Arajo, D. 1, Davids2, K., Diniz, A. 1.

1- CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Laboratory of Expertise in Sport, Universidade de Lisboa, Cruz Quebrada Dafundo, Portugal,
2- Centre for Sports Engineering Research, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Ecological dynamics of decision-making in the sport of sailing exemplifies emergent, conditionally-coupled, co-adaptive behaviours. In this study, observation of the coupling dynamics of paired boats during competitive sailing showed that decision-making can be modelled as a self-sustained, co-adapting system of informationally coupled oscillators (boats). By tracing the spatial-temporal displacements of the boats, time series analyses revealed that trajectories of match racing boats are coupled more than 88% of the time during a pre-start race, via continuous, competing co-adaptions between boats. Results showed that both the continuously selected trajectories of the sailors, as well as their categorical starting point locations, were examples of emergent decisions. In this dynamical conception of decision-making behaviours, strategic positioning (categorical) and continuous displacement of a boat over the course in match-race sailing emerged as a function of interacting task, personal and environmental constraints.


Duarte Araujo

Ecological Approach of Sport and Sport Education e-session


Photos by : David Rytell