And while I know we all have differing views on where the Laser should head, you guys all know that I have an evolutionary view, and I really only want the Laser to be the best it could be. I understand the rules of the boat and the class, and I understand the design principal. And I know that change takes time, and that the committee has only the best intentions for the class. So lets hope the next upcoming years are good ones!
Ross I'm at a loss to know what you really think. The whole point of this argument is that 'evolution' and 'wanting the best for the Laser' are mutually exclusive for huge numbers of Laser sailors - my guess would be the overwhelming majority. Thus when you say make better or improve you are referring to performance increase and assuming that we would agree that is better. Those of us who don't are not necessarily Luddite or against new technology. Many of us either have or still do, as frequently mentioned on this forum, sail other craft with varying degrees of sophistication. I love my other boat that is loaded with more tweaky dynema/harken controls than you could ever want. I buy two suits of sails a year, not because they are worn out but because they are development and we are always looking for an increase in performance. At our European Championships there will be 50+ boats but I doubt that more than 7 or 8 are well enough prepared to be capable of winning whoever is sailing them. That is not what I want from my Laser. I am racing the other guys by tactical and handling skills not boat tweaking skills. As long as all boats are the same its fine!
This is why contributors keep recommending other classes. Everything you want to do to your laser is already available to you but in other classes. If you want the popularity, simplicity and close racing of the Laser fleet RACE A LASER. If you want to tweak and fiddle to try and go faster sail a class that allows development. Attempts to turn the Laser into a development class will fail because you will lose it unique selling point and end up with just another development boat but with the laser that is one that starts form a poorly manufactured low tech over priced starting point.
that's a question alot of people ask themselves after reading most of Ross's posts. this whole thread began as question about electronics on the boat. Ross, Olympic Hopefull, was not aware that electronics are not allowed on Lasers. not in local races, not in championships, not in the Olympics. now, he'll reply and say he was just stirring up the pot to get people to think about the validity of electronics. it's unfortunate that an individual who perceives himself as an "up and comer", is only concerned with causing controversy. yet, he does not have the ability to appreciate the Laser for it's true intent and purpose. a worldwide, regulated, one-design class, that offers competitive racing and sailing to a wide demographic ( 4.7 thru Masters)
I started sailing Optis in the late 80s in the UK, and then we moved to NJ in 1989 and I sailed them on the Jersey Shore for a couple more years. Back then there wasn't much fancy equipment to buy for Optis like there is today, so maybe parents were more likely to buy a nice compass for their kids.