Introducing the New Official Class Sail

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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  2. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Which is precisely why what you wrote was garbage.

    Whilst I moved out of Sydney 2 1|2 years ago to Gosford, about 1 hour from the Sydney CBD, the club I now sail out of, with about 40 lasers, only one person is trialling an authorised carbon section. GSC like MHASC and probably a couple of other major clubs have a strict policy of authorised Laser equipment for club racing. When I left Sydney both clubs I raced at most weekends, one with 40 lasers at one and 25 at the other, no one was using carbon sections. There are probably 300 - 400 lasers racing in Sydney, I'd be quite surprised if there were 50 people using carbon sections in Sydney, a far cry from all or even most.
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Of course, clubs, or perhaps more accurately, Laser fleets can disregard the use of illegal (or not yet approved) equipment. My fleet does and I know of several others along the East Coast of the USA. I don't have a problem with that and my opinion is shared by many others. But there is no doubt that we are not sailing legal Lasers as we strive to be first across the finish line in club/local races.
     
  4. deadrock

    deadrock New Member

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    Any competitor that uses non-legal kit is subject to protest by any other competitor. There is no provision in the ISAF Rules for a club to over-ride the Class Rules, unless it gets permission from the Class Association. Good luck with that.
     
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  5. CaptainAhab

    CaptainAhab Active Member

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    At the end of the day common sense usually prevails in regards to legal or semi-legal boats. Everyone knows that so far there is absolutely no competitive advantage to using non class legal parts on a Laser. If there is a true advantage, I would love to hear it.

    At the International, National, Regional, and State level only class legal boats are to be used. Those are all Laser sanctioned events and the results directly affect each other.

    However, at the Club Level and many small multi class regattas those are in fact not Laser sanctioned events. There fore they can make rule changes as a Club or RO. Often at the Club level they do away with the 2 turns rule and make all penalties one turn.

    Every Club is different. There are still a few clubs that have 40 boats on a line every week. Those are the clubs that strictly follow the Laser Association rules. They are very competitive fleets with many of them competing on the regional or national level.

    At a beer can race with less than 10 Lasers, two are in excellent condition and the worst two should have been
    Franken-boated or scuttled years ago. It doesn't matter to the guys in the legal boats when the non-legal boats are old and tired and are obviously a disadvantage. If one of the boys in a non-legal beater boat takes a bullet or two, everybody else is buying him a beer. I sail at such a club.

    I love watching a rock star(I know several) borrow a beater boat with a sail that looks like a prostitute's bed sheet(stains and rust spots and stretched beyond belief) and then proceeds to run a clinic on the locals with the brand new boats all kitted out with the latest and greatest. After the rock star takes a bullet in every race it once again becomes apparent its not about the boat in a class like Lasers. 90% of it is the sailor.
     
  6. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Yes, we know that.
    The point that I was making is that there is an unofficial consensus (gentleman's agreement) not to protest one another over this issue in club races among several of the bigger fleets on the East Coast of the USA.

     
  7. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    Where did this crazy idea originate? That is, that at a certain level of racing, class rules suddenly don't apply anymore - or even worse, the organizing authority is somehow free to rewrite them?

    Every single race where the name of a given class is used is "sanctioned" by that class. Even the lowest-level Laser race is legally an "ILCA event". It doesn't have to be in the ILCA calendar. The line is drawn between racing and not racing, not between different levels of racing.

    It's true that the organizer of a regatta can change quite a few racing rules. As anyone who's ever studied the Racing Rules of Sailing knows, there is even a rule-change rule there. For instance, right-of-way rules can't be changed, unlike things like penalties and scoring.

    Class rules are something different. They can be changed only by the class association, and in the case of an international class, with ISAF approval. None of a race officer's business. To equate class rules and racing rules is simply a false analogy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
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  8. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    LaLi at long last someone has called a spade a spade, excellent.

    LaLi is quite correct, any level of racing in Lasers, the boats must be class legal and clubs can't amend this. If a club wants to have an open fleet where Lasers race against similar craft they can, but for an instant think that those other craft are lasers just because some components are Laser class legal.
     
  9. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Hydrofoils. Roster 8.1 rig. Rudders raked beyond 78 degrees. Even lightened and stiffened hulls. All non class legal parts which offer an obvious competitive advantage over the class legal components.
     
  10. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    The trouble is that in my experience (4 different clubs) their priority is to get as many boats at the start line as they can. so they tolerate non-legal class equipment. Most still call it a Laser Class (though one club has switched to the "Kirby Torch"). One of the more competitive clubs voted to outlaw non-legal gear (with a year or two "forgiveness" for existing non-legal stuff), but that was changed back before the rule came into effect. There is s much non-legal stuff (mainly sails) around now, non-legal is more common than legal.

    Class/builder/ISAF inaction/delays/olympics/whatever has destroyed one of the central strengths of the Laser Class. My disappointment is that I suspect it is too late to recover now because people are so used to buying/seeing non-legal gear and it is unlikely the new sail will be price competitive with 3rd party knockoffs, the situation will continue.

    Even with a longer lasting sail (if it ever gets released), it is unlikely to last much longer than 3rd party sails and they will still be significantly cheaper. Had it been released sooner then 3rd party gear would not have become so widespread. But not ... too late (I fear).

