Yachting or recreational sailing is the specific act of sailing as a sport. Whilst sailing's invention is prehistoric, racing sailing boats has continued to evolve, with the development of recognised classes of racing yachts, from small dinghies up to huge maxi yachts. Most yachting is conducted in salt water, but smaller craft can be - and are - raced on lakes and even large rivers.
Whilst there are many different types of racing vessels, they can generally be separated into the larger yachts, which are larger and contain facilities for extended voyages, and smaller harbour racing craft such as dinghies and skiffs. Dinghy races are conducted on sheltered water on smaller craft, usually designed for crews of between one and three people.
In these races, with identical equipment the sailors best able to make use of the ambient conditions win.
Larger yachts are also raced on harbours, but the most prestigious yacht races are point-to-point long distance races on the open ocean. Bad weather makes such races a considerable test of equipment and willpower just to finish, and from time to time boats and sailors are lost at sea.