Photo by Michael Kurtz of the 125-foot historic 19 Metre Class Fife design Mariquita launched in 1911.
Social distancing almost as good as sailing your Laser.
While we have been getting on with sailing and enjoying a great summer of sailing the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) has been going through a few dramas. Starting with the retention of our Olympic status leading to the need to open up the market for class builders complicated by trade mark issues and the licensing of new builders around the World – and did I mention a World pandemic leading to the cancelling and rescheduling of World Championships and the Olympics.
In spite, or perhaps in part because of these dramas, ILCA have undertaken a review of our nearly 50 year old and much amended constitution. This review hopefully will address issues resulting from the recent builder and trade mark changes but also to better equip the class to continue to prosper for the next 50 years.
Much of the existing constitution, which is online HERE, is still highly relevant so the idiom concerning babies and bath water will be respected. As well any changes will need the support off at least 2/3rds of the membership to be passed.
ILCA is calling for suggestions for changes from members. The details of how the change process is planned to go and how, where and by when members can suggest changes is on the ILCA web site HERE.
If you want to have your say now is your chance.
To relieve the tedium of life indoors most Laser sailors are getting out for regular exercise which is both conditionally allowed and encouraged under current Government regulations.
The NSW Government Office of Sport says on their web site HERE that during the COVID-19 pandemic “Where possible, it is important sporting clubs and organisations continue to allow people to exercise, so long as social distancing is practised and rules around public gatherings of no more than two people are complied with.”
As we know sailing your Laser gives you a pretty good work out on most days and a few sailors have asked can sailing a boat be counted as exercise under the new order of things. Well the answer is yes with some sensible restrictions.
Transport for NSW (ex Roads and Maritime Services ex NSW Maritime) further elaborates on their web site HERE.
“From 31 March 2020 NSW Government Public health directions have been updated requiring people to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
You should only be on your boat alone, or with no more than one other person; or with family who ordinarily live in the same household as you.
A ‘reasonable excuse’ to use your boat could be to exercise (e.g. kayaking/sailing/paddling etc) or fish.”
It is not a Government regulation however a group of boats sailing together is highly visible so best to sail in ones or twos. If we are seen to be doing the right thing then hopefully no one will be prompted to change the rules.
We can’t find any specific references to sailing as exercise in the ACT however the ACT government has said exercise away from home was allowed in groups of no more than two and providing the strict 1.5 metre, social-distancing rules were kept. A spokesperson said “People are allowed to travel for essential reasons, including to exercise,”
Hope everyone is isolating in safety.
None knows how things will pan out in the next several months however planning for the best of a full season in 2020-21 following is the schedule of proposed Laser events.
|Women’s Regatta||Double Bay Sailing Club||TBA|
|NSW State Youth Championships||Point Wolstoncroft||3-5 October 2020|
|NSW & ACT Coast Championship||Port Kembla Sailing Club||24-25 October 2020|
|NSW & ACT State Open Championship||Belmont 16′s Sailing Club||5-6 December 2020|
|Sail Sydney||Woollahra Sailing Club||10-13 December 2020|
|Oceania & Australian Open & Masters Championships||Fremantle Sailing Club WA||1-8 January 2021|
|NSW & ACT State Masters Championship||Jervis Bay Sailing Club||13-14 February 2021|
|NSW & ACT Metropolitan Championship||Hunters Hill Sailing Club||6-7 March 2021|
There is a complete list of proposed events on the Events tab HERE
Following the postponement of the 2020 Laser Masters World Championships a number of other Worlds events are in question. The situation is uncertain and sailors should refer to the International Laser Class Association web site https://www.laserinternational.org/ for the latest information.
For longer term planning in 2022 it is our turn to host the Oceania and Australian Open and the separate Oceania & Australian Masters Championships. The dates and venues for these events are listed below.
|Oceania & Australian Open Championships||Georges River Sailing Club||1-8 January 2022|
|Oceania & Australian Laser Masters||Pt Stephens Sailing & Aquatic Club||11-14 February 2022|
What a fabulous job the Victorian Laser Association, its event organising committee and Sandringham Yacht Club and Royal Geelong Yacht Club did in staging these events.
The best way to track what happened at these events is via the Laser2020 mobile app which can be downloaded free from the App Store and Play Store at App Store HERE Play Store HERE. The event web site Summer of 2020 is HERE.
There are summaries of the event outcomes and links to full results and photos from the events on the Australian Laser web site posts as linked below.
Based on safety and public health factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ILCA World Council and local event host have decided NOT to proceed with the 2020 ILCA Laser Masters World Championships as scheduled on 21-28 March 2020 in Geelong Australia.
The smaller entry preceding Oceania & Australian Laser Masters event is proceeding.
The ILCA notice on this decision follows.
We understand that some sailors may already be on site, other are en route and some have imminent departures. Given the extreme rapidity of developments and the uncertainty surrounding travel and participation in this event, the decision to take this extraordinary step was decided to be the most prudent course of action under the circumstances.
