Oceania Fiji Laser Event Cancelled

The third running of the the 2020 Oceania Fiji Laser Masters and Open Championship which was to be held from 26th to 30th October 2020 at Denarau Island Fiji has been cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Australian Laser National Championships Changes

Australian Sailing has announced HERE that it has ceased running Australian Youth Championships. It will continue to run State Youth Championships once COVID-19 orders allow.

In their announcement AS say that clubs are at the centre of a sustainable future for youth sailing and that the development of a club based coaching program is a priority for them. They also say that resourcing will be dual focused;

  • Helping to develop sailors so that they stay engaged at their club and remain lifelong members of our sailing community
  • Provide opportunities for aspiring athletes to progress from club to national level

ALCA welcomes this change and AS’s Youth initiatives.

Following AS’s change ALCA will be placing additional emphasis on Youth at our Australian Championship events. The Laser Australian Championships already include Youth categories as cube events. These championships will become the selection event for the Laser sailors in the World Sailing run Youth Sailing World Championships and are and will remain the ranking events for applicants for all ILCA World Championships.

ALCA will rename the Australian Championships as Australian Laser Open and Youth Championships. Going forward these championships will always be run as separate events from the Masters while the Australian Laser Masters will be run as a separate annual event.

The Australian Open and Youth Championship 6 year rotation around the states will be unchanged though as previously advised the WA event at Fremantle SC due to COVID-19 will be postponed for one year.

The separate Australian Masters event will be held on a three year rotation around the east coast mainland states.

It is expected that with the greater focus on youth in the National Open and Youth Championships and with the increase in emphasis and numbers in the 4.7 at these events the Laser Nationals will continue to grow and prosper.

The separate National Masters events have always been popular and very well attended. ALCA considers that running more of these will increase Master’s participation and interest.     

The rotation sequence for these events will be as follows:

Open & YouthMasters
Year1-8 JanuaryFebruary
2021No EventNo Event
2022WALA (Fremantle)VLA (Venue TBA)
2023NSW & ACT (Georges River)NSW & ACT (Port Stephens)

2020 Women’s Regatta Cancelled

Double Bay Sailing Club have decided to cancel this year’s Women’s Regatta.

The decision follows from the NSW Office of Sport recommendation last week that community sports organisations cease activities that result in the mixing of participants and staff from different regions including participants from different regions within Greater Sydney.

DBSC Commodore Andrew Cox’s notice on the event is HERE.

The club is really keen to run the event  and it has been scheduled for 25-26 September in 2021.

2021 Australian Laser Championships Postponed

Due to uncertainty about COVID-19 health orders and border restrictions, ALCA in consultation with event organisers WA Laser Association and Fremantle Sailing Club (FSC), has decided to postpone the 2021 Australian Laser Championships to  1-8 January 2022 at FSC.

The Australian Open Laser Championship rotation order is unchanged so the event after Fremantle will be the NSW & ACT hosted championship at Georges River Sailing Club 1-8 January 2023.

As you may be aware Australian Sailing has cancelled their Australian Youth Championships 2021 which were to be held at SoP YC WA. They had earlier conveyed their decision not to run National Youth Championships after 2021.

As there will be no 2021 Australian Championship event the ALCA  AGM will be held online instead. The AGM will be held by Zoom on 15 December 2020. Details and arrangements will be conveyed closer to the meeting date.

SPLM Cancelled Due to Travel Restrictions

Queensland Laser Association has cancelled the South Pacific Laser Masters scheduled for 7-10 August at RQYS. An open Laser event over the weekend 8-9 August will be run instead for those who are in, or can enter, Queensland.

QLA President Michael Wilson has issued the following release.

On behalf of the QLA I’m disappointed to advise that we have been forced to cancel the South Pacifc Laser Masters (SPLM) regatta due to competitors from New Zealand, Victoria and Greater Sydney being unable to attend.

If you have already entered we are in the process of returning your entry fee via RQYS.

In lieu of SPLM we are intending to hold a two day regatta, the Queensland Mid-Winter Laser regatta, on the same weekend which will be open to all Laser sailors, not just Masters. If you can travel to RQYS for the 8th and 9th August we would love to see you at this regatta.

A Notice of Race and entry registration will shortly be available on the RQYS web site.

