Oceania Laser Masters 20-26 Aug Darwin SC



The 2022 Oceania Laser Masters Championship will be held 20-26 August from the Darwin Sailing Club Fannie Bay, Northern Territory.

The Notice of Race is Here. Entries/Registration are open until 20th June 2022 Here.

It is a long drive so most sailors will prefer to fly and charter. A limited number of charters are available from PSA Here.

There is a flyer with more information Here and web information and links Here.

NT Laser District have put a lot of work into the regatta and are looking forward to a great championship at in Darwin Sailing Club. Entry places and charters are still available so place your entry and come to compete in one of the best places you will sail at.

Contact NT Laser District at ntlaser22@gmail.com or Darwin Sailing Club admin@dwnsail.com.au if you need more more information.

2022 ILCA 6 World Championships Texas USA

The ILCA 6 Women’s and Men’s World Championship were to be held in Qingdao, China on 10-17 October 2022. Due to the deepening COVID situation in China and its very strict quarantine regulations and restrictions, ILCA can’t run the event there.

ILCA have will be the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club Kemah, Texas.

Watch out for opening of applications for entry and other details on the ILCA World Championship web site page Here.

Matt Wearn – French Olympic Week – Hyères

Matt in action day 1 French Olympic Week Hyeres – Photo by Sail Media

Matt Wearn had had a great start in relatively strong conditions in the French Olympic Week Olympic classes regatta in Hyères. Matt was leading with 2,1,1,1 in the 130 boat competition after two days. He went on to sit on top of the leaderboard for the qualifying series, but then dropped to third on the first day of the final series before qualifying for the Medal Race in sixth. Mat was 3rd in the medal race to finish the up and down series in fifth place. Pavlos Kontides won the series. Finn Alexander was the next best in the Australian team finishing 12th.

Our Tokyo Olympic representative Mara Stransky finished strongly with a second place in the medal race for a ninth place overall in the high scoring series in the Women’s ILCA 6.

The full results of all classes are at https://sof.ffvoile.fr/results/

The event web site is at https://sof.ffvoile.fr/

Matt Wearn Comeback in Princessa Sofia Trophy

Matt Wearn, GBR Michael Beckett and NZL Tom Saunders with speed creases aplenty in Palma medal race – Photo by Beau Outteridge

Matt Wearn had a strong finish winning the medal race for a second place overall in the Princessa Sophia Trophy event in Palma on Mallorca, Spain 1-9 April. Matt came back from 122nd after two breakages on the first day with strong performances culminating in the medal race win. The 165 boat event was won by Michael Beckett from the UK. Luke Swifto Elliot was 14th just ahead of Finn Alexander 15th.

In the ILCA 6s Elyse Ainsworth finished 4th in the medal race to post a 10th place behind clear winner Sarah Douglas from Canada. Zoe Thompson and Casey Imeneo were 13th and 14th in the 89 boat fleet.

Full event results are Here.

2022 South Pacific Laser Masters 9 April to 2 May RQYS

The 2022 South Pacific Laser Masters in on 29 April to 2 May at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Manly.

This is always a great event and sadly missed during COVID.

The event web site with links to enter, and for the Notice of Race is Here.

2022 ILCA Masters World Championships – Riviera Nayarit Mexico – Final Call

ILCA has issued the following final call for three World Championships in Mexico.

2022 ILCA 7 Masters World Championship will take place May 30 – June 7, 2022. For event details, see HERE. To enter the event click HERE. Please note: Entry closing date is May 5, 2022.

2022 ILCA 6 Masters World Championship will take place June 9–17, 2022. For event details, see HERE. To enter the event click HERE. Please note: Entry closing date is May 12, 2022.

For those who may consider sailing also the ILCA Men’s Worlds at the same venue before the Masters Worlds, please see the information below: 
2022 ILCA 7 Men’s World Championship will take place May 21–282022. For event details, see HERE. To apply, see HERE

Crowd Funding to support Ukraine sailors

EurILCA Chairman Jean-Luc Michon has announced a crowdfunding action to support the 17 ILCA sailors from the ILCA Ukrainian team and their coaches.

Jean-Luc said “The 17 Ukrainian sailors were outside of Ukraine, training or racing, when the war started. They can’t go back home as most of them are from Kiev or Odessa. They are looking desperately for help and support in order to keep sailing and competing.

