Laser: The world’s most popular adult & youth racing class.
The Laser is a single-handed racing dinghy. The biggest attraction of the Laser dinghy is that is protected by the One Design class rules, which means that no changes are allowed to the boat unless they are specifically permitted in the rules. So in theory all Laser boats are the same whether they are brand new or 10 years old, making it the sailor that wins the race, not the boat. The Laser is a challenging boat that rewards athleticism, subtle steering and trimming techniques, as well as tactical excellence. It is a singlehanded Olympic class boat, also sailed at club, national and international levels. With nearly 200,000 boats in 140 countries, it is clearly the world’s most popular adult and youth racing sailboat.
Laser: No fuss, just sailing.
One of the reasons the Laser is so popular the boat’s sheer simplicity. The two-part free-standing mast and sleeved sail make the boat easy to rig and its lightweight hull make it easy to carry and cartop.
Laser: A boat for life
The Laser Formula combines 1 hull with three different rigs: Standard, Radial and 4.7. Young sailors starting out in the 4.7 can move up in rigs as they grow physically and develop tactically, without the need to splash out on a completely new boat. The one-design protection also means that your Laser will never be outdated, which explains why Lasers have such a high resale value.
Finally, a strong class association which actively promotes and drives forward Laser sailing around the globe makes mass production of the Laser viable, keeping the cost of the boats and spares relatively low.
Sunday 7th March – Race Report
Those of you who braved the strong winds on Sunday 7th March deserve to be named.
They were Ian McGregor, Steve Penny, Bruce Walker, Sandy Kiernan, Paul Crouch. There was someone else out there sailing a laser (who hadn’t signed on). He just appeared to be just relaxing in the water, in between gusts. He seemed to be practising righting . Each time he capsized, he was spending a bit more time capsized. We were watching him. I found out later that was Stephen McCurriuch, a new member who is based at Seaforth awaiting a laser rack at Northbridge.
You may be interested to know that no Tasars finished the race.
My excuse was that I was still kicking aside a chesty cough (shouldn’t have sailed last week – sitting out there in the rain, then riding my motor scooter home about 6.30 without getting changed into dries).
But I did enjoy coming down to the club last Sunday, and watching Ian McGregor call starboard on Steve off Beauty Point on the way to the Spit after Start, Powder Hulk, Willis, Sugarloaf, Long Bay. This obviously upset Steve as he fought hard to the Spit arriving a couple of boat lengths behind Ian. Then Ian put the motor on, and Steve’s determination to take Ian on the downwind run, only resulted in a capsize, and then a hole off the bluff – and Ian was clearly in the lead at the Sailors Bay mark. Now it Was Bruce’s turn to use tactics, tacking around the SB mark and heading up the middle of the bay before tacking to starboard and then clearly leaving Steve well behind going up to Powder Hulk for the shorter run back to Sailors Bay. At this stage I was really feeling for Steve as he headed to the Castlecrag side of Sailors Bay, apparently looking for lifts, or oysters. I was hoping that his family weren’t watching as he struggled with the gusts from all angles along THAT northern shore. It was at this point that I predicted Ian Mcgregor 1, Bruce 2, Sandy or Steve 3 and Sandy or Steve 4. But that butcher proved to be a cut above, regaining ground somewhere out of my sight, and coming in second. What drugs did you take on Sunday night to emotionally recover Steve?
So, a number of the lasers were missing on Sunday, and you may now care to submit your excuses, suitably signed and witnessed. ,
I really enjoyed the social aspect of being a spectator, so there is something to which to look forward when the body finally says no more laser sailing. But not for a few years yet…
Now next Sunday we have two races with the final heats 5 and 6 of the Willoughby Shield. Remember all classes start together for each of these two races, so best be at the club a little earlier than usual. 2 races are great, as if you stuff up a start, or any part of the race for that matter, you don’t have to wait til the next week to try again. With all classes together, it is a good idea to review the rules. If you have some doubts about your knowledge of the current rules of sailing, you may well find yourself reminded (vociferously).
And March 21st is a club Championship and the Lasers will be putting on a feast. Steve has already said he would organise the meat, so we have a head start on the annual culinary challenge. So This Sunday I shall be seeking volunteers for various roles to ensure we at least match the other classes in the kitchen. There will be the pres, salads, deserts, breads. The normal core of 4 or 5 to organise supplies, then all hands on deck on the night. Please put your hand up in your area of expertise, making the process of delegation that much easier.
Looking forward to Sunday 14th April. Hope to see a great laser turnout. The starter will lengthen the starting line appropriately.