Perfect Circle Racing; training and Certification for Sailboat Racers

Site Contents:

PC Racing


Learning Resources


Join PC Racing

Why PC Racing?


Sailing Scenarios

Top Mark Rounding System

Top Mark Spinnaker Set

Schock 35 'Perfect Circle'

Learn More about Racing


Level of Involvement Desired:


Top Mark 2005 Nationals - in 1st Place
The excitement at the top mark in Long Beach, 2005 Schock Nationals . (click on photo for larger image)

Perfect Circle Racing Learning Resources

A large part of Perfect Circle Racing is about education and training. There is nothing magic about competing in a high end racing program, but it does require a different skill set than most people poses. The best crew are those who are committed to excellence, able to work well in a team, and are always trying to learn more about their job.

Schedule a Class

If you are interested in attending an On the Water class, please call or email Fred ( or 619.342-0477) and let him know in which class you are interested, and your availability (after work or on weekends), and he will schedule the next class. Then download Definitions and Terminology and make sure you understand all the terminology used on a sailboat.

Become Certified

First download Definitions and Terminology and make sure you understand these terms. Then call Fred at 619.342-0477 and tell him you want to be certified. He will discuss with you your knowledge and experience, and either recommend additional training, or schedule you for your certification test. The Certification tests include a short written test, an oral test, and a practical on the water test. Upon completion, you will be issued a certification certificate.

learning Resources

Definitions and Terminology
Necessary for every racing crew. Everyone on board must know the words used to communicate. Review this list and make sure you understand each term.

Available Classes

Sailboat Racing 101
Learn or review Sailboat rigging (including spinnakers), sail handling, maneuvers, crew positions, how to be a good crew, how to be a good skipper, and more.
Spinnaker Handling
For both new and experienced sailors, this session will cover basic and advanced techniques to manage a spinnaker including rigging, setting, dousing and jibing.
Starting with speed and position, on time
Buddy Melges’s tactics are “Start First and Increase Your Lead”. This session will cover the “Start First” portion. If there is interest, we may partner with Oceanside Yacht Club and put on an “on the water” starting clinic.
Sail Trim
Learn the in’s and out’s of sail trim including: how to trim your main and jib for acceleration mode, as well as high speed mode; how to trim a chute in very light air; why the pole is a primary trimming control, and more.
Driving Downwind
Once of the most difficult tasks in sailing is driving a boat downwind for both speed and safety. This session is for helmsmen who want to improve their abilities, and sail their boat safely.
Tactics for Windward Leeward races
Analyze the Windward/Leeward race format and the tactics required to get ahead of your competition. Learn the most important maneuvers so you can make the most of your practice time.
Tactics/Strategy for Distance Races
Analyze the distance race format and the strategies required to finish first. Learn about weather and the trigonometry to decide if going out for more wind will actually help you to finish faster or not.
Setting up a Racing Program
Learn how to set up a successful racing program. What you should expect, what your crew should expect, how to select and train crew, what races should be added to your schedule, when to buy sails, and much more.
Getting Comfortable with the Racing Rules
A breakdown of the Racing Rules to allow you to feel comfortable sailing close to other boats and racing with the big boys. Learn which rules are very important, and which ones are not so important.
Helmsmanship 101
Learn how to drive a boat for performance. Improve your ability to drive upwind, on a reach, and downwind. Learn how to pick up time and position when rounding both top and bottom marks. Learn how to make VMG work to your advantage. Learn how to set and use Polars to get more speed from your boat.
Anchoring – what Chapman’s doesn't tell you
OK, not really a racing topic, but occasionally you will want to anchor in that nice quiet cove and feel comfortable you can go to sleep and not end up on the rocks.
Other Seminars
If you have any other topic you would like discussed, please email your suggestions to, and Fred will try to find an expert to make a presentation.

Pictorial Sequences

Top Mark Rounding
This shows a Top Mark rounding. Click on each picture to enlarge it, and look closely at the position of the sails and crew as the rounding is being performed.
Top Mark Spinnaker Set
This shows a Top Mark Spinnaker Set. Click on each picture to enlarge it, and look closely at the position of the sails and crew as the set is being performed.

The Schock 35 "Perfect Circle" rounding a bottom gate. (click on photo for larger image)

Specializing in Business Automation - Phone: 800.373-0240
San Diego: (619) 817-8440; New York: 212.292-8245; Florida: 904.302-5672; Los Angeles: (310) 395-5127

Please support our sponsor: Mentor Business Group
Do you know a business who needs to raise money and desires to improve? Mentor Business Group can help.
Please contact them on the web: Mentor Business Group; via Email:
New York: (203) 826-8075; Florida: (904) 302-5673; California: (619) 342-0475