The money we are collecting will solely go to the ILCA Ukrainian Team to support travelling, training, and racing.”

To get more information and contribute go to the GoFundMe page HERE.

NoR and Entries for Oceania & Australian Open & Youth Championships



The 2023 Oceania & Australian Open and Youth Championships will be held at Georges River Sailing Club on Botany Bay 1-8 January 2023.

After the disappointments of cancellation of the event scheduled in Fremantle, WA in 2021 and 2022 it will be great to stage these championships in 2023.

Botany Bay is a great venue for big sailing events with lots of open water and clear winds. The club is near to the airport and the surrounding suburbs have lots of accommodation options.

There will be great lead up events with the NSW & ACT Laser State titles at Wangi A.S.C. on Lake Macquarie in November 2022 and Sail Sydney on Sydney Harbour from Woollahra S.C. 13-18 December 2022.

The Notice of Race for this event is Here.

Entries can be placed $350 until 30th November 2022 Here and may be accepted with an additional $80 late fee after that date.

Charters will be available from NB Sailsports and Performance Sailcraft Australia.


Matt Wearn current Australian & Olympic Laser Champion – photo by Jesus Renedo

A Blast from the Past

In late February 2022 Andrew Englisch crossed Bass Strait over four days on a wing foiler.

This brought to memory the feat on 9th March 2005 by triple Olympian and super Olympic Laser coach Michael Blackburn.

Michael sailed his Laser the 115 n.m. from Stanley in Tasmania to Tidal Beach on Wilson Promontory, Victoria in one go in 13 hours and 1 minute. He averaged 8.7 knots and hit a top speed of 19.7 knots down a breaking wave.

The story is recounted Here

There is more in the recently established archive of Laser News publications online on pages 21-22 Here and a YouTube video Here.

Michael Blackburn “Blackers” apart from this feat and representing Australia in three Olympics has now coached three back to back Olympic Laser Olympic gold medal winners.

Places Available for ILCA 4 & 6 Youth Worlds


Places are available for ILCA 4 (Vilamoura, Portugal) and ILCA 6 (Shoreacres, Texas USA) World Youth Championships. Due to COVID these Youth Worlds events were cancelled in 2020 and Australians were prevented from travelling to the 2021 events. For 2022 we will have sailors back on the starting line.

ALCA has worked with Australian Youth sailors to optimise the big fleet tactical regatta experience at ILCA World Championship events since 2009.

A big part of that has been assuring teams utilise Australian coaches who bring those World Championship experiences back to Australia. The experience gained at ILCA Youth Worlds is not only transformative for young adults, but also for the standard of sailing back home.

ALCA is delighted to advise that Annie Eastgate has been nominated by Australian Sailing as Australia’s ILCA4 Youth Worlds Championship coach travelling to Portugal in August, Brody Riley has been nominated ILCA6 Youth Worlds Championship coach travelling to Texas. While these positions are subject to respective team forming and fundraising ALCA is optimistic that both teams will be competing with coaching support.

Over the years ALCA has worked with hundreds of families, dozens of teams and sponsors to finance coaches. Work has begun for our 2022 Youth Worlds Teams:

  • ILCA 4 Youth World Championship regatta 9-20 Aug 2022, Vilamoura Portugal. Pre-regatta and regatta coaching proposal dates are 19-30 July 2022. Australian Sailing and ALCA are discussing team coach support.
  • ILCA 6 Youth World Championship regatta, Shoreacres Texas USA. Pre-regatta and regatta coaching proposal dates are 19-30 July 2022. Australian Sailing and ALCA are discussing team coach support.

Applications for these and all other ILCA World Championships can be placed on the ILCA web site at https://sailing.laserinternational.org/public/site/event-list.

For further information please contact ALCA Youth Development Officer Don Elks

2022 Australian Masters Championships


Ladies winners Christine Bridge GM and Gayl Robinson Master – Jon West photos

The Australian ILCA Masters was run very successfully between 25-28 February at Westernport Yacht Club in Victoria. There were 106 entries with 31 ILCA 7s sailing in one fleet, 30 ILCA 6 Grand Masters in a fleet and the other ILCA 6 age divisions in a third 45 boat fleet.

