The Website of the Laser Class of South
Africa - catering for Laser 4.7, Radial and Standard rig versions
Upcoming Laser Events
2021 Laser National Championships
Algoa Bay Fri 1 October 2021 - Mon 4 October 2021
2020 Laser National Championships - Stilbaai Yacht Club, Vaal dam
2020 Laser Class National Championships were
successfully hosted by Stilbaai Yacht Club on the Vaal
John Samuel, the RO for the event and a local made good use of the conditions and managed to complete 12 races for the series. The conditions varied but unfortunately never delivered the blow the coastal sailors hoped for.
The Standard fleet was made up of mix of the "heavies" like Campbell, Rudolph and Alan, the up-and-coming U21's Kai, Niels and Cameron and some "wild cards" Justin, Bradley and the Urban Boys who sailed their first regatta. Rudolph showed the fleet the way for several races with the next 5 places changing frequently.
The 16 boat Radial Fleet was made up entirely of Youth sailors making for a true Youth Nationals championship. Sailors that have been in the Laser class since they aged out of Optimists were challenged by sailors who have achieved great results in in the 420 class. The results do not quite represent the tussle that went on the front of the fleet in the variable conditions. The Radial National and Youth National title was decided on 1st place count out tie break between Keagan Nel and Alex Flacon. Matt Inglis made his presence felt in the top 3. He was also awarded the Cullen Keytel Memorial Shield as the winner of the First Race. A Thank you to the Keytel Family for the prize money for the Youth Winners of the First Race of the event. Kyle Koeries from Eden District finished 4th overall and the 2nd Western Cape sailor. A wonderful achievement for his first Radial event. The leading Youth Girl was Siena-Rose Jones making it into he the top 10 of the fleet.
The 4.7 fleet although the feeder class for the Radial has never been contested lightly. A 7 boat fleet had its share of drama and excitement. James Matchette from the Tera and 420 classes, Elisa Falcon from the Optimist Class and Chiara Fruet the veteran of the fleet kept the spectators on their toes as to the out come of each race as none was decided until the last moment. Duncan Urban was the "struggler" of the fleet, working to finish every race in his first regatta.
Final Results were as follows:
1st Youth Under 19 - Niels Tiaaden
International Laser Class Association - Update on New Builder Approvals
In November 2018, World Sailing approved its Olympic Equipment Strategy, which requires that any interested party who meets the necessary technical qualifications must be able to manufacture and sell Olympic equipment.
In order to comply with this policy, on September 27th of this year, ILCA announced it was accepting preliminary applications for the appointment of new builders of class legal boats and equipment. ILCA is pleased to announce that 29 applications were received and have now been reviewed by the evaluation panel. 18 applicants were determined to meet the minimum requirements to move forward in the process and those potential builders are now being invited to participate in a more detailed, formal license application assessment. Applicants will receive a copy of the Approved Builder License Agreement and the relevant portions of the ILCA Build Manual, which will allow them to fully evaluate the business opportunity and develop a formal business plan.
On December 6, Laser Performance was also issued an Approved Builder License Agreement, which would allow the company to be reappointed as an approved manufacturer of class legal boats and equipment. ILCA has not yet received a response to the agreement from Laser Performance, but we are hopeful to see a signed contract in the near future in order to avoid any delays in equipment supply.
All new builder applications were submitted on a confidential basis, so ILCA cannot publish the names of the potential builders at this time. However, ILCA can reveal that, of the 18 builders invited to proceed with the new builder approval process, there are five from Europe, five from Asia, four from North America, three from South America and one from Oceania. The next step is for a panel of experts to review the formal applications and business proposals received in order to further narrow down the list. By the nature of this process and in compliance with relevant antitrust regulations, ILCA cannot determine the number of builders that will be eventually approved, nor can we specify the geographic location of the successful candidates. More information about the approval process and the technical and business qualifications required can be found here.