ALCA COVID-19 Championship Policy

ALCA has issued a policy document to cover the naming and awarding of cubes and perpetual trophies when sailors are restricted from attending National or District (State) Championships due to COVID-19 health orders.

The policy document is HERE.

Due to uncertainty around the opening of Australia’s external borders it has been decided not to incorporate the Oceania Championships with the Australian Championships 2021 in Fremantle.

SLM – Active Sailing Clubs

Our ALCA Youth Representative Don Elks has been working since 2002 developing and perfecting a club level dinghy training program which generates membership growth for junior through to adult sailing. The program is titled Structured Learning Methodology SLM.

The program assures that every dollar invested by participating clubs delivers quality training, member growth, and retention at the lowest marginal cost. The program is simple to operate and it adapts to any fleet structure. Under the program coaches acquire knowledge and improve on the job. With a functional training capability clubs can raise funds, run courses and events.

Trials so far are demonstrating real benefits at community based as well as large professionally staffed clubs. Trials of the program are ongoing at Fremantle SC, Hunters Hill SC, South of Perth YC, McCrae YC, Brisbane SS and starting up at Mornington YC and Royal Sydney YC.

Don Elks is currently gauging the level of interest in SLM to decide how best to support more clubs. If you or your club may be interested please have a look at the SLM site HERE and get in touch with Don using the form, the email or phone listed on the Contact tab.

COVID-19 Restrictions Information Hub

Australian Sailing has an information hub with all the latest information and advice on COVID-19 restrictions. They also have an archive their COVID-19 related news stories and updates.

The information hub is HERE.

Interview With Two Toms

Interesting talk with the two Toms Slingsby and Burton with Ronstan’s Stephen Brayshaw.

What does the sailing journey of an Olympic champion look like? Training and sailing tips on how to become a better Laser and Moth sailor look HERE .

You can see Tom Slingsby in the gold medal race in the London 2016 Olympics HERE.

She’s Back – The Women’s Regatta 26-27 September

2019 Women’s Regatta Participants

The Women’s Regatta hosted by Double Bay Sailing Club in Sydney will be held on 26 and 27 September 2020. This will be the first Australian Laser regatta of the 2020-21 season.

The event will be open, as hopefully the state borders will be by then, allowing full interstate participation as in previous years.

After the success of the 2018 and 2019 regattas, the DBSC organising team of Clare Alexander and Christine Patton are back to present the not-to-be-missed annual event for women Laser sailors of all ages and abilities.

Sailing training and competition in all classes has been affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, so the first Laser regatta in Australian waters will certainly generate excitement in the community and start the season on a high.

The event format will be adapted to the Public Health advice at the time and will include two days of racing on Sydney Harbour, sailing workshops/clinics, group dinner, and prizegiving.

The flyer for the regatta is HERE and you can find the expression of interest HERE 

Progress With New Class Builders

Despite COVID-19 new class builders are progressing with production from the three new European builders expected in the European Summer.

The reasons for the changes to the class builder arrangements stemming from the requirement by World Sailing for open supply of Olympic equipment are covered in our earlier post HERE.

Six of the seven builders originally selected are progressing towards commercial supply of hulls. These are;

  • Devoti Sailing s.r.o. (Poland)
  • Element 6 Evolution Co Ltd  (Thailand)
  • Nautivela srl (Italy)
  • Ovington Boats Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • Qindao Zou Inter Marine Co., Ltd (China)
  • Rio tecna srl (Argentina)

Current builders PSA and PSJ are retained.

Once the hull supply is bedded down ILCA will be moving to open up the supply of parts – spars, foils and sails. A full description of the ILCA arrangements and plan is HERE.

50th Anniversary for the Laser coming up September 2021

ILCA are considering a proposal to promote to sailors, class districts, sailing clubs and associations around the world to encourage holding a fun day of racing, or just sailing, a Laser to celebrate the `boat and the class’ 50th anniversary.

Clubs (and/or individuals) will be encouraged to organise a regatta or a single race, or to just to get out for a fun sail in a Laser, new or old.

The proposal being considered is HERE.

If you have ideas let us know.

