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Laser Nationals, 26 boats !!!

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2547 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Laser Nationals, 26 boats !!!
    Posted: 12 Aug 14 at 1:28pm
They used to get hundreds in the 80s.


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GarethT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GarethT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 14 at 1:36pm
I think there's been a number of recent internationals, so maybe people are giving it a miss.

Plus the long drive to Largs may put some off.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 14 at 1:40pm
Over the last few years the Laser nationals have not had many entrants at all. the Radial nationals on the other hand has many more......
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 14 at 11:18pm
Don't forget to add in the 40-50+ who do the Masters Nationals in the big rigs instead. That took the fleet to over 100 last year, which would have put it in the top 5 of all classes.

It's also proof that even the biggest class cannot withstand the Olympic curse, despite what was claimed at the time that the class was selected. 

When you add in the Radials, the class has grown at nationals levels in most major English-speaking countries. The idea of widening the boat's appeal by putting emphasis on Youth, Women and Masters seems to be a successful example of changing a class' "software" while making only minor changes to the "hardware".


Edited by Chris 249 - 12 Aug 14 at 11:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Happilyover40 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 14 at 9:16am
If you are away for a week what difference does an extra hours drive make?

For daughter its great Smile back home every night rather than driving 8-10 hours for a weekend regatta and then being cancelled due to no /too much wind.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 14 at 9:18am
I wonder if they'd get more boats at the full rig Nationals if they didn't share it with the now youth dominated Radial class. I'm not sure I'd care to do an event with so many under 21s round the dinghy park. Nothing wrong with youth events, but its undeniable that they have a different atmosphere.

As you say Chris, the actual total entry for Laser championships is healthy enough, but what ought to be the gold category gets a very poor turnout.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 14 at 9:31am
Originally posted by Chris 249

Don't forget to add in the 40-50+ who do the Masters Nationals 

That is a separate event ... the Laser is clearly a popular platform but all these different rig and age categories has left what was the main event a shadow of its former self.

The Laser nationals used to be perhaps THE most prestigious nationals to win with fleets of 300 ... now it is little more than an open meeting.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 14 at 10:10am
We get more boats than that for our club open and Hunts is only a small lake (the full rig fleet I am talking about).

A lot of Open circuit stalwarts have recently switched classes though so they are missing from the circuit where they may have attended the nationals.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iiitick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 14 at 10:52am
I have looked at these figures. 24 full rig, 86 radial, 40 4.7. 150 boats in all. Not a bad 'hull' count. The bulk of the entry are in Radial and 4.7 totaling 126 hulls. Many of these sailors are female or youth or both except experienced lightweight helms like Jon Emmet. Evidently there is a need for less powerful rigs so that the Nations youth can go sailing......Can you see which way this is going? Why are they not sailing a boat which is designed for lightweights rather than a flappy cut down rig thing with no proper controls?

Byte C2 Nationals at Sailfest August 23-24.....what fun it will be! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bootscooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 14 at 1:34pm
This years' Std Fleet looks to be about 95% Youth also.... probably because many of the Adult sailors have decided not to swallow the cost of heading all the way to Largs and still then risking the infamous lack of breeze (not appeared this week, thankfully).
That said, in previous years a significant number of the Std fleet at the Nats was made up of the fathers of the youth sailors taking part in 4.7s and Radials - doesn't seem to be the case this year...

As a more general observation, at our club there doesn't seem to be many 20somethings sailing Lasers... most in the fleet are 40+ with a number of Yoofs, but the 20somethings seem to grow out of the lasers and get into other boats like RS700s, RS800s, etc. So while Nats numbers remain healthy, could this be the beginning of the end for the Laser as a broad-brush class, with participation polarised to just the Yoof and Masters ends of the spectrum?
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