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UKLA 2021 ILCA Yearbook

50 GYBE YEARS The greatest singlehander on the water



Welcome to the NEW GYBE YEARBOOK In 1975, I brought my first Laser. At the time, and probably like many others, I had no idea how that decision would shape my later life. This disarmingly simple racing dinghy has given pleasure to thousands, to others access to Olympic dreams and to many more opportunities to form great friendships and even find partners. This all adds up to three magic ingredients: The Boat, The Racing and The Community! - The secret to success! The Boat. In 1989 a new Mk1 sail was £230 – stick that in an inflation calculator and that's £570 in today's money and a new 2021 sail is far superior. The boats are more expensive but not ridiculously so and it’s hardly surprising as labour costs have risen dramatically over the years. My point is that just as in the 1970s the boat is a winner, even new it’s within reach of many sailors. Put the thousands of used boats into that equation then it's a sport within the reach of most. The stringent building controls make sure all those used boats are not at a disadvantage when racing against a new one. The Racing. So you're a 14-year old wannabe Olympian… no a 41 year old parent ... no a 75-year old grandparent ... no matter, you can race and at what ever level you feel suits you. And decent racing in reasonable size fleets. All over the world there are fleets active with incredible club sailors who could and often do jump into a charter boat somewhere

else on the globe and do battle with new friends. The Community. This is the bit easiest taken for granted. Without the volunteers, the camaraderie and friendly competition, the class wouldn’t have survived and thrived over the 50 years. It’s the glue that holds everything together. The Masters exemplify these values – some are Olympians, others brilliant amateurs yet the majority just love getting out and experiencing the fun of the race. Of course we all want to do better and we try, in some cases really hard but at the end of the day we are doing something that helps make us live a life worth living that we share with our friends. So now it’s our turn to look after all this. Gybe quarterly has been put to bed. Gybe Yearbook is now here. A good friend, Adrian Elwood loaned me his extensive set of Laser Letters, Beam Reaches and Gybes. I was struck by what an incredible archive there is. (The Internet is great but often lets us down when links are broken and sites not updated.) Not just results but stories, reports and articles by people like Jeff Martin, who sadly died prematurely. Names pop up who are familiar to us now, some we now see in the America's Cup boats. In a recent Podcast by Ben Flower, Alan Davis pointed out that he had sailed a Laser against at least one person from every boat entered in the Americas cup! But if you swing round and look at the clubs almost every club in the UK has at least a few Lasers in their dinghy park and Commodores all over the land have cut their teeth sailing a Laser. With all this in mind and with some serious limitations on space, I have set out to paint a picture of the past 50 years of the Laser, the boat, the racing and the people. Using members of this great community to interview and write about the volunteers, coaches, sailors and sponsors we have put together what I hope you will all agree is a worthy celebration of 50 years of this great racing dinghy. I’d like to thank all those who have helped and supported this project and made it possible. Let us all raise a glass to another 50 years! Guy Noble

Photo PCG Photography



The Editors Bit

Contents 3


50 Years OLD and NEW - Max Hunt Original equipment and the gradual evolution

Chairman’s Report - Rob Cage


50 Years - A Sailing Life - Tim Law



50 Years Books OLD and NEW

The Olympics Elliot Hanson - Profile Ali Young - Profile Interview Chris Gowers - Mark Lyttle Laser and the Olympics



Gill - Past and Future Joel Chadwick


Meet Our Sponsors - Interviews Ovington Boats - Chris Turner Southeast Sailboats – Max Hunt Minorca Sailing - Ian Aldridge SailingFast - Duncan Hepplewhite Noble Marine - Ian McManus Wildwind - Simon Morgan

Class Legal Boats and Equipment Alan Davis Class measurer



Class Captain Tips How to be a class captain Tony Woods



We Love the Volunteers Sally Reynoldson Mike Barrett Jane Sunderland Fiona Attwell



A Round-up of this year’s events Masters Europeans - Andorra John Curran 4.7s Portugal Youth Europeans UKLA European Championship - The 3 Amigos - Sam Whaley European Championship ILCA6 Daisy Collingridge