The background to the Laser origins is;

In Autumn of 1970 the prototype Laser (called the Weekender at the time, with “TGIF” on the sail) entered and won the America’s Teacup regatta in Wisconsin. The boat was named “Laser” in November that year.

Production started over the winter months and the first boats starting to rapidly sell in 1971. The first large regatta was the 1971 North American Championships (won by Dick Tillman); hence, 2021 will be the 50th anniversary of Laser racing and the class association.

Update on Relaxation of COVID-19 Restrictions

Australian Sailing have issued information from their enquiries on changes of COVID-19 restrictions in effect from 15 May.

In most states the easing allows gathering outdoors of up to 10 people (equals 10 Lasers) up from 2 previously. The new normal 1.5m and 4m² distancing rules apply.

AS says that at this stage formal racing is not allowed.

You can check AS’s specific advice relevant to your state on their COVID-19 Information Hub HERE.

Remaining 2020 World Championships Cancelled – 2021 World Events Announced

International Laser Class Association has been trying to find a viable arrangement to allow the Radial and 4.7 Youth and Under 21 World Championships to proceed. These events were scheduled for July and August in Italy and Poland. ILCA have now concluded that the three events can’t be run and they are cancelled. Notice is HERE.

It was fortunate as it transpired that, in spite of bush fire smoke and some ordinary winds, the main Men’s and Women’s Laser Worlds and the Radial Men’s Worlds were able to be concluded at Sandringham before CV emerged.

Planning for 2021 events has proceeded and dates and venues for five of the World Championships have been announced HERE. These and our Australian and Oceania events planned for 2020/21 are listed on the Events Page of this site HERE.

Eight Bells – Ward McKimm

It is with sorrow we record the passing of Canadian Ward McKimm (1927-2020). Ward was one of the primary founders and drivers behind the Laser Class.

As reported by The Globe and Mail of Canada , “In the 1970s, he left the practice of law to join his friend and former International 14 sailing partner Ian Bruce to develop the Laser sailboat, which eventually became and still is the largest sailboat class in the world.

The first North American Laser Championship took place in 1971 and the first Laser World Championship in 1974. Ward participated in these and many later Laser championships and became one of the world’s top Laser sailors.

Summer of 2020 Event Report

It takes a huge amount of strategy, planning and organisation and hard work to run successful large high profile sailing events.

Volunteers for Laser 2020 Events at Sandringham Yacht Club

The brilliant team in the Victorian Laser Association under Event Director James Mitchell and VLA President John d’Helin along with more than 100 volunteers and full support from hosting clubs Sandringham YC and Royal Geelong YC did a fabulous job organising and running the six events of the Summer of 2020 in Melbourne earlier this year.

There were 850 entries for the six events and 300 for the Laser World Masters which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the CV. The sailors came from more than 40 countries. There are posts covering each of these events earlier on this site.

James has prepared a post event report which is essential reading for folks contemplating running sailing events on this scale. James’ report is HERE.

Suggestions for Changes to ILCA Constitution

While we have been getting on with sailing and enjoying a great summer of sailing the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) has been going through a few dramas. Starting with the retention of our Olympic status leading to the need to open up the market for class builders complicated by trade mark issues and the licensing of new builders around the World – and did I mention a World pandemic leading to the cancelling and rescheduling of World Championships and the Olympics.

In spite, or perhaps in part because of these dramas, ILCA have undertaken a review of our nearly 50 year old and much amended constitution. This review hopefully will address issues resulting from the recent builder and trade mark changes but also to better equip the class to continue to prosper for the next 50 years.

Much of the existing constitution, which is online HERE, is still highly relevant so the idiom concerning babies and bath water will be respected. As well any changes will need the support off at least 2/3rds of the membership to be passed.

ILCA is calling for suggestions for changes from members. The details of how the change process is planned to go and how, where and by when members can suggest changes is on the ILCA web site HERE.

If you want to have your say now is your chance.

Interview with 2021 Olympic Rep Mara Stransky

Mara on her epic sail – referred to in the interview

You can see a QLA interview with Australia’s 2021 Laser Radial Olympic representative Mara Stransky HERE.

There is a short piece on Mara from Channel 10 Brisbane broadcast on 27 April HERE.

if you would like to donate to Mara’s Olympic campaign, you can do so through the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF).  The donations are tax deductible. 

