Competitive Hulls and Sails?

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #1
In case you were wondering. The attached picture shows the top 6 boats from a fairly tight 11 boat fleet at an inland lake regatta in April. Notice 3 MK1 sails and 3 MKII sails in the pic? Also, two of the boats have the composite top section, (the others don't) and the yellow boat is using a Harstick sail from 1990 and the hull is from 1973. He paid $150.00 for the boat and it may have more west system on it than original gelcoat! This was his first regatta in the boat. Clearly he's a very good sailor, but THIS IS WHY the Laser, (or ILCA) is the best single handed OD class around!


That is a very telling picture, showing as it does old and new in tight competition. Too bad I wasn’t scored on my start in that race That was my first regatta since the fall of 1990, and I enjoyed myself tremendously. The simplicity of the boat and strict one design nature of the class are the qualities that have made it so successful. I have made one significant technological upgrade since Lake Norman. I purchased a pair of spandex sailing shorts, so I’m no longer mooning everyone while hiking
Rob, now that I’m home from a long day I’ve managed to find my soapbox. One thing you didn’t mention,and that is not noticeable from the picture, is the wide range of weights of those six sailors. I’m at 184. The guy who finished second in the regatta (a super nice guy and excellent sailor by the way) I believe is north of 200. Judging by appearances I would guess the range extends down into the 160’s. This regatta was a light air regatta, 5-8 average. So all this talk about heavier guys not being competitive in light air is nonsense. There may be an optimum weight range for the boat, but the range is much wider than typically acknowledged. Back in the day I remember quite a few lighter sailors who were very competitive in a blow. Very few sailed a radial rig. You trained hard and learned to compensate when conditions put you at a disadvantage.

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #4
I first stepped into a laser in 1983. There were no radial rigs. Just an "M-Rig" which seemed to be geared toward resorts as it had a halyard set up. So, I've never sailed anything other than a full rig from 150lbs to 220lbs and everything in between. Getting a good start and keeping the bow pointed in the right direction is far more important in the equation than boat age, body shape/size and which model sail you're using!