The time is now to register for the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association's annual Performance Racing Seminar, set for Feb. 26 and 27.
The event always fills up fast, and space in the Humanities Building at Anne Arundel Community College is limited, so this year, especially when guest speakers include John Kolius and Dave Flynn, reserving early can make the difference between disappointment and better race results in the spring.
Kolius, one of the world's premier racers, holds titles in everything from dinghies to maxis, including a silver medal in Solings in the 1976 Olympics. He is a two-time International 50s World Champion, two-time J/24 World Champion and winner of countless class and fleet prizes worldwide.
Kolius also is noted for his teaching skills. His clinics and Top Gun schools have trained thousands of sailors. At the last America's Cup, Kolius served as coach for the Italian challengers aboard Il Moro di Venezia. This is his fourth year teaching in the national Performance Racing Seminar series.
Flynn, based in Annapolis, has combined plenty of victories on the Chesapeake with wins at Key West Race Week, Block Island Race Week, SORC, Chicago-Mackinac and more in classes ranging from J/29s, J/30s, J/35s and J/44s, to MORC Level 30s and IOR Fifties.
The sessions can be taken separately, to focus on either Saturday's tactics discussions or Sunday's boat speed and sail trim topics, or they may be combined.
Each participant will receive a copy of the new third edition of "Performance Racing Technique," considered one of the most complete books on modern racing.
Cost is $75 per day for skippers taking individual sessions, or $125 for the two-day package. Crew members can attend for $60 per day or $100 for the weekend.
For those who cannot attend, the book is available for $25, including postage.
Topics to be covered in the Saturday session, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., include the racing hierarchy; starting prep, strategy, approaches and rules; upwind strategy, wind shifts and positioning; upwind tactics, attack, defense and rules; downwind strategy and positioning on reaches and runs, tacking angles and shifts; downwind tactics including offense and defense, positioning for advantage and rules; and topics such as mark roundings, distance racing and strategy by the numbers.
On Sunday, in a session running from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., subjects will include trim concepts for performance, shape and control; genoa trim in terms of selection, shape, controls and technique for extended range; mainsail shape and controls; spinnaker trim, refinements and trim for special conditions; helmsmanship for trim, balance and speed upwind and downwind; spinnaker sets, gybes and douses; instrument sailing using polars, targets and performance, and a wrap-up segment on putting it all together to save valuable seconds per mile.
To register, call CBYRA, (410) 269-1194; or fax name, address, MasterCard/Visa information and sessions desired to CBYRA to (410) 263-0839; or write Performance Racing Seminar, c/o CBYRA, 612 Third St., Suite 201, Annapolis, Md. 21403.
More seminars scheduled
The West River Sailing Club in Galesville will look at the Chesapeake Bay and the environment in the next part of its winter seminar series at 2 p.m. next Saturday with Hank and Peg Burroughs.
The free seminar is open to the public and is preceded by a chili lunch at 1 p.m. For information, call Donna Schlegel, (410) 867-2775.
* The series at West Marine in the Hillsmere Shopping Center on Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis continues with author Brion Toss on "Rigs & Rigging" at 7 p.m. Tuesday. On Feb. 22, West Marine technical adviser Chuck Hawley will discuss ground tackle and safety solutions. An admission of $5 will be charged for those two sessions.
Also at West Marine, Harvey Smith of Annapolis Marine Diesel will present "How a Diesel Engine Works, Part II" at 7 p.m. Thursday, with Pat Kearns of Marine Associates discussing "Demystifying the Marine Survey" on Feb. 24. Both sessions are free. For information, call (410) 268-0129.
* At Fawcett Boat Supplies on City Dock, future free sessions include factory rep Don Beck on Raritan waste treatment systems at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. On Feb. 22, manufacturer's rep Kevin Williams will discuss Simpson Lawrence windlasses and anchors, and Ancor wiring and terminals.
Refreshments will be served. Advance reservations are not required, but calling ahead to make sure the schedule is not changed is advisable -- (410) 267-8681.