Since rights to use the LASER trademark are controlled by various third parties, all new builders will be issued a royalty-free license to use the ILCA trademark in connection with the marketing and sale of class legal boats. This will allow all builders to sell boats, sails and equipment into any territory and will establish a truly open global market, which we expect will help drive growth for our class and our sport in all parts of the world. Removing territorial trademark restrictions is a necessary part of implementing World Sailing’s Olympic equipment strategy and ILCA will issue further guidance to all Districts and Regions related to the new equipment branding and what sailors can expect in the future.
2019 Laser National Championships - Offshore Durban
There was a particularly good turnout for this year's Nationals, held on the prime sailing venue of Durban beachfront. With 28 in the Standard fleet and 19 in the Radial fleet, starting prowess was essential. There were just four boats in the Laser 4.7 fleet. The fleet was boosted by the welcome addition of competitors from the Mozambique Laser fleet, also a Ugandan entrant.
Nine races were held over the long weekend at the end of April. The wind was generally light to moderate north easterly - the "heavies" would probably have preferred more extreme conditions.
The Standard fleet was dominated by Stefano Marcia, who displayed faultless technique in getting good starts and maintaining boat speed with the available wind power. Behind, it was a tight battle for the other two podium positions between Rudolph Holm and Kai Leslie. These two were generally just one ahead or one behind in the races, but Kai Leslie claimed the Silver S.A. Sailing medal by one point ahead of Rudolph Holm. This fleet saw some well known names from Laser Nationals several years ago - Ivan Gibbbons, Rowen Clark, Pete Wilson.
The Radial fleet had a strong challenge from the Mozambiqans, but Cullen Keytel was able to eke out a slim lead to win the Radial Nationals trophy. He was chased by Deurry Mavimbe (MOZ), who had a comfortable lead over countryman Jeremias Mazoio in third place. Close behind in 4th place was the first female - Deisy Nhaquile.
The Laser 4.7 fleet was dominated by Chiara Fruet.
Subject: International Circular -- Announcement regarding ILCA Dinghy
The attached press release and photos are being circulated to the sailing media today so you should expect to see these in publication soon. We expect that your members may have some questions about this process. For now, the best source of information remains our FAQ published on the class website. https://www.laserinternational.org/blog/2019/04/06/faq-6-april-2019/
For the press release, click here
We will keep the FAQ updated as we receive new questions that need to be addressed.
Please know that the changes we are implementing have been made with the approval of the ILCA World Council and with the full support of World Sailing. We are working hard to finalize our position to be retained as Olympic Equipment and we appreciate everyone's support towards this goal. The vote to re-approve our class for the 2024 Olympics is only 3 weeks away so this remains our primary focus.
We expect to have further announcements regarding sails, spars and other parts soon and we will keep everyone updated as we move forward.
International Laser Class Association
2018 Laser National Championships
Langebaan, October 2018
Twenty one standards, seventeen radials and eleven 4.7's attended the Laser Nationals, ten of whom travelled from KZN, three from North region and two from George Lakes Yacht Club in the S. Cape. The event was held over three days, 5-8 October in Langebaan and what a fantastic three days it proved to be.
Thanks must be given to Langebaan Yacht Club and Colin Whitehead for their assistance in getting it all together with the entire Keytel family doing an awesome job with the organisation of the event - the new trophies, the prizes from the sponsors and KZN Rush sports, Giel and his family for his catamaran used as a committee boat and everything else needed to turn it into an amazing few days.
Bruce Keytel and his team on the race committee, safety and mark laying made sure the racing courses were great, starting each day's race on time. The weather was superb for racing with both Friday and Saturday's winds a steady southerly of between 12 to 18 knots and when Sunday arrived with a northerly it was thought there might be little sailing but by 11.00 the direction moved to southerly and a 12-15 knot steady breeze gave the sailors just what they wanted. And to top it all each day was with lovely sunshine and not at all cold.
Racing in each fleet was very competitive as can be seen on the results. The Marcia brothers kept the front of the standards on their toes and the radial fleet were chasing Cullen Keytel while the 4.7's were similarly chasing Tristan Tomlinson.