Women Who Race - Molley Tulet


Ladies Who Launch - Sam Pearce


50 Years Wendy Fitzpatrick 1st Laser National Champion


50 Years Bring On the Masters - Ian Rawet & Alison Hutton


50 Years Photo Album - 1982


Rooster and the Laser - Steve Cockerill


Training - Tim Hulse


7 Great International Training Venues


Weather Forecasting - Simon Rowell


Fit for Racing - Jon Emmett


Nutrition For Racing - Jon Emmett




The UKLA Nationals The Masters Nationals The Qualifiers


Ladder Worlds 2020 - Results Past National Champions

107 108

UK Event schedule European Event schedule International Event schedule

PO Box 2176 BN25 9EQ Email:- office@laser.org.uk Tel:- 0208 0586808

Cover Photo Georgie Altham 2020 UKLA Nationals ILCA6 start


Special thanks also to all our masters, 4.7 clinic participants, and all the World class competitors who have supported us.


caribwind.com Cabarete, Dominican Republic

SUPPORT YOUR The Boat - The Racing - The Community Ellie Ratusniak Class Secretary

Organising training, events and generally keeping the class at the forefront of UK sailing has been achieved for over 50 years but doesn’t happen without your support. We need to spread the word that when joining UKLA you don't just get the benefits of discounts on insurance, bargains on training you help keep the class alive.

The Chairman’s report from the 1979 AGM gives us an insight into the state of UKLA affairs over 40 years ago and reading through some things have not changed… “Vice Chairman, Peter Smith had been instrumental in getting the Laser training scheme off the ground. As any who have been on these courses will tell you, these are first class. He managed to get the RYA to accept our scheme as the basis of single handed sail training."

To join - £38 (unchanged for past 3 years) • Ability to attend many of the UKLA-run training sessions. • 10% off Minorca Sailing Holidays • 10% off Noble Marine insurance • 10% off spars through SailingFast online • As well as many more latest offers • And deals from our partners!

Throughout the years we consistently delivered FIRST CLASS training and we continue to work with the RYA. What a fantastic base has Peter Smith set for our members! None of this would happen without YOU though. Your membership and support are paramount in keeping the class alive so that in the next 50 years the sport of sailing is not some distant memory. Open training is designed not only for the ambitious young sailors, but for all enthusiastic members across the country. If you want coaches to come to your sailing club, you need to let us know! Get your boat ready for racing and have fun on the water. Be proactive, work with your club and your fellow sailors and give us a shout if you wish to host an open racing or training event.

Here are just a few of the present members of the UKLA committee working hard on your behalf

Rob Cage

Steve Taylor

Tim Hulse

Spread the word that when joining UKLA you don't just get the benefits of discounts on insurance and sailing holidays plus bargains on excellent training. It’s being part of a strong sailing community. You can give us your feedback about the class, events, new ideas and how you can help bring them to life through this short questionnaire. (see QR code to the right)

Alison Stevens

Keith Videlo

Ben Nicholls

Alan Davis

Tony Woods

Tim Law

Guy Noble

Hannah Snellgrove

Gary Finkelstein

Sam Whaley

Tim Hall


Chairman's Thoughts by Rob Cage

Photos Sam Pearce and Georgie Altham

2020 didn’t turn out as any of us expected, by March the World had become a very different place and I found myself in Geelong at a cancelled Masters Worlds. We all had to rush for one of the last flights out of Australia before the borders closed. Things got worse until we began to venture back afloat in the summer. It was clear that after the first lockdown we all just wanted to get out into the fresh air and to get afloat. Events that were held tended to have record attendance, clubs began seeing turnouts not seen for years. When adversity strikes we tend to go back to the things we really love – getting to go racing is good, but just being out in your boat felt great, felt normal. We had to cancel the Nationals at Mounts Bay, but we were desperate to try and see if it was possible to hold a Covid-safe event of any shape and we teamed up with WPNSA 8

to explore what might be possible. The rest is sort of history, we ended up with a record attendance – people just wanted to go racing, the mix of sailors was fantastic, and I had a lot of new friends join me at the back of the fleet. The event showed what you can do if you plan properly and have a ‘can do’ team of volunteers to deliver the plan – we had to find new ways of doing things to ensure we meet all Govt guidelines and in some cases the new ways were better and we will stick with them when normality returns. Working with Pete Allam and his team at WPNSA knowing at any time we might have to cancel, and in the end holding a fantastic event, was the highlight of my summer, (well my race results were never going to be the highlight), the professionalism of the team at the Academy gave us the confidence to run a major event allbeit with a very changed format

