Racing Strategy, Tactics, and Rules

If you are looking to improve your tactics then the American Sailing Performance Racing Seminars powered by North U are for you. Taking place all across North America, these in-person seminars involve a full day of classroom-based instruction. The interactive presentations are taught by experienced North U sailing coaches.
Full Day, In-Person Seminar
149 / person
Full Day Seminar
Mark Roundings
Live Q&A
Money Back Guarantee*

SAT • JAN 27, 2024


SUN • MAR 24, 2024
Grapevine, TX
SAT • APR 06, 2024
SUN • APR 14, 2024
Park City, UT
SUN • APR 28, 2024
Eugene, OR
SAT • MAY 04, 2024
Lakeside, MT
Interested in other locations? Find Out More >
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“As someone with limited racing experience this seminar was well organized and easy to follow. Having the instructor take time to answer questions was very helpful. ” ~ GJ
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“The instructors grasp of the material and informal manner put the class at ease and allowed for great interaction. Tremendous knowledge and entertaining too!“ ~ J Franklin

Racing Strategy, Tactics, and Rules SEMINARS


Why Attend A Seminar?

In-person seminars offer personal interaction with instructors. You can ask questions, seek clarifications, and get feedback tailored to your needs and skill level. Seminars also provide an opportunity to engage with the sailing community and make connections with other local sailors.

What Will I Learn?

This Racing Strategy, Tactics, and Rules seminar will teach you techniques to improve your performance all the way around the course. We'll cover starts, upwind legs, downwind legs, and mark roundings and for each, we'll break down the strategy, tactics, and rules that will help get you to the podium.

Who Should Take This Seminar?

This seminar is geared toward sailors of all levels. If you're new to racing (or even just thinking about it) this course will introduce you to the basics of how to be competitive. For those more experienced racers, there are plenty of advanced techniques, tips & tricks that you can use to improve your results.

Powered by North U

North U has been the leader in performance sailing courses since 1980. Their programs offer the latest in sailing techniques in an engaging interactive format that makes the course fun and effective. North U seminars feature great instructors – expert sailors with years of teaching experience.


Starts can be chaos. We provide a structure to help you make order out of the frenzy so you’ll get consistently good starts: at speed, on time, near the favored end, and going the right way.

  • Learn how to decide where on the line to start.
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of different starting approaches.
  • Learn how to execute your approach, how to create and defend your space, and how to get off the line with speed.
  • Learn about the rules at the start.
  • Discover techniques for better down-speed boat handling and acceleration that are an important part of making the tactics work.

Upwind Strategy & Tactics

  • Learn the fundamentals of upwind strategy
  • Discover how to predict, and then take advantage of, changing winds and wind shifts.
  • Explore how to respond when you’re unsure of what the wind will do next.
  • See the impact of wind shifts and how your positioning versus rivals can create opportunities to gain while minimizing potential losses.
  • Learn how to position yourself to take advantage of current.
  • Understand tactical positioning across the fleet, and how to attack and defend in one-on-one battles.
  • Learn how the rules impact tactics and understand the risk/reward ratios of tactical and strategic choices.
  • See how the balance of strategic and tactical considerations changes up the beat and throughout the race.
  • Discover techniques to help you catch up as well as how to stay ahead

Downwind Strategy & Tactics

  • Compare how downwind strategies and tactics differ from upwind strategies and tactics.
  • Understand the difference between inside versus outside reaches
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between running versus reaching
  • Learn proper strategy in various wind, wind shift, and current scenarios
  • Understand the importance of wind shifts and how it changes the size of our “playing field"
  • Learn techniques for finding elusive downwind wind shifts, how to predict them, and how to take advantage so you don’t end up “out of bounds.”
  • Find out how ways to respond when you’re unsure of what the wind will do next.
  • Explore ways to position yourself to take advantage of current
  • Get tips for sailing in mixed fleet and multiple fleet racing.

Mark Roundings & Finishing Tactics & Rules

Learn about the options for fast windward mark approaches, leeward mark and leeward gate tactics, and essential mark-room and finishing rules.

  • Review of the Right of Way Rules, Limiting Rules, and Mark Room Rules
  • Apply the rules and explore in detail the rights, obligations, and tactics of windward and leeward mark and gate roundings.
  • Discuss upwind and downwind finishing tactics and rules.
  • Analyze a variety of common scenarios and explore the rights and obligations of each boat as the situations evolve.
  • Gain an understanding of the rules and the rationale behind them that will allow you to quickly assess any situation.


The most complete book on modern racing tactics, North U Performance Racing Tactics takes you all the way around the course. The seventh edition covers tactics, rules, weather, and strategy in 180 information-packed pages. The fast-moving, easy-to-follow format is accessible to all readers. Rules are covered the way you use them – (i.e. upwind rules as part of upwind tactics). The content offers complete information for those new to racing as well as those who already have a lot of experience. Quizzes and skill-building sections show how to develop a race-winning approach.

The North U Performance Trim and North U Performance Racing Tactics books are NOT included in the registration fee, and will not be available to buy in person at the seminar. We strongly recommend you order any books in advance from the American Sailing Online Store.

SAVE 15% + FREE SHIPPINGWhen you register for the seminar be sure to include one or both North U Performance Sailing Textbooks and SAVE 15% plus all orders in the United States also qualify for FREE SHIPPING.


To complement the in-person seminars we are offering attendees the option to also own the online classes. Get instant access to these on-demand classes when you register and prepare for your seminar today. Plus you'll have unlimited access so after the seminar is over you have the opportunity to review topics as often as you need.

SAVE 75% + INSTANT ACCESSWhen you register for the seminar be sure to choose one or both North U Performance Sailing Online Classes and SAVE 75%! Your confirmation email will contain instructions on how to access the on-demand classes instantly!




Bill Gladstone is the Director of the North U Performance Division of American Sailing. He is the author and creator of books, seminars, online classes, and clinics. Bill’s racing experience covers the spectrum, including everything from dinghies to maxis, ponds to oceans, and foredeck to helm. Bill has been teaching sailing and racing for over forty years throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Graduates of his seminars and clinics number in the tens of thousands. They are winning races and cruising with confidence the world over.

Andrew Kerr - North U Instructor/Coach


A veteran North U Seminar leader, Andrew combines outstanding teaching skills with practical real-world insights derived from his championship experience as both skipper and crew. Andrew is a winner at every level – from dinghies to small and large keelboats, round-the-buoys, and over distance, in local, national, and world championships. His racing prowess combined with his easy, approachable teaching style have earned him renown as a seminar leader.
Dave Perry - North U Instructor/Coach


Dave has been actively working in the sport of sailing since 1977. He has led hundreds of seminars and has been an author and instructor for the North U Rules & Tactics seminars for many years.


Mark has served as U.S. Coach for three World Championship teams and is a former US Olympic Sailing Coach. He is renowned as among the world’s finest seminar leaders. Mark has taught literally hundreds of seminars and clinics to sailing groups of every description. His racing clinics have been held in five countries worldwide.