Laser News

All the news that's fit to print for New Zealand Laser sailors.

Laser Class Announces New Standard Sail Design

The all new Standard Mark II Laser sail available on 1 November

ILCA Office
9 September 2015

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is pleased to announce the release of a completely new class-legal design for the Laser standard rig sail. The release marks the first time in over 40 years that the Laser sail design has been substantially updated.

Known as the Standard Mark II Sail, the new patented design is the result of thousands of hours of design work and on-the-water testing involving the Laser builders, the Association, two major sailmakers and some of the world’s top sailors.

The Mark II features bi-radial panels, a heavier 4.5 ounce cloth and optimized reinforcement patches, all intended to maximize the sail’s competitive life. The sail also features tapered battens with Velcro batten pocket closures, a larger window for improved visibility and a patented re-designed luff tube to eliminate wrinkles at the mast joint.

“This is a quantum leap forward for our class,” says ILCA President, Tracy Usher. “For several years the number one complaint about the Laser has been the outdated sail design. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this new sail design and we’re really happy with the result.”

As with all changes to the Laser, the new sail has been carefully designed to be backwards compatible with the existing equipment, meaning it was not designed to provide improved performance. Instead, the Mark II promises improved durability and ease of use.

According to ILCA Technical Officer, Clive Humphris, “The main objective of the design project for the Mark II was to create a sail with equal performance to the existing sail, but with better durability. We worked very hard to ensure that the Mark II was not a faster sail and wouldn’t make all the existing sails obsolete overnight. The original Laser standard sail will continue to be available through authorized Laser dealers and we fully expect to see the two designs racing side-by-side for a number of years.”

The initial run of class-legal Mark II sails will be available starting 1 November 2015, with worldwide availability by early 2016. Because of the timing of the release, by agreement with International Sailing Federation (ISAF) the Mark II will not be used in the 2016 Olympic Games or any Olympic country qualifying events for 2015 or 2016.

The use of the sail will be controlled by the Notice of Race for each event until after the 2016 games. After that time, the Mark II will be allowed in all ILCA sanctioned regattas along with the original standard rig sail.

“Because many of the Olympic qualifying events have already occurred, we’ve agreed with ISAF that we shouldn’t make any major changes to the equipment for the 2016 games at this time,” says Usher. “Our goal is to have the Mark II sail available worldwide for the start of the next quadrennium, leading up to the 2020 games in Tokyo.”

In coordination with ISAF and the Laser Builders, ILCA will make further announcements about the availability of the Mark II sail and its use at events over the coming months.


 

Andy Maloney after the Olympic test event in Rio

Hey Everyone,
 
I have just returned home from a month of training and racing over at the 2016 Olympic Venue. Click the link below to read my quick blog update "Rio Life", to get a feel for my month in Rio...
 
 
Thanks for the continued support!
Cheers,
Andy

NZL in 2015 Under 21 and Youth Laser World Champs

In the 2015 Laser Radial Youth World Championships at Kingston Ontario
the NZL results in the Womens Radial were;
  • Ali Nightingale 26th
  • Olivia Christie 36th
  • Megan Thomson 45th

In the Mens Radial

  • Tim Adair 24th Gold fleet
  • Alastair Gifford 34th Gold fleet
  • George Gautrey 36th Gold fleet
  • James Jennings 17th Silver fleet
  • Blake Woodfield 31st Silver fleet
All 2015 Radial Youth Worlds results

At the Under 21 World Champs at Mdemblink Netherlands
In the Standard mens

  • Andrew Mckenzie 19th Gold fleet
  • Matt Kempkers 53rd Gold fleet

All mens results

And in the womens Radial

  • Libby Porter 63rd

All womens results

2015 Masters Worlds, Kingston, Canada - Nick Page's Perspective


Photo courtesy of SailingShot.com

Kingston is a quaint town at the mouth of the St Lawrence Seaway where it exits Lake Ontario.