The Australian government has now issued advise against non-essential, organized public gatherings of more than 500 people as a precaution to reduce community spread of the virus. With the number of competitors, spouses, event personnel, and visitors expected, ILCA has chosen to heed this government health advisory.
Whether the event will be rescheduled to a later date or cancelled will be determined in the near future. Refund arrangements will also be addressed and communicated with entrants as soon as practical.
As well ILCA has reported on the status of the remaining three 2020 World Championships HERE.
- 2020 Under-21 Worlds July in Malcesine, Italy
- 2020 4.7 Youth Worlds August in Arco, Italy
- 2020 Radial Youth Worlds August in Dziwnów, Poland
Presently these events are under review as the COVID-19 situation in Europe (and elsewhere) is very uncertain. Sailors interested should monitor the ILCA web site for updates.
Tracy Usher President of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) World Council has issued his outlook for the class copied below. In part of this statement Tracy is responding to a recent move by a group of disgruntled Europeans (and an one Argentinian) sponsored by the ex UK based Laser builder Laser Performance Europe (LPE).
LPE is about to be replaced or joined by three new European builders under the requirement by World Sailing that the ILCA open up the supply of Laser equipment. If you want more of the disgruntled group’s views courtesy of a web site set up and run by LPE then click HERE.
Throughout its 50 year existence, the International Laser Class Association has endured many challenges – whether it was the bankruptcy of the founding builder and the business failures of a number of other builders over the decades or the outside attempt to start a separate association with the “Torch” trying to supplant the existing class. And yet the Laser Class has worked to meet these and other challenges and continued to grow to become today the largest adult and youth sailing organization in the world and, significantly, the single-handed Olympic dinghy for both men and women.
While many international class associations organize a single annual world championship, ILCA successfully organizes seven annual world championships with charter support across our three rig variants and various age groups including Radial Women, Radial Men, Standard Men, 4.7 Youth, Radial Youth, Under-21 in both Standard and Radial rigs and the Masters. In addition, there are highly successful regional and district and local championships in many of the rigs and age groups. This is only possible because of the broad support of grassroots of the class — from passionate sailors and hundreds of dedicated volunteers all over the world.
This past year has seen another set of extraordinary challenges for the class: undergoing equipment trials to emerge as selected equipment for the next Olympic cycle and reorganizing builder relations in order to comply with the World Sailing Olympic Equipment Policy necessitated by European Union antitrust law. With the same determination shown by our members competing on the water, the association is on the verge of meeting these challenges to ensure the long-term success of the class.
The process to comply with World Sailing’s Olympic Equipment Policy has presented several significant challenges which have taken a substantial amount of time and effort to address. The fact is that nearly 50 years of activity has resulted in a complex web of contractual relationships, including some for which ILCA is not a party but which directly impact ILCA operations. The good news is that this process is finally nearing completion and new builders will be receiving molds and starting production in the near future.
During this transition, there has been understandable concern over supply, particularly in Europe – the largest region for the class – which had not previously seen many of the supply problems that had been plaguing other regions of the world for many years. While we would all like for this process to happen instantaneously, everyone is working hard to make sure it is done properly. And this takes time.
Additionally, we also appreciate the legacy of the familiar starburst logo on our sails, particularly for long-time class members, some of whom have been sailing the boat since the 1970s. All of us would ideally like to maintain the original logo but, unfortunately, ILCA does not have control over the Laser trademark on boats and sails and cannot unilaterally authorize the use of the starburst on the sails.
It is unfortunate that the company who does control this trademark in certain parts of the world has yet to accept the offer to be an approved builder and build boats in compliance with the ILCA Class Rules. Instead it seems that, with the support of some individuals in Europe who appear unwilling to wait for new approved builders to get up to speed, they are attempting to start a rival organization with the express intent to undermine ILCA and its sailors. It is difficult to see how this benefits sailors or sailing.
Regardless of the insignia on the sails, we remain the World Sailing recognized International Laser Class Association and will continue to conduct Laser Class events around the world as we have for the past 50 years.
As we have worked to overcome past challenges, the association is working to meet the current ones. We remain focused on getting additional builders on line in the very near future, including three highly respected builders in Europe. We anticipate that additional builders will enable improvement in supply conditions world wide and that the competition will ensure that the sport remains affordable.
The ILCA actively and fully supports the EurILCA Executive in working to ensure stability in Europe as we work to meet our common goals and address concerns of our membership.
Stay tuned for additional announcements in the coming days.
The appeal aims to collect 20 Lasers donated from clubs or members. Complete boats are preferred however we will be able to add missing parts. We are also accepting sails, spars and foils which are surplus to needs and which can be used with boats donated but incomplete.
These Lasers are the ones sitting in clubs that are no longer used that would be appreciated by young sailors in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. The boats will be shipped to these locations for training and for African events.
The boats and equipment will be shipped from our other co-sponsor PSA’s premesis on the Central Coast of NSW.
It is hoped that these Lasers will be shipped to Africa by June/July 2020.
