NSW ACT Laser Association

The Original Laser – The Boat That Ian Built

TGIF2An interesting half hour movie of Laser history from 1974 has come to light.

 

It tells the Laser story of Ian Bruce and Performance Sailcraft the company which which he originally formed to produce and market it.

 

The movie shows one of the first ever big fleet Laser regattas held at Association Island, New York on Lake Ontario across the lake from Kingston (with Ian Bruce competing!). The movie has interviews with Ian, Bruce Kirby, and Laser sail designer Hans Fogh along with shots of Lasers being produced in Ian’s factory.

 

There is footage of Hans Fogh helming the prototype Laser in an October 1970 regatta held for boats under $1000 at the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It was called ‘The America’s Teacup Regatta’. Ian and Hans decided to call the prototype the ‘Weekender’ with sail number TGIF, the abbreviation for ‘Thank God It’s Friday’.”

 

The movie is from the National Film Board of Canada archive Here

ILCA World Championships

Zac Littlewood World U21 Champion_380Despite high COVID cases and constraints the 2021 ILCA World Championships have so far been able to run and attract near capacity competitors. Over 800 sailors have competed in the Youth (4.7 and Radial) and the Under 21 Worlds in Europe. ILCA did a great job to pull this off.

 

You have to admire the tenacity of these young sailors navigating COVID exit and entry restrictions and travel difficulties just to be able to compete in these events.

 

Unfortunately due to Australia’s foreign travel ban no Australian sailors have been able to compete in these Youth Worlds events however Australian sailing managed to send two sailors to Under 21 Worlds and are sending Australian Sailing Squad members to the Radial Women’s Worlds in Oman in December and the Men’s Standard Worlds in Barcelona in November.

 

The sole Australian, Zac Littlewood from WA, had a dominant win in the 134 boat fleet in the just completed Under 21 World Championship in Gdynia Poland. Zac posted 5 wins and 2 seconds to win by 23 points. Top Australian Under 21 Women ILCA6 sailor Paige Caldecoat represented us in the U21 Women’s event in Gdynia finishing a creditable 18th in the 57 boat fleet. The full results are Men Women.

 

Travel bans look likely to persist for this year and in any event travel costs are through the roof, so the prospect of Australian sailors competing in the World Masters (Barcelona, November) are bleak. There are 260 entries for the Masters event which in better times might have been near the 400 entry limit.

 

ILCA have announced timing and venues for 2022 World Championships (except for ILCA6 Youth Worlds). Listing of the events is on the ILCA’s web site Here. Australian sailors will hopefully be free to travel to these 2022 events.

COVID Boating Restrictions

Surviving Lockdown

 

COVID restrictions what you can do, what you can’t do and where.

 

It is complicated but at least you can get out on the water in your Laser if you can stick to the exercise rules. These rules are summarised in the NSW Government flyer Here.

 

We understand that, like all the current COVID health orders, the aquatic exercise go/no go rules are being enforced so best to read up before venturing out to avoid State Revenue nabbing the funds you had set aside for a new sail or a hair cut, new PJs and a lockdown’s worth of coffees.

Cancellation of Australian Open & Youth Championship 2022 Fremantle WA

2022 Laser Open_Logo

 

ALCA has announced that with regret, due to ongoing uncertainty about travel logistics and border closures, they have decided to cancel the Laser Australian Open & Youth Championships 1-8 January 2022 in Fremantle WA.

 

ALCA considered delaying the event to later in 2022 however there is no guarantee, with the strict stance taken by the WA Government,  that  this will be possible. ALCA COVID policy requires that sailors from all states and territories can travel quarantine free to and from the event for it to be the National Championship.

 

In place of 2022 Australian Championships each district has been invited to designate an event as the ILCA World Championships selection event. The results from these district events will be interleaved and scaled for size to rank sailors for 2022 ILCA World Championships. The ranking event for NSW & ACT sailors will be the NSW & ACT State Championships 4-5 December at Georges River Sailing Club.

AS Free Michael Blackburn Webinar 7 September

Michael BlackburnMichael Blackburn, three-time Olympic gold medal-winning Laser coach, will talk about the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday 7 September at 7 – 8 pm (AEST).

 

This Australian Sailing webinar is free and open to all. If you are interested in attending the webinar, please register Here.

 

You can see a fine tribute to coach Michael Blackburn by Tom Slingsby Here.