This was important because;

  • It was a nice place to be and kept the other half's happy; weather was good and water warm despite the fact that only a few months ago it was meter thick ice
  • It is really a slow flowing river we sailed on, not a lake, which was critical if one was silly enough to try and squeeze a mark against the current and definitely affected which side of the course was favoured, sometimes.
  • Where we sailed it was about 1.5 miles from the shore at Kingston to the opposite island shore, meaning that wherever the wind came from it was sort of an offshore breeze, with the associated variations in pressure and direction. Worst the day it came from the N but still applied to the S wind days.
  • There seemed to be no real weight in the breezes, warm air off the lake meant 12 knots felt like 8 at home so even when the regatta report says 12 knots most of the day it felt like the hiking strap was often more of a weight adding feature than a required one.

The net result of this was that sailing in Kingston posed many challenges to the mortals; as I said to one person who asked……train on Pupuke and expect the shifts to be larger and the pressure to be more variable……then add waves and current. Kingston is a tricky place to sail. The general wisdom was that you go left in Kingston. Well, with the exception of the last day when the rule definitely applied it was more like Right paid first beat, left second, left paid first downwind, right second etc etc. Really weird chop with reflection off the sea wall near the bottom of the course, just plain tricky. Question for the day for me was often: is a pressure knock better than a lull lift…….if only I knew the answer. 

The really top guys, Scott, Adonis, Peter Shope in our GM fleet etc seem to have the speed to get there every race but for the rest of us the brain cells were fried by the end of each race.

Given the above, as usual the cream rose to the top and the results in most divisions were that the truly great sailors won, many good sailors did well but others just got confused and the rest of us wondered how the top guys did it with such consistency. 

For team NZ that meant Scott did it again in the Apprentice Masters Radial, and congratulations to him on another well earned world title cube. Matt Blakey showed exceptional consistency to finish second and get a cube in the AM Standards behind current Greek Olympic sailor Adonis Bougiouris. Both Bob Blakey and Michael Shields showed that they had fried far less brain cells than many of the younger members of the team, with Bob 3rd in the GGM Standard and Mike 3rd in the Radial 75+ division. Other notable team performances were Mike Knowsley’s 4th in the Masters Radial and Roger Winton 7th in the GM Radials and Andrew Dellabarca, 11th in a very strong Masters Standard Fleet.

The rest of us enjoyed the regatta, recruited for the 2017 Masters Games in our spare time and generally enjoyed somewhat variable results on the water.

Given the at times trying conditions the regatta was extremely well managed and we are all looking forward to the opportunity to do it all again in Mexico in 2016 with the promise of “guaranteed” fresh sea breezes and real waves….time will tell.

Nick Page

NZL at 2015 Queensland Youth Week

In early July, Ali Nightingale, Megan Thomson and Lachlan Grimwade headed off for the (much warmer) waters of Brisbane to compete in the Queensland Youth Week Regatta in the Laser Radial. The competition was the final of 3 regattas in the Australian qualifying series, drawing the most competitive youth sailors from across Australia making up the 47 boat fleet. Despite challenging and often light conditions, Ali finished up as 6th women and 19th overall, Megan as 13th women making 39th overall while Lachlan finished up 15th overall.
- Lachy Grimwade

2015 Queensland Yout Week - Radial Results

www.qldyouthweek.com

We see Lachy also competed in the 4.7 for the Sail Brisbane. Getting 2nd overall in the 16 boat fleet.
- ed

2015 Sail Brisbane 4.7 Results

Andy Maloney's 2015 Laser World Championships - Update

Hi Everyone,

The 2015 Laser World Championships wrapped up yesterday here in Canada, and it marks the end of a six week trip overseas competing at two major events. It was a very draining week of close racing, and I am now looking forward to getting home back to NZ to refresh ahead of flying out to Rio later this month. 

Read my latest update on how the Worlds went by following the link here;
http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/07/09/2015-laser-world-championship---kingston-canada

Thanks for all of the continued support!
Cheers,
Andy

Andy Maloney on the Gold Cup event at Weymouth

Hi everyone!

The latest round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup wrapped up last weekend in the UK. It was strange being back in Weymouth a few years on from the 2012 Olympic cycle, when our squad spent so much time training and racing there. The conditions felt very familiar and there was a fair bit of de-ja-vu going on!