If you have or know of a Laser in need of a new home under this program please contact Ken Hurling on 0417644086 or email@example.com
This is always a great event with top organisation at a fabulous club.
You can get accommodation a stones throw from the rigging area and the club restaurant and bar.
The flyer for SPLM 2020 is HERE.
Entry is $200. This includes the Laser Forum on Thursday evening and the event dinner on Saturday night.
You can get information and enter HERE.
There are around 15 places left so if you want to compete in this great lead-up event to the Laser Worlds at the same venue it is time to act.
You can enter online HERE.
Late entries are still open for the Laser Worlds. There are nearly 300 entries for this event including 166 Australians.
You can apply for Entry for the World Masters HERE.
NoR, SI’s and other documents for the World Masters are on the ILCA web site HERE.
66 Laser Masters competed in the State Masters at Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club over the weekend 8-9 February. With the dire weather prevailing along the coast on the weekend we were fortunate to be able to sail the event at Jindabyne – anywhere else and the series would likely have been run in the bar.
Three races were completed on day 1 in a 12 to 22 knot SE breeze with lots of big shifts to keep the sailors on their toes.
Only one race on was completed on Sunday after the easterly breeze died leaving the Standards a very slow finish of their one race and the Radials somewhat of a lottery in the final stage of theirs.
The results for series day are HERE.
There are some photos taken by the members of LJSC HERE.
The State Masters, which is a cube event, will be held on the weekend 8-9th February 2020 at Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club. This will be a great lead up to the big Masters events following in Geelong.
The LJSC folks are as keen as mustard and offering a great experience and hospitality to all the sailors who make the trip.
There is lots to do in Jindabyne and in the surrounding Snowy Mountains so you can stay a while. They have had a rough time in the Kosciuszko National Park area with the fires. These did not affect Jindabyne and most of the alpine roads are now open again though the scenery may be altered a lot. Road info for alpine travellers is HERE.
There had been some concern about the road access via the Monaro Highway (Canberra to Cooma). A few days ago the highway was closed but now with conditions moderating the highway is open though there are reports of smokey conditions in parts.
Accommodation is plentiful and diverse from camping to fancy apartments. There is a list of links to some accommodation and things to do options HERE.
The club will be running a dinner on the Saturday night and has a twilight race starting at 6.00pm on Friday 7th followed by a BBQ. Breakfast, snacks, lunch and coffee will be available at the club on Saturday and Sunday, with the bar open when the fleet is ashore. A Masters event at the highest sailing club in the land – not to be missed.
The Sailing Instructions for the event are HERE.
98 Lasers competed in the Laser Metropolitan Championships at Double Bay over the weekend 1-2 February.
The first three races on Saturday saw a classic Sydney Harbour NE’er around 20 knots with gusts to 30 knots as recorded at the BoM weather station on the west harbour wedding cake. There was lots of chop from the marine traffic and the wind and a lot of activity on the harbour only some of which was under full control. Three races were completed.
Day two saw a S to SE with the first race run in Double Bay. This proved problematic so R.O. Andrew McLachlan moved the show to Rose Bay which offered a better breeze. The breeze was quite tricky but as usual the top sailors almost always managed to hit the right side of the big shifts.
In the 4.7′s Ethan Lozevski from Dobroyd Aquatic Club and WSC managed to win in a tight series. Ethan had no wins but a very consistent five second places. Second was Xavier McLachlan from RSYS and DBSC and a point behind in third was Olivia Williams from RPAYC.
The Radials were dominated by Otto Henry WSC/DBSC/RSYS. Otto had four wins and two seconds. Daniel Costandi RSYS/DBSC/GRSC was a very consistent second from Jack Ferguson RSYS/DBSC/WSC. Evie Saunders was the first female finishing 5th. World GGM Champion Jeff Loosemore was the best of the masters and was 4th Radial overall.
Brett Beyer WSC won five of the Standard rig races and dominated this fleet. Fredrik Westman who is visiting from Finland and sailing from WSC was second in every race except Race 4 in which he beat Brett. DBSC local Luke Parker had a consistent series beating fellow club mate and Laser State Championship winner Campbell Patton.
The results for the event are HERE.
Finally the long awaited carbon Radial bottom mast section has been approved for use.
The new mast section can be used from February in Club and District events and from September (after the Olympics) for National, Regional, World and Olympic events. This means the carbon lower section can’t be used in the World Laser Masters or National Masters events in Geelong.
The cost of the new section will be around $1,300 – current aluminium section is $440.
A great chance for competitive Laser racing on iconic Sydney Harbour.
You will be able to park in the Double Bay Public School grounds opposite Steyne Park for $20 cash at the gate for both days. Free parking is very scarce otherwise in the area. Trailers can be left overnight on Steyne Park – there will not be any security which has not been a problem in the past.
The club will be running catering on both days and breakfast on Sunday. Drinks will available après race on Saturday. Check out the Double Bay Sailing Club web site HERE for more updates.
We will have the option to sign on and off via SMS 0477 647 537. Sailors who have pre-entered online can deploy from other harbour clubs for the event.