 

 

 

Women’s Regatta Cancelled

Due to the continuing uncertainties of COVID restrictions Double Bay Sailing Club has made the decision to cancel The Women’s Regatta, which was scheduled for 25-26 September 2021.

 

This event has been an important part of DBSC’s aim to support and promote women’s participation in the sport and the ILCA/Laser class. It is an event like no other and will be back when COVID is controlled.

 

Thanks to volunteers and participants who had planned to be part of the event.

 

Womens Regatta_720

Matt Seals Gold in the Medal Race

Matt WinnerMatt Wearn has maintained Australia’s dominance in the Laser Class at the Olympic Games, winning the nation’s third consecutive Gold in the event.

 

Matt overcame a nervous start to the regatta to completely dominate the middle and late stages to have the Gold wrapped up in advance of the Medal Race.

 

Matt had only to “make a genuine effort to start, sail the course and finish” in the medal race to take the gold. He did that with ease sailing conservatively with a come from behind second in the medal race to cement his series win from Croatian Tonci Stipanovic who was also silver medalist in Rio and Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard.

 

“Probably relief,” was his first emotion after securing the Olympic crown. “It has been quite a long journey and a particularly stressful week. It wasn’t the ideal start to a regatta, so I couldn’t have felt better than locking away a gold medal before the Medal Race.”

 

Australian Sailing reports the man behind Australia’s three consecutive Laser gold medals is master coach Michael Blackburn. Michael is a four times Australian Laser Standard Champion and also a World Champion 2006 and bronze Olympic medalist in 2000.

 

“Quite a thrill to get it done early,” Blackburn said before today’s Medal Race. “It has been a goal of mine to have someone win the regatta before the medal race, because the medal races can be a bit iffy sometimes. To get it done in such a good style and quite unexpectedly is quite the thrill.”

 

See photos of Matt and Mara Stransky from World Sailing Here.

 

See Tom Slingsby’s terrific tribute to Matt Wearn and Michael Blackburn Here.

Matt Wearn takes Gold

Matt Wearn is assured of GOLD with a race to spare.  Matt will officially be crowned Olympic Champion when he contests his Medal Race on Sunday as he has an insurmountable 22-point lead after 10 races. The result table is Here.

 

It was a tough day on the water for all. Matt posted a 12 and 8 in the light conditions on Friday (Races 9 and 10) after two wins on Thursday.  Unfortunately for him Cypriot Pavlos Kontides carded a 28th in race 10 which put him out of range of Matt going into the medal race on Sunday. According to the SIs Matt needs only to “make a genuine effort to start, sail the course and finish” in the medal race to take the gold.

 

“It was a tough day of racing, but I am happy to finish off with that. And yeah, I’m going to be a Gold Medallist.”
“I am still processing it myself,” said Matt’s dad Brad Wearn after the final race. “It’s his destiny. This has been his goal since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. We are just so proud of him, he’s pushed himself so hard and has been surrounded by great people along the way.”
Wearn wont be able to celebrate with family tonight, and making things more difficult is that COVID protocols will also prevent him from celebrating with fiancée Emma Plasschaert who is sailing the Laser Radial for Belgium at these Games.

 

Mara Stransky saved the best to last in her first Olympic campaign today. She set aside some earlier disappointment to put together the race day of her life, finishing her regatta with a third and a win in the final fleet race.

 

The great final day lifted Mara to a creditable 14th in the red hot fleet.

 

The scheduled medal race times on Sunday are Men 15.30 AEST and Women 16.30 AEST.

 

 

Matt Wins Gold_720

Olympic Sailing Updates

 

You can follow the Olympic sailing events in Enoshima on the following.

 

Stream video 7plus  Sailing Channel

Get free 7plus Olympic Channels

Live Tracking

World Sailing Olympic Site

Olympic Sailing Results

Racing Schedule and Course Location

Australian Sailing Team Facebook

Australian Sailing Team Twitter

 

Check our Olympics page for on site updates and information or click the right hand menu tab.

 

See photos of Matt and Mara from World Sailing Here.

 

Schedule Day 11_720

 

Matt & Mara Tokyo_720

 

 

New Dates Men’s and Masters Worlds in Barcelona

Barcelona_Worlds_LogoDue to concerns of travel restrictions to Spain the ILCA has changed the dates of the Standard Men’s and Masters World Championships.