Follow the link below to read my quick blog update on how the event unfolded for me, and what is coming up next.

http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/06/21/isaf-sailing-world-cup-weymouth

Thanks to everyone for the continued support!
Looking forward to updating you all after the World Championships.

Cheers,
Andy

2015 South Pacific Laser Masters

So there we were, bobbing around on a sun drenched Moreton Bay, waiting for some breeze on the first day of the South Pacific Laser Masters in Manly, Brisbane.
No suprise if you've sailed this regatta before. But that's normally in July. This year it was May to fit in with the July Masters Worlds in Canada. 'Plenty of breeze in May' we were assured. So we drifted around on the tide searching for the people who had told us that.
 
But by 3pm the wind did arrive. And it hung in for 4 days of superb sailing.
 
  • Excellent photo's from Julie Hartwig Photography
  • Matt Blakey in the Standard fleet and Scott Leith in the Radial won in 2014, so they had a bit to live up to. The rest of Team NZL didn't want that sort of pressure on a winter break. Apart from Matt we were all in Radials.
     
    On the first, third and fourth days there was a range in pressure even across a single race. When it was up it was generally puffy. You could be working hard up wind, planing down wind or just as easily searching for power or trying hard to work the waves.
     
    On day 2 it was pretty strong across the board. Upper teens with gusts to 25 producing short pitch waves in the shallow waters. It was a workout upwind and a challenge downwind. The gusts knocked us down in batches during the second race. The tell tail sign was mud on the top of the mast - shades of Lake Pupuke. I turned turtle and blew a reasonable spot as did Bob while being a gentleman and doing his 720. Hamish went over but recovered quickly. So did Scott - still managing a second (it's hard to work up much sympathy).


    Hamish Atkinson - care of Julie Hartwig Photography

    For mere mortals the competition seemed tough. You could feel you sailed ok, but end up further back than you'd hoped. The marked shifts were hard to predict at times. Picking the gate at the start of the second beat often played a big part.

    But the 3 or 4 guys with consistently good results in each fleet  were simply the fastest through the water.

    Matt Blakey had a real battle. He needed his win in the final race 8 to just retain his Standard title after a count-back to break the tie with room mate Nick Skulander. Quite different from last years clean sweep, and hopefully enough to keep him coming back, as it definitely wasn't boring.

    Scott won the radials again although he didn't have it all his own way in every race. Aussies Mark Kennedy, Danny Fuller and Zac Skulander were fast and ready to grab a race when they got the shifts right.

    Hamish Atkinson came out of a Christchurch winter and no training to get 5th. He is very consistent and just chips away making few mistakes. A lesson in how to put together a good regatta.
     
    The rest of team NZ - Bob Blakey, Roger Winton, Greg Wilshire and me all felt that life is not really that fair. Or maybe we didn't want to peak before the Kngston worlds in July.
     
    The Queensland Laser Association and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron put on a great masters event. It's relaxed and well run both on and off the water. We'll be back.

    Mike Knowsley

    Andy Maloney reports from Hyeres

    Another relatively short three week stint overseas and back is now complete. This time with the main event being the first European ISAF Sailing World Cup event of 2015, held in Hyeres, France. It was the debut event in which a new format has been adopted by ISAF, where only the top 40 Laser sailors in the world could compete. This made for extremely tight racing from day one with no 'warm-up' qualifying series like in the past. 

    I've written a quick blog update on the trip and how the regatta unfolded. Click the link below to have a read on my thoughts from the few weeks away, and what's coming up next... Enjoy!

    http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/04/30/isaf-sailing-world-cup-hyeres

    Thanks for the continued support! It is never forgotten :)
    Cheers,
    Andy

    Andy Maloney's Update

    Hey Everyone,

    2015 is flying by! Another month of great training back in the NZ summer, and a couple of local events have now come and gone. Both Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, and the OKI 24 Hour race have been great tests for different reasons. Sail Auckland was a tightly contested battle, and the 24 Hour race was definitely a physical battle in some very testing conditions!

    Click the link below to find out how I got on and what is up next...
    http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/03/10/time-flies...

    Thanks for all the continued support!
    Cheers, Andy

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