All Roads lead to Long Beach

Preparing for Nationals
By Andrew Kerr


With this years Nationals being held at Alamitos Bay YC, August 12th to the 15th the class is looking forward to a top class Championships both on and off the water. 
Ideally your team is sailing it’s best by the time the Nationals start – here are some ideas that can help your team accomplish it’s goals at the biggest event on the class regatta schedule. 

Race as much as you can! 

This sounds obvious but for many fleets the season is relatively short and so there is little time to waste! Whether it is a weekend regatta or a mid week beer can series, the more you get out on the water the better. The old saying that there is no substitute for time on the water could not be more applicable. 

Target key events:

Each fleet has a good schedule to choose from - regional championships are excellent venues to get in the “ Championship mode”. They offer an opportunity to scrimmage against a bigger S20 fleet very often at an unfamiliar location – this might be the SW regional Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, (May 15/ 16) or the Eastern regional championships on lake Lanier,


 (March 27/ 28), the District Championships at the Camellia Cup regatta on Folsom Lake – April 3rd & 4th or Eugene YC’s Memorial day regatta – May 29th & 30th. 

Big events that will also be of immeasurable help to your Long Beach effort include the just sailed WD Schock memorial, California YC’s race week regatta (June 5/ 6) and the not to be missed North Sails Race Week, (June 26/ 27). At North Sails race week the S20’s will race out of Alamitos Bay YC and this will be the perfect pre nationals tuning regatta for the class.

Former class president Bruce Golison and the Golison family host the event which over the years has built a reputation as truly a world-class regatta. 
This years North sails race week will also be the venue for the Western regional championships and will offer great competition and social events afterwards. For more information go to:

It will be an event that will help give your team the practice and racing it needs at the championship venue and will be the essential ingredient in your team’s Nationals preparation. 




Events like the ones we have mentioned (and there are others) give your team great exposure to bigger fleet S20 sailing and great opportunities to practice and refine your techniques.
The class prides itself on being completely open and welcoming with information, assistance and answers to questions so don’t hold back if you have any reservations about any aspect of your participation– we want you to participate and get the most out of your sailing experience. The unique spirit and camaraderie of the class is what keeps most of us coming back for more. This spirit is embodied at the nationals, which is a great unification of fleets and people from all over the country. 
For more information on events and the Nationals please go to the class web site – and click on the 2004 regatta schedule. There is also a special section for the Nationals with a Notice of race/ entry form and information on housing and the area. 

Keep notes at each event: 

Your note book can help log all that you have learnt – wind speed, direction, things to improve on, favored side of the course, Weather trends, things to work on etc. Particularly at North sails race week (and all the events) be sure to keep good notes, these will help you a lot come Nationals time.

  Set up a practice schedule and remember the performance pyramid! 

This can come in many forms depending on your teams schedule and availability - you may for example use your weekly beer can race to try out a particular maneuver or new technique – be it with a starting repertoire, sail trim or boat handling.
The thing to remember is that your boat handling is at the base of your performance pyramid – and with out it your boat speed and tactics will not work. Tack and jibe and round marks as much as you can. Set buoys and round them, do as many practice starts as you can – all the best tactics in the world will be for naught if your team for instance cannot tack well and with confidence. 

Be wary of practicing things you are good at – it’s easily done! Key in on things that are weaker elements – be they jibe sets, starts, light air sailing – what ever you identify - each team’s are different and unique. 

The Unique experience of the Nationals: 

Whether you are a first time Nationals participant or a veteran of 25 of them don’t miss the unique opportunity to sail in this years championships in Long beach – the top sailing, the friendships made and renewed and the great camaraderie of the S20 class will make it an experience that is not to be missed. All roads will indeed lead us to long Beach – see you there!!