Ideal Weight

Thread starter #1
Hi all,

Do you think the ideal weight has moved up with the new Mark 2 sail? I've heard some people say you need to be heavier than the standard go to weight of 80kg. Thoughts?
 

thieuster

Active Member
#2
That's a very touchy subject in our house... My son isn't very tall: touching 5'7'' and he's about 77 kilos. He has gained 5 kilos this winter. All muscles. According to the fit-test at the Dutch Olympic test centre last month, it's indeed all muscles and hardly any fat. Next year, he's destined to transfer from the Radial to the Standard. And the ideal weight is - according to his trainers- 80+ kilos (read: 85 kilos), combined with a length of 6'. Lengthwise, it's not gonna happen... That's' why one of the high-performance skiffs-coaches knocked on his door and started a conversation about a test week in a 49'er.

So yes the MKII sail influences the weight of the sailor. On the other hand: I've seen one of his mates (62 kilos) win the Easter Regatta with a Standard rig. 3 days 8 knots wind, 1 day 14 knots wind.

Menno
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#3
If I remember it right, the Standard, Radial and 4.7 rigs were designed for optimum sailor weights of 82, 67, and 55 kg, respectively. In the Standard, the average used to be somewhat lower; I think Robert Scheidt was 76-78 kg in his prime. But at the last Olympics the top 10 were all very close to that original displacement on which Bruce Kirby based his design, some 46 years earlier! Whether the Mark 2 (or the composite topmast) has changed it one way or the other, I haven't seen any data. Menno, do you know of any before-and-after statistics?

Andy B from this forum thought a few years back that the Mark 2 was better for lighter sailors: The Laser Standard MKII Sail – How does it sail – a club sailors view. | Grafham Water Sailing Club

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#5
That's a very touchy subject in our house... My son isn't very tall: touching 5'7'' and he's about 77 kilos. He has gained 5 kilos this winter. All muscles. According to the fit-test at the Dutch Olympic test centre last month, it's indeed all muscles and hardly any fat. Next year, he's destined to transfer from the Radial to the Standard. And the ideal weight is - according to his trainers- 80+ kilos (read: 85 kilos), combined with a length of 6'. Lengthwise, it's not gonna happen... That's' why one of the high-performance skiffs-coaches knocked on his door and started a conversation about a test week in a 49'er.

So yes the MKII sail influences the weight of the sailor. On the other hand: I've seen one of his mates (62 kilos) win the Easter Regatta with a Standard rig. 3 days 8 knots wind, 1 day 14 knots wind.

Menno
Interesting. I was one of slower masters in that field. I could keep up with the younger sailors in the last race (with my 85kg, 1.9m) but the first two days they were way, faster. BTW keeping up mean straight line speed only... ;-).

And these guys are aggressive at the start, learnt to keep my distance after the first race...
 

thieuster

Active Member
#6
And these guys are aggressive at the start, learnt to keep my distance after the first race...
:):)

Tell me more! I wasn't on the water. Honestly, I'm not often on the water near the starting line during the starting period nowadays, but I can imagine some situations... It's really something they've picked up in the Optimist I suppose. Those starts are all small wars on the water. I remember my son -then 10 or 11- returning after his first day attending an international regatta (DYR), totally flabbergasted and saying: "They scream, shout and use foul language - even name calling and sometimes pull your boat aw. ay!" Later, when he was older, he always warned young / novice Opti-sailors: "Whatever they do, no matter what, don't be afraid!" Luckily, there's no damage to the boat etc. He once was pulled off the course before the start by the Rescue RIB because he got hit by the end of a boom from another boat. That was a good call from the Rescue crew, btw.

Back on topic: I didn't know that Robert S. was below the 80 kg mark when he was younger. I have to tell that to my son. It will give him a morale-boost, no doubt. You can see that length is an advantage as well: not-so-heavy and a still be a tall guy (over 6'2") helps as well! E.g. Finnish sailor Valtteri Uusitalo (Perhaps LaLi knows him). Tall, but not-so-heavy. He won the Rosas EurILCA event in October. Those were light conditions and when the wind picked up, he was able to move his length outside the boat, making great use of his body combined with perfect sailing.

Just saying that it looks as if low weight can be compensated by length.


M
 
Last edited:
#7
:):)

Tell me more! I wasn't on the water. Honestly, I'm not often on the water near the starting line during the starting period nowadays, but I can imagine some situations... It's really something they've picked up in the Optimist I suppose. Those starts are all small wars on the water. I remember my son -then 10 or 11- returning after his first day attending an international regatta (DYR), totally flabbergasted and saying: "They scream, shout and use foul language - even name calling and sometimes pull your boat aw. ay!" Later, when he was older, he always warned young / novice Opti-sailors: "Whatever they do, no matter what, don't be afraid!" Luckily, there's no damage to the boat etc. He once was pulled off the course before the start by the Rescue RIB because he got hit by the end of a boom from another boat. That was a good call from the Rescue crew, btw.
....
M
It was big fun to sail in a mixed fleet like this... The aggression a fighting for position, nothing negative. What i noticed is that in an all master fleet people generally spread out fairly evenly on the line after realizing it is better to have a good start than to battle for the space at the favored end while the youngsters battle longer for position. Probably a combination of age, temperament and better boat handling skills.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#8
For every 1 inch you can get your body out of the boat hiking you pick up 10lbs , (4.5 kilos) of righting moment. Taller is a big advantage when you're a little light for sure.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#9
I didn't know that Robert S. was below the 80 kg mark when he was younger. I have to tell that to my son. It will give him a morale-boost, no doubt.
I have a memory that the Sydney Olympic statistics had him at 76 kg. In Rio he was 83, though.

Finnish sailor Valtteri Uusitalo (Perhaps LaLi knows him).
Heh. No idea who he is... shows how in touch I am with the current youth scene here...
(Looks like he finished 19th at the Youth Worlds last year. And his family name would be "Nieuwenhuis" in your language :D )

it looks as if low weight can be compensated by length.
This is a common assumption, but only partially true. Weight differences affect hiking leverage much more: a 2 m person is "only" 33 % taller than someone who's 150 cm, but with the same body mass index, he's 78 % heavier. And that's not even measuring actual hiking position, which diminishes the effect even more.

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
#10
Good points LaLi. I guess it depends on where your weight is. If it's in your thighs your height makes no difference, but if it's in your chest, (like it was in the old water bottle weight jacket days) that makes a difference!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#11
Just my opinion of course, but I think that this topic is a lot about nothing. For instance in the very recent World Cup event (Genoa), the winds were quite light and the lighter guys and gals must have benefitted. The wind for the medal races was around 5 mph, 'gusting' to a frightful 10 mph. The Rio Olympics wasn't exactly a heavy weather (>15 mph) event either for the Lasers. It did blow on the outer course for the Finns on one day, as I vaguely recall.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#12
For every 1 inch you can get your body out of the boat hiking you pick up 10lbs , (4.5 kilos) of righting moment
This kept bothering me, and I just had to check the numbers :rolleyes: If I got it right, you'd have to be nearly 180 kg to get that kind of leverage - about twice the size of the heaviest Laser sailors!

But it's still a good point even at 30 to 50 % of that efficiency. Makes you think of your hiking position and how to keep your centre of mass as far outboard as possible... without killing your knees or back.

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