Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2019 - British Keelboat League 728x90
Product Feature
TridentUK Dinghy Stacker For Towing - Laser or Topper
TridentUK Dinghy Stacker For Towing - Laser or Topper
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

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

Kiel Week day 4
Hunger quenches his thirst for a 22nd title The international classes concluded the first half of Kiel Week today, with a German legend winning the 505 title after a few years in the wilderness. It was searingly hot in Kiel-Schilksee today, with temperatures touching over 30 degrees. Posted on 25 Jun
Kiel Week day 3
Lining up for some tense showdowns Germany's world-famous regatta has been delivering some sensational sailing conditions this week, as the international classes complete their penultimate day of competition. Posted on 24 Jun
Kiel Week day 2
75 races in dream-like conditions Kiel Week probably needs to hold back, otherwise it might be running out of superlatives. After the perfect Saturday, a Sunday of champagne sailing did follow. And this trend is supposed to go on. Posted on 24 Jun
Lasers at Island Barn Reservoir
Excellent racing in the strong breeze on Saturday A shifty strong breeze made for some excellent racing at the IBRSC 2019 Laser Open. 25 competitors came to the club and rigged their boats ready to sail. As requested by the IBRSC Laser Class Captain, a triangle - sausage course was set. Posted on 18 Jun
London Sailing League at Hillingdon
20 sailors took to the water in Lasers, Toppers, and Teras This was an event to allow participants from London-based clubs and RYA Centres to take part in class racing in a relaxed and friendly environment in different locations across the capital. Posted on 17 May
Sailing Chandlery Laser Super Grand Prix
A masterclass on tuning and more, before racing at Blithfield As the sun sets on the calm beautiful waters of Blithfield reservoir, it's time to reflect on a super weekend spent with super coaches, enjoying super company and a super days racing, thanks to our super sponsors, Sailing Chandlery. Posted on 12 May
Eric Twiname Junior Championships winners crowned
Rutland Sailing Club plays host to over 330 junior racers Rutland Sailing Club played host to over 330 junior racers across nine fleets who took a range of sailing and weather conditions in their stride. Posted on 7 May
Young sailors head for Eric Twiname Junior Champs
More than 330 of Britain's most promising young sailors will come together this weekend The iconic regatta, hosted by Rutland Sailing Club in conjunction with the Eric Twiname Trust, will take place in nine RYA-recognised classes – Optimist, RS Tera, RS Feva, Topper and Laser 4.7 dinghies and four kinds of Bic Techno windsurfer. Posted on 3 May
Laser 4.7 Youth Nationals at Weymouth
What does it take? Loads of patience! What does it take to sail a Laser 4.7? Loads of patience! This year waiting on shore for the wind to drop...or arrive... has been an essential skill. Posted on 1 May
Introducing the ILCA Dinghy and SailGP SFO event
ILCA reaches an impasse with its European builder When I first set my eyes on a Laser, everything about the boat, from its slippery hull form to its powerful-looking rig and fast-sounding name, beckoned me to step closer to its (metaphoric) campfire. Posted on 30 Apr