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Why does the Laser exist?

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Category: Dinghy classes
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Topic: Why does the Laser exist?
Posted By: Mark Aged 42
Subject: Why does the Laser exist?
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:10am
Don't get me wrong, I love mine, but while sitting around at the weekend waiting for the wind to drop, I got to wondering about the birth of the Laser.
At its inception, by my reckoning, available single handers included:
Finn
Solo
Europe
OK
Moth
Contender
Canoe
Streaker
Sunfish
Minisail

Surely there was something for everybody in that list.
So how did the Laser muscle in so successfully?




Replies:
Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 11:02am
It was a completely new marketing paradigm at least as far as the dinghy world was concerned. All those others with the possible exception of the Sunfish (which I know little about) were 'normal' One Designs (was the Canoe a One Design hull by then?) with a variety of builders and sailmakers for each. The Laser was a one stop shop and, by design, they were all identical. No need to decide who made the fastest hull or sail just buy the package and go sailing.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 11:18am
There were a lot of one shop one designs back then, each little builder tried to develop their own in the hope that it would take off and they'd get rich. That's why there were so many more different classes back then. Boats like the Firefly, the Gull etc were all effectively single manufacturer one designs, and even single supply sails weren't unknown.

What was new about the Laser, I think, was the complete ban on altering the boat at all to suit the sailor, so you didn't have to think about the boat from one week to the next, just, as you say, turn up and go sailing.

Its interesting that has been lost of recent years, and whilst all the changes and options look like improvements on the surface, they have tended to subtract from the basic turn up and sail simplicity.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 11:30am
The down side of the design which the modern innovations have gone some way to remedy was that unless your were 6' 4" and 12 stone you were at a huge disadvantage. OTOH, my dad, (5' 3" and 11 stone) seemed to enjoy sailing his.......

The Firefly and Gull did allow considerable 'optimisation' which, as you say, the Laser prohibited, it would need a couple more concessions to get me back in a Laser TBH, the single central toe strap really does not make it a comfortable boat for us short ar5es LOL

It's fair to say the Laser has a well designed and, at the time, modern hull shape which seems to work over a range of sailor weights so that was probably a big factor too.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 11:47am
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

Don't get me wrong, I love mine, but while sitting around at the weekend waiting for the wind to drop, I got to wondering about the birth of the Laser.
At its inception, by my reckoning, available single handers included:
Finn
Solo
Europe
OK
Moth
Contender
Canoe
Streaker
Sunfish
Minisail
Surely there was something for everybody in that list.
So how did the Laser muscle in so successfully?


Its interesting. At the time my then club decided to adopt its first singlehanded class. We invited CAs to come and bring along boats for us to try. My memory is dim, but I seem to remember that Solo, Europe or British Moth (maybe both), and OK all put the effort in, whilst the Laser Assn/builders apparently weren't bothered and didn't. The Streaker didn't exist at the time. So a good number of people, especially we teenagers, spent some time on sailing the boats and formed our conclusions. Then came the AGM, and the vote, and it was a landslide for the Laser from people who probably had never sailed it and certainly hadn't turned up to try the others. It was an early introduction to the weirdness of democracy... Its interesting too, that amongst the classes that seemed suitable for an small inland club the Laser was decidedly the quickest.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 1:08pm
Minisail was a turn up and play but Laser was better looking, faster, pointed better, centre/aft main, better sail than Minisail etc, cheap as chips.

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Robert


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 1:56pm
Even I knew what a Laser was and I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in dinghy sailing, they were selling them at the time via some windsurfing dealers, but the mistake they made was poor margin and competing themselves selling direct. Would it have made a difference? I wonder, twenty years ago I would have said definitely yes they would have sold more, but then as sales dropped they'd have faced huge pressures from dealers to improve, modify, 'bring up to date' and the reason it's still so 'successful' in a one eyed man in the Kingdom of the Blind way is precisely because it didn't and because it is such a horrendous piece of junk to sail they get a high turnover and plenty get left in the nettles for newcomers to try, which then of course is the perfect inoculation against ever doing the sport again..

