North U J/109 Starting Clinic at BIRW

North SailsThere will be a J/109 Starting Clinic held Sunday, June 18, 2017 – the day before the North American Championship starts at Block Island Race Week.

The Storm Trysail Club Race Committee will be calling the practice starts for the North U Starting Clinic on Sunday, June 18 to be conducted by North U Director Bill Gladstone – using the on-the-water schedule in the attached PDF “J/109 Starting Clinic at 2017 BIRW” of Clinic details. The Clinic will have 12 practice starts. This will give us the best possible practice for the starting challenges we’ll face on Monday. Videography will be from a support boat and from a drone stationed about 150 feet up, off to one side of the line, to give us excellent views of all the boats. The videos will be reviewed with Bill Gladstone after practice and available to all participants for use in preparing for future regattas.

Bill Gladstone will email two documents to those registered for the Clinic: Starting Techniques for Big Fleets; and Clinic Drills and Procedures. On Sunday morning, June 18, Bill will hold a whiteboard discussion (attendance not required) of big fleet starting tips and techniques, and describe his plans for the afternoon’s on-the-water practice.

Bill, the author of the North U Racing Trim, and North U Racing Tactics books, is well suited to conduct this Clinic. He’s taught sailing and racing for over forty years. Thousands of sailors are graduates of his seminars.

Consider registering now for this Clinic. You and your crew will receive Bill’s Starting Techniques for Big Fleets; and Clinic Drills and Procedures by Wednesday, June 14. This will give skippers and crews time to study them before practice – things get busy before a big regatta. You can click this link to register: with a single $175 fee per boat before 11 June, and $225 per boat thereafter. You don’t have to list all your crew members – you can forward Bill’s documents when you get them. Many of us know the devastating consequences of a bad start in a large one design fleet. The more J/109s registered for the Clinic, and the more homework done before practice, the more effective the training will be for everyone.

  • Pre-Brief 10:00 – 11:00
  • Sailing 12:30 – 3:30
  • Debrief 4:30 – 6:00


– Clinic Plan & Info to be distributed via email.

10:00 – 11:00 Pre-Brief at BI Maritime Center
A Pre-Brief will be held at Block Island Maritime Center. Clinic Plan & Info to be distributed via email in the weeks prior.

12:30-3:30 On the Water

– 3 Rolling 5 minute starts.
– Start 1: Hold lane, race to ladder rung (~1 min)
– Start 2: Hold lane, race to ladder rung (~1 min)
– Start 3: ~ 10 minute Windward Leeward Race
Finish with leeward gate rounding

REPEAT this “3 Rolling Starts” 4 times for a total of 12 starts.
– On-the-Water Coaches will provide live feedback over VHF between races
– We will also be shooting video for later review

4:30-6:00 (Optional) Debrief and Video Review at BI Maritime Center (Next to Dead Eye Dick’s)

– Review Video
– Observations
– Q & A

The clinic will be conducted by North U Director Bill Gladstone and other North U Regatta Services Coaches.

Fee: $175 per boat before 11 June, $225 per boat thereafter

Registration: Sign Up at or by calling Fran or Bill at North U: 203 245-0727

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