Please select your home edition
Edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90

The 2019 British Laser 4.7 Qualifier season is approaching...

by Ben Nicholls 10 Jan 20:36 GMT
The Laser 4.7 has the perfect rig/hull combination for young sailors post-Optimist © Ben Nicholls

The Laser 4.7 is a phenomenal success story of junior and youth one design dinghy sailing. In recent years it has consistently been the largest Junior/Youth fleet at a World Championships. The Class's first World Championships were held in 2002 in Holland, in 2018 there were 430 sailors competing in the Worlds in Poland and over 300 sailors competing in the Europeans in Greece. The universality of the Laser is no doubt a major part of the Class's success globally and just as with the Optimist Class, the Laser 4.7 has a huge following of sailors, parents, coaches and merchants invested in it's success.

Britain was the largest nation of competitors at both 2018 events with sailors up to the age of 17 competing. The RYA adopted the Laser 4.7 for their Olympic 'Pathway' some time ago and the prolific success of GBR across various Laser Fleets is in part due to the efforts put into Coaching the young sailors in the Laser 4.7.

The RYA's Laser 4.7 Head Coach in recent years, Martin Boatman, was recognised as "Coach of the Year" in 2016 following another successful year internationally. GBR sailors have enjoyed significant success in the Laser 4.7 at the highest level, with 5 U16 World or European Championship Podium positions from the last 3 seasons.

Sailors from the Optimist, Topper, RS Tera and Cadet Classes are the most likely graduates into the Laser 4.7. The sailors typically begin to move into the Laser 4.7 at approximately 45kg, but the 4.7 enjoys a very broad competitive weight range for the Club sailor (50-70kg), due to a larger hull being paired with a smaller rig. Sailors typically begin to graduate from the 4.7 into the Radial rig at about 60kg onwards.

The Laser 4.7 has a huge, competitive circuit throughout Europe and for the Brits to travel to these major events is relatively easy given the ease of car-topping a Laser, or adding it to a stacking trailer. In Britain, the UKLA runs a successful Laser 4.7 Ladder Series sponsored by SailingFast and is designed to provide quality racing for the experienced Club sailor all the way up to the top RYA Squad sailors. While some events are Qualifiers for Championship participation, or Squads, other Ladder events have a more relaxed approach. The UKLA and RYA sometimes bring Coaches to help the whole Fleet with briefings and on-the-water support in-between races for all sailors.

Some of the Laser 4.7 Ladder Events are run alongside the main fleet Qualifiers, so the young sailors enjoy sharing the dinghy park and race course with the top sailors in our sport. Recent World Champion and Rio Olympians Nick Thompson (Standard Rig) and Ali Young (Radial Rig) are just some of the star-studded entries sailing alongside the Laser 4.7 Fleet.

2019 starts with some experienced former Laser sailors assisting the UKLA Committee; former Youth World Champion and Finn Olympian, now International Race Officer, Stuart Childerley is assisting the Class with all aspects of Race Management, Stuart's son and daughter have both been successful Laser 4.7 sailors in recent years. Former Laser National Champion Keith Videlo is the Laser 4.7 Class Representative, his daughter is a current Member of the Laser 4.7 National Squad. Keith will be working with the UKLA's Youth Representative Ben Nicholls, whose 2 daughters have both recently won the Laser 4.7 U16 European Championships. In addition, there are a large number of active volunteers from amongst the parents of the Laser 4.7 sailors who help put on the Laser 4.7 Ladder events and it promises to be an exciting year ahead.

Details of the UKLA's first World Championship and European Championship Qualifier in 2019 are posted on the UKLA Website: https://www.kbsuk.com/laser/47events/index.asp?EventID=99

UKLA Laser 4.7 SailingFast Ladder 5 is being hosted by WPNSA on 26/27 January.

There is also UKLA Laser 4.7 & Radial Class Training at the ASWC-Portland starting this weekend with over 50 young Laser sailors registered. Coaches include former Olympian Laura Baldwin, former British Sailing Team Laser sailors led by Tim Hulse.

General information is often posted on the new GBR Youth Lasers Facebook Page.

Related Articles

Sailingfast Laser 4.7 Qualifier at Rutland
44 intrepid sailors travel despite the Storm Erik weather warning On 9th & 10th February, Rutland Sailing Club hosted the Sailingfast Laser 4.7 World and European Qualifier event. Over 44 intrepid Laser sailors made the journey, despite the Storm Erik weather warning. Posted on 13 Feb
Valentine's Day Regatta at St. Petersburg YC
Over 260 youth sailors gathered at St. Petersburg Yacht Club Over 260 youth sailors gathered this weekend at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for the 2019 Valentine's Day Regatta. Warm weather, strong current, and breeze ranging from 5 through 12 knots Posted on 11 Feb
2019 Top of the Gulf Regatta
Up to 16 classes and more than 200 boats expected Inclusivity has been at the heart of Thailand's Top of the Gulf Regatta presented by Ocean Marina since it was first sailed in 2005, as organisers aim to support sailing across a diverse range of boat types and sizes, and sailor abilities. Posted on 11 Feb
2019 Sail East at Shediac Bay Yacht Club preview
Taking place from August 1-4 on the Northumberland Strait in New Brunswick Sail Canada is pleased to announce that the Shediac Bay Yacht Club in Shediac, NB has been selected to host the 2019 Sail East Regional Championships. Posted on 3 Feb
2019 Hong Kong Race Week is only 12 days away
A constituent of the ASAF Youth World Cup Under the auspices of the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and organized in conjunction with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the 6th anniversary of Hong Kong Race Week is only 12 days away! Posted on 1 Feb
Inspiring the next generation - Martin Boatman
Influential and inspiring youth coach passes away Martin Boatman, who died this week following a two-year battle with cancer, will be remembered as one of the most influential and inspiring coaches of youngsters the sailing world has seen. Posted on 18 Jan
Elite young sailors take to the Derwent
Australian Sailing Youth Championships start today More than 230 of Australia's elite young sailors will take to the River Derwent today to contest the prestigious Australian Sailing Youth Championships for 2019. Posted on 11 Jan
Laser Oceania and Australian Championship overall
Tom Burton regains the Laser National title Rio gold medallist Tom Burton (NSW) has outsailed defending Australian Laser Standard Rig champion Matthew Wearn (WA) in a hard-fought Oceania and Australian championship. Posted on 10 Jan
Laser Oceania and Australian Championship day 4
All fleets thoroughly enjoyed the steady 15 knot westerly breeze With the courses out on Bass Strait set under the Mersey Bluff, with it iconic striped lighthouse and Dial Range in the background, all fleets thoroughly enjoyed the steady 15 knot westerly breeze. Posted on 6 Jan
Laser Oceania and Australian Championship day 3
A duel between top Laser sailors Tom Burton and Matthew Wearn Only two points separate Australia's two top Olympic Laser sailors, Tom Burton and Matthew Wearn, after five races in the 2019 Oceania and Australian championships being sailed on Bass Strait off Devonport. Posted on 6 Jan