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 3:26pm
I was thinking something similar a few weekends ago after getting back to the beach after a few hours racing in a force 6. I was thinking that 25 years ago I was out racing my Laser and in those conditions I would have been totally battered and broken and here I was as a middle age man with a smile on my face and I thought to myself "Why does a Laser even exist?" :-)

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H2 #115


Posted By: ifoxwell
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 4:05pm
Compared to the others mentioned it was simple and bullet proof. Only 7 major components plus a few bits of string. It was easy to sail and robust enough to sail on and off a beach with out you having to be to precious with it. 
I can see why it was a success but equally in this day and age the only reason to sail one in my eyes is the fleet racing. If there isn't a fleet then sail something else, pretty much everything else in todays market is much nicer


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RS300


Posted By: PeterV
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 5:03pm
It's very easy to forget, over 40 years on, just what a revolution the Laser was.  It was cheap, robust and everyone who bought one knew that they'd be at the front if they sailed better than the others in the fleet, that you couldn't spend more on masts, sails, special fittings etc. to get to the front.  It was, and is, also a vey good design, just look at all the designs since that have tried to beat it, until the Aero they've all been slower.

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PeterV
Finn K197, Finn GBR564, Hunter Duette.
Warsash


Posted By: sarg boland
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 5:24pm
Great boat at the time but even now best boat for a windy day off a shingle beach.

Performance was a different type of company (not dinghy enthusiasts marketing their new designs) selling a leisure, fun boat for all, a beach boat.  I was interviewed for a summer university job - they would give me a trailer and I would sell boats off the beach.  I was asked if I felt the Laser was suitable to beginners.  As an RYA instructor I could not fully endorse the idea of novices sailing Lasers off the beach with no structure or safety cover - so I did not get the job.

Still got so much to offer.


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Fair winds


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 5:25pm
It had an unrivalled blend of:

Cost, availability, looks, simplicity, ease of use, standardisation, quality, size, performance, transportability and robustness.

It was one of the first boats that considered the whole marketing mix, not just the product.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 6:21pm
Problem with Aero is it's so lightly built to make it faster than Laser, old Aeros will be a rarity.

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Robert


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 6:35pm
You need to consider what the competition looked like back then, not now, the Solo was wooden, complicated and relatively heavy, the OK wood, with wooden spars.  

The Laser was lighter, simpler, cheaper and available off the shelf through a network of dealers.  It was (and probably thill is) great fun to sail, if not wetter.

There was also a ready market in the UK of 1000ís of sailors looking to progress from Mirrors.




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Happily living in the past


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 9:41pm
the blend of simplicity with performance was a game changer. Back in 70s I feel double handed boats were the norm and so in comparison the minimalist Laser was very different. The relatively dry capsize, closeness to the water all added to the fun.

The Streaker is actually 5 years younger which I think speaks volumes. 


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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:21pm
Originally posted by H2

I was thinking something similar a few weekends ago after getting back to the beach after a few hours racing in a force 6. I was thinking that 25 years ago I was out racing my Laser and in those conditions I would have been totally battered and broken and here I was as a middle age man with a smile on my face and I thought to myself "Why does a Laser even exist?" :-)

Because many of us love it, and because we don't get broken up sailing on in F6.

Other interesting questions are why does anyone buy a new design like the H2, which weighs as much as a 1960s design?


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:39pm
Possibly 'cos the H2 is sophisticated, tweakable, ergonomically well thought out, comfortable, and just nice to sail?

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:49pm
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

Don't get me wrong, I love mine, but while sitting around at the weekend waiting for the wind to drop, I got to wondering about the birth of the Laser.
At its inception, by my reckoning, available single handers included:
Finn
Solo
Europe
OK
Moth
Contender
Canoe
Streaker
Sunfish
Minisail

Surely there was something for everybody in that list.
So how did the Laser muscle in so successfully?


As its creators told me, partly it was smart marketing and the right boat with the right production; partly the right time; and partly something no one can work out.

On the physical side, it arguably had a newer style of hull than any of the listed designs bar the Contender, and it had an advantage over the Contender because it was much lighter as well as being more of a mass-market boat. The use of foam sandwich in the deck was also pretty novel at the time. It was also a boat created by an industrial designer as a bit of an exercise in minimalism, and Kirby understood that aim right from the first doodle over the phone.