The success of what became the first major event held last summer, was echoed in clubs up and down the country, as people who sail 2-handed dinghies could not race with their crew. They got the ILCA they keep ‘just in case’ and reminded themselves why they had kept her as they enjoyed the ‘purity’ of single handed one design fleet racing. While we all adapted to this Covid world there was much going on in the background. Our new builder in the UK, Ovington, produced their first boat and all at the Nationals admired their work, with more than a few placing orders! Having mentioned that the Nationals saw more Masters sailors and more club sailors than for many a year, we also had Team GBR, our very best sailors, grounded due to Covid, who all turned up for some match practice and showed us why they are in the squad and we are not. I also think they engaged with us mere mortals and represented elite sailing with pride.

how much we miss racing when we can’t do it. Only a couple more months' boat bimbling and then, with luck, with a vaccine, and a following wind we might get back on a start line – we all deserve it. The other thing this Covid thing has taught us is how much we all rely on others and sailboat racing is no different. Without the many volunteers, from those who lay the marks to Race Officers, we can't go sailing without your selfless help – Thank you. Of course UKLA needs more volunteers there are many things we are not doing for members or we could do better, but we don’t have the resource – please get in touch if you feel you can put something back into this beautiful sport. Until we can get afloat again, most of us will be tuned into The America's Cup in Auckland. Amazing where sailing our class can take you.

Team GBR then went to Poland and won all the silverware. Great to see GBR dominance of the podium in the STD rig. We are all itching to go racing and whilst as I write this our Spring Qualifiers look ‘at risk’, by the summer I hope we will be able to enjoy what is a packed UKLA programme. Whether you are on the Olympic pathway or are determined to win your club's mid-week series, what this Horrible time has taught us is


50 Years

A Sa

Photo Sam Pearce


im Law is one of the UK’s most successful amateur sailors. After mounting several campaigns in the Laser and Finn he embarked on a successful career in the insurance industry. Throughout this time he has kept sailing at the highest level, racing not only Lasers and Finns but also Etchells and ocean-going yachts. Having recently hit a patch of rough weather on the health front, Tim takes a look back at some of his magic moments ... Before tackling another exciting season of Laser/ILCA Masters racing.


ailing Life By Tim Law Photo Nic Douglas 2018 Australian Masters


My 46-year love affair with the Laser


any of you may well have watched the recent television program the “The Crown” and perhaps been reminded that Princess Diana commented famously that there were ‘three people in her marriage’. Well, my wife jokingly says she has felt pretty much the same way during our forty years of marriage! She, me and Laser sailing!

went travelling overseas with a friend. On returning to the U.K. from New Zealand the following May I went to visit my Mum and Dad who lived in a flat by the river Thames at Teddington. By the same stretch of water that my big brother, Chris, and I had taught ourselves to sail in our old Cadet from when I was eight years old.

Many of you would have also listened to the recent excellent podcast when Ben Flower interviewed Mark Lyttle. I found it quite nostalgic listening and being enthralled by Mark’s recounting of his participation in the 1996 Olympics. I then realised that I actually had started racing Lasers 21 years even before then.

Now it seems the norm for youngsters to be taught to sail most often in structured programs.


ackalong, as we say in Devon, that was not really the case. Most people simply learnt to sail by trial and error. And it was captivating