The link to Mara’s ASF funding page for donations is https://asf.org.au/donate/mara-stransky/             

The  ASF Terms & Conditions under which you are donating can be found at the bottom of the ASF Home Page”

European Laser Event Plans

We were fortunate to get almost all our season’s events in before CV took over. Spare a thought for the Northern Hemisphere sailors – it looks like their busy 2020 season is shot.

For sailors who might have been interested in competing in Europe in 2020 most of the Europa Cup and Euromasters events have been rescheduled (in the hope of the situation improving) or cancelled.

Please refer to the EuroILCA web site HERE for details.

For future planning EuroILCA are scheduling their 2021 season with the following dates and venues.

  • Senior Europeans Varna ( Bulgaria ) 15 to 22 May 2021
  • Radial Youth Europeans Kaštela Croatia) 26 June to 3rd July 2021
  • 4.7 Europeans Travemünde (Germany) 23 to 31 July 2021
  • Masters Europeans Arco (Italy) 23 to 29th July 2021
  • U 21 Europeans Cyprus 9 to 16th October 2021

Can I exercise on my Laser?

To relieve the tedium of life indoors most Laser sailors are getting out for regular exercise which is both conditionally allowed and encouraged under current Government regulations in most jurisdictions.

The NSW Government Office of Sport says on their web site that during the COVID-19 pandemic “Where possible, it is important sporting clubs and organisations continue to allow people to exercise, so long as social distancing is practised and rules around public gatherings of no more than two people are complied with.”

As we know sailing your Laser gives you a pretty good work out on most days and a few sailors have asked can sailing a boat be counted as exercise under the new order of things. Well the answer is yes with some sensible restrictions unless you are in Victoria where all forms of boating are not exercise but a recreation and are not allowed.

You can check on details of restrictions and updates for your state on the web sites linked below.

Status of Remaining 2020 ILCA World Championships

ILCA has reported on the status of the remaining three 2020 World Championships HERE.

2020 Under-21 Worlds July in Malcesine, Italy
2020 4.7 Youth Worlds August in Arco, Italy
2020 Radial Youth Worlds August in Dziwnów, Poland

In summary right now these events are under review as the COVID-19 situation in Europe (and the World) is very uncertain. Sailors interested should monitor the ILCA web site for updates.

Tokyo Olympics delayed to 2021

The IOC has announced that the Tokyo Olympics (sailing in Enoshima) will be delayed “to a date beyond 2020 but not later than (northern hemisphere) summer 2021”.

The IOC announcement is HERE

Australia has qualified for all 2020 Olympic sailing events except the Men’s and Women’s RSX. Matt Wearn WA and Mara Stransky Qld have been nominated by Australian Sailing to represent us in the Lasers in Tokyo. There is a full listing of all Olympic sailing classes, which countries have qualified and who will represent them HERE.

World Sailing is keeping a list of cancelled or rescheduled Olympic classes events on its website HERE.

Oceania & Australian Masters – Geelong

Brett Beyer in full concentration mode on day 2 – Jon West photo

The Oceania & Australian Laser Masters Championship was concluded at Royal Geelong Yacht Club on 17th March. Only three of the scheduled four days were sailed due to hightened COVID-19 risk.

It was unfortunate but inevitable that the following Laser World Masters series was postponed with arrangements to be announced at a later date.

Most of the truncated series was sailed in it shifty winds with big changes in wind speed making it challenging for the RO and the sailors alike.

The Standard Fleets finished two races each day while the Radials after several attempts to get a second start on day two finished with just 5 races completed for the series.

In the Standard Masters Brett Beyer had a convincing win dropping his second place in the last race to count five bullets. Brett won from WA’s David Whait who beat Andrew Dellabarca from NZ by a tie break. Gavin Dagley from Victoria won the GM’s also by a tie break from Alan Davis GBR with Jan Scholten from NSW third. Michael Keaton from NZ won four races to take the Standard GGM cube and Matt Blakey Vic (ex of NZ) likewise won four races to claim the Standard Apprentice Master cube.