One thing that interests me is that the boat is a long one for its sail area, freeboard, weight and length. Adding length is one of the best ways to make a boat perform well.  Long, light boats with comparatively rigs tend to be good allrounders, and IMHO one of the Laser's strengths is that it performs well across a wide range of conditions.  

It was at the right time, because it was around when dinghy sailing was still huge and around the start of the big swing to singlehanded sailing. And while it had a small marketing budget, it was very well directed. The boat also got very positive independent reviews for its simplicity, modern appearance and speed even from its first showing at the America's Tea Cup Regatta, when it was still a speculative project known as TGIF.

The other thing, of course, was that it kicked off in North America where it had less competition in terms of good rival designs, and (as Ian Bruce told me) it wasn't in competition with the Finn etc because it was initially seen as a top sailors like Peter Barrett as their "other" boat; their strict OD fun boat for when they were not sailing their Finn etc. 

What may be a significant factor is that around that time, the Moth had recently changed from the wingless scow/Europe style of boat into a more fragile and exotic racing machine. That seems to have been particularly critical in the USA (where the old wingless and short-winged Europe-style Moths had been enormously popular on the east coast) and Australia (where the wingless scow had been the #1 singlehanded class).  The newer Moths were less friendly to the typical club racer and that left a gap for the Laser.

I still remember the first time I saw a Laser. I was about 10 and a former sailing journo had the Australian rights. He brought about half a dozen of them to my club and lent them out for racing on a course about 30 metres long, inside the marina, on a sailing day.  A bunch of top sailors went out on these super simple boats, which were faster than a Moth because of their length and design and as fast as a Contender in light airs, and bashed them around and had a great time. As I recall, one of them - a Moth national champ who had developed the hard chine scow - came straight ashore and bought one. It was great marketing that emphasised simple fun on a tough, one design boat that performed well.


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:49pm
Everybody is broken up by sailing a laser in F6 unless you are an Olympic/ National winning level sailor .
I am not dissing the laser in anyway, I have owned two and spent most of my 25 sailing years in them.  But is undeniable a very physical boat to sail when the wind is at that level.


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:55pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Possibly 'cos the H2 is sophisticated, tweakable, ergonomically well thought out, comfortable, and just nice to sail?

Yes, but if people want to be negative about someone else's class then one can point out that the H2 is heavy and dog slow for a 201X boat.

Personally I don't like being negative about other classes, but I don't see any reason to sit back when the sniping starts.  Obviously no boat is perfect, but implying that a class should not exist at all is being rather extreme.  


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 11:02pm
Originally posted by CT249

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Possibly 'cos the H2 is sophisticated, tweakable, ergonomically well thought out, comfortable, and just nice to sail?

Yes, but if people want to be negative about someone else's class then one can point out that the H2 is heavy and dog slow for a 201X boat.

Personally I don't like being negative about other classes, but I don't see any reason to sit back when the sniping starts.

Have you even see a H2 in the flesh ? For its size itís light . Itís a hell of a lot bigger than a laser and lighter too . The only person sniping on here tonight is you. Chill out a bit Smile


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 12:04am
Originally posted by zeon


Have you even see a H2 in the flesh ? For its size itís light . Itís a hell of a lot bigger than a laser and lighter too . The only person sniping on here tonight is you. Chill out a bit Smile

Personally I find it weird looking, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The one at our club got sold on pretty quickly - the owner, a good sailor, didnít get on with it despite high hopes.  


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 12:37am
Zeon, comments such as implying that the Laser should not exist and others saying "pretty much everything else is much nicer" make it pretty clear that I'm not the only one sniping.


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 4:51am
When it appeared it was completely different to anything available - faster than pretty much all other hiking dinghies, 'cool', easy to maintain, durable, etc etc etc

Some of the boats listed earlier have developed now into 'nicer' boats but weren't at that the time - the OK and Finn are completely different now

Strangely, for many of us, the Laser still does what it did in the 70s now very well. Despite a few recent modern designs being a little quicker and 'nicer' its taken a long time for this evolution to occur

Despite some of the comments on this thread, I'd say the Laser was one of the few boats that lots of us would be happy to go out for a blast in F6 ?





Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 7:09am

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. When I did my coaching course it was so windy normal sailing wasnít feasible, we did rudderless sailing in Lasers, I doubt many other boats would let you do that. 


