before you and getting a better start.
So as you can see, that 7 minutes (or whatever other procedure they use) is a very important part of the race. And a watch is an extremely important part of a sailors toolbox.
 
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