Olympic status

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#21
I join the majority, I think, by writing that Olympic status is not necessarily helping the selected class. And may, in fact be detrimental. But one positive aspect of the Laser as an Olympic class is that a casual Laser sailor can get top-level training and coaching in places such as the Laser Training Center in the Dominican Republic and the International Sailing Academy on the West Coast. There may be similar sites in Europe and elsewhere.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#22
That's a good point of view!

Indeed, as an example: Marit Bouwmeester's coach, her brother Roelof, is also a coach at a very run-of-the-mill sailing school-and-regatta training centre. You can spot him every weekend with his RIB behind all sorts of 4.7 and Radial sailors. One of the main features of this sailing school is the training of new coaches: 16, 17 y/old boys and girls are trained by Roelof and his mate Sietze-Jan (try to pronounce that if you're not Dutch). These young coaches go out and train very young optimist sailors.

Big part of the Talent Squad Program here in Holland is the fact that those young adult sailors are prepared to take a leading role in coaching as well when they're older. This winter, all Squad members are trained to get the ICC-certificate that allows them to drive a RIB on open waters. And some have started coaching already. My son has coached a group of youngsters in Optimists for the Dutch National Team Sailing Championship. His bunch finished 2nd (silver) out of 8 finalist teams. Only last summer he had a few conversations with Jon Emmett during the UK Open. His comment: "I really would like to do what he does: become a well-known coach after I've stopped sailing at an international level!"

It will take years before another Dinghy class can match this sort of sailing-coaching-sailing-coaching level. And it will take a few years before we (sailors, trainers, those who have an interest) have reached the level of 'understanding' the new dinghy. As said, I don't mind replacing the Laser, but the period to the Olympics is too short.
 
#23
That's a good point of view!

It will take years before another Dinghy class can match this sort of sailing-coaching-sailing-coaching level. And it will take a few years before we (sailors, trainers, those who have an interest) have reached the level of 'understanding' the new dinghy. As said, I don't mind replacing the Laser, but the period to the Olympics is too short.
I understand your point of view but I don't think the lack of a network of coaches skilled in the new boat and a shortage of sailors with many years of experience in the new boat should stop a new boat from being selected for the Paris Olympics. Coaches and sailors would quickly transition to working with the new boats and it would be rather refreshing to see people competing in the Olympics when they "only" have 5 years experience in the boat and when they might not be able to rely on coaches with 20 years experience in the boat. Good Laser sailors will quickly become good Melges 14/ D-Zero/Rs Aero sailors. The cream will still rise to the top.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #24
I don't mind replacing the Laser, but the period to the Olympics is too short.
I don't know how long an optimal transition period might be, but this time it would be a whole year longer than before. In the past, Olympic classes have been chosen only after the previous games.

_
 

thieuster

Active Member
#25
That's true. But I think that times are changing. Here in The Netherlands, the number of kids picking up sailing (and stay in the boat for years) is dwindling. In the past we had large, 150+ lasers on the starting line during the competition. Nowadays, we're happy to see 50 - 60 boats. Cost and time, school, parents' working hours, ... (just fill in any other obstacle...) contribute to the lesser numbers. And what's more: it is not only a Laser-related problem. Most boats that were 'changed' over the years, were boats that attracted experienced sailors from other classes. (The Argentinian Nacra 17 winners are a great example of that). Changing a 'fundamental' boat from Laser to ... should be done with a longer timescale in mind.

As for testing the new boats: most Dutch National (& National Youth) Squad members are off to Vilamoura in December, January and February. Launching a few of these test-dinghies in Vilamoura would give instant response and feedback - and enough interested sailors.

Yesterday evening, a few parents (and all sailors) were busy loading trailers, vans and a truck for the trip to Portugal. The 'top floor' has to be filled with boats as well. Not visible is the trailer with 4 49'ers stacked...
5d0c8f06-e550-4256-a26a-0da0108bd2a6.jpg 7cb70888-a63f-4053-89ef-7d5603f30199.jpg
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #26
Most boats that were 'changed' over the years, were boats that attracted experienced sailors from other classes. (The Argentinian Nacra 17 winners are a great example of that). Changing a 'fundamental' boat from Laser to ... should be done with a longer timescale in mind.
I don't think that is a problem. Just like there were cat people ready to jump into the Nacra 17, there are even more singlehanded sailors eager to get their hands on a new Olympic singlehander. What I am worried about is that dropping the Laser would further deepen the division between the elite and the grassroots, which is especially problematic in a small sailing country like mine.

As for testing the new boats: most Dutch National (& National Youth) Squad members are off to Vilamoura in December, January and February. Launching a few of these test-dinghies in Vilamoura would give instant response and feedback - and enough interested sailors.
Might you be able to strike some deal with the Portuguese Melges 14 builder?

_
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #27
From the C5 thread:
I was told from the NA class office the word from Andy Roy and Tracey Usher was we're sticking with the current full and radial rigs for the Olympic trials.
Thanks Rob for clearing up things a little. That means the Laser is setting itself up for a benchmark role at the Sea-trials: are the new boats technically advanced enough to warrant a change?

