Dive into the World of Sailing with Dave Perry: Master the Racing Rules and Learn Winning Tactics

By: American Sailing, Elearn, Event, Inside Sailing, Learn To Sail, North U, online course, Sailing Races

If you’ve ever found yourself captivated by the thrill of sailboat racing, you know that understanding the rules and mastering racing tactics is crucial for success. Dave Perry, is an expert on sailing racing rules and tactics, and American Sailing has brought him in to help you with two online classes :

» Rules You Need To Know Around The Race Course [AVAILABLE ON DEMAND]:
An online class that will help you master racing rules and improve your sailing performance.

» Winning Tactics Around The Race Course [LIVE · TUE JULY 9 & 11, 2024]:
An online class covering boat-on-boat tactics to help you elevate your racing game.

Dave Perry: From Junior Sailor to Sailing Legend

Dave Perry’s journey into the world of sailing began in his childhood. Born into a family passionate about sailing, with a father who was an avid sailor and racer, Perry grew up in Southport, Connecticut, where sailing was a major local sport. He honed his skills through the junior sailing program at the Pequot Yacht Club, and his talent blossomed during his time with the Yale Sailing Team, where he captained the National Championship Team and earned All-American honors twice.

The invention of the Laser class sailboat coincided with Perry’s college years, leading him to a decade of intense competition that saw him rise to fifth in the world rankings. His dedication culminated in two near-miss campaigns for the U.S. Olympic Team, narrowly missing out in 1984 to a team that went on to win the gold medal.

The Birth of an Online Teaching Passion

Perry’s love for the tactical aspect of sailing and his passion for teaching naturally led him to create online classes. The pandemic in 2020 accelerated this transition to virtual learning, providing an ideal platform for Perry to share his expertise with a wider audience. “When people are improving and learning more about something, they perform better and enjoy it more,” Perry explains. His goal is to help sailors of all levels improve their skills and enjoy the sport to its fullest.

Navigating Tactical Challenges

One common challenge sailors face, Perry notes, is the multitasking required during a race. “Often the person driving the boat is also looking around and trying to make all the tactical decisions. This just doesn’t work,” he says. Effective delegation and anticipation are key skills that Perry emphasizes in his teachings. He illustrates this with scenarios like the starting line, where timing and positioning can make or break a race. Perry teaches sailors to assess situations and make tactical moves at the optimal moment.

The Edge of Tactical Mastery

What sets successful sailors apart, according to Perry, is their ability to think ahead and stay comfortable in their boats. Knowing the racing rules inside out also gives a competitive edge. Perry uses clear visual aids and real-life examples to teach these concepts, ensuring that sailors of all experience levels can grasp and apply them effectively.

A Proven Track Record in Coaching

Throughout his coaching career, Perry has seen many sailors make significant strides in their tactical understanding and performance. He fondly recalls helping sailors at his home club, Pequot Yacht Club, who have gone from novices to top competitors, sometimes even challenging Perry himself in races.

Course Highlights

In “Rules You Need To Know Around The Race Course,” Perry explains the differences between racing rules and the COLREGS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea). Participants can learn about the rights and obligations of each boat on the starting line, during upwind and downwind legs, and around marks. Perry also covers the penalty system in sailboat racing.

Key Learning Points:

  • Understanding “right-of-way” and “keep clear” rules.
  • Learning the meanings of terms like “proper course,” “obstruction,” and “mark-room.”
  • Knowing when contact between boats is penalized.
  • Taking alternative penalties during the race.

Topics Covered:

  • The four right-of-way rules
  • Limitations on boats while racing
  • Luffing rights
  • Special rules when rounding marks and passing obstructions
  • Starting line strategies

In “Winning Tactics Around The Race Course,” Perry will cover the boat-on-boat tactics that allow sailors to be successful in their racing, from the starting line, to the upwind and downwind legs, and around the marks. Participants will learn successful tactical decision-making when near other boats, whether racing one-designs or under a handicap scoring system.

Key Learning Points:

  • Starting line strategies and tactics for getting a great start.
  • How to make strategic decisions to maintain right-of-way and optimize boat speed and position.
  • How to maneuver your boat to gain a tactical advantage over nearby competitors and effectively manage boat speed and direction.
  • Learn crucial tactics for passing boats at the marks.

Topics Covered:

  • Building and defending your hole on the starting line
  • How to avoid “barging”
  • When to lee-bow and when to duck a starboard-tack boat
  • How to defend from getting rolled on the reaches and runs
  • How to get around the marks without fouling other boats
  • How to use windshifts to pass boats upwind

Both of these two-part class series are designed for any sailor entering a race, whether as a skipper or crew. By understanding the racing rules and tactics, participants can better anticipate race dynamics and make confident decisions.

Don’t Miss American Sailing’s Upcoming Online Classes With Dave Perry

Rules You Need To Know Around The Race Course

Master boat-on-boat tactics for successful racing—from start to finish line maneuvering.

TUE JUL 9 • THU JUL 11 • 4:30PM PT
Winning Tactics Around The Race Course

Master racing tactics with champion racer Dave Perry in this comprehensive online class series.