The C5: What we know so far

Thread starter #22
Regarding the Doyle sail - can you access the Facebook post I’ve attached? There are several comments on the post from Judith Krimski that sound legit. I think there is a mention of it in the new issue of Laser Sailor that implies that it’s a bigger rig LP wants to offer - sort of a Rooster sized sail. View attachment 29607
TBH I am skeptical about the Doyle post being legit. Currently, North and Hyde are the only sailmakers for lasers. Also, notice the mast is carbon fibre
 

LaLi

Active Member
#23
Thanks Beldar - I already found the Facebook pictures but couldn't read the comments. And I agree with Gryphon: that seems very sketchy, not being sure if it's ILCA or LP they're working for, not knowing that Julian/PSA are still going forward with the "C" rigs, etc. No sign of Tracy, either :D

LG, did you get more pictures of the C5 in Tasmania?

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#24
Regarding the Doyle sail - can you access the Facebook post I’ve attached? There are several comments on the post from Judith Krimski that sound legit. I think there is a mention of it in the new issue of Laser Sailor that implies that it’s a bigger rig LP wants to offer - sort of a Rooster sized sail.
OK, it isn't mentioned in the Laser Sailor - pretty sure it is in the November or December ILCA NA Exec Comm minutes. I'm not sure where I saw them since they are not on the website. If I recall correctly that mention implied it was more of a Rooster big sail, but the Facebook comments contradict that.
 

Rob B

Active Member
#25
Ok. Before we all get carried away....Wouldn't there have to be a class vote on something like this?

Last time we went through a new Std sail change I bought the old version 3 days before it was announced that the MK II was available for ordering.

However, that was a SMALL change compared to all this stuff that's being tossed around. These are what I would call "wholesale" changes that obsolete current rigs/equipment.

Certainly without class approval you're not going to be able to show up at a Laser regatta and don your new Doyle, (or any other) rig and get scored.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#26
Wouldn't there have to be a class vote on something like this?
Not necessarily. What we vote on is class rules - things we do (or don't do) to our boats, while matters like sail cuts and spar and foil materials are in the not-public construction manual, which is what the builders must follow. (This gets close to the question which no one has been able to answer: is everything that a licensed builder produces legal by definition?)

These are what I would call "wholesale" changes that obsolete current rigs/equipment.

Certainly without class approval you're not going to be able to show up at a Laser regatta and don your new Doyle, (or any other) rig and get scored.
The new rigs are certainly not intended to be used in the same fleets as the current ones, at least not without handicapping. They're going to form their own new classes, and this leads to the question of fragmentation. Who sails what in the future and will there be reasonably big fleets for everyone?

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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#27
I will second what LaLi wrote. It's my understanding (!) that drastic changes to the Laser need to be agreed upon by all manufacturers (PSA and LP, and maybe also the Japanese company). An example would be the MkII sail. But how this would play out for the various new rigs is anybody's guess.
 
Thread starter #28
Here’s an update:
I couldn’t get more pictures because the rig flew to Japan after I got the above shot. Only the C5 is in existence at the moment, but the other rigs are in production

I’ve talked with the only woman who was able to sail one (Has come no. 3 at many world champs in 4.7) and she told me this:

There will be at least 10 more rigs produced and stationed in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for the public, of all weight ranges, to try.

Ken Hurling’s intention is that it is just a class.

No Masters. No Juniors. No Corinthians. Just a class.
 

Rob B

Active Member
#29
Not necessarily. What we vote on is class rules - things we do (or don't do) to our boats, while matters like sail cuts and spar and foil materials are in the not-public construction manual, which is what the builders must follow. (This gets close to the question which no one has been able to answer: is everything that a licensed builder produces legal by definition?)

The new rigs are certainly not intended to be used in the same fleets as the current ones, at least not without handicapping. They're going to form their own new classes, and this leads to the question of fragmentation. Who sails what in the future and will there be reasonably big fleets for everyone?

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Thanks. My opinion is something like this would not serve the class well.
 
#31
Handicapping all those rig variations would be a headache, I reckon... things sure have changed since I sailed Laser #2069, LOL. Whatever happened to the original old school Laser with 76 square feet of pure bliss for a mainsail? And if these folks are gonna doctor the rigs, why not doctor EVERYTHING? Carbon fiber hulls, carbon fiber rigs, state-of-the-art sails & hardware, the whole nine yards. Meh, this is why I'm not into racing, with all the rules & regs & hassles... gimme an old school Laser every time and lemme set a course for the islands, no headache required. Like Johnny Cash said, "WHAT DO I CARE?" :rolleyes:

I won the only race I ever bothered to enter, and I won it by 11 seconds against some pretty good competition, so it was exciting enough but I already knew it wasn't for me... the tactical decision which led me to choose the slightly superior side of the course, well, that was cool too, but not cool enough to make me want to sit in rush hour traffic for the rest of my nautical career. Gimme the open road with no marine traffic whatsoever, that's much more my style... and during all those island voyages made in past decades, I never did see any racers executing landings on Los Coronados. :D

Shark-infested waters too, those seal & sea lion rookeries might as well be buffet tables for 2-ton Great Whites, LOL. That's no lie either, Great Whites weighing over 2 tons have been pulled from the waters off San Diego. I always used to hunker down in the cockpit when sailing into the lee of the islands, though a hungry 2-ton Great White could easily slam-dunk a Laser like flippin' an hors d'oeuvre tray at a party, AYE??? I just saw "JAWS" again in some TV marathon, so I'm visualizing yours truly sliding like Quint down Ol' Whitey's gullet... :eek:

WITH LUCK, I'LL BE HAMMERED WHEN IT HAPPENS, THAT WAY I WON'T FEEL A THING... HERE'S TO INDIGESTION FOR OL' WHITEY TOO, LOL. ;)

 
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#34
The reason is that it's hard to bring new blood into a class when you tell a new sailor that they need to spend another $500 to updated the vang and rigging, while at the same time telling those who are serious about racing that they can't have any new sail technology. The former keeps new guys away and the latter, combined with the tendency for LP to sue it's own class organization, leaves the Laser as a stepping stone to something better and not a premium class as it has been in the past.
Allowing those of us who are over 190 lbs. to run an 8 meter sail is still a much lower sacrifice that the current rules where a 190+ LB sailor has to run the same 7M sail as a 145 lb sailor.
The guys above who say they want it like the good old days don't really want that. They just want their big money upgrades to use against new guys. The Laser was not designed with what is currently run at the big races.
 
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#35
it's hard to bring new blood into a class when you tell a new sailor that they need to spend another $500 to updated the vang and rigging
Lasers up to seventeen years old now don't need fundamental upgrades to the control systems, and boats older than that are quite inexpensive even after upgrading. And you don't have to spend 500 dollars on it.

telling those who are serious about racing that they can't have any new sail technology.
It's a one-design fleet. It's irrelevant whether the technology is "old" or "new", as long as it's more or less the same for all. The Laser hasn't represented "new" sailing technology for decades, so there must be some other reasons why serious racers are attracted to the class.

the tendency for LP to sue it's own class organization
LP hasn't sued anyone besides Bruce Kirby and Global Sailing, if I remember it right. What they tried to do was to take over the Sunfish class by means of a rival class association, which WS stopped quite effectively.

Allowing those of us who are over 190 lbs. to run an 8 meter sail is still a much lower sacrifice that the current rules where a 190+ LB sailor has to run the same 7M sail as a 145 lb sailor.
If you think you're the wrong size for a given class, switch. If the C8 rig will broaden the weight range of the Laser, fine, but the other weight groups will have to choose whether to go for the smaller "C" rigs or not.

The guys above who say they want it like the good old days don't really want that. They just want their big money upgrades to use against new guys. The Laser was not designed with what is currently run at the big races.
Nonsense. Any upgrades aren't "big money" or a big deal, aren't "used against" anyone, and don't concern the 40,000 latest boats anyway.

The cost of a few blocks and cleats and a few pieces of rope is less than 10 % of a complete new, undoubtedly significantly faster rig. The former doesn't and hasn't split the existing fleets, but the latter will, and that's what I am personally worried about.

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#36
I had a chance to look over the C5 rig as well, and had a chat to Ken Hurling about it.

It’s a great idea, and I can’t see a long term future for the class without some bold steps like this. All the gradual changes in the past have taken years to implement and have had to try to match the performance characteristics of the superseded equipment. This isn’t sustainable. A bold step that will position the class for the next couple of decades is what’s needed.

If you have any doubt, ask the kids currently sailing 4.7s what they think. They’re the future of the class, and they’re having to use a silly sail shoehorned onto the existing spars. It’s not fun. The C5 is a new rig from the ground up, not a compromise like the 4.7 was.

The average healthy woman around the world is about 5’3 and 58-60kgs. To be competitive in a Radial you need to be at least six inches taller and 8-10 kg heavier than that. If the Laser class can create a new, top quality rig that caters for the average weight and height then they’ll be able to tap into a potentially huge market.

The intent isn’t to replace the 4.7 but to provide an alternative choice. I suspect the market will quickly decide which they prefer.

Lastly, I suspect that if the rig doesn’t use the Laser branding/trademark, then all the builders don’t need to agree. The class can do whatever they like with their class rules, etc, they just can’t violate the trademark in doing so.
 