Laser Standard podium
International judges, Dave Hudson and Luke Scott, did on-the-water judging which added another dimension to the event, keeping the racing fair and the competitors happy. There was only one yellow flag and only one protest the whole weekend.
Laser Radial podium
The event was characterised by simple and effective organisation, launching from the beach, the race office was a holiday apartment on the beach and secure boat parking just off the beach in the adjacent car park.
Laser 4.7 podium
What more can be said, a great venue, good winds, fair sailing, 9 races and happy, tired sailors.
A big thank you to all competitors for their attendance, especially Campbell and Jerome with their team from KZN and to the sponsors, Rush Hi Performance, Havaianas and RVKA.
The Laser Class AGM was held on the Saturday afternoon with the committee being largely unchanged except for Campbell Alexander taking over the Chairman role. This ties in with the planning of another awesome Nationals in KZN next year, probably around April, so only 6 months away. Time to get training.
2018 W. Cape Championships - Laser Classes
Langebaan, April 2018
Nature played a major role in making this one of the best sailing events of the season.
Day one started with no wind whilst trailers and sailors arrived on the beach to unload. At the same time organisers were running around trying to find marks, boats and all the rest of the paraphernalia needed to run an event for 31 boats - mainly Optimists - on the small boat course and 74 on the big boat course, 25 of which were Lasers.
As the day progressed towards the 14:00 scheduled start the wind obligingly started to pick up so that the fleet could launch off the perfectly firm, sandy and wave free beach to head downwind to the start. Unfortunately the organisers weren't quite as well organised as the wind so sailors had to hang around waiting patiently for marks and committee boats to find their way to the course. By around 16:00 (16.35) everything came together and the first race took place in a perfect 12 knots breeze. There wasn't time for a second race so everyone headed back to the shore, pleased to have at least have had one great race but a bit disgruntled that so much time had been wasted.
Saturday dawned with prospects of more breeze in the morning and the sailors were raring to go for the scheduled 10:00 start. Again the organisation was not in tune with the wind but at least this time they kept the sailors on the beach while they got their ducks in a row. The breeze remained steady in the 12 to 15 knot range with maybe the odd 18 knot puff later in the afternoon which provided excellent and exhilarating sailing. The race committee put in race after race and by the end of the afternoon there were plenty of tired but satisfied sailors making their way back to the beach having sailed 4 races on the trot.
Sunday was another perfect weather day and again there were some delays in getting the races going but they were short lived and the race committee put in another 4 races back to back before the cut-off time of 14h30. In the end the small boats had sailed 10 races - they managed two on the first day and ended up with two discards - whilst the big boats had completed 9 races.
Prize giving was a bit delayed as well but all sailors went home having enjoyed some of the best sailing that this country has to offer. Ali Keytel won the Standards carrying two seconds and the rest bullets whilst Calvin Gibbs won the Radial carrying only bullets. The competition behind each of these stars was very competitive with plenty of youngsters giving an older sailor a run for his money in the Standard fleet and lots of highly motivated youngsters vying for selections in the Radial fleet behind Calvin. In the 4.7's Damita Olsson narrowly beat Tom Raynham by just a single point.
Overall the event had perfect breeze with some wind blown chop and a bit of swell coming from the ocean in a different direction. The gently oscillating breeze also provided great tactical sailing. The beach launching and boat parking was also great with no hint of security issues. Another bonus of the venue was that there was plenty of accommodation available despite the fact that it was still school holidays, either camping a few kilometres down the road, or a variety of B&B's on the beach, or within walking distance. Shops and restaurants were also readily available within a few hundred meters. One has to ask why only the Hobies and board sailors have been using this venue for the past number of years. Well done to SAS WC for making arrangements with the Parks board so that us dinghies, could also enjoy this prime venue this year.
I for one am looking forward to the Laser Nationals at the same venue in October. Alan Keen
Laser Rule Changes
Laser Class Announces New Composite Top Mast
The class legal composite mast will be available in early 2017.
