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Why does the Laser exist?

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jeffers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 10:39am
Originally posted by tink

I havenít owned a Laser for many years but spend a couple of weeks a year at a beach club sailing one. Mornings are drifters afternoons are full on waves and big wind. For context I sail a Streaker and before that an IC, the wrong side of fifty and in OK shape but no athlete. When I first started back in the Laser I hated it for all the well documented reasons, but after getting crib notes from a bloke back home and watching the boat whisperer DVDs I started to enjoy myself in it, particularly big winds and big waves. It is a boat that rewards technique and you can pretty well sail it in anything if you just keep it flat. 


The problem is keeping it flat in a breeze requires the ability to hike like a demon and constant adjustment given how unresponsive the rig is.

Last weekend it was breezey (but not excessively). 2 of our usual full rig laser people changed down to sail Radials because they say they can't handle the boat in a breeze. These are 'good' club level sailors so shouldn't really have had an issue.

By contrast my D-Zero was revelling in the conditions, the rig doing a lot of the hard work for me in the gusty conditions.

So yes there are better boats out there but bang for buck it is still hard to beat a Laser/ILCA despite the shortcomings (ergonomics, poor rig by modern standards).
Paul
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 10:53am
Its not really necessary to hike like a demon, you just have to accept your limitations and sail like the Olympic boys would in another 5 knots... It just feels like its necessary.

Its probably inevitable that if you can change down a rig size you will, especially since you'll be more competitive if the handicap changes. Perhaps its a sign of increasing average sailor age.

It doesn't seem to me that there's any especial reason why an Aero should be more difficult to sail when overpowered than any other class, but *because* the zeitgeist in the class is to buy two rigs, everyone does change down...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 1:03pm
I'm under lots of pressure to sail a Laser, we have a good fleet now at Hythe and they're all good sailors. I'm probably the worse actual sailor from a technical boat handling point of view in both clubs I sail at (yet have half decent tactical racing skills that keep me in the game), on the sea and the lake, yet like Paul last Sunday it got a bit beyond stupid with a gusty wind wiping all but one of them out, yet I survived and dry in my little Solution. They say had I had a spell in a Laser my technical skills would be so much better, (personally I think it's too late, old dog new tricks etc) but my question still remains, why go back? If there are better, easier boats, that let even t**sers like me (honestly if you watched me actually sail I'm useless at the ropes and handling)get round in half decent order, why constantly foist boats like the Laser on them especially newcomers that frankly haven't a prayer?

Edited by iGRF - 17 Dec 19 at 1:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 2:51pm
Originally posted by JimC

Its not really necessary to hike like a demon, you just have to accept your limitations and sail like the Olympic boys would in another 5 knots... It just feels like its necessary.

Its probably inevitable that if you can change down a rig size you will, especially since you'll be more competitive if the handicap changes. Perhaps its a sign of increasing average sailor age.

It doesn't seem to me that there's any especial reason why an Aero should be more difficult to sail when overpowered than any other class, but *because* the zeitgeist in the class is to buy two rigs, everyone does change down...

Jim, I know you know much more about sailing and sailors that I ever will . But I can tell you from personal experience if you cannot hike the laser flat it is impossible to get it round a race course if itís windy .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 6:11pm
A fifty year old design may not have the sophistication of recent craft in terms of de-powering and gust response but easing the main and keeping it flat will get you around a course without superhuman fitness. 
The issue with the switching to the smaller rig is you never get experience in the stronger winds with a standard rig. 
My experience comes from an annul two weeks in the Sun and big winds so compressed learning in idea conditions but very possible. I have seen a clearly skilled but 70kg sailor dominate races on big wind and waves. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 9:06pm
I completely agree with Jim and Tink. 

Alright for ultimate speed around the course in wind maybe a full rig Laser needs over six foot and 14st.

However, it need not be all about brute force, sympathetic boat handling can take a lightweight a long way and look tidy albeit if a little off the top pace. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 10:02pm
Two weeks ago on Sunday it was very windy , our race was won by our only regular laser sailor. He is in his late 30s, the perfect size for a laser, very very fit , has been though the squad system to a very high level and is probably the best sailor at the club.
After the race he looked like death warmed up , he was a broken man.
I base my view on my own experience and what I see with my own eyes.
I rest my case and will not comment again . Smile


Edited by zeon - 17 Dec 19 at 10:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 11:09pm
And I put it to you that with that background heíd have looked much the same whatever he was sailing. Itís about effort levels.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 11:17pm
Originally posted by sargesail

And I put it to you that with that background heíd have looked much the same whatever he was sailing. Itís about effort levels.

Believe what you want . If you think all boats take the same effect to get round a race course thatís fine . 

I donít . 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 5:59am
Originally posted by zeon


Originally posted by sargesail

And I put it to you that with that background heíd have looked much the same whatever he was sailing. Itís about effort levels.

Believe what you want . If you think all boats take the same effect to get round a race course thatís fine .†
I donít .†


Obviously all boats require different efforts to get around a course but the comment earlier that in a breeze a Laser canít be got around a course are not correct. Getting going again after a capsize is equally part of it and the Laser does better than most in the OP list in that regard
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