Sail Trim & Boat Speed

If you are looking to improve your sail trim and sail faster then the American Sailing Performance Racing Seminars powered by North U are for you. Taking place all across North America, these in-person seminars involve a full day of classroom-based instruction. The interactive presentations are taught by experienced North U sailing coaches.
SAT • JAN 20, 2024
Vancouver, BC
SUN • FEB 04, 2024
Indianapolis, IN
SAT • APR 06, 2024
Nepean, ON
SAT • APR 27, 2024
Denver, CO
Interested in other locations? Find Out More >
“I had the privilege of attending a sail trim seminar and wanted to express my gratitude for such a great program. The information, the instructor, and the materials were first-rate, and our boat will be faster this year because of it.” ~ Doug N. from Bellingham WA
“The instructors grasp of the material and informal manner put the class at ease and allowed for great interaction. Tremendous knowledge and entertaining too!“ ~ J Franklin



Why Attend A Seminar?

In-person seminars offer personal interaction with instructors. You can ask questions, seek clarifications, and get feedback tailored to your needs and skill level. Seminars also provide an opportunity to engage with the sailing community and make connections with other local sailors.

What Will I Learn?

This Sail Trim & Boat Speed seminar covers sail trim on all points of sail. Upwind topics include jib trim, mainsail trim, and helming. Downwind courses cover symmetric and asymmetric spinnakers as well as tips for those who sail under jib and main only. See below for more information.

Who Should Take This Seminar?

This seminar is geared toward sailors of all levels. It teaches you how to improve your sail trim so that you can sail faster. You can use your newfound speed to beat a fleet of one-design boats to the finish line or simply to reach your cruising destination faster.

Powered by North U

North U has been the leader in performance sailing courses since 1980. Their programs offer the latest in sailing techniques in an engaging interactive format that makes the course fun and effective. North U seminars feature great instructors – expert sailors with years of teaching experience.


Sailing efficiently upwind - against the force that drives us - is a marvel of modern design. This seminar provides you with a fundamental understanding of the forces behind upwind sailing as well as nuances of trim to optimize upwind performance.

Upwind topics include mainsail and jib trim, helming, and a special "Trim Solutions" section to solve the most baffling problems in upwind performance. The curriculum shows how angle of attack, depth, and twist combine to control upwind power, and how to change trim to improve performance. The interactive Sail Trim Simulator allows you to see how changes in sail controls change sail shape and performance, while video clips show real-life trim and performance techniques.


Sailing Downwind

Sailing downwind is easy. Optimizing downwind performance is tricky. The downwind sail trim courses cover both symmetric and asymmetric spinnakers and show how the coordinated efforts of the full team provide subtle but critical improvements in downwind performance.

You'll learn how to control and optimize spinnaker shape with refinements that take you beyond the basics. You'll also learn how to coordinate trim, helm, and crew weight to sail faster, deeper, and with more control.

We also cover differences in design and trim techniques that distinguish symmetric and asymmetric trim. Plus we cover non-spinnaker trim for those who like to sail under jib and main only.



  • The Racing Pyramid
  • Performance Analysis
Upwind Sail Trim
  • Theory in Brief
  • Goal Oriented Trim
  • Genoa Trim
  • Mainsail Trim
  • Helmsmanship
  • Target Boat speed
  • Total Power Trim
  • Trim, Speed, Balance
  • Trim Solutions
Symmetric Spinnaker Trim
  • Initial Spinnaker Trim
  • Reaching Trim
  • Running Trim
  • Light Air Performance
  • Heavy Air Control
  • Pole Height & Spinnaker Shape
Asymmetric Spinnaker Trim
  • Initial Asymmetric Trim
  • Reaching Trim
  • Running Trim
  • Tackline Settings
Jib and Main Trim
  • Jib Reaching
  • Running Trim


The simulator models upwind trim and performance as never before. Years in development, the simulator uses the power of the North Sails Design Suite to model upwind trim and performance with unprecedented accuracy – in both the depiction of sail shape and performance data. Adjust every control. View from every angle. Test in a full selection of wind speeds and sea states. See the results.



The North U Performance Trim book gives complete coverage to upwind and downwind sail trim and boat handling, including mainsail and genoa trim, helming, and the trim and handling of both conventional and asymmetric spinnakers. Learn how the angle of attack, depth, and twist affect performance. See how changes in pole position change spinnaker shape. Understand your options for spinnaker takedowns. Special sections including boat handling skills and drills show you how to turn your crew into a team. Packed with illustrations, written to be read, the 208-page book will teach you techniques to sail faster.

The North U Performance Trim and North U Performance Racing Tactics books are NOT included in the registration fee, and will not be available to buy in person at the seminar. We strongly recommend you order any books in advance from the American Sailing Online Store.

SAVE 15% + FREE SHIPPINGWhen you register for the seminar be sure to include one or both North U Performance Sailing Textbooks and SAVE 15% plus all orders in the United States also qualify for FREE SHIPPING.


To complement the in-person seminars we are offering attendees the option to also own the online classes. Get instant access to these on-demand classes when you register and prepare for your seminar today. Plus you'll have unlimited access so after the seminar is over you have the opportunity to review topics as often as you need.

SAVE 75% + INSTANT ACCESSWhen you register for the seminar be sure to choose one or both North U Performance Sailing Online Classes and SAVE 75%! Your confirmation email will contain instructions on how to access the on-demand classes instantly!




Bill Gladstone is the Director of the North U Performance Division of American Sailing. He is the author and creator of books, seminars, online classes, and clinics. Bill’s racing experience covers the spectrum, including everything from dinghies to maxis, ponds to oceans, and foredeck to helm. Bill has been teaching sailing and racing for over forty years throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Graduates of his seminars and clinics number in the tens of thousands. They are winning races and cruising with confidence the world over.

Andrew Kerr - North U Instructor/Coach


A veteran North U Seminar leader, Andrew combines outstanding teaching skills with practical real-world insights derived from his championship experience as both skipper and crew. Andrew is a winner at every level – from dinghies to small and large keelboats, round-the-buoys, and over distance, in local, national, and world championships. His racing prowess combined with his easy, approachable teaching style have earned him renown as a seminar leader.
Dave Perry - North U Instructor/Coach


Dave has been actively working in the sport of sailing since 1977 and was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2020. Dave’s racing prowess is but the half of it. He is a masterful instructor and coach with decades of experience training and mentoring sailors. He has led hundreds of seminars and has been an author and instructor for the North U Rules & Tactics seminars for many years.


Mark has served as U.S. Coach for three World Championship teams and is a former US Olympic Sailing Coach. He is renowned as among the world’s finest seminar leaders. Mark has taught literally hundreds of seminars and clinics to sailing groups of every description. His racing clinics have been held in five countries worldwide.