Introduction to Sailboat Racing

A short FREE version of this class will be held on Wednesday evening, September 10.

The class will be from 6:45 pm to 9 pm at the Tempe Police Department Apache Substation at 1855 E Apache Parkway, near McClintock (map). Please fill out the form at the bottom of this page to register to attend.

Questions? Please contact Mike Ferring.

We will not hold the usual on-the-water class in 2014, but may resume the full class in 2015.

Racing a sailboat is a kick. It combines the fun of sailing your boat with the raw competition of trying to beat someone else in a similar boat. Racing also teaches you boat handling and sail trim in a way that no amount of cruising could—by comparing your speed and handling side-by-side with other boats.

True, the first time you see a sailboat race, you may think it’s too complicated and chaotic (it can be both). But like anything else new, you can grow into it step-by-step. This is designed to let you take a bunch of steps all at once.

“I enjoyed it and learned a ton! You guys make great instructors.” — Ryan Kroelinger, 2013 Introduction to Sailboat Racing student.

Who should take the class: Anyone who would like to sharpen sailing skills or sink your teeth into the excitement of sailboat racing. Even if you’ve raced before, you’ll probably learn new things about rules, tactics and procedures. Even if you only intend to crew or simply want to understand the game, you’re welcome in this class.

Class description: This short, evening version of the class will familiarize you with AYC race procedures and offer a crash course in, well, racing and not crashing.

Course Content Includes:

  • Race Procedures: Race Documents, Entry, Check-in, Starts, Courses, Finish, Scoring, Race Committee Responsibilities, Protests
  • Rules: Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016, including when boats meet, complying with race procedures, and avoiding incidents
  • Tactics: Starts, Upwind Tactics, Downwind Tactics, Mark Roundings, Wind Shifts, and Finishes

Because of limited time, the class can not include sections on making your boat go faster or on boat-handling, both of which are essential to winning races. But we can help.

Class meetings: One classroom session for 2 1/4 hours at the Tempe Police Department Apache Substation at 1855 E Apache Parkway, near McClintock (map).

Sailboats racing at Tempe Town LakePrerequisites: None required.

Tuition: Free

Instructors: Mike and Maryellen Ferring, both US Sailing Small Boat Instructors, originated the course and have taught it for about seven years. Mike is also a certified powerboat instructor and has been a US Sailing-certified club race officer. They race a C14 at Tempe Town Lake and a J/80 at Lake Pleasant. They’ve won the Sport Boat fleet championship and before that won four out of the previous five PHRF Non-Spin season championships and a C14 fleet championship.

Introduction to Sailboat Racing Instructor Mike FerringContact Instructor Mike Ferring by email



Arizona Sailing Foundation

Register For the Free Class Here

Introduction to Sailboat Racing

A free evening seminar on getting started in the sport.
  • Please offer a very brief description of your experience and plans for sailboat racing to help us plan the class content.
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