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new to laser - radial or full rig

spidervmd

New Member
Hi,

I am looking to purchase a laser and hope to find one with both a full and radial rig- but if I need to choose.... I am an athletic woman - 5'8'' weighing 155 lbs. From what I read that is heavy enough for full rig in lighter air but I would do better in radial for heavy air. Any opinions?

Thanks :)
 

TheBoathouse

New Member
If you are racing it really depends on where you are located. If winds are mostly under 10-12 knots you'd be fine in a full rig. If they are closer to 15 you'd be much happier in a Radial.
 

Merrily

Administrator
spidervmd said:
Hi,

I am looking to purchase a laser and hope to find one with both a full and radial rig- but if I need to choose.... I am an athletic woman - 5'8'' weighing 155 lbs. From what I read that is heavy enough for full rig in lighter air but I would do better in radial for heavy air. Any opinions?

Thanks :)
I had no experience sailing and at 155 lbs, I needed the Radial. I think it's interesting though that Vanguard says a 150 lb person can sail the full rig. I bought the full rig, then had to shell out more money to be able to sail my boat. Maybe an experienced and athletic sailor can manage the full rig--you are a couple inches taller than me so you'd have more leverage. If money is an issue though, go with the Radial. Also, when the Laser Radial was chosen over the Europe Dinghy, the Europe girls were crying because they didn't weigh enough. 155 lbs is a winning weight for a Radial, but light for the standard. I promise you you'll be flying on the Radial, especially on a close reach in higher winds, where it is actually faster than the standard. I guess you can tell that I love my Radial!

Janet/Merrily
 

Picaroon

New Member
Tricky! I'm a similar weight, just under 6ft high, but older (50+), although reasonably fit. Sailing inland I can manage a full rig, but accept that I'll get blown away by the heavier, taller fitter lads in F4+. On the open sea, it has to be a Radial, which as Janet says is a delight to sail and can be manouevered faster than a full rig on waves. Having said that the fastest Laser sailor at our club (ignoring Mark Littlejohn for a moment) is also around 155lbs and 6ft, but under 30 and fit! Mind you, he doesn't half moan when it's windy.....
I think that, after where you are going to sail, the biggest go-Radial factor would be your height. There is also the fact that the Radial is now the women's Olympic singlehander, so the competition will be HOT
 

HECS

New Member
It depends on where you sail. I'm in Australia where the competitive weight range is significantly higher than it is in other areas.

I used to be a similar weight to you, but one inch shorter. Even when I was about 162lb+, I was told by Michael Blackburn to move from big rig to Radial if I wanted to be competitive all-round. At the time I was spending about 60+ hours a week training or sailing so it wasn't a fitness problem.

Mike was about 165lb or so and 5'7" or so when he started Lasers and he just couldn't compete. He moved to Radials for years to race against Ainslie etc until he could put on the extra weight.

At 155 you'll have a significant speed advantage in light winds if you sail big rig, but you will drop back significantly in a breeze. In one way it's great for your sailing, because the boatspeed advantage you get in light airs means that you can hang in with the good guys so you can watch and learn from them. Gradually, you can learn more and hang in further up the wind range - but the result will always depend on the wind.

I found it was good to train on the big rig and race on the Radial. In light airs you could play with the best of them (this was just before the Sydney Olympics and EVERYONE was in town regularly and you could regularly train with Michael, drop in to Ainslie's training sessions and race with Scheidt etc) and in strong winds you can get a really good boathandling workout. Then in championships you sail Radial so you are competitive across the wind range. It's easy to switch from one to the other.
 

161919

AT SSC
spidervmd said:
Hi,

I am looking to purchase a laser and hope to find one with both a full and radial rig- but if I need to choose.... I am an athletic woman - 5'8'' weighing 155 lbs. From what I read that is heavy enough for full rig in lighter air but I would do better in radial for heavy air. Any opinions?

Thanks :)
That one is easy.... Radial is the new olympic class for the women, so a lot of women will be sailing the radial. If you don't find a used boat that has both rigs, buy a radial.
In case you sail in a place with too not much wind most of the time (i.e. below 15 mph) you can buy a full rig and sail it with out any problem...
It also depends what other people sailing with you are using. If you plan to race, you are allowed to race the radial against the full rig, on medium and high wind you may have even an advantage as you are going to control the boat easier than the full rig. in light wind that advantage is gone...
 
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