If the question had been  Ďstillí exist I think the relatively unchanged nature of the Laser, cost of ownership and equal racing all rate highly. I am probably going to replace the Streaker with a Laser next year, for these reasons. 




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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 8:47am
It exists simply because it was a better boat than those already out there. It still exists not only because of the critical mass, but because almost everyone who sails it at club level, especially those learning to race, love it.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 8:58am
Originally posted by CT249

Zeon, comments such as implying that the Laser should not exist and others saying "pretty much everything else is much nicer" make it pretty clear that I'm not the only one sniping.

We all know why it was good, it was it the right boat at the right time ( the performance per pound spend could not be beaten plus it was high tech for the time and had a great class stucture.)

But the the only reasons left are the class racing and the fact second hand ones are cheap.

I am not saying All boats built since are nicer to sail. But what I am saying in my experience is every other boat I have owned has been nicer to sail and more controllable in a f6 than the lasers I have owned, even ones fitted with xd kit . And thatís not to say all these other boats didnít have there own problems , but thatís for other threads .Smile




Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 9:00am
Originally posted by CT249

Originally posted by H2

I was thinking something similar a few weekends ago after getting back to the beach after a few hours racing in a force 6. I was thinking that 25 years ago I was out racing my Laser and in those conditions I would have been totally battered and broken and here I was as a middle age man with a smile on my face and I thought to myself "Why does a Laser even exist?" :-)

Because many of us love it, and because we don't get broken up sailing on in F6.

Other interesting questions are why does anyone buy a new design like the H2, which weighs as much as a 1960s design?

Ummm - the hull weight of a Laser and a H2 are almost identical yet a H2 is a much larger boat which can easily carry a modern human of more than 80kg and be competitive! One of the best bits of the hull being much larger is that it is comfy to hike all day long.


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H2 #115


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 9:05am
Originally posted by A2Z

Originally posted by zeon


Have you even see a H2 in the flesh ? For its size itís light . Itís a hell of a lot bigger than a laser and lighter too . The only person sniping on here tonight is you. Chill out a bit Smile

Personally I find it weird looking, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The one at our club got sold on pretty quickly - the owner, a good sailor, didnít get on with it despite high hopes.  

Itís not for me either but itís carving out a nice little nich for its self .

I wonít comment on itís looks as people in glass houses shouldnít throw stones, my own ride at the moment is a british moth LOLLOL


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 17 Dec 19 at 9:12am
Originally posted by CT249

Zeon, comments such as implying that the Laser should not exist and others saying "pretty much everything else is much nicer" make it pretty clear that I'm not the only one sniping.

I do apologise - I was not intending to have a go at the Laser but do realise my comments read like I was, I was actually having a bit of a wander down memory lane out loud and remembering sailing the Laser through the squad system back in the 90s when many of today's UK super star helms were also going through the system. I owe the Laser many things, it certainly taught me how to sail technically and it taught me how fit you need to be to sail at that level and it also put me off sailing for twenty years although marriage and kids could also be blamed in part. I personally found it a boat that was very hard on the helm physically in terms of damage to knees and other joints and I only got back into sailing competitively once boat design evolved to take into account that the helm's health is not a disposable item.

Undoubtedly it was a revolution and one that spawned the dinghy scene that we have today and for that I am very grateful. Would never buy another one though.


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H2 #115


Posted By: jeffers
Date 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).


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: JimC
Date 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...


Posted By: iGRF
Date 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?

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Posted By: zeon
Date 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 .


Posted By: tink
Date 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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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: Do Different
Date 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. 


Posted By: zeon
Date 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


Posted By: sargesail
Date 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.


Posted By: zeon
Date 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 . 



Posted By: tink
Date 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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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 8:35am
Originally posted by zeon

Believe what you want .

Indeed you can and will. But if you go and watch, say, a Laser Masters event in breeze you will see plenty of sailors who are no longer capable of that sort of effort somehow contrive to get round the course.

Arguably the question that one should ask is what the difference in performance is between sailing at 100% of an Olympic sailor's physical capabilities and say 75%, 50% or whatever is within a given sailors own capabilities. In serious breeze just about any unballasted sailboat will make demands beyond any sailor's physical capability.