That was 46 years ago and 2021 marks the fiftieth anniversary of our incredible class. So having been lucky enough to have been involved near the start of the Laser story and yet still be an active Laser sailor I have been asked to share with you a few of my experiences of how I remember things in the 1970’s when Laser racing became a new phenomenon in our wonderful sport and has remained so right through to today. Before writing about the 70’s I would like to start with a more recent experience of racing lasers in 2020. Thanks to an amazing effort by the Class association together with the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy the U.K. Laser nationals were able to be held during these extraordinary COVID times. Incredibly some of us old Masters sailors were privileged to be able to enter and what a privilege. I don’t know of any other competitive athletic sport that can accommodate the scenario whereby a past champion from the 1970’s in his sixties would be allowed to compete against the UK’s currently qualified Olympic representative! It was just incredible. Mind you when I say ‘compete’ I only saw Elliot Hansen and the other top boys briefly at each start! But what an experience, so thanks guys. Like so many young people do now, but actually not so many back then, after leaving school in 1974 I 12

Tim and Bernadette Law 1983

and a real joy. I think it gave us a passion for the sport that has stayed with many of us all our lives. Chris was at that time preparing to compete in the Finn World Championships in Australia. He managed to win them and so began a long tradition of British success ( e.g. Ainslie/Percy/ Scott/Wright/et al) in that incredibly challenging class. I believe he was the only one of those Champions to not have been lucky enough to have had the benefit of a Laser career first. Chatting to my Dad that day, whilst I think he was pleased to see me I think he was perhaps more excited about a new type of racing dinghy that he had just bought. He did say that he was finding it rather tricky to sail (even for a war time Spitfire pilot) and suggested that I should have a go instead.

Crossing the finishing line winning the 1975 Nationals at Paignton

Rather than try it out on the Thames, I slung a mattress on my Mum’s old Hillman Imp car and loaded the Laser on top of that and drove it up to nearby Queen Mary Sailing Club having entered for the following weekend’s Open meeting. I very surprisingly finished third in that event out of about eighty boats (also competing on his debut was the Laser legend Keith Wilkins) and I was hooked. I have been ever since. I loved everything about the Laser. The simplicity of it. The strict onedesign concept with no special kit advantage to worry about and best of all it was also a physical challenge. Even by 1975 the Laser was being raced widely all over the world and also by a whole new crop of the best young international sailors around such as: John Bertrand (USA) Cam Lewis (USA) Mark Neelman (Ned) Lasse Hjortnæs (Den) And many others who would soon become wellknown Champions in the Laser and in many other classes all around the world.


he class’s popularity just exploded, with large fleets emerging particularly in Europe and the U.K. where the exclusive builder was situated at Banbury. That weekend in May 1975 began my 46-year association with not only the Laser class but also Queen Mary Sailing Club. As many of you will know, Tony Woods leads and continues to help maintain the long and happy association between the Laser class and QMSC. The club still regularly enjoys up

2020 National WPNSA


to thirty Lasers on the start line on a Sunday morning, which is marvellous. Interestingly, back in the 1970s at QM., we raced on a Saturday afternoon as well as on Sundays and in the summer we had up to three short back to back races on a Thursday evening. There was even a waiting list to be able to join the club. Those Thursday evenings Laser racing were often memorable. After each race someone would jump out of his laser and swap with another sailor and take their turn at running the next race. Afterwards it would get pretty lively in the club bar (different times!) and I particularly remember one evening. Some may remember the club used to have two entrances. One normally used for the exit the other for the entry. Well that evening I raced down the slope in my old mini van and went to drive through the normal exit gate only to crash straight into the now shut gate as some bright spark had switched the entry and exits around ! As I have mentioned the Class by then was not just booming in Europe but 1970's Salcombe Tim Law all around the world After the first successful World Championships were held in Bermuda, the second were scheduled in 1976 to be in Kiel, Germany and the third near Rio in Brazil the following year. I find it difficult to adequately describe how the advent of the Laser class had such a dramatic effect on our sport and in particular dinghy sailing at that time but I think people can easily recognise the enormous benefit it has given to the sport. 14

Just look at the number of World and Olympic champions who first cut their teeth in a Laser. Some of whom have even gone on to skipper in the America’s Cup. Back in the 70s I would say the what was evident most was that the Laser dramatically broadened the base of competitive dinghy sailing. Enabling more men and women, both young and old, to more easily race at Club, National and international level. 1970's Queen Mary SC

