Laser 50th Anniversary Sailing Event Double Bay SC 30th May

Double Bay Sailing Club will host a large exhibition of ILCA Laser dinghies sailing on the iconic Sydney Harbour on Sunday, 30 May 2021, to mark the 50th anniversary of  Laser/ILCA class.

The club is inviting anyone who has access to a Laser to participate in this historic event.

Sailors can launch from DBSC and sail to the start line together, or sail from another club and meet at Farm Cove at 0930h. At the club street parking is available (unrestricted on Sundays) and trailers can be left outside the club.

Participants are invited to attend DBSC after the event for a free BBQ and prize draw. All visitors are welcome and club dollies will be provided for those that sail in.

There will be prizes for entering and participating, including a hull upgrade (donated by PSA) and three new sails (donated by NB Sailsports). You must enter and turn up on the day to be eligible to win (see the Notice of Event for terms and conditions). Thanks to the generous sponsors for donating these prizes.

DBSC are welcoming all (Laser) sailors from far and wide to join the event. If you don’t have a Laser, but would like to join email DBSC and we will see what we can do to help. If you have a laser (or a spare), but are unable to sail it at the event, please email DBSC if you would like to lend it to someone else to sail.

0830h – Launch from DBSC
0930h – All participants meet at Farm Cove

1000h – Event start from Fort Denison
>> sail to South Head as a single fleet
1300h – Free BBQ on the deck at DBSC – all welcome

The press release from DBSC is HERE. Please register for the event on the DBSC web site HERE.

This is your chance in a lifetime to participate in this 50 year celebration.

Australian Championships 2022

It is time to get planning for the great upcoming Australian Laser Championships.

Entries will be opening soon for both the Open & Youth Australian & Oceania Championships 1-8 January 2022 at Fremantle Sailing Club WA and the Australian Masters Championships 25-28 February 2022 at Westernport Yacht Club Victoria.

If you need a charter boat for either of these events then NB Sailsports is the place to go. Rob McMillan has opened charter bookings on his web site on the links below;

Open & Youth Nationals (Fremantle, WA)

Masters Nationals (Westernport, Vic) 

You can follow these National Championship events on our Laser Nationals web site at on the Australian Laser Nationals Facebook page at or on the Australian Laser App which you can find out about and get links to download from Here.

Queensland State Championships at Bowen

The Queensland Open State Championships were held at Port Dennison Sailing Club Bowen 8-10 April.

There was a great roll up of 80 boats competing over 7 races in mainly light conditions. Fabulous to see 26 4.7s in the fleet including our venerable Chairman Ken Hurling making a comeback in his Laser Last Chance.

Woollahra’s Brett Beyer made the long trip north and won all but one race in the Standards. Frazer Brew from RQYS was only three points behind and won the only race which Brett did not. Zane Taylor from RQYS won the 4.7s in a close finish from Hugo Ralph also from RQYS. RQYS Radial sailors Ben Franklin and Annie Eastgate went head to head with Ben finishing up the winner by just four points.

Full results for the event are HERE.

Sign the like of which you don’t see at many sailing venues had some visitors intrigued though it didn’t seem to put them off.

Applications Open for ILCA World Men’s Standard and Masters Championships

ILCA have announced that applications for entry for the following ILCA World Championships will be accepted beginning Thursday, 15 April 2021:

2021 ILCA Standard Men’s World Championship
2021 ILCA Masters World Championships

For the above events, the ILCA deadline for receiving paid applications for initial allocation of places is 20 May 2021 at 23:59 Central US Time.

Information about these ILCA Laser Worlds and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page HERE

If these events can’t be held as World Championships due to travel restrictions there is provision for them to be run as International Regattas for those who can travel to and from the venue.

Unfortunately participation in 2021 ILCA World Championships by Australians is problematic due to the current Australian Government international travel ban.

Sailors considering entering these ILCA 2021 World Championship events should carefully read the “Entry Regulations” and Attachment 1 “Application and Entry Procedure” of the Notice of Race (the information appears in the NoR for each event). Check the Australian Government Smart Traveller web site advice. This includes the Australian Government’s overseas travel ban for citizens and permanent residents invoked in March 2020. Also relevant is the Australian Institute of Sports information on overseas travel for sport HERE.

For undeterred Masters sailors entry deadlines and cancellation options and costs are summarised HERE.

2021-22 Events List

There is a list of Laser Australian and International events on our Events Page.

We don’t anticipate any COVID impediments to running the major Australian and Oceania 2022 events;

  • 2022 Australian & Oceania Championships Open & Youth (Fremantle, WA 1-8 January)
  • Australian Masters (Westernport, Vic 25-28 February 2022)
  • Oceania Masters (Darwin, NT 20-26 August 2022)

Notices of Race will be issued for these events shortly.