We all have to back off a bit in extreme conditions. The ultimate question, I suppose, would be whether you are still having fun backed off like that, or has it become an unremitting struggle for no reward. And only the individual can answer that for themself.


Posted By: Mark Aged 42
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 9:10am
At the Essex Yacht Club we are all on Radial rigs, regardless of our size. We have the mighty Andrea, who is all of 5 foot 2 and, ahem, 60kg maybe. She is no youngster either, and she is always a potential winner in any wind. Its not the size of the dog in the fight.
Can I say that in the context of Andrea :-)



Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 9:16am
Originally posted by tink

Originally posted by zeon


[QUOTE=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 [/QUOTE


I have never said it cannot be got round a course, I have only ever made the point that it takes more physical effect than a lot of similar boats because of itís unforgiving rig . A point also made by Jeffers, another long time laser sailor. Your capsize point is a good one , itís very easy to do a dry one and easy to get back into when you donít 
Donít get me wrong , I love the laser , I sailed one for 20 years, but I am not blind to its faults.
And in the end , as a mid fleet sailor  with limited talent, itís these faults that made me leave the class.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 9:33am
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

At the Essex Yacht Club we are all on Radial rigs, regardless of our size. We have the mighty Andrea, who is all of 5 foot 2 and, ahem, 60kg maybe. She is no youngster either, and she is always a potential winner in any wind. Its not the size of the dog in the fight.
Can I say that in the context of Andrea :-)


You'd probably have to run it past Andrea for a definitive answer........ Rather you than me though...... LOL


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by zeon


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



He is undoubtedly an excellent sailor, but I suspect until joining our Club he will have had very little experience of the funeling effects and impossible to predict major headers we get on our little tree lined water, which when blowing seriously hard will wipe out most if not all boats that are being hiked properly. I am not surprised if he looked broken.

Did any other boat finish that race?


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 2:36pm
Originally posted by The Moo

Originally posted by zeon


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



He is undoubtedly an excellent sailor, but I suspect until joining our Club he will have had very little experience of the funeling effects and impossible to predict major headers we get on our little tree lined water, which when blowing seriously hard will wipe out most if not all boats that are being hiked properly. I am not surprised if he looked broken.

Did any other boat finish that race?

Yes , other people did finish .And one of his capsizes was definitely due to the above effect. His other capsize was a more typical, down wind boom in the air job LOL



Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 3:52pm
Quality of of the film not up to modern standards but still awesome 
https://youtu.be/6p0ILgwKD8o" rel="nofollow - https://youtu.be/6p0ILgwKD8o

Obviously he is messing about but on a whole that boat is almost always close to flat and yes athleticism but nothing super human. Tom is in control of the heel and constantly adjusting the main. 

Like the answer to most peopleís sailing issues, time on the water makes you a better sailor.

.... and in context, this is design is 1/2 a century old 



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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 4:14pm
Mr Slingsby does not seem to have any real issues with the mainsheet catching on the gybes.   


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 5:00pm
Originally posted by tink

Quality of of the film not up to modern standards but still awesome 
https://youtu.be/6p0ILgwKD8o" rel="nofollow - https://youtu.be/6p0ILgwKD8o

Obviously he is messing about but on a whole that boat is almost always close to flat and yes athleticism but nothing super human. Tom is in control of the heel and constantly adjusting the main. 

Like the answer to most peopleís sailing issues, time on the water makes you a better sailor.

.... and in context, this is design is 1/2 a century old 


Great footage. But itís a bit posting footage of Mr Bolt and saying if I train like him I too can run the 100 metres in 10 seconds LOLLOL


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 6:24pm
Maybe you could though Wink

Dinghy racing is about far more than simple fitness, even the super fit Mr Bolt probably couldn't get a Laser downwind in F6 without the odd capsize.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 6:38pm
Exactly SS.

Horses for courses.

Some like being the physical master of their boat in up to the most extreme and for a Laser that is most likely six ft and fourteen st, probably given a series with a bit wind and winning size also.

Some though enjoy a combination of mastery and consent, sailing with sympathy and respect for the power they have to manage, on windy days unlikely to be first at the top mark but nonetheless it can bring it's own satisfactions. 