    Ian
     
  11. inlandfreddy

    inlandfreddy Member

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    I guess that after a while with the MkII sail on the market there will be replica sails made in the same manner. So that aspect of the situation will probably remain. /freddy
     
  12. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    Maybe if the builders stopped charging three times (or more) of market price for sails and all parts the problem would disappear.
    E
     
  13. Andy B

    Andy B New Member

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    In the UK if you buy in summer when Laser are shipping large quantities of boats you will pay $600 for a sail. Buy in winter and this year the price was $375. It's supply and demand. Look at the quality of the legal part - I bought a lot of 12 sails manufactured over 6 months, by weight the tolerance was better than 0.5%. You have to pay to get tolerances like this and in turn it gives closer racing. The class legal sail also includes dues. It's easy to undercut someone by copying their design to poor tolerances using an unspecified manufacturer. Our class legal sails are of a good quality, tight tolerances and, according to the publicity, produced by suppliers paying a living wage.

    Compare the price of a legal sail with other classes. You will find sails in most other classes are between two and three times the price.

    It's the same with spars. I weighed spars at my clubs and found most of the replicas were up to 20% down by weight and if you sailed with them they are so soft you could not point. The class legal parts just point higher and sail away from you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  14. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    A summary of posts 90, 91 and 92 indicates that the (super strict) one-design horse has left the barn and I agree that it will be all but impossible to rein-in the runaway.
    I also share the opinion that LP/LPE is (partially?) to blame. But we have gone over that before...
    :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  15. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    I wouldn't be as pessimistic as some of you. The fake-part market is not as universal as it appears viewed from the locations of most posters here. (There are sure even more extreme developments in some countries where they build even the hulls independently, but those seem to be run as separate classes and aren't actually called Lasers.)

    The thing is, in this corner of the planet no one uses fake Laser parts. Not even recreationally, or when training. I have never even seen a "replica" sail live, ever. That is why a lot of this discussion sounds literally foreign to me. Incomprehensible really, sometimes.

    The fundamental problem of LP launching the bi-radial sail ahead of time is that now the legal builder itself is selling a major part of the boat that is illegal. They're making things worse by blurring the lines between real and fake, and they can do it quite effectively with their near-global network.

    I don't think I want to contribute to that.
     
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  16. misailor28

    misailor28 New Member

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    A good many people use practice sails except for regatta's worth GP points. With the class sails at $600 USD and their lifespan being relatively short and practice sails available for under $150 USD it's an easy tradeoff even if quality of the practice sails is a little lower. I have a new class legal sail and have no intention of touching it except for a district or other GP regatta. For anything else and going out to sail for fun I'll always use the non legal practice sail.
     
  17. CaptainAhab

    CaptainAhab Active Member

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    The alloy and heat treatment of an aluminum spar as well as the obvious size/shape of the section determines its mechanical characteristics. We see this in the Optimist spars everyday. They range from low end 6000 series marine grade to high end 6061 marine grade to 7075 aircraft grade. Its like comparing cheap bicycles to better then the best. The generic Laser spars are probably a lower grade and will take a bend sooner. I wouldn't buy a generic Laser spar, because of that knowledge. That said its not like a Laser upper is worth it, because of a design flaw that prematurely bends them.Carbon uppers(Cspar brand) are the go for practice.

    Its pure conjecture that companies like iSails and Intensity are using slave labor to make poor sails and that they are all inconsistant. After using them for two years, I would say the iSails are better than the Laser brand sails. The cloth is more durable and the leech hasn't stretched as quickly.

    Keep in mind that Laser is restricted to the sailcloth they changed to in the early 1980's. Dacron cloths have improved since then. I like many people use a training sail and I have a race sail that is on the shelf.

    In this part of Australia(and I would assume everywhere in AU)generic sails are as common on the water as real ones at this point in time. People also forget that you get the battens($55) a rolled sail bag($40) and tell tails($5) with an iSails for $200AUD. The brand sails are $670AUD and they come with a folded bag. That's actually $200 vs $770 apples to apples. Unless you are racing in a fleet that requires the branded sails, there is no point in using one in my opinion at this stage of the game. The iSails and Intensity sails have proven themselves. There are more and more generics and who knows about them?
     
  18. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    AlanD,

    That is all great in theory and accurate in sea-lawyering terms but is that really what is best for fleet growth at a grass roots level? I can understand your view at an elite level (Olympics, etc...) but not a grass roots level.

    The types of generic parts and sails that are allowed by some clubs for some grass roots events can fairly be viewed as a good thing if you accept that these deviations do not have an effect on the boat performance for that level of sailor. I think its fair to say most people, die-hard OD or not, would agree these deviations do not impact boat performance (at that level) but do reduce costs to a such a significant extent that it benefits fleet growth or retention.

    Why does this have to be black or white? Elite vs club level? Are there not ways for all of us to come out ahead if accepting certain realities and having meaningful dialogue about middle ground?

    The proliferation of the generic parts and sails at the club level clearly demonstrates that many clubs and fleet captains do see more benefit from these changes than they issue or risk. Now, you can condemn then for this sea-lawyering violation or you can applaud them for making reasonable small incremental efforts, that are obviously widely accepted by their respective fleets, to grow and retain fleet members.

    At some point don't we have to accept that fleet members have voted with their feet and pocketboks?
     
  19. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    I was going to write a lengthy post debunking the above, but I guess in the end it's just a question of a cultural/ideological/geographical divide between us. Happy to be on this side of it though. It's simpler here.

    Tomorrow when the stores open again, I intend to go and buy a new Standard sail. Folded, if available. Should be good for the next two seasons' racing, minimum.

    But I still hope that the bi-radial is legal before that.
     
  20. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    You must sail in less than 10 knots most of your two seasons.
    A laser sail will last about 50 hours of 20 knots and I'm probably being generous.
    Intensity sails last about the same.
    New radial should last longer unless someone figures out some radical setting that makes it faster but deforms it faster as well. Time will tell.
    I would be happy if they kept the same price as the current sail for the radials. Clearly they are already making money at $ 450. Not holding my breath though...
    E
     

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