Participation in 2021 ILCA World Championships by Australians is unlikely due to the current Australian Government international travel ban. Information about these ILCA Laser Worlds and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page HERE.

If these events can’t be held as World Championships due to travel restrictions there is provision for them to be run as International Regattas for those who can travel to and from the venue.

Sailors considering entering these ILCA 2021 World Championship events should carefully read the “Entry Regulations” and Attachment 1 “Application and Entry Procedure” of the Notice of Race (the information appears in the NoR for each event). Check the Australian Government Smart Traveller web site advice. This includes the Australian Government’s overseas travel ban for citizens and permanent residents invoked in March 2020. Also relevant is the Australian Institute of Sports information on overseas travel for sport HERE.

Applications Open for ILCA Under 21 Worlds 19-27 August Portland UK

Applications for entry for the 2021 Under 21 ILCA World Championship will be accepted beginning Wednesday, 17 March 2021.

The deadline for receiving paid event applications for initial allocation of places is 29 April 2021 at 23:59 Central US Time. Only applications received by the application closing date are eligible for allocated places. Late applications will be accepted after the initial round of entry offers.

Information about all ILCA Laser World Championships and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page HERE.

If these events can’t be held as World Championships due to travel restrictions there is provision for them to be run as International Regattas for those who can travel to and from the venue.

2021 Victorian State Championships Sorrento

The Victorian Open Masters and Youth Championships were sailed over the weekend of 27th and 28th February at Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club at the southern end of Port Phillip.

The light and at times variable winds proved challenging for the strong fleet of 78 boats, sailed by skippers across the age range from 13 to 75 years plus.

The overall winner and Radial State Champion was Casey Imeneo from McCrae Yacht Club who had a close tussle across the weekend with runnerup Simon Merritt also from McCrae.

In the Standard fleet it was a close battle between two Masters sailors from Port Melbourne Yacht Club. In the end Apprentice Matt Blakey had a narrow one point win over the Grand Master sailor Steve Gunther.

There was also close sailing in the 4.7 Division. The overall winner was Hamish Cowell from Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, with runnerup Angus McIntyre also from Blairgowrie.

The full results of the event are HERE.

You can read the full report on the event HERE.

Laser/ILCA Turns 50

With over 218,000 boats built, and boats being raced in over 140 countries, in 2021 ILCA will celebrate the remarkable 50 year history for the world’s largest one design class.

It started out simply as Ian Bruce’s idea in 1969 to create a “car topper” dinghy and his call to friend Bruce Kirby, who famously sketched the boat’s lines and sail plan on a napkin.

From the initial 1969 prototype TGIF (Thank God Its Friday) the boat was first launched at the New York Boat Show in 1971 and it has gone on to become the greatest sailboat in the history of one-design racing.

You can see more about the origins of the Laser here .

ILCA is planning 50th birthday celebration events later this year that all sailors around the globe can take part in.

We are always open to suggestions from sailors on ideas for birthday events.

Six New Class Builders

In accordance with World Sailing’s Olympic Equipment Policy, which states that any interested and qualified manufacturer must have the opportunity to become a builder of Olympic equipment ILCA have now appointed six new builders worldwide joining PSA here and PSJ in Japan.

To comply with the WS policy the International Laser Class boats will be sold under the ILCA brand in order to allow builders to sell boats in any part of the world without trademark restrictions.

The new builders 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)

All ILCA approved builders’ boats are manufactured from moulds made from ILCA master tooling and are built in strict compliance with the standards and specifications of the class Build Manual.

In Australia we have been fortunate to have the most experienced builder in PSA here so perhaps little change in supply arrangements. Some other Laser Regions had not been well served under the previous builder arrangements so are very pleased to have production closer to home – an advantage we have enjoyed for a long time.

ILCA 2021 World Championships Applications

International Laser Class Association has announced that applications for entry for the following World Championships are now being accepted.

The ILCA deadline for receiving paid applications for initial allocation of places is 23 March 2021 at 23:59 Central US Time which is 24 March 16:59 Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDT). ILCA say that if you do not apply by the deadline, you may have little chance of receiving an entry offer.

Information about all ILCA Laser World Championships and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page HERE.

If these events can’t be held as World Championships due to travel restrictions there is provision for them to be run as International Regattas for those who can travel to and from the venue.

Sailors considering entering these ILCA 2021 World Championship events should carefully read the “Entry Regulations” and Attachment 1 “Application and Entry Procedure” of the respective Notices of Race;

Also relevant is Australian Government Smart Traveller web site advice.
This includes the Australian Government’s overseas travel ban for citizens and permanent residents invoked in March 2020.