The venue Balnarring on Westernport Victoria provided excellent open water and good clean winds. These combined with ocean and wind swells gave some exhilarating rides and fair racing. All ten scheduled races were completed with light breezes on day one followed by six races in 15 to 18 knots on days two and three and around 12 knots for the final two races. Tides were an issue in the second half of the series when they were pushing the fleet over the start line. On the final day the second ILCA 6 fleet managed four general recalls and three black flag starts before the final race got away minus the 25% of the fleet which were black flagged.

The Westernport Yacht Club did a fabulous job both on and off the water. Racing was run like clockwork and the logistics of launch and retrieval of the support boats from Westernport, Sommers and bay side clubs were run with military precision. Catering at the club after racing, the functions and free beer from an event sponsor Bright Brewery were all much appreciated by the sailors.

There was a two day coaching clinic lead by Brody Riley & VLA head coach Rhett Gowans  held before the series. This was fully subscribed and very successful.

The winner of the ILCA 7 fleet was Master Brett Bayer WSC/DBSC. Brett won six races edging out Apprentice Matt Blakey PMYC. Sommers YC Apprentice Sean Bly was third. In the ILCA 6 GM fleet John Jager McCrae YC won by a point from Sandringham sailor James Mitchell with David Early GRSC third.

The full results with age divisions scored separately are Here.

The age division podium places are listed below.

Division1st2nd3rdFirst Women
ILCA 6 ApprenticeVaimooia Ripley MHASCVaimooia Ripley MHASC
ILCA 6 MasterOwen Mc Mahon RBYCDanial Blight BSS/RQYSGayl Robinson SYCGayl Robinson SYC
ILCA 6 GMJohn Jager McCYCJames Mitchell SYCDavid Early GRSCChristine Bridge RQYS
ILCA 6 GGMJeff Loosemore GR/MHASCTim Alexander NSCMichael Pitt RQYS
ILCA 6 LegendKerry Waraker RQYSLew Verdon MHASCKevin Phillips GSC
ILCA 7 ApprenticeMatt Blakey PMYCSean Bly SomersYCDavid Newman DBSC
ILCA  MasterRob Barnes DBSCNick Alexander MHASC/DBSCStuart Holdsworth RPAYC
ILCA  GMBrett Beyer WSC/DBSCGavin Dagley PMYCSteve Gunther PMYC
ILCA  GGMGary Martin Darwin SCMike Stockdale PLYC

There are great photos by Jon West which you can view and purchase Here.

ILCA 6 GGM winner Jeff Loosemore and ILCA 7 winners Brett Beyer GM and Matt Blakey Apprentice – Jon West photos

EuroILCA Announcement Ukraine War

Following the announcements from the Olympic Committee and World Sailing regarding the war in Ukraine, EurILCA have announced that they will not be taking entries from or running events in Russia or Belarus. Both these are EuroILCA Districts.

Like the conflict itself this is (currently) distant from us however we support the action taken by EuroILCA and like them look forward to an immediate end to all hostilities and hope for a time in the near future when we can compete again together.

The full Euro ILCA statement is Here.

ILCA Annual Handbook for 2022 Available


All you wanted to know about the class its rules and bylaws geography and news in one neat volume. The 2022 ILCA Handbook is now available online on the ILCA web site Here.

There are 10 years of Handbooks also available Here.

Laser Newsletter History Collection

Rob Lowndes has put together a collection of Laser newsletters “Lasernews” starting with the first in September 1974 through to the last in 2007. This gives a superb account of the history of the class in Australia and especially in the NSW/ACT District.

As a Laser 50th anniversary project Rob has had the Lasernews scanned and now posted on the NSW & ACT Laser web site at http://laser.asn.au/?page_id=4946. There is some background Here.

Rob has included a handy headline guide for each edition so you can browse though Laser history by subject as well as timeline.

In compiling this collection and the guide I suspect that Rob has spent many hours combing the newsletters so, if he wasn’t before, he is by now the foremost source of factual Laser legend in the land.

Thanks to Rob for his work on this project and even greater applause for the authors and editors who compiled the newsletters over the years. Also thanks to Paul and Yoko Hargan who managed to collect and collate these pieces of history.

New Australian Olympic ILCA 6 and 7 Coaching Line Up

The Australian Sailing Team made changes to their coaching line up for the Paris 2024 campaign.

The team is under recently appointed High Performance Director Iain Brambell OLY.

Carolijn Brouwer and Ben Walkemeyer will join forces to coach the ILCA 6 squad.

