At the club
Along with the Starling, the Laser 4.7 has become one of the boats of choice in recent years for sailors progressing beyond the Optimist class.
The Laser 4.7 is a junior/youth class that uses the standard Laser hull with a shorter, pre-bent bottom mast section and a 4.7m2 sail. One of the benefits of this class is that the rig can be changed as the sailor grows (without needing to purchase a new hull) enabling easy progression into the Laser Radial and Laser Full Rig Classes. This also provides a smooth transition from WBBC’s junior fleet into our senior fleet.
Internationally the Laser Association recommends the Laser 4.7 for sailors in the 35–55kg weight range, however in New Zealand’s windier setting, a weight of 45-65kg is generally more appropriate.
All Laser 4.7 sailors are offered a mid-week coaching programme which runs throughout the season. The sailors learn to develop their boat handling, boat tuning and tactical skills on this programme. It is run in small groups and is managed by a group of experienced coaches. Additional coaching is programmed in, to help prepare the keen skippers for the Laser Nationals which are held in January each year. While the 4.7 class races as a separate division at the Nationals it is great to see our junior/youth sailors mingling with senior international and Olympic sailors.
It seems the laser fleet didn’t know that the last season ended, with a large number training right through the winter. With a number of world championships available to attend for the different age groups in the fleet, we have seen WBBC members go to Australia, Oman, Hungary, and Poland. In October a number head up to France. It is one of things that really motivates this very keen group of sailors.
It looks like the fleet will be bolstered by a number of new radial youth sailors, and also a few of the masters sailors getting back into single handed sailing via the radial. This is an ideal boat to get the fitness and boat handling up to speed.
The “experts” in the class are also really keen to pass on any tips they have and conducted a number of coaching classes both on shore and on the water and see this as being a real positive for the Worser Bay fleet. Remember if you do have any questions, just approach any of the lasers sailors and I am sure they will help you out.
We look forward to seeing everyone on the water, ready to have some great fun and some great racing wherever you are in the fleet.
If you have any question about the Laser class please call Rob Woodward on 3887590.
About the class
The International Laser Class sailboat, also called Laser Standard and the Laser One is a popular one-design class of small sailing dinghy. According to the Laser Class Rules the boat may be sailed by either one or two people, though it is rarely sailed by two. The design, by Bruce Kirby, emphasizes simplicity and performance. The dinghy is manufactured by independent companies in different parts of the world, including Laser Performance Europe (Americas and Europe), Performance Sailcraft Australia (Oceania) and Performance Sailcraft Japan.
The Laser is one of the most popular single-handed dinghies in the world. As of 2013, there are more than 200,000 boats worldwide. A commonly cited reason for its popularity is that it is robust, simple to rig and sail. The Laser also provides very competitive racing due to the very tight class association controls which eliminate differences in hull, sails and equipment.
The term “Laser” is often used to refer to the Laser Standard (the largest of the sail plan rigs available for the Laser hull). However there are two other sail plan rigs available for the Laser Standard hull and a series of other “Laser”-branded boats which are of a completely different hull designs. Examples include the Laser 2 and Laser Pico. The Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 are three types of ‘Laser’ administered by the International Laser Class Association.