North Sails LOFT NEWS

Story Contributors: Perry Lewis


North Sails Expert Allan Terhune Explains Race Course Tactics

Sudden snow and winter winds didn’t stop sailors from gathering for the first of three winter North Sails seminars this past Wednesday. North Sails Expert Allan Terhune shared his knowledge of race course tactics to a full house at Columbia Yacht Club. He noted the importance of good boat communication and  practising starts, among others things, and he made sure to touch on key differences and similarities between One Design and Mixed Fleet racing. Seminar attendee Nicole Scardigno shares how Allan’s tips will help her on the race course this season.

What did you hope to learn from the Race Course Tactics seminar?

When you have not been sailing for a few months you start to lose knowledge of sailing.  During the summer it is repetitive, but during the winter months its nice to have ways to stay sharp when you can’t be on the water.

What was something you weren’t expecting to learn but did.

Mental Tactics: I have been on boats where the captain/owner was a screamer and didn’t really care about he/she treated you. There was just a very bad vibe.  I once was doing a delivery back from a very prestigious race and the captain was yelling and was so mentally and verbally abusive that I was about to take my PFD off and slide into the cold waters.

How will what you learned help you in the upcoming sailing season?

Starting. There have always been problems with the start on EVERY single boat I have sailed on.  Pinging the starting line and so forth. I have sailed on some very big programs when I lived out in Newport and the professional sailors who are paid couldn’t get it.

Tell us about how you got into sailing and what you’re currently racing.

I moved back to Chicago in the spring of 2018 and got involved right away with the Chicago sailing community. I have many friends who work for North so I am extremely excited when there is a training or if I can get one of my friends out on a boat to just explain everything better regarding the sails.

In Chicago, I am currently on Free Agent (Schock 35) and a few others. I help when someone needs extra hand or when the boat that I am on isn’t doing a race or beer can and I hop onto another boat. When I am in Newport, RI I sail on Jambo (First 40), Raven, International210 and a few others over 40 meters. 

I started in Newport, RI learning out of Sail Newport in 2013 on brand new J22’s donated by Ron O’Hanley who was CEO of Fidelity at the time, Ensigns, Rhodes 19, Shields, Herreshoff.  He also has a program the boats name is Privateer and they are a Cookson 50 w/ Canting Keel. I have raced on the boat many times… Sailed on so many different types of boats when I lived out there.  

A big thank you to the 90 sailors who came out to learn valuable tips for the upcoming season. Come talk sailing with us this winter! We look forward to seeing everyone soon at the upcoming seminars.

Story Contributors

Event Spotlight: Race Course Tactics with Allan Terhune headshot
Perry Lewis

Sail Expert — Chicago, Illinois

Perry grew up family cruising in Chicago and around the Great Lakes. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a Math degree, he spent three years working on race boats before starting at North Sails in Pewaukee, WI. He...

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