5 December 2016
The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is pleased to announce the release of a class-legal composite top mast section that is expected to be available for purchase in early 2017.
Because the new mast was designed with the exact same weight and bend characteristics as the existing aluminum upper sections, it will not provide a performance advantage but instead will eliminate the permanent bending problems associated with the aluminum spars.
"ILCA's policy regarding the introduction of new equipment is that it should always have the same characteristics as the existing equipment and that the new equipment should not give a performance advantage when raced alongside existing equipment," says ILCA Executive Secretary, Eric Faust. "The composite mast definitely meets that objective. It's been tested by some of the top Laser sailors in the world and they all agree that they can't determine any difference while sailing."
According to ILCA Technical Officer, Clive Humphris, "The new top section has been rigorously developed and tested over the past six years to assure that it is a 'like-for-like' part with the current mast. The advantage is that the new mast will be much more durable and won't be prone to permanent bending like the aluminum masts."
ILCA President, Tracy Usher, agrees. "I've sailed with a prototype composite upper while training in a wide variety of conditions -- I couldn't tell any difference between having this spar on the boat or using an aluminum one. I sail the same way and the boat seems to behave the same way. Everything felt the same."
"This is going to make Laser sailing easier for everyone," adds Usher. "Sailors won't need to carefully align their mast rivet when rigging or worry about straightening their masts after a day of heavy air sailing. It's going to be a big improvement for everyone!"
Because the composite mast is now a fully approved change to the Laser Construction Manual, there is no need for a change to the Laser Class Rules. As long as the mast is purchased from an approved Laser Builder or one of its authorized dealers, it will be legal for use at all ILCA sanctioned events.
The new mast specifications have been developed in close cooperation between the approved Laser Builders, World Sailing and ILCA. Because the composite top section is class legal and it will not provide any advantage in performance on the water, neither ILCA nor World Sailing anticipate that the use of the composite mast will need to be restricted for any future events. If it is subsequently determined that the use of the mast needs to be restricted, this will be controlled by Notice of Race on an event-by-event basis.
For more information contact ILCA: email@example.com
2016 Laser National Championships
The 2016 Laser Nationals were originally scheduled to be held on Algoa Bay, hosted by Algoa Bay Y.C. and Redhouse Y. C.. However, due to concerns with the relationship between the Ports Authority and ABYC, it was decided to move this event to Swartvlei Lagoon, Sedgefield, with Knysna Y.C. coming in as the co-host, replacing ABYC. This decision was met with concerns from several Laser sailors that it would be a light wind event. As it happened, there was strong wind on all four days of the regatta and these concerns were unfounded. Being an inland venue, it was more acceptable for many who would not have participated in an offshore event and the entry was larger as a result. The Lasers had 65 boats, the largest being the Radials with 37 boats, 16 Standards and 12 Laser 4.7s. A large proportion of this entry came from the local S. Cape clubs (KYC and GLYC), who had 23 boats sailing. Other entrants came from Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
The first day, Saturday, had a gusty wind from the south west. Four races were sailed with many exhausted sailors coming ashore afterwards. On Sunday, the wind had switched to the south east, where it remained for the remaining days. Two races were sailed, before the wind had increased to over 25 knots and conditions had become too extreme. This allowed the organisers to set up the prizegiving for the E. Cape Championships in the afternoon. Monday also had two more races for the Lasers, with the wind once again getting too strong in the afternoon. On the last day, three final races were held, making for a total of 11 races, which allowed for two discard races.
Competition at the head of the Radial fleet was tight, but Asenathi Jim was consistently in front, to take the gold medal. He didn't win all the races - his main competition came from Georgou Divaris, who was able to take two race wins from Asenathi , to finish in second place. Third place went to James Hellstrom, who also had a race win, keeping Dylan Long off the podium.