Brouwer, the new National ILCA 6 coach, represented the Netherlands and Belgium at three Olympic Games in three different classes. Most recently she has been coaching the Australian Sailing Futures Program Nacra 17 squad.

Brouwer said “I feel really strongly about developing a strong squad culture that not only helps the girls advance their skills on the water, but also helps them grow as people off the water.”

WAIS coach Walkemeyer has been appointed as the Assistant National ILCA 6 coach. He was one of four sailing coaches included in the most recent AIS Elevate Athlete2Coach program, in-part for his work with the Australian Sailing Futures Program ILCA 6 squad.

Spaniard Rafa Trujillo who coached Jake Lilley to a 7th place finish in the Finn class at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is the new National ILCA 7 coach. The role was vacated after three-time Olympic gold medal winning coach Michael Blackburn was appointed as Australian Sailing Technical Director last year.

The full Olympic class coaching line up is Here.

Late Entry Fee for Australian Laser Masters Removed

VLA Chair John d’Helin has announced that there has been a strong take of of places on the start line for the Australian Laser Masters. There are 93 entries so far.

The VLA and Westernport Yacht Club are looking forward to welcoming Master’s sailors at Westernport in a few weeks time.

Due to the uncertainties created by the current COVID situation and representations from a number of sailors John reports that the $100 late fee has been removed. The organisers also plan to apply a considerate entry fee refund approach where COVID impacts on a sailor’s choice to travel or not. This will be applied on a case by case basis on application to John d’Helin.

The revised NoR covering these changes is Here.

You can place your entry without the late fee Here.

A reminder this is the ranking event for the 2023 World Masters to be held in February in Pattaya, Thailand.

Australian Laser Masters at Westernport

The Australian Laser Masters at Westernport Yacht Club in Victoria 25-28 February 2022 is definitely going ahead irrespective of on again, off again WA Government determinations.

The Notice of Race for the event is Here. You can enter Here.

Entry links, documents, updates and results for the event will be on the Australian Laser app. Select 2022 Laser Masters Australian Champs in National & District Events.

The Australian Masters will be preceded by a two day coaching clinic 22-23 February. Information on the coaching clinic is Here. You can enter for the clinic ($150) Here.

Information on PSA charters for the Masters event ($1,000) is Here and NB Sailsports charter ($1,000) information is Here.

Kerry Waraker – World Laser Legends Champion

ALCA AGM 15 December 2021

The ALCA AGM will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 15th December 2021 at 11.00am AEDT (Vic, NSW, ACT, Tas) 10.30am ACDT (SA) 10.00am AEST (Qld), 9.30am ACST (NT) 8.00am AWST (WA)

Meeting ID 706 776 2418 PC or Mobile https://us06web.zoom.us/j/7067762418

By phone 08 7150 1149, 02 8015 6011 or 03 7018 2005

This meeting is normally held in person at the Australian Open & Youth Championships which unfortunately this year have had to be cancelled. All members are welcome to attend.

The agenda and reports are Here.

AS Youth National Camp – April 2022

Australian Sailing has announced a National Youth Camp shortly after the completion of Youth Sail Victoria in April 2022. The Vic Youth Champs event 16-19 April 2022 will act as the selection event for the Australian Youth World’s team for 2022 and for the National Youth Camp sailors. The Youth Camp itself will run from 20 – 23 April 2022.

The four-day camp will comprise guest speakers, education sessions, class based technical coaching for two days and individual and team problem solving challenges. It will be based at Royal Yacht Club of Victoria for on water activities and around the camp accommodation within the city of Melbourne for off water activities.

For further information, please contact Lesley Fasala – Performance Pathway Coordinator Lesley.fasala@sailing.org.au or Ash Brunning – Performance Pathways Technical Manager Ashley.brunning@sailing.org.au

New World Masters Ranking Policy from 2023

ALCA has changed the ranking arrangement for ILCA World Masters Championships to apply from World Masters 2023 which will be held in Pattaya, Thailand in February.

The new ranking policy Here is based on results from the previous Australian Laser Masters Championships.

This policy is much simpler than the previous ranking policy issued in July 2017 which factors results from six World National and State Masters events. The new ranking regime is facilitated by the change to Australian Masters from 2022 all being stand-alone Masters events held in rotation between the eastern states.

