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Ideal Weight for laser std sailor


New Member
Wich is in your opinion, the ideal weight for a laser std? Please advice max. and min. as well...


New Member
60kg + for a full rig? Wow, that must be a light-wind area.

Michael Blackburn was a top Radial sailor before moving to the front of the full-rig fleet. He told me that at 5'7" and hoping to get to 75kg, I was too small to really thrive in big rigs in Australia, even as a Master. Scotty Elliss (3rd in Open big-rig worlds, who also did Radial at one stage) said the same thing.

As a master of about 73kg, you could still finish in the top 1/3 or so of the open big-rig fleet in our Coast titles (it's a fast fleet, that put you between the multiple world Masters champ and the guy who won the Youth Worlds the season after) but you got trashed in a breeze, dropping down to about 18th place or so from being right at the front in light airs. The frustration was that the result didn't depend on how well you sailed, so much as the wind strength.

I dropped down to low 70s and found that perfect for a Radial in Australia, which is a fairly windy place. UK masters of the same weight sailed big rigs, though, because it's important to be somewhere similar to your competitors in weight; otherwise the finishing order is affected too much by the wind strength.

But 60kg???? Jeepers!!!!


New Member
i sail a full rig at 185lbs and that seems to do just fine for all the conditions here in seattle and all around the west coast but am going to drop down to about 170 for laser north americans here in june.


New Member
Max 180 lb/82 kg? Dunno, I remember that my first ever Laser regatta was won by an 88 kg guy in light airs. The fleet wasn't too bad; 2nd was an Olympic bronze medallist (Michael Blackburn), 3rd a two-time Olympian (Kevin Lim). The 88kg guy has since won one or two Masters worlds.

Even in Radials, Michael Blackburn won the last Worlds and he used to be 172 lb; I think he was around that weight in the worlds.....it's not very likely that you can chuck on a big rig (20% more area) and only be able to carry 4% more weight. At Masters world level many of the top sailors (Mark Bethwaite, etc) are quite large guys, but they can still beat the vast majority of open fleet sailors. In fact at Masters level, there was a Radial sailor in the 200 lb bracket who was about 4th in the worlds.

Re "i thought it was a little light as well, but its what laser center are saying so gotta go with them".

Michael Blackburn's book says optimal weight for big rig is 78-83 kg, for Radial 65-72 kg. Glenn Bourke's book says 78-80 kg (172-176 lb) is "the key weight for good all-round performance, although you can get away with being 76 kg (168 lb) or up to 84 kg (185 lb)."

When I've spoken to guys like Michael about weight and mentioned that Stu Wallace won the open big-rig worlds at 74kg/163 kg back in the '80s, they said that the competitive weight has increased due to changes in kinetics. I also spoke to Ian Bruce a while ago; his remarks are on another computer but he mentioned how changes in mast temper and technique have lifted the competitive weight range in the past decade or so.

So, on the one hand we have one of the men who created the boat, and guys who were 1st (4 times, once in Radial and 3 times in big rig), 2nd and 3rd in the world saying you need to be 76 or 78 kg to sail a big rig, and on the other hand we have a company trying to sell boats to as many people in the world as they can saying you can be 60 kg. I know who I'll believe!
I find it really depends on how much wind your in, and how much of weight is fat/muscle. Im about 145lbs, and sail in lake Ontario, and have been able to handle my ful rig fine, im young and in pretty good shape so that helps me alot, but i do accasionaly have to let out the sial or capasize in heavier winds, but i definitly wouldnt trade the ful rig in for a radial any day.