In the Standard fleet, Alastair Keytel wrapped things up, but it was Justin Onvlee who put in a charge, winning the final races, but not quite enough to unseat Alastair from the top step. Third place went to Marcello Marcia, leading Youth sailor.
The Laser 4.7 fleet had a strong team from Knysna Y.C. with Sanele Magquaza leading in this fleet in the first half of the event, but then it was Cullen Keytel dominating at the end to win overall. Sanele dropped to second, with Apenduli Maneli taking third place, ahead of club mate JP Kriel.
2015 Eastern Cape Championships - Laser Class
With the Southern Cape clubs being re-incorporated into SAS W. Cape, SAS E.Cape had to select another venue in their area to host the 2015 E. Cape Championships and the selected venue was Wriggleswade Dam, outside Stutterheim. The event attracted 75 boats, with Mirrors (sailing National Championships) and Optimists - 18 boats each, being the largest classes.
The Laser fleet had just 11 boats, but two of these were Dabchicks, included as they have a similar rating to the Laser 4.7s. Thus just 9 Lasers. Five of these came from the S. Cape, i.e. just four from the E. Cape.
Tim Jones was the sole standard rig Laser, sailing at the front of the fleet against the Radials of Georgou Divaris, James Hellstrom and Megan Robertson. Eleven races were sailed over three days, in light wind (<12 knots). Only one race could be sailed on the final day. Tim could not put any distance ahead of the Radials, thus suffered on handicap. Divaris and Hellstrom shared all the race wins between themselves and James Hellstrom took the Championship by a point clear of Divaris. Tim Jones was third overall. Megan Robertson was 4th, 3rd Radial.
2015 Laser National Championships
Sixty boats sailed in the 2015 Laser Nationals , offshore Durban, over the May 1 long weekend and what a fantastic time we had! Everything about this regatta was top class, from the race organisation, to the "new" beach site facility and of course the ideal weather conditions.
The weather forecast predicted strong winds on day 1 with light weather thereafter so most of the "marginal" sailors chose to sail Standard rig ( or radial for the ladies) rather than change down to a Radial or 4,7. In actual fact every "next day" was just as strong as the last so most of the sailors had really good Workers Day Workout. The machos, of course, revelled in the conditions of strong winds and big seas. Some of those reaches were absolutely mind blowing.
It was great to see Rudi McNeil back in the fleet, having just limbered up at Richards Bay on the previous weekend. He took bullets in 7 of the 10 races to secure the Gold medal. Rudolf Holm had a mediocre first day( he didn't attend the practice session at R Bay!) but gradually overhauled Alistair Keytel to take 2nd place .Grand Master Colin Dibb from Australia was only a point behind them in 4th. First youth was Marcello Marcia sailing his first season on the big rig. With a first and 2 fourths he will certainly be the next guy to watch.
In the Radial fleet you would have to look at the results
sheet to see how close the racing was , with Dylan Long, Calvin Gibbs
and Georgou Divaris all finishing within one point of each other. Sam
Lombard was close behind them in 4th spot.
Praise must go to the six ladies who absolutely sailed their hearts out in the strong conditions. First lady overall was Iliana Boura who mixed it with the boys on several races ( a 3rd two 4th s and a fifth) to come 7th overall.
In the 4,7 fleet ZVYC sailors took the top 3 slots ( the more you practice ...?) with Kai Leslie the overall winner. Sarah-Jane Deary had a great regatta to finish in 2nd place. Elsje Dijkstra , fresh out of oppies, sailed brilliantly, with 2 first places, to take 3rd slot.
Thanks must go to Campbell and his team for the organisation, to Race officer Tony Cockrell and his team and especially to Kevin, Peter and the guys on those wet bumpy rescue boats for keeping us safe on the water.
At the awards ceremony some lovely prizes were awarded by lucky draw and thanks must go to Garden Route Sailing, Central Boating, SuperSail Wilderness and Sail Benoni for their contributions.
For another report, with interviews with Rudy McNeil, Alan Keen, Campbell Alexander and Dylan Long, click here