With its adoption the ranking of sailors for all ILCA World Championships (Open, Youth and Masters) will be consistent and based on performance at the respective Australian Championships.

In summary ranking for May 2022 World Masters in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico will be based on results of the previous two World, National and State Masters events as per the existing policy Here. For the February 2023 World Masters in Pattaya, Thailand ranking will be based on the results of the Australian Masters February 2022 Westernport YC as per the new policy Here.

ILCA will open applications for 2022 World Masters Championships for ILCA 7 on 1 December 2021 and for 2022 WMC for ILCA 6 on 11 December 2021.

Vote on Change to ILCA Constitution

The International Laser Class Association proposes changes to its Constitution and needs a 2/3rds majority vote to bring this about.

The Constitution needs to be brought into the 21st century, to reflect the new naming and class builder arrangements and to reform the representation and voting rights on the ILCA World Council and modernise its governance.

Information about the proposed changes and a link to the voting site are available for the next six months on the ILCA website Here:

This is a non controversial change and a yes vote is recommended.

Apprentice Masters Age Range Extended

ILCA has just announced that from 2022 the Apprentice Masters age range will be extended from 35-44 to 30-44.

ILCA says that it is excited about this change, which for the first time gives sailors under the age of 35 the opportunity to join the ILCA Masters World Championships and to enjoy the unique atmosphere of that fleet. All other Masters age categories will remain unchanged.

The new age range will apply for all ILCA District, Regional and World events including the upcoming 2022 Australian Masters at Westernport and the 2022 Masters World Championships in Mexico.

ILCA says that while it does not expect this change to dramatically increase the number of Apprentice entries in events it believes that by being more inclusive and “broadening the tent” to allow more adult sailors to enjoy Masters events it will attract more interest in the ILCA class from both grass roots and former competitive ILCA sailors looking to get back into our great sport.

Australian Sailing Olympic Webinar Series

Australian Sailing’s ran webinars in September featuring the 470 and Laser sailors.

If you missed the webinars you can see the recordings on YouTube on the following links;

The Boat That Ian Built

Early Laser Regatta association Island NY

An interesting short movie (28min) from 1974 has come to light. It tells the Laser story of Ian Bruce and Performance Sailcraft the company which which he originally formed to produce and market it.

“The movie has fantastic footage of one of the first ever big fleet Laser regattas held at Association Island, New York on Lake Ontario across the lake from Kingston (with Ian Bruce competing!). The movie has interviews with Ian, Bruce Kirby, and Laser sail designer Hans Fogh along with shots of Lasers being produced in Ian’s factory.

You’ll also see amazing footage of Hans Fogh helming the prototype Laser in an October 1970 regatta held for boats under $1000 at the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It was called ‘The America’s Teacup Regatta’. Ian and Hans decided to call the prototype the ‘Weekender’ with sail number TGIF, the abbreviation for ‘Thank God It’s Friday’.”

The movie is from the National Film Board of Canada archive Here

COVID Restrictions for Community Sport

With the sailing season coming up you might be wondering what are the COVID restrictions applicable. The situation is fast changing and different for each state and varying between local government areas within states.

Australian Sailing has a page with information and links to the latest health orders. You can click the box on the right to get the rules for community sport in your state.

The Australian Sailing page is Here.

Cancellation of Australian Open & Youth Championships 2022

With regret due to ongoing uncertainty about travel logistics and border closures it has been decided to cancel the Laser Australian Open & Youth Championships 1-8 January 2022 in Fremantle WA.

We considered delaying the event to later in 2022 however there is no guarantee, with the strict stance taken by the WA Government,  that  this will be possible. ALCA COVID policy requires that sailors from all states and territories can travel quarantine free to and from the event for it to be the National Championship.

In place of 2022 Australian Championships we invite each district to run and event or designate an existing planned event, as the ILCA World Championship selection event. The results from these district events will be interleaved and scaled for size to rank sailors for 2022 ILCA World Championships.

Zac Littlewood Wins Under 21 Worlds

Well done Zac Littlewood for his dominant win in the ILCA World Under 21 Worlds in Gdynia Poland. Zac posted 5 wins and 2 seconds to win by 23 points in the 138 boat fleet.

Winds in the Gulf of Gdansk on the Baltic Sea were strong in the middle of the series and light at the start and finish as the video of the day 3 race Here shows. Zac enjoyed the conditions saying that he had not been able to race for two years so was pleased with his performance. He said that the Under 21 event was good practice for the tougher competition in the senior events which he was competing in later in the season.