In the Radials the largest fleet the GM’s with 34 competitors was won by Queenslander Mark Kennedy from Swede Ulf Myrin and David Early from NSW. The Great Grand Masters Radial was won by Bill Symes USA. Bill defeated Canada’s Paul Clifford on a tie break after Bill won the last race. Jeff Loosemore from NSW was third. The Legends was won convincingly by current World Legend champion Kerry Waraker QLD. Owen McMahon Vic won the Radial Masters with a race to spare from New Zealander Edmund Tam with Rohan Allen Vic third.

The top woman sailor and cube winner was Vanessa Dudley from NSW.

The full results for the event are HERE.

John Emmett was the only Radial Apprentice and apart from winning his division he recorded some interesting interviews which are linked below;

ILCA Hall of Fame and multiple World Laser Masters Champion Peter Seidenberg

Alan Davis – close second Standard GM

Michael Keaton and Garry Lock – first and second Standard Rig GGM

Vanessa Dudley – Women’s cube winner

The event web site with more reports and stories is HERE

There are lots of event photos by Jon West HERE

Masters Radial action – photo by Jon West

New ILCA Handbook Now Available

The 2020 ILCA Handbook containing Constitution, Class Rules, contacts, World Championship winners and more is now available for download HERE.

2020 ILCA Laser Masters World Championships – POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

Based on safety and public health factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ILCA World Council and local event host have decided NOT to proceed with the 2020 ILCA Laser Masters World Championships as scheduled on 21-28 March 2020 in Geelong Australia.

The smaller entry preceding Oceania & Australian Laser Masters event is proceeding.

The ILCA notice on this decision follows.

We understand that some sailors may already be on site, other are en route and some have imminent departures. Given the extreme rapidity of developments and the uncertainty surrounding travel and participation in this event, the decision to take this extraordinary step was decided to be the most prudent course of action under the circumstances.

The Australian government has now issued advise against non-essential, organized public gatherings of more than 500 people as a precaution to reduce community spread of the virus. With the number of competitors, spouses, event personnel, and visitors expected, ILCA has chosen to heed this government health advisory.

Whether the event will be rescheduled to a later date or cancelled will be determined in the near future. Refund arrangements will also be addressed and communicated with entrants as soon as practical.

Tourism Fiji Laser Masters Open 2020

The 2020 Fiji Laser Masters Open will be once again held on the beautiful Denarau Island, Fiji.
Warm waters and perfect breeze will greet you on your arrival at the event venue, the luxurious Sofitel Resort and Spa.

Luxury suites, sparkling swimming pools, world-class cuisine, shopping, adventure options and best of all world class sailing conditions.
A fleet of PSA Laser charter boats are onsite for the event, just turn up and sail in paradise!

Laser Standard and Radial rigs from Monday 26th to Friday 30th October 2020. Entries are opening soon.

The event web site is HERE.

By popular demand the three day coaching session is returning to the event this year. The coaching will be before the event 22 to 24 October and cost is $600 AUD.

Spaces are limited so get in quick. Info is HERE.

South Pacific Laser Masters RQYS

The SPLM is on again this year at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron 9-13 July 2020.

This is always a great event with top organisation at a fabulous club.

You can get accommodation a stones throw from the rigging area and the club restaurant and bar.

The flyer for SPLM 2020 is HERE.

Entry is $200. This includes the Laser Forum on Thursday evening and the event dinner on Saturday night.

You can get information and enter HERE.

Looking to the Future – Tracy Usher

Tracy Usher President of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA)_World Council has issued his outlook for the class copied below. In part of this statement Tracy is responding to a recent move by a group of disgruntled Europeans (and an one Argentinian) sponsored by the ex UK based Laser builder Laser Performance Europe (LPE).

LPE is about to be replaced or joined by three new European builders under the requirement by World Sailing that the ILCA open up the supply of Laser equipment. If you want more of the disgruntled group’s views courtesy of a web site set up and run by LPE then click HERE.

Tracy Usher ILCA President – a very keen Laser Masters sailor – His outlook is below

Throughout its 50 year existence, the International Laser Class Association has endured many challenges – whether it was the bankruptcy of the founding builder and the business failures of a number of other builders over the decades or the outside attempt to start a separate association with the “Torch” trying to supplant the existing class. And yet the Laser Class has worked to meet these and other challenges and continued to grow to become today the largest adult and youth sailing organization in the world and, significantly, the single-handed Olympic dinghy for both men and women.

