The Boat and History
The Laser dinghy is an Olympic Class Single Handed Dinghy and heralds from a design in the early 1970’s. Originally conceived as a simple roof topable dinghy to accompany camping trips, the boat was quickly appreciated for its simplicity and performance. From the early days the boat gained a rapid following and the first championships took place in 1974 in Bermuda. The class grew rapidly and to date accounts for some 200,000 boat sales globally. In 1996 it was adopted as the men’s Olympic Single Handed Dinghy, an accolade it still holds to date. Indeed you will no doubt be well aware that some of Britain’s best Olympians had periods in the Laser or achieved specific success in the class, names like Paul Goodison and of course Sir Ben Ainsle. As well as being a men’s single handed dinghy the boat offers flexibility by utilising different sails (rigs) for different sailor weights and or ages / sexes. There is the 4.7 square metre rig, which is an RYA (Royal Yatch Association) recognised Youth class boat. The next rig up is the Radial sail, which is some 5.4 square metres and is perhaps one of the nicest rigs to sail the laser with as it responds well to trimming and inputs. The standard rig is 7.2 square metres and offers challenging performance in a breeze and can, when sailed well, offer big smiles for the pound invested! If you want even more power then there is a non-class approved Laser Rooster which gives 8.1 square metre sail with a mast extension. Each different sail rig also attracts a differing PY or handicap to permit competitive sailing against each other and other classes.
At the Club
At Ogston we have an active Laser Fleet, from new sailors just starting out to the well experienced, and also sailors who use the Laser when crews in their other boats are not around. This single hander is perfect. Often the Laser Fleet is well represented at Club racing and the premier sailing events, so what are you waiting for, the club is pleased to be able to offer club boats available for hire if you fancy trying one out. Alternatively a sorted second hand Laser can be bought for a reasonable amount, some from a few hundred pounds up to a brand new boat at some £5,000, with everything in between.
At the club we have an active sailing and racing scene, encompassing class and handicap sailing races and also pursuit races. These take place on Wednesday evenings (pursuit racing), Saturday & Sunday afternoon (general handicap or class racing). Please refer to the full sailing calendar for the listing of the different race types at the club. If you get into the racing scene the Laser association has regional sailing events and open races at clubs in the region and moving on to National and even International events. As an Olympic Class the RYA also actively supports the class and for Youths there is a fully recognised pathway for progression up to the Olympics.
At Ogston we are lucky that we have easy access to two Grand Prix racing series giving us opportunities to race and train with the Midlands and Northern area circuit. For more information please see the individual websites.
or you can look at all the Laser events on the UKLA website www.laser.org.uk/Events.php
So if you’d like to join in please feel free to get in touch with me your Laser Fleet Captain, Sarah Rumball by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org