Full results of the Men’s U21 Worlds event are Here.

Zac along with three other Australian Sailing Squad members are planning to sail in the ILCA7 Men’s Worlds in Barcelona in November.

The U21 Worlds event was relocated from UK to Poland due to COVID restrictions. You have to admire the tenacity of these young sailors navigating COVID exit and entry restrictions and travel difficulties just to be able to compete in these events.

Top Australian Under 21 Women ILCA6 sailor Paige Caldecoat represented us in the U21 Women’s event in Gdynia finishing a creditable 18th in the 57 boat fleet. Italian’s Giorgia della Valle & Chiara Benini Floriani went head to head and finished a few points apart in first and second. Women’s Under 21 Worlds results are Here.

Zac on his way to a dominant win in Gdynia

ILCA World Championships

Despite high COVID cases and constraints the 2021 ILCA World Championships have so far been able to run and attract near capacity competitors. The ILCA6 Youth Worlds at Arco on Lake Garda, Italy attracted 370 entries from 40 countries with the boys split into four fleets. The ILCA4 Youth Worlds event in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland saw 243 entries and the Under 21 Worlds in Gdynia, Poland had 200 entries from 39 countries.

ILCA has done a great job under difficult conditions to stage these events. They have had to relocate some events due to COVID restrictions and difficulties in transporting charter boats due to current shipping logistics chaos.

Unfortunately due to Australia’s foreign travel ban no Australian sailors have been able to compete in the World Youth events however Australian sailing are managing to send some Australian Sailing Squad members to under 21 Worlds (Gdynia, August) and ILCA6 Worlds (Oman, December) and ILCA7 Worlds (Barcelona, November).

Travel bans look likely to persist for this year and in any event travel costs are through the roof, so the prospect of Australian sailors competing in the World Masters (Barcelona, November) are bleak. There are however 260 entries for the Masters event which in better times might have been near the 400 entry limit.

ILCA have announced timing and venues for 2022 World Championships (except for ILCA6 Youth Worlds). Listing of the events is on the ILCA’s web site Here. Australian sailors will hopefully be free to travel to these 2022 events.

ILCA 6 2022 Men’s and Women’s World Championships

The 2022 ILCA 6 (Radial) Men’s and Women’s World Championships will now be held from Thursday 22 September – Friday 30 September 2022 in Qingdao, China.

The event site will be the Sunac Yacht Club. Qingdao Sunac Yacht Club is located on the Oriental Movie Metropolis Starlight Island. It is a 45-minute drive from Qingdao Railway Station and a 60-minute drive from Qingdao Liuting Airport (TAO).

Information on all the ILCA World Championship events including application and entry deadlines are published on the ILCA web site here.

Reminder ILCA6 (Radial) Carbon Mast

A few sailors have enquired about class legal use of ILCA6 (Radial) carbon bottom section perhaps after observing the use of aluminium sections as the supplied equipment for the Woman’s Olympics.

The ILCA6 carbon bottom section has been class legal since September 2020 however it was always the intent to use aluminium sections for the Tokyo Olympics. This is covered in an ILCA post Here and a January 2020 ALCA post Here.

470s Wear & Tear and Reward

The hands of the front half of the winning 470 team Will Ryan pictured show the wear and tear and the reward of the Belcher/Ryan team.

A fabulous effort rewarded by Mathew carrying the Australian flag in the closing ceremony.

Laser 50th Birthday Regatta Video

You can see the video of the Laser 50th Regatta on 20 June here.

Thanks to Double Bay Sailing Club for staging this event.

Special thanks to the great organising by Diana Chen the video capture by Aero Media with video production by James Tudball of The White Tree.

Tom Slingsby Tribute to Michael Blackburn & Matt Wearn

Thumbs Up from Blackers

Tom Slingsby has posted a great tribute to Michael Blackburn and Matt Wearn. From Australian Sailing Tome said;

I just wanted to say a huge congratulations to Matt Wearn on winning his gold medal with a day to spare! A beautiful display of racing especially after a tough first couple of races.

I still remember meeting Matt as a 14 year old in Mandurah and my old coach Arthur Brett saying, “this kid has got it”. I totally agreed after coaching him and Arthur and I both said he would be a Olympic Champion one day. Today is that day. Well done!