While many international class associations organize a single annual world championship, ILCA successfully organizes seven annual world championships with charter support across our three rig variants and various age groups including Radial Women, Radial Men, Standard Men, 4.7 Youth, Radial Youth, Under-21 in both Standard and Radial rigs and the Masters. In addition, there are highly successful regional and district and local championships in many of the rigs and age groups. This is only possible because of the broad support of grassroots of the class — from passionate sailors and hundreds of dedicated volunteers all over the world.

This past year has seen another set of extraordinary challenges for the class: undergoing equipment trials to emerge as selected equipment for the next Olympic cycle and reorganizing builder relations in order to comply with the World Sailing Olympic Equipment Policy necessitated by European Union antitrust law. With the same determination shown by our members competing on the water, the association is on the verge of meeting these challenges to ensure the long-term success of the class.

The process to comply with World Sailing’s Olympic Equipment Policy has presented several significant challenges which have taken a substantial amount of time and effort to address. The fact is that nearly 50 years of activity has resulted in a complex web of contractual relationships, including some for which ILCA is not a party but which directly impact ILCA operations. The good news is that this process is finally nearing completion and new builders will be receiving molds and starting production in the near future.

During this transition, there has been understandable concern over supply, particularly in Europe – the largest region for the class – which had not previously seen many of the supply problems that had been plaguing other regions of the world for many years. While we would all like for this process to happen instantaneously, everyone is working hard to make sure it is done properly. And this takes time.

Additionally, we also appreciate the legacy of the familiar starburst logo on our sails, particularly for long-time class members, some of whom have been sailing the boat since the 1970s. All of us would ideally like to maintain the original logo but, unfortunately, ILCA does not have control over the Laser trademark on boats and sails and cannot unilaterally authorize the use of the starburst on the sails.

It is unfortunate that the company who does control this trademark in certain parts of the world has yet to accept the offer to be an approved builder and build boats in compliance with the ILCA Class Rules. Instead it seems that, with the support of some individuals in Europe who appear unwilling to wait for new approved builders to get up to speed, they are attempting to start a rival organization with the express intent to undermine ILCA and its sailors. It is difficult to see how this benefits sailors or sailing.

Regardless of the insignia on the sails, we remain the World Sailing recognized International Laser Class Association and will continue to conduct Laser Class events around the world as we have for the past 50 years.

As we have worked to overcome past challenges, the association is working to meet the current ones. We remain focused on getting additional builders on line in the very near future, including three highly respected builders in Europe. We anticipate that additional builders will enable improvement in supply conditions world wide and that the competition will ensure that the sport remains affordable.

The ILCA actively and fully supports the EurILCA Executive in working to ensure stability in Europe as we work to meet our common goals and address concerns of our membership.

Stay tuned for additional announcements in the coming days.

Lasers 4 Africa

ALCA and our partners OLCA, ILCA have pleasure in announcing the Lasers 4 Africa Appeal.

The appeal aims to collect 20 Lasers donated from clubs or members. Complete boats are preferred however we will be able to add missing parts. We are also accepting sails, spars and foils which are surplus to needs and which can be used with boats donated but incomplete.

These Lasers are the ones sitting in clubs that are no longer used that would be appreciated by young sailors in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. The boats will be shipped to these locations for training and for African events.

The boats and equipment will be shipped from our other co-sponsor PSA’s premesis on the Central Coast of NSW.

It is hoped that these Lasers will be shipped to Africa by June/July 2020.

If you have or know of a Laser in need of a new home under this program please contact Ken Hurling on 0417644086 or kenhurling@hotmail.com

Going Going Gone – Only a Few Places Left for National Masters

There is now a cap of 180 places on the Oceania and Laser National Masters event at Geelong 13-18th March.

There are around 15 places left so if you want to compete in this great lead-up event to the Laser Worlds at the same venue it is time to act.

The site for the event is HERE. The Notice of Race is Here.

You can enter online HERE.

Late entries are still open for the Laser Worlds. There are nearly 300 entries for this event including 166 Australians.

You can apply for Entry for the World Masters HERE.

NoR, SI’s and other documents for the World Masters are on the ILCA web site HERE.