From what I have seen, there is no reason why current versions of so called "practice" Laser sails shouldn't last just as long as class legal Laser sails. It's not like the Laser class button provides magical stretch protection.how long do they last? Longer than a north sail, Hyde even, when sailed the same length of time in 15-20? and still has the same performance and bend characteristics as the 3.8oz sails
That's what we are trying to do. As long as the class chooses one new design that will be legal to continue the tradition of strong one design racing, then why not try to produce a design that will be more durable. A more durable sail would result in closer racing (even if it is just a psychological effect) between those who can afford new sails often, and those who buy them infrequently.I think what i'm trying to say is that there is no such thing as a sail that is cheap that lasts forever, that is class legal. Being class legal has inherent costs involved in it. They may be too much, but if you are a class member, then you rally around and see if you can affect change.
The makers of practice sails have shown that the current sail design can be made and sold for about half the cost of a class legal sail even though they are small sailmakers without the manufacturing resources of North/Hyde.
I am happy to be able to sail against Olympians...but they will always be beating me. More often than not I am trying to beat to other weekend warriors and local juniors. We are the ones who need a reasonably priced, more durable sail that is class legal (except those of us whose parents can afford to buy us $150 mainsheets).I'm saying you should be happy that you can go sail against olympians and get away with it for as cheap as you do, any other sport where you want to compete against the upper echelon of that sport (football, the real football, baseball, track&field, skiing, curling, ANY OTHER SPORT), all we have to do is get a boat and pay regatta and class dues and show up at nationals, OCR, or any other regatta.
No, it probably isn't (although there is certainly some impact of cost on the non-junior/non master group of sailors). You can definitely sail with old equipment and be reasonably competitive. But why not make it even better?I don't think laser sailing is so expensive that it is keeping people from getting into it.