Also, as is still the case now the Laser class became like a very large international family. As an example, when visiting different countries on business and finding myself stuck in a hotel over a weekend. I would contacted the local Laser club fleet. I was then often kindly then lent a Laser and able to go racing. The beauty being that that borrowed Laser was competitive and of course the same as my own Laser back at home. I am sure that many of you will have experienced the same hospitality from our incredible Laser alumni!


aving managed to win my first U.K. Nationals in 1975 at Paignton. I really wanted to try and firstly qualify for and then compete strongly at those next few scheduled World Championships. When I did manage to qualify then like all the other sailors the next major challenge was the logistical one. Getting sufficient time off from work and finding a way to pay for the costs of travel/charter etc. I was aged 19 and paid very little, with only one week a year holiday allowance from my employer. This logistical challenge will I am sure be something

many will also relate too and has been one that I have tried to embrace throughout my sailing life. Firstly competing in lasers and then when I went on to compete in Finns, Etchells, Offshore racing and international match racing.

1976 /77 Tim Law

As is still the case, the UKLA organised a qualification series for each World and European championships. Perhaps unlike now if you were good enough to qualify for those events there was no financial support from the RYA or indeed of course in those days any Lottery money available. So it was down to each individual to find funding and get the time off work The latter challenge for me often meant driving after a regatta through a Sunday night across Europe to catch the ferry so as to be back in the office in London by 8.00 am on a Monday. Finding the funding became almost part of the actual racing challenge for me and others. I enjoyed the challenge and the marketing technique I had to learn in the process. I think that has helped me a little in my subsequent business career. Sponsorship was and still is a major mountain to climb in any sport. Personal sponsorship I would say more so and add in the dire economic situation in the U.K. in the 70s as well as rampant inflation and interest rates. Also what may surprise some was that the RYA was at that time circling the wagons and really trying to maintain sailing as an amateur sport. The RYA racing rules even prohibited any advertising being placed on your person or your Laser! Despite all of that, I am proud to have then secured personal sponsorship from a number of different companies and individuals. Some were very well known, such as British Airways, but many not so. Some of my successes in obtaining sponsorship actually came from the insurance industry, an industry have spent my entire career in. Obtaining this type of sponsorship may also have been made a little easier had the class not withdrawn its application to become an Olympic Class at that time. The Class could have entered into the process to do so. You may find it perplexing that they did not. But as I recall the Builder was concerned that if the class became Olympic at that point it may have in some way have dented its then

massive popularity. They may well have been correct.


he Laser not becoming an Olympic Class was also the reason I switched to sailing a Finn, which was an Olympic class in 1980. Whilst I don’t regret switching up from the Laser, I did leave the class before I had given the Laser World Championships my best shot and frankly I was way too lightweight to sail a Finn even though I am proud to say I was lucky enough to once win the Pre Olympics in Los Angeles. I did though find other ways to fund my Laser sailing ambitions during those early days. Such as being commissioned by Yachts and Yachting to write up a full report on the various championships that I attended. At the Brazil Worlds believe it or not the Daily Telegraph paid me £100 to file a daily 250 words plus results race report. Sailing unfortunately would never get that sort of space in the sports section of a National newspaper now. So I was very lucky to be able to do that. Mind you, filing those daily reports was a bit of a challenge in those days. The only way to do so was by telex or making a reverse charge call to the Telegraph news desk if the telex would not work. No email or mobile option then! I think perhaps the most innovative way that I achieved some self funding was as a result of the then huge demand for new Lasers on the factory in Banbury. There was a severe shortage of new Lasers available in Europe So a friend and I formed a company and on a number of weekends I drove up to Harwich with a trailer full of ten second hand Lasers that he and I had bought up in the U.K. I then took them by


ferry to Hamburg where I sold them to the famous German Olympic Flying Dutchman sailor, Uli Libor. He then marketed the Lasers around Europe. That paid for a few events! Also many of us used to “buddy up" so as to reduce costs. Perhaps an amusing example of this was when a friend and I put both our Lasers on to the roof of his Mini 1275 and drove them to Kiel! I doubt that would be allowed now. I mentioned British Airways earlier and they were marvellous when I was struggling to get down to Australia to compete in a Finn Championships. Not only did they give me a free return ticket, but they also agreed to take my double trailer with two Finns and four masts as hand luggage in the hold of a 747 jumbo jet! Yes, you did read that correctly.

