Practice sails for local racing

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by FlyingBats, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. FlyingBats

    FlyingBats New Member

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    Are there any fleets with experience allowing the use of practice sails? We are contemplating a more open policy for weeknight racing hoping to increase participation and to allow more racers to have fresher sails, thereby improving skills and competition.
     
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    The Laser fleet of the Potomac River Sailing Association doesn't have a 'policy' on this issue, but we do have a few 'non-legal' sails racing. We frostbite (October through March) and the atmosphere is relatively non-competitive and friendly. Our motto, unofficial, is the more boats on the water, the merrier :):).
     
  3. FlyingBats

    FlyingBats New Member

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    Thanks Wavedancer- helpful feedback- love your use of the the word "relatively.":)
     
  4. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    We have actually amended our club SI's to allow this. We have created a 'local class' to get around the class rules issue (the RRS do allow you to amend class rules uless you have written permission from the class to do so).

    The local class has all the same rules with the exception that 'replica' parts are allowed for racing provided they are a direct and exact replacement or the original part. The 'local class' is permittied to race as part of the 'Laser' fleet as both both are identical in performance. It just ties up the loose ends as we did have a couple of members who were grumbling about the use of training sails.

    I do however notice that Laser are dropping the prices of their sails here in the UK and are giving hefty discounts to 'bulk purchases' made through you local club. A figure or around £200 per sail delivered has been touted. This is an improvement over the £400 we were being asked to pay.

    I think that the builder has woken up to the fact that the sales of new sails were dropping as people took the training sail option.

    For all Laser class open events the boat must be 100% class legal though, the 'local class' is not permitted to join in.
     
  5. Martin_Cph

    Martin_Cph DEN 182275

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    Please link to any UK dealer who will sell me two original sails for the price of one.
     
  6. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    This is apparently from Laser Performance directly not through one of their dealers.

    All the fleet captian said was he had a communication from the UKLA advising him to get in touch (I am assuming that all UKLA fleet captains will have had something similar) with them. It may be worth asking round your local club and then giving them a call to see what is on offer (I am a little sceptical myself).
     
  7. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    For any "club level" racing where it is just the local sailors getting together, I don't see how this would be an issue. I think most would agree with "the more the merrier" attitude regardless of where someone buys their sail.

    Similarly, I would think for any class sponsored-event few would argue that only class-legal sails should be used.

    I think a grey area would be "district level" events. If some guy in the back who keeps flipping over is sailing with a knock-off sail, most people would overlook it. However if someone starts consistently winning races with an illegal sail, then a protest will surely get filed.
     
  8. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I agree Torrid. Whilst my local club is a sociable club the racing is pretty serious (and the bar banter after is good too). The club sailing committee decided it was best to nip and potential protest before they happened by doing this. Now everyone knows where they stand. The club has a wide range of membership from those who are very well off to those who have their £400 boat. Introducing this rule has allowed a more level playing field (at club level anyway).

    As has been said elsewhere an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ;-).
     
  9. Sailorchick

    Sailorchick Member

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    At my home club (Weston SC) we let people race lasers with replica kit, no formal policy but most of the fleet have at some point raced with a replica.
     
  10. Turnin Grey

    Turnin Grey New Member

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    I was recently sailing in Melbourne, Aus, and this issue split the club. The old timers quickly passed an amendment to the club racing rules stating that all boats must be class legal. For the three of use using practise sails it left a bad taste in our mouth, as no discussion was engaged. Save your racing sail was my thought for the District level. A little discussion over a beer may have engaged some healty debate!!
     
  11. Lots 2Learn

    Lots 2Learn New Member

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    I ran into a similar situation with a new fleet starting up. The case I tried to make in the early days is that using practice sails would be an effective way for older boats to easily upgrade and being more competitive (due to a newer sail not because of performance differences in the sail). The money saved could be either applied to other boat upgrades or even a travel budget. Initially this idea was discounted but as others saw the overall benefits enabling more boats to show up for racing, the old schoolers saw the benefits outweighed the negatives.
     