Australians are likely to be blocked from most international travel until at least 2022. Federal Health Department boss Brendan Murphy warned that substantial border restrictions and hotel quarantine rules will remain in place this year. In mid January Murphy said “I think we will go most of this year with still substantial external border restrictions”.

Whitsunday Regattas April 2021

With border restrictions easing (for the most part) the Queensland Laser Association Committee is keen to welcome all Laser sailors to participate in a program of regattas and coaching to be held in the pristine waters of the Whitsunday region in April 2021 as follows:

  • Sail Airlie – 3-5 April (Easter) – hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club, Airlie Beach;
  • Coaching – 6-7 April – by QAS Head Coach, Shane Smith – from Whitsunday Sailing Club, Airlie Beach; and
  • Queensland Laser Championships: 8-10 April – hosted by Port Denison Sailing Club, Bowen on behalf of the QLA.

Further details are provided in the attached flyer HERE.

Performance Sailcraft New Management

There have been a lot of changes in the class builders over the past year with four of projected six new class builders now in production. These are;

  • Devoti Sailing s.r.o. (Poland)
  • Nautivela srl (Italy)
  • Ovington Boats Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • Rio Tecna srl (Argentina)

They join legacy builders Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) and Japanese builder Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ).

Under new arrangements any builder can supply equipment to any world market. More detail is in a post on the ILCA web site HERE.

We have been fortunate to have local builder PSA supporting us and in particular most recently meeting the huge demand for supplied equipment and charter World, National & Regional Championships in 2020.

PSA have recently announced management changes and its continued commitment to the class and local sailors. Ian Douglas has been appointed General Manager. If you need any class equipment or a complete new boat contact PSA on 02 4389 1088 or via their web site

The PSA press release on their changes is HERE.

ALCA AGM – 9.00am 15th December

Due to COVID-19 and the postponement of the Australian Laser Championships this year’s ALCA AGM will be held by Zoom from 9.00am AEDT on 15th December.

The Agenda and tabled reports are HERE. The Zoom meeting details are on the Agenda.

All members of Australian Laser Districts are invited to attend.

A Blast from the Past

2010 Nationals Tom Slingsby on his way to a very big win – Photo Greg Pratt

If we can’t have an Australian Championship this year we can at least reflect on the great events of the past.

Greg Pratt has dusted off photos which he took at the 2010 Nationals at Adelaide Sailing Club. You can see these photos HERE. In this series Tom Slingsby won 10 of the 11 races which is about as dominant a win as you can get at this level.

You can see the results of the Standards HERE and thanks to the work of Rob Lowndes and others the results of the Nationals going back to last century are HERE. You may not recall how you went in the past but the internet never forgets.

New Australian Laser App

Aus Lasers Logo

Thanks to a VLA initiative and finance we now have a new mobile app which each Australian Laser district can use and which will provide notifications, information, documents, results etc. relevant to the district and regattas.

Many sailors will have seen how useful this information and notifications are for regattas when a similar app was used at the Victorian 2020 events earlier in the year.

The app is free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store – just search “Australian Lasers” and look for the distinctive app logo or click on one of the links below.

Apple App Store
Google Play Store

You will get notifications of any new information on one Australian Laser district and one Regatta which will be the last district and last regatta which you accessed. You can also see National Laser results, messages and documents by selecting the ALCA icon on the home screen.

Laser Regatta at Gove – Arnhem Land NT

Lasers packed ready for shipping to Gove

In September 12 Lasers were shipped on three trailers from Darwin joining 11 local boats to compete in the Gove Sailing Regatta at Gove Boat Club on the north eastern tip of Arnhem Land on the Gulf of Carpentaria. This is one of the most remote sailing clubs in Australia (and possibly the world).

The regatta was sailed on the beautiful waters of Melville Bay in front of the club, an area that is well known for its good fishing and large crocodiles, adding some extra excitement to Laser sailing.

The racing was over three days from 26 to 28 September with five races each day. The age of the Laser sailors ranged from 13 to 68 years.

NT Laser President Gary Martin’s report on the event is HERE.

Aluminium Radial Bottom Sections to be Used for Olympics

The ILCA has confirmed that Aluminium Radial Lower Masts will be used as supplied equipment for the Women’s Single Handed Dinghy event in the Tokyo Olympic Games Sailing Competition.

Although the composite lower mast became class legal for competition world wide in the Radial class beginning 1 September 2020, its use may be restricted in some additional events leading up to the delayed Olympic games in Tokyo (currently scheduled for 2021).

ILCA says that the race documents for the remaining Olympic qualification events (Europe and Asia) will be amended to only allow use of the aluminium Radial Lower Mast. Note that an announcement of the dates and locations of the Olympic qualification events is expected soon and ILCA will pass along that information as soon as it becomes available. 

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.