It would be a gamble for the Laser to take the "C" rigs to the trials and take the risk of still losing outright to some (or even all) of the others. But it's also a gamble to place all the bets on a political victory next November.

_
 

thieuster

Active Member
#28
Is there any insight regarding the selection itself? Just to name a few items: in general:
  1. what and how are they're going to test the various designs
  2. who's going to sail the boats (non-biased...)
  3. where are they going to be tested: (waves, wind force etc)
  4. ...
Or am I too naive about these questions?

About contact with the Portuguese Melges dealer: there's a 'homefront meets tech staff'-day next Saturday. I'll ask the coaches.


Menno
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#29
From the C5 thread:Thanks Rob for clearing up things a little. That means the Laser is setting itself up for a benchmark role at the Sea-trials: are the new boats technically advanced enough to warrant a change?

It would be a gamble for the Laser to take the "C" rigs to the trials and take the risk of still losing outright to some (or even all) of the others. But it's also a gamble to place all the bets on a political victory next November.

_
LaLi - so far everything is still "hear say" even with the e-mail I received it's still "according to Tracey and Roy". In NA our winter "Laser Sailor" magazines were delivered in late December. NA President Andy Roy wrote his typical article without a word regarding any changes other than the new radial bottom mast section. We all know how long things have taken to develop/change in the class over the years and the typical years of information and testing involved that has usually been very transparent. How LP is handling their end is not a surprise, but the way the ILCA is handling the C-rig has been a total shock (to me at least). At this point I'd say all bets are off until we get "official" notices in writing from the ILCA. BTW- It's either in the FB post from LP or Andy Roy's letter in the Laser Sailor about the trials being in the first quarter of 2019. So, that's any month now...
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#30
Yes, it takes no genius to figure out that the Australian C-rig won't be in the Olympic trial event because LP would object. Moreover, the Laser was invited to participate, not some non-legal off-shoot.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#31
Yes, it takes no genius to figure out that the Australian C-rig won't be in the Olympic trial event because LP would object. Moreover, the Laser was invited to participate, not some non-legal off-shoot.
This is where LP/ILCS has totally pooch punched it from a marketing side. In my opinion the best and only way to have a shot at,(if this is the intention) a successful wholesale change to the boat like a new rig would have been to get approval to sail it in the trials and then WIN the trials. This would have created a forced change, but one that too many would have had to buy in to. This would have been the best, (and probably only) shot at a great enough acceptance and chance momentum to keep the class reasonably alive. After some thought I think these new rigs are simply going to be recreational options. At least for the next 3-5 years if they take hold at all. I'm planning to just keep sailing my boat as is for at least the next 3 years without worrying about my rig becoming extinct.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #32
what and how are they going to test the various designs
I think past trials have consisted mostly simply of free sailing and some course racing. Some measurement (such as weighing) may also take place.
who's going to sail the boats (non-biased...)
Every WS member nation is entitled to send one male and one female sailor. One would think any bias would be toward the Laser, as it's what the test group most certainly will be most familiar with.
where are they going to be tested: waves, wind force etc)
The place will be chosen in a couple of weeks, and of course it would be best to have a wide variety of conditions there. Marseille would be the "natural" choice, but I can think of places like Garda and Barcelona being in the running, too.

The fact that there are only three scheduled sailing days may of course cause problems in this sense. (And I don't think that time is even close to adequate for the testers to get properly acquainted with the new boats even in a best-case weather scenario.)
am I too naive to ask these questions?
No :D

It's either in the FB post from LP or Andy Roy's letter in the Laser Sailor about the trials being in the first quarter of 2019. So, that's any month now...
February, March, or April. Supposed to be chosen in January. Any day now.


http://www.sailing.org/tools//documents/InshoreSeatrialsVenueAW-[24533].pdf

_
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #33
#34

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#35
Well, it didn't take even a week: Information for ILCA Members About New Rig Development – International Laser Class Association:D

I think people high up in ILCA have been reading this forum lately... at least it's nice to think we've actually influenced them to come out in public. Special thanks to Rob B!

_
No problem. I should have used my class connections much earlier instead of jumping in on the hysteria. Just a momentary mind slip on my part. Guess it happens with us master, (few years shy of Grand Master) sailors.....
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#38
It is interesting that according to the WS announcements, all three of the new boats competing to replace the Laser are "presented" by their builder, whereas the Laser is being "presented" by ILCA. Is that because Laser has three builders that do not get along, or because no one trusts the biggest builder to handle the trials correctly?
 

torrid

Just sailing
#39
It is interesting that according to the WS announcements, all three of the new boats competing to replace the Laser are "presented" by their builder, whereas the Laser is being "presented" by ILCA. Is that because Laser has three builders that do not get along, or because no one trusts the biggest builder to handle the trials correctly?
Being generous I could say it is because there are multiple builders, and the class is presenting on behalf of all the builders. But realistically, it is as you describe.

I'm sure the current status of the class/builder relations will enter into WS's final decision. Truthfully, that is probably why there are sea trials taking place.
 
#40
None of the builders had the foresight to grab an old Laser mould out of the backyard and present a 32kg epoxy sandwich Laser with a newly developed rig at the upcoming trials. It would have been a serious contender.
 
Top