#37
All the gradual changes in the past have taken years to implement and have had to try to match the performance characteristics of the superseded equipment. This isn’t sustainable. A bold step that will position the class for the next couple of decades is what’s needed.
It's what the Laser class is supposed to be: one-design. It has been highly "sustainable" so far, and this "bold step" away from that - the creation of a de facto whole new line of classes - is a big risk. This sounds sickeningly conservative, but it's a fact. Of course the new rig looks extremely interesting... this is one of the countless things about which I'd like to be totally wrong!

ask the kids currently sailing 4.7s what they think. They’re the future of the class, and they’re having to use a silly sail shoehorned onto the existing spars. It’s not fun. The C5 is a new rig from the ground up, not a compromise like the 4.7 was.
As I've understood it, the 4.7 rig was never meant to form a racing class, but rather something relatively cheap that kids could stick on their parents' boats to have fun. The fact that such a "reefed" rig has become this popular is proof of how attractive the Laser class is. 4.7 sailors could choose boats like the Byte, Splash, Zoom8, etc, but those classes enjoy only a fairly limited regional success. The kids think it's cool to be a Laser sailor; they don't think they're making a compromise. (Although they probably won't have anything against new flashy sails either.)

The average healthy woman around the world is about 5’3 and 58-60kgs. To be competitive in a Radial you need to be at least six inches taller and 8-10 kg heavier than that. If the Laser class can create a new, top quality rig that caters for the average weight and height then they’ll be able to tap into a potentially huge market.
The weight range of top Radial sailors is about 58 - 72 kg, which covers pretty well reasonably athletic adult females of European ancestry. The "potentially huge" market is the enormous not-yet-sailing pool of Asian women. But will a million Chinese girls start sailing only because you change to a different-looking sail on an existing boat? People like Takao Otani and Julian Bethwaite may be optimistic, but that's their job!

The intent isn’t to replace the 4.7 but to provide an alternative choice. I suspect the market will quickly decide which they prefer.
The intent should be replacement: what if the "market" as a whole doesn't grow but is split into incompatible fleets nonetheless?

I suspect that if the rig doesn’t use the Laser branding/trademark, then all the builders don’t need to agree. The class can do whatever they like with their class rules, etc, they just can’t violate the trademark in doing so.
It's an interesting thought that has crossed my mind, too. It may be telling that none of the "C" sails we've seen have had the Laser insignia on them. Maybe ILCA is actually considering doing what Bruce Kirby tried to do, and what the Sunfish class almost did: dropping the class name to free yourself of a problematic rights holder. But you'd have to call the hulls something else, too...

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#38
sailors could choose boats like the Byte, Splash, Zoom8,
You're well aware of the facts! Not many people know the Splash! The Splash is Dutch-designed dinghy. Mostly sailed in NED and NZL. Over here in Holland, there's a big fleet (150+ boats) competing nearly every weekend between March and October. The Splash' main disadvantage is the fragility of the hull... There's no dinghy that hasn't had a 'nose job'... My tool chest became quite heavy after switching from the Optimist to the Splash and I've become pretty handy with polyester and resin!

My son used to sail the Splash (and won the 2017 National Competition). So for me/us it is easy to compare the 4.7 and Splash. In short: the 4.7 sail isn't really compatible with the overall design of the Laser. Sort of 'ironing board with a handkerchief'. During Dutch regattas, it was common to start the 4.7 before the Splash. The result was that the top-20 Splash sailors sailed across the finish halfway up the 4.7 fleet! Nowadays, the Splash starts after the Radial class.

The main advantage of the Splash is the different hiking position: it's easier for youngsters with short legs. About 50% of the Dutch sailors now in the Laser, Finn or others have sailed in the Splash for a few years before changing to the Radial (and beyond) Big names: PJ Postma (Finn), Marit Bouwmeester.
 
#39
I don’t think introducing a new rig threatens the one design ethos. The Radial and 4.7 were both newly introduced rigs once upon a time as well. This is just a new choice. When those rigs were brought out there was concern they would fragment the class, but imho they’ve only made it stronger.

I think the Radial weight range of 58-72 is very optimistic for the Radial as well. Even 65kg is a lightweight, and will only work if you’re close to six foot. Conventional wisdom here in Oz is that 65kg is the transition point to a Radial. A lot of women never get there.

I know plenty of girls and women around 55-60kg though who are excellent sailors and too small for a Radial. They’re crying out for a rig that works for them.
 
#40
65 is the transition point here as well. Up to 72, 73 kilos. My son is 75 kilos but lacks lenght... He's going to get a tough time when stepping over to the Standard. Fellow sailors are trying to convince him to change from the Laser to the 49'er at the end of the 2019 season.
 
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