  12. stuck in the 80s

    stuck in the 80s Member

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    Our club is happy with the none genuine sails, is it not better to have the option of more affordable sailing. The laser 2s in the UK have suffered with the price of genuine sails being more than most boats are now worth.
     
  13. hoipolloi

    hoipolloi Member

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    Combine that w/the world economic meltdown and maybe we'll some long overdue movement in this regard.
     
  14. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Don't forget the impact on the exchange rate. In Australia our sails do occassionally come in cheaper when our dollar is strong against the US. At the moment our sails are expensive but at this time last year they were 20% cheaper.

    Personally, I'm anti the replica gear but understand the need for it at the current price of all the authentic laser gear. My dislike of the replica stuff is that it just puts more pressure on us measurers to detect the replica gear, is we miss something and someone protests we're in the stink for missing it.

    I wouldn't have an issue with it if all of it was clearly marked as being replica, (different colour to anything laser produced etc) but it isn't and when inspecting a few hundred boats and only having 5 minutes to check every detail on the boat, the less obvious illegal equipment on the boat might get missed. I'd rather make sure that people had legal equipment that impacts on the safety or the speed of the boat than wandering around looking to see if the mast plug was an authentic laser mast plug.
     
  15. Danimal

    Danimal New Member

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    hi all - long time listener, first time caller -

    i have been recently informed that the intensity sails (or replicas in general) are superior sails than the legal - i recently paid A$250 for a new intensity sail;

    just to clarify, i love the OD concept, love the boat, love the class, love the close racing, love the people who are involved in it, but ...

    i have always been under the impression that the legal sails are/were quality - if what i have been told is true (replicas are superior), how can it be that you can produce a superior product for about a third of the price of a legal sail? if this is true, who's milking the difference? i was always under the impression that the legal sails were the best you can get; have i been misled?

    i want to be as competitive as possible but simply cannot afford a brand new sail each season if i have to use my current sail for club racing (normally windy conditions);

    surely, if the legal sails came down to the A$300-400 price point, more people would buy legal sails more frequently which would mean that the racing would be closer and tighter (as more would be able to afford a newer sail) - benefiting all? surely, bigger volume would be better for the distributors?

    i would appreciate any information about what policies their clubs have about the use of replicas during club racing?

    my understanding is that many clubs are allowing replicas - is this understanding incorrect?

    cheers,
     
  16. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Danimal,

    Allowing use of a replica sail really depends upon the club and the sailors involved. You're just going to have to ask at the places you sail. I suspect if anyone has an official policy, it is that you must you class-legal sails.
     
  17. Gfinch

    Gfinch 136069

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    At my club we sail whatever, no one minds. The Laser Captain has a fake sail...although at the Open which we held we had to have Laser Offical sails.
     
  18. beaker

    beaker hi

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    alan, I do see your point....it would be difficult to detect a replica boom or such without the official decal. but every replica sail i have seen has had its builders insignia and is also missing the Laser logo on top of the sail.

    Frankley I would open the class to allow such replica items as legal items, Sails with a royalty of course, to reduce your stress and to also open the competition to everyone. By everyone I am refering to the people who can not afford two $550 sails a year, or those that have a pre 1992 boat and would like to make it competitive. I personally feel hesitation to use my own boat at larger events due to it being a 1988 and not having any legal decals for the spars and boards (they are all original to the boat).
     
  19. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    OK I can't stand it anymore.

    If any of you actually believes somebody who is too destitute to buy a $600 sail will suddenly be able to afford to become competitve with FREE sails, you are so woefully ignorant of the price of gas, entry fees, lodging, food, life jackets, boots, lines, hulls, hiking pants, fulies and most important...Pizza and beer.

    Get a grip!! The official laser Class sails are about $400 more than they should be and that money goes to extortion by the ISAF, pampering our class executives, pampering boat dealers, and pampering the stockholders.

    There are only about 10,000 new sails a year sold so the extra four hundred only amounts to a few million bucks.

    You can't buy squat with a million anymore, so quit your whining.
     
  20. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    LOL! So true. I didn't get much for my last million!
     

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