his deck’s non slip surface. He won a race but was disqualified and banned from the event. All these supplied boats were exactly the same colour that did cause some unexpected issues. One that I found quite amusing was in a very windy race in Brazil with massive waves. I came screaming into the gybe mark (triangle courses) in amongst a whole gaggle of lasers from many different nationalities (no country markings in those days). We all attempted a tricky gybe. Some how I survived that gybe and went flying off down the next reach but many of my ‘gaggle‘ unfortunately capsized. I recall thinking that it was like watching the Grand National on TV and seeing the ‘fallers’ at Beechers Brook. I then heard two Swedish Laser sailors yelling at each other all the way down that next reach. I wasn’t then sure why. After the race I found out that because of that melee at the gybe mark they had inadvertently got back into each other’s boats!

2017 Masters Europeans Croatia

Thankfully I did secure a spot in the next three Laser World Championships, in Kiel, Rio and then in ‘79 in Perth and found a way to solve the logistics required to be able to attend and compete in them. In Rio and Perth all the Lasers were uniquely provided by the Australian builder. This was a brilliant development that may have been slightly driven by what happened at the previous Worlds at Kiel, where a few competitors tried to challenge the strict Laser one design concept. With famously one competitor from the USA not only gluing his mast sections together but also then sanding smooth 16

Lasers then were generically the same as they are now but some of you may not know that then the foils, tiller and grab rails were all made of wood and it was also normal for the hulls to leak. In the Perth Worlds some of these wooden rudders and tillers broke. A number of the competitors who had the misfortune of experiencing this bad luck sought redress on the understandable basis they had been provided their kit by the Race Committee. Surprisingly to me then the Jury rejected their claims. That decision became a precedent which i

believe is still used as such today. I hope I have given you a flavour of the early Laser days and importantly my love for this amazing little boat. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I hope for many more enjoyable moments in the future. And being part of the wonderful Laser family that exists all over the world. Laser sailing though can be all-consuming for those striving for the very top. Balancing what is required to attain the excellence needed to achieve that whilst building a career and perhaps whilst having a family is as big a challenge as any one can take on.

fantastic value and I am told is cheaper than having a mistress! I would like to give my special thanks to Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby for their brilliant design. I particularly congratulate today’s top amazing Laser sailors for taking our sport to the exceptional level that they have and far higher than those great men and I could ever have imagined. And of course thank you to my dear old Dad for allowing me to try out his new Laser all those 46 years ago. •

Laser sailing though in my experience provides

1977 Worlds Brazil


ining in A

2018 Tra




ere we are in late February 2021, 8 months after the 2020 Olympics should have taken place and we are still not sure they will go ahead in July.

This uncertainty should not diminish the achievement of the two incredible ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 sailors who are the UK's representatives. We wish them and the team surrounding them the best of luck. To get to this level, the support team is crucial and one of the key figures is the British Sailing Team's ILCA coach, Chris Gowers. Rarely interviewed, Chris talks frankly to Mark Lyttle (11th in the Laser Class in the 1996 Olympics) about his role. Check out 'An Hour with Flower' Podcasts with Elliot, Ali and Mark on the UKLA website www.laser.org.uk


Photos Georgie Altham


Photos Sam Pearce


THE OLY ILCA 6 THE OLY Photos Georgie Altham


DOB: 29 May 1987 Birth place: Bewdley, Worcestershire Home town: Portland, Dorset


Penny Clark - 2008 Beijing Photo Musto


Ali Young got into sailing on her local reservoir at an early age, joining the local Optimist class circuit. Aged 13 she joined the national Optimist squad before moving into the Topper class and then the Laser Radial when she was 15. In 2005 she proved her talent, winning bronze at the Youth World Championships, and soon become a fully paid-up member of the British Sailing Team. After stepping back from racing to go to university,

Young graduated in 2008 with a First Class Honours degree in Civil Engineering. She was one of the final sailors picked for London 2012, finishing fifth on home waters. Illness sidelined her for 10 months in late 2013 and early 2014 but she bounced back to win silver at the first Rio 2016 test event in the summer of 2014. In the run-up to Rio, Young made history by becoming the first British woman ever to win gold at an Olympic class world championships, going on to finish eighth at her second Games.



