If one of your goals for the coming season is to become part of an active racing crew on the bay, Shore Sails Annapolis will help make the process easier with a new crew-training seminar set for Saturday at 10 a.m.
"We get a lot of calls from people who are interested in crewing on a racing boat but don't really know where to go or how to go about getting started," said Shore general manager Kevin Ryman, who will lead the seminar, assisted by production manager Jeff Reidle.
"We're trying to gear the seminar as an introductory look at what you can expect when you get on someone's racing sailboat, and how that's different from just going out sailing."
Topics to be covered include crew responsibilities, the sequence of a race and a start including signals and times, the configuration of courses, and sail changes at turning marks.
Ryman expects there also will be a hefty question-and-answer period to wrap up the session.
There are no prerequisites in terms of experience, and the seminar, which will last about two hours, is free. The seminar will be held in the Shore Annapolis loft, at Yacht Haven, 326 First St. in the Eastport section of Annapolis, fronting on Spa Creek.
Reservations are requested, because space is limited. Ryman said plenty of space is still available, however, for those who call ahead.
For information or reservations, call Shore Sails Annapolis at (410) 268-6501 or (410) 269-8998.
Check out new sails
You saw them at the America's Cup in San Diego, and you've been seeing more of them out on the water close to home.
One of the latest developments on the sail-making front, for cruising and racing, is the asymmetrical spinnaker. Sobstad Sailmakers Chesapeake will offer a seminar on these new sails on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the loft at 951 Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis.
Asymmetrical spinnakers have been popular for some time as cruising sails, because they can be much easier to handle, particularly with a small crew, than a traditional chute.
Because they are tacked to the bow, or to a retractable telescoping pole, and are controlled with a single pair of sheets ,, like a genoa, handling asymmetrical spinnakers can be far less intimidating and labor-intensive than using a traditional sail.
Now asymmetricals are coming into their own on race courses, too. The team at Sobstad, which designed and built numerous asymmetricals and other sails for the victorious America3 effort in San Diego last year and is among the world leaders in the development of these sails, will share what it has learned about asymmetricals at the seminar, titled "Get to the Bottom Mark: Concepts of Downwind Speed."
Led by moderator David Flynn, the seminar will take the form of a panel discussion featuring America's Cup veterans Larry Leonard and Per Andersson, and top sailors Tad Hutchins and Jahn Tihansky.
They will discuss the lessons learned from their efforts for America3, talk about the latest thinking coming out of Sobstad's Whitbread design program, and answer questions as they explain what makes these sails work, how they are used, and what they will and will not do.
Topics to be covered include determining the correct downwind tacking angle, use of instruments downwind, target boat speed, steering downwind, refined spinnaker trim techniques, and control issues such as oscillations and broaches.
Performance cruisers and racers alike will be interested in attending the seminar, which costs $10 and requires prior reservations. Beer, soda and munchies will be provided.
For more information, call Sobstad Chesapeake, (410) 268-1161 or (410) 269-0333.
Navy dominates regatta
The Naval Academy's Intercollegiate Sailing Team came on strong last weekend at St. Mary's College in Southern Maryland to dominate that school's Laser Invitational Regatta.
The five Navy sailors entered took all five of the top places in the 10-race series.
Winning the event was junior Eric Naranjo, with 16 points, with senior Mark Nelson second with 30 and Jeff Whiteway, also a senior, in third with 35.
Navy sailors also won the Area C Dinghy Eliminations at Old Dominion University by a single-point margin over Georgetown when the A Division team of juniors Carl Smit and Christa Richardson were second in their class and fellow juniors Charles Smith and Sean Fujimoto were second in B Division. Host Old Dominion was third.
Farther afield, freshman sailors Nick Cromwell and Jenny-Marie Greenough were second and fourth, respectively, in the 15-entry fleet at the Freshman Invite Regatta at Kings Point, N.Y. That event was won by Kings Point.