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 18 Dec 19 at 7:34pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Maybe you could though Wink

Dinghy racing is about far more than simple fitness, even the super fit Mr Bolt probably couldn't get a Laser downwind in F6 without the odd capsize.


Itís something to aim for lol . 
Though I have just looked at the age records for the 100m , donít think I have much chance of beating the record for my age group ( 55 to 60 ) its 11.3 !! 
Think on my best day, with the wind behind me , I might beat the record for the 90 to 95 age group WinkLOLLOLLOL



Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 19 Dec 19 at 12:18am
I look at that Tom Slingsby video and thank God I spent my prime sailing something enjoyable in strong winds, I should also point out edited videos are designed to create awe.. It didn't, I actually feel sorry for the fella, what a waste of talent.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: salmon80
Date Posted: 19 Dec 19 at 5:38am
Originally posted by iGRF

I look at that Tom Slingsby video and thank God I spent my prime sailing something enjoyable in strong winds, I should also point out edited videos are designed to create awe.. It didn't, I actually feel sorry for the fella, what a waste of talent.

You could watch the moth worlds video instead where he is going 30 knots downwind winning the moth worlds with straight 1st's. So impressive although there's nobody there for some reason.....???




Posted By: sarg boland
Date Posted: 19 Dec 19 at 6:34am
Was race officer for Laser Open just before Olympic Trials.    Blowing force six and lovely swell off Lancing ( as always ).  Last deciding race and a head to head Mark Littlejohn v Ben Ainslie.  So exciting and huge smiles on both their faces as they finished inches apart, they were loving it.

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Fair winds


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Dec 19 at 10:20am
Originally posted by zeon

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Maybe you could though Wink

Dinghy racing is about far more than simple fitness, even the super fit Mr Bolt probably couldn't get a Laser downwind in F6 without the odd capsize.


Itís something to aim for lol . 
Though I have just looked at the age records for the 100m , donít think I have much chance of beating the record for my age group ( 55 to 60 ) its 11.3 !! 
Think on my best day, with the wind behind me , I might beat the record for the 90 to 95 age group WinkLOLLOLLOL


I might just manage it, on a bike.....Embarrassed..... with a rolling start.....


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 19 Dec 19 at 1:12pm
Originally posted by salmon80


Originally posted by iGRF

I look at that Tom Slingsby video and thank God I spent my prime sailing something enjoyable in strong winds, I should also point out edited videos are designed to create awe.. It didn't, I actually feel sorry for the fella, what a waste of talent.

You could watch the moth worlds video instead where he is going 30 knots downwind winning the moth worlds with straight 1st's. So impressive although there's nobody there for some reason.....???


Agreed always found foiling moths impressive.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 20 Dec 19 at 3:33pm

Back to the original post and putting the admittedly younger Laser into context what is the attraction of the Sunfish and itís close family. I saw my first one at the Laser Stand at the dinghy show, I have similar but lighter hardware on my front door. It looks incredibly uncomfortable and the rig looks like it lacks any adjustability. Yet it is claimed to be worldís most popular sailboat. 



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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: zeon
Date Posted: 20 Dec 19 at 6:48pm
If you live  the other side of the pond , the answer is easy. Class racing.

On the other hand if you live in the UK , I have no idea at all .


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 20 Dec 19 at 6:59pm
I've sailed the Sunfish at couple of times at WPNSA. In a big breeze, it is a hoot. As the wind dropped, the enjoyment fell away faster than with other boats. I practiced my eyes closed sailing, imagining I was sailing off a Pacific island with blue skies, clear water and warm winds. Felt perfect.

I could imagine racing in a bit fleet somewhere exotic!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 20 Dec 19 at 9:03pm
Originally posted by zeon

If you live  the other side of the pond , the answer is easy. Class racing.

On the other hand if you live in the UK , I have no idea at all .

That answers, like the Laser, what happens once they have critical mass but the curiosity is how they get that critical mass. 


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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 20 Dec 19 at 9:15pm
I doubt a high percentage of Sunfish are raced seriously. Paul McCartney, for one, seems to be a regular recreational Sunfish sailor, and as I'm sure he can have any boat he likes, one must conclude he likes those...


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 20 Dec 19 at 10:09pm
Probably ease of use, hardly any controls to speak of.

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Robert



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