 

  • 2021 ILCA 7 (Standard) Men’s World Championship – 03-10 November 2021 (previously 09-16 September 2021)
  • 2021 ILCA Masters World Championships – 11-20 November 2021 (previously 17-26 September 2021)

The events will be held at the same venue – the Barcelona International Sailing Center in Barcelona, Spain.

 

Due to this change, the late application period has been reopened and the Entry Closing Date has been postponed. Details are posted on the ILCA web site.

 

Eight Bells – Bruce Kirby

 

Bruce KirbyBruce Kirby Canadian born sailing legend and designer of many boats including the Laser passed away July 18, 2021. He was 92 years of age.

 

Bruce was a newspaper man in Ottawa and Montreal before he became a yacht designer. We was a pioneering sailing journalist, editor of One-Design and Off-Shore Yachtsman, which is still going today as Sailing World magazine.

 

A competitive sailor in International 14 dinghies from age 15 he went on to become a world-class sailor and Olympian. He represented Canada in the 1956, 1964, and 1968 Olympics.

 

As well as designing the Laser some background of which you can find Here Bruce’s design career included a multitude of successful classes such as the Sonar, Kirby 25 and Ideal 18, America’s Cup Twelve Meters, production racer/cruisers and offshore racing boats.

Following Olympic Sailing

Olympic_Sailing_Logo_Circle_V2After a years delay and considerable uncertainty the Tokyo Olympics will kick off with the opening ceremony from 9pm AEST on Friday, July 23.

 

Sailing will commence on the 25th of July, with the medal races taking place from 31 July to 4 August. The schedule and Olympic sailing team information is Here.  Sailing is scheduled between 1.00pm and 7.00pm AEST each day.

 

Channel 7 has the broadcast and streaming rights to the Olympics in Australia. Highlight sports will largely be shown on 7′s free to air channels. In addition there are 7plus apps which will have over 40 channels streaming live action from the Games. You can download the 7plus iOS or Android app free from the App Store or Google Play Store. To view sailing simply log in to the app on your smartphone, tablet, go to the Olympics section and browse the streams to find sailing. You will then be able to watch the live action.

 

 

You can also access the Olympics streams on your computer. Right now the best place to go is 7plus.com.au/Olympics. Shortly before the Games sport specific pages will be launched. The one for sailing will be 7plus.com.au/olympic-games-tokyo-sailing.

 

You can also get 7plus on Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Apple TV 4th Gen+, Chromecast, Android TV, Samsung TV, Sony Linux TV, LG TV (2016 and later) and Playstation 4.

 

World Sailing has setup a site with all the Tokyo Olympic Sailing information at https://tokyo2020.sailing.org/news/ . You can subscribe on this site to get updates and results.

 

Best wishes to our 13 Olympic sailors and the entire 472 Australians who will compete in Tokyo. It has been a tough preparation for most of these athletes. There are links to the profiles of the 13 Australian Olympic sailors Here. Just click the photo to see the profile.

 

Australian Sailing says “Australia has a rich history of success in Olympic sailing and this year is no different with a number of strong Gold Medal chances alongside some young and emerging talent. Our Laser, Men’s 470 and Nacra 17 classes were all in the medals the last time they competed at a World Championships, and you can write off the other classes at your own risk. All our competitors have strong podium results on the international stage and it is the Olympics – anything can happen and probably will.”

 

Southeast Sailboats in the UK has a race track conditions and form guide for the Laser Men’s event Here and World Sailing has the guide to the top ranked Laser Women Here.

Mara Stransky & Matt Wearn in stronger conditions than are likely in Enoshima

Mara Stransky & Matt Wearn in stronger conditions than are likely in Enoshima

Two Single Handers Going Two Up to the Gold Coast

Disco Trooper Big & Small

Disco Trooper Big & Small

 

When too much sailing is never enough DBSC masters sailor Jules Hall and RPAYC and Avalon SC GM Jan Scholten are off at the end of the month (COVID permitting) to the Gold Coast via the Noakes Sydney to Gold Coast Race in the two handed division.

 

The two normally battle it out on the Laser Masters race track but for this event they will be sailing Jules’ J/99 Disco Trooper Contender Sailcloth.

 

There is more on the CYC site Here.

 

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NSW & ACT District Laser Association |