However this post is not just about Matt. It’s also about the guy who the cameras won’t see when Matt collects his gold medal. A legend of Australian sport that most of the public do not know Matt’s coach, Michael Blackburn.

Blackers has now coached 3 back to back Olympic champions and has created a legacy in Australian sailing and the Laser class in general that ‘Australia will win gold in the laser class’. That’s all Blackers.

He coached myself to gold in 2012, Tom Burton to gold in 2016 and now Wearny to gold in 2021.

See Tom’s full post Here.

Matt Seals Gold in the Medal Race

Matt Wearn has maintained Australia’s dominance in the Laser Class at the Olympic Games, winning the nation’s third consecutive Gold in the event.

Matt overcame a nervous start to the regatta to completely dominate the middle and late stages to have the Gold wrapped up in advance of the Medal Race.

Matt had only to “make a genuine effort to start, sail the course and finish” in the medal race to take the gold. He did that with ease sailing conservatively with a come from behind second in the medal race to cement his series win from Croatian Tonci Stipanovic who was also silver medalist in Rio and Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard.

“Probably relief,” was his first emotion after securing the Olympic crown. “It has been quite a long journey and a particularly stressful week. It wasn’t the ideal start to a regatta, so I couldn’t have felt better than locking away a gold medal before the Medal Race.”

Australian Sailing reports the man behind Australia’s three consecutive Laser gold medals is master coach Michael Blackburn. Michael is a four times Australian Laser Standard Champion and also a World Champion 2006 and bronze Olympic medalist in 2000.

“Quite a thrill to get it done early,” Blackburn said before today’s Medal Race. “It has been a goal of mine to have someone win the regatta before the medal race, because the medal races can be a bit iffy sometimes. To get it done in such a good style and quite unexpectedly is quite the thrill.”

Check NSW & ACT Laser site Olympics page for the blow by blow rundown on Matt and Mara Stransky’s great efforts in Enoshima.

See photos of Matt and Mara from World Sailing Here.

Matt Wearn Takes Gold

Matt Wearn is assured of GOLD with a race to spare.  Matt will officially be crowned Olympic Champion when he contests his Medal Race on Sunday as he has an insurmountable 22-point lead after 10 races. The result table is Here.

It was a tough day on the water for all. Matt posted a 12 and 8 in the light conditions on Friday (Races 9 and 10) after two wins on Thursday.  Unfortunately for him Cypriot Pavlos Kontides carded a 28th in race 10 which put him out of range of Matt going into the medal race on Sunday. According to the SIs Matt needs only to “make a genuine effort to start, sail the course and finish” in the medal race to take the gold.

“It was a tough day of racing, but I am happy to finish off with that. And yeah, I’m going to be a Gold Medallist.”
“I am still processing it myself,” said Matt’s dad Brad Wearn after the final race. “It’s his destiny. This has been his goal since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. We are just so proud of him, he’s pushed himself so hard and has been surrounded by great people along the way.”
Wearn wont be able to celebrate with family tonight, and making things more difficult is that COVID protocols will also prevent him from celebrating with fiancée Emma Plasschaert who is sailing the Laser Radial for Belgium at these Games.

Mara Stransky saved the best to last in her first Olympic campaign today. She set aside some earlier disappointment to put together the race day of her life, finishing her regatta with a third and a win in the final fleet race.

The great final day lifted Mara to a creditable 14th in the red hot fleet.

Olympic Sailing Information

You can follow the Olympic sailing events in Enoshima on the following.

Stream video 7plus  Sailing Channel

Get free 7plus Olympic Channels

Live Tracking

World Sailing Olympic Site

Olympic Sailing Results

Racing Schedule and Course Location

Australian Sailing Team Facebook

Australian Sailing Team Twitter

Check NSW & ACT Laser site Olympics page for on site updates and information.

See photos of Matt and Mara from World Sailing Here.

Matt Wearn & Mara Stransky in Tokyo Olympics action

New Dates Men’s and Masters Worlds in Barcelona

Due to concerns of travel restrictions to Spain the ILCA has changed the dates of the Standard Men’s and Masters World Championships.

  • 2021 ILCA 7 (Standard) Men’s World Championship – 03-10 November 2021 (previously 09-16 September 2021)
  • 2021 ILCA Masters World Championships – 11-20 November 2021 (previously 17-26 September 2021)

The events will be held at the same venue – the Barcelona International Sailing Center in Barcelona, Spain.

Due to this change, the late application period has been reopened and the Entry Closing Date has been postponed. Details are posted on the ILCA web site.

ILCA 6 (Radial) Worlds Venue & Date Change

The 2021 ILCA 6 Men’s and Women’s World Championships is being relocated to Mussanah, OMAN. The event dates have been changed to 29 November to 06 December 2021.

The change is due to disruptions to global shipping which have made it impossible ship the charter boats from Japan (post Olympics) to USA in time for the event. Oman has offered to host this event, although at this later date.

The application deadline has been moved to 30 August 2021. All existing applications for this event remain valid, although some sailors may elect to cancel due to the date and venue change.

Welcome to the new CV world of flexible arrangements.

The dates and locations for the following 2022 World Championships have also just been set:

  • 2022 ILCA 7 Masters World Championship – 30 May- 7 June 2022 at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
  • 2022 ILCA 6 Masters World Championship – 09-17 June 2022 at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
  • 2022 ILCA 4 Youth World Championships – 13-20 August 2022 at the Capable Planet Clube Nautico in Vilamoura, Portugal
  • 2022 ILCA U21 World Championships – 21-28 August 2022 at the Capable Planet Clube Nautico in Vilamoura, Portugal

Eight Bells – Bruce Kirby

Bruce Kirby Canadian born sailing legend and designer of many boats including the Laser passed away July 18, 2021. He was 92 years of age.

Bruce was a newspaper man in Ottawa and Montreal before he became a yacht designer. We was a pioneering sailing journalist, editor of One-Design and Off-Shore Yachtsman, which is still going today as Sailing World magazine.

A competitive sailor in International 14 dinghies from age 15 he went on to become a world-class sailor and Olympian. He represented Canada in the 1956, 1964, and 1968 Olympics.

As well as designing the Laser some background of which you can find Here Bruce’s design career included a multitude of successful classes such as the Sonar, Kirby 25 and Ideal 18, America’s Cup Twelve Meters, production racer/cruisers and offshore racing boats.

Follow the Olympic Sailing

After a years delay and considerable uncertainty the Tokyo Olympics will kick off with the opening ceremony from 9pm AEST on Friday, July 23.

Sailing will commence on the 25th of July, with the medal races taking place from 31 July to 4 August. The schedule and Olympic sailing team information is Here.  Sailing is scheduled between 1.00pm and 7.00pm AEST each day.

Channel 7 has the broadcast and streaming rights to the Olympics in Australia. Highlight sports will largely be shown on 7’s free to air channels.

In addition there are 7plus apps which will have over 40 channels streaming live action from the Games. You can download the 7plus iOS or Android app free from the App Store or Google Play Store. To view sailing simply log in to the app on your smartphone, tablet, go to the Olympics section and browse the streams to find sailing. You will then be able to watch the live action.

You can also access the Olympics streams on your computer. Right now the best place to go is 7plus.com.au/Olympics. Shortly before the Games sport specific pages will be launched. The one for sailing will be 7plus.com.au/olympic-games-tokyo-sailing.

You can also get 7plus on Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Apple TV 4th Gen+, Chromecast, Android TV, Samsung TV, Sony Linux TV, LG TV (2016 and later) and Playstation 4.

World Sailing has setup a site with all the Tokyo Olympic Sailing information at https://tokyo2020.sailing.org/news/ . You can subscribe on this site to get updates and results.

Best wishes to our 13 Olympic sailors and the entire 472 Australians who will compete in Tokyo. It has been a tough preparation for most of these athletes. There are links to the profiles of the 13 Australian Olympic sailors Here. Just click the photo to see the profile.

Australian Sailing says “Australia has a rich history of success in Olympic sailing and this year is no different with a number of strong Gold Medal chances alongside some young and emerging talent. Our Laser, Men’s 470 and Nacra 17 classes were all in the medals the last time they competed at a World Championships, and you can write off the other classes at your own risk. All our competitors have strong podium results on the international stage and it is the Olympics – anything can happen and probably will.”

Southeast Sailboats in the UK has a race track conditions and form guide for the Laser Men’s event Here. and World Sailing has the guide to the top ranked Laser Women Here

Mara Stransky & Matt Wearn in stronger conditions than those expected in Enoshima