Nick Thompson - 2016 Rio

ELLIOT HANSON DOB: 12 February 1994 Birth place: Macclesfield, Cheshire Home town: Macclesfield

A family holiday in Anglesey was the catalyst for Elliot Hanson to pursue a career in sailing. Hanson has seen success on the world stage, taking the 2008 Topper World Championship title and stepped on the podium at international events such as the Delta Lloyd regatta and Princess Sofia Trophy in the Laser. Hanson was also part of the British team to claim the Youth America’s Cup in 2017. Since that success, injuries have stalled Hanson’s Laser sailing

Photo Richard Langdon

with a knee injury and ankle surgery keeping the Cheshire sailor out of training and competition, but Hanson has shown the strength and determination to overcome his issues and returned with a gold medal in his first international competition back on the water in Medemblik. Since then Hanson has been a force to be reckoned with, notching up plenty of podium finishes including gold at the 2018 World Cup Series Enoshima on the same waters as Tokyo 2020, and most recently his first European championship title.

Paul Goodison - 2004, 2008, 2012 Photo Richard Langdon

Ben Ainslie - 1996 & 2000 Photo RYA


Chris Gowers Interview

with Mark Lyttle

British Olympic Laser Coach Chris Gowers is the outstanding Laser coach of his generation, coaching Paul Goodison when he won Olympic Gold in Beijing in 2008, Nick Thompson during his back-to-back Laser World Championship wins and mostly recently the British Laser Team’s clean sweep at the Laser Europeans, led by Elliot Hanson. He talks to Mark Lyttle about his story.

water. The group get on well together, going back to their Topper days. You cannot buy boat speed in a Laser, as it is not a technical class, so the group environment is important. You can learn more by working together.

Elliot-centric now he has been selected for Tokyo, I try to keep it fair and leave them to make their own decisions. Elliot got ahead down the first reach by going low, which was entertaining as he always tells me it never pays to sail low on the reach and he went from around 20th to 5th at the end of the run. It usually only works if the wind is way around (to the right) and you have the biggest gust of day on the mark. On last day they all sailed their own races well and it was very helpful to have Nick Thompson there supporting the sailors.

Mark: How does the Europeans rate in terms of highlights in your coaching career? Chris: I realise now these things do not come around that often. When I became Laser Development Coach in 1997 you had Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy with Paul Goodison tagged on (all becoming Olympic Gold medallists) and you think this is going to be simple

British Sailing Team ILCA Coach - Chris Gowers Photo Paul Wyeth

Mark: You had a clean sweep of the podium with Elliot, Michael and Lorenzo at the Laser Europeans in October 2020 in Pre-Olympic year, what were you thinking? Chris: We knew that Mickey and Elliot had a good summer of training after the RYA and WPNSA did a great job getting us back on the water so quickly and early in the regatta it was clear all the guys were on form in incredibly shifty conditions, always blowing offshore. Lorenzo’s summer had been hampered by injury and he only had a few days sailing prior to the Euros and did a fantastic job to be ready for Race 1 (which he won). Mark: With all three in contention for the podium going into the last race, how did you handle that as a coach? Chris: There is little squad briefing at this level, as it is all about their individual approach and how to support that as a coach. Although my mandate is more


Clean Chiav sweep at arini 2 Photo020 ILCA E u Robe rt Hajdropeans Micky uk B


That time before the last race is always squeezed as you are trying to get the points correct and summarise the scenarios as well as the normal strategic information. Mark: So how was Nick involved? Chris: After his campaign finished, I persuaded him/he volunteered to get in a coach boat for that event, and regularly during the summer, and it really helped providing more confidence in the debriefing with two sets of eyes on the

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and we’ll have Laser sailors forever. Indeed, the RYA and John Derbyshire (former Olympic Sailing Manager) were wise enough to see Laser sailors as feeders for other classes like the Finn and Star. But we went through dry spells when it was only Paul and Nick Thompson pushing for medals for a long time and then this new group has come through.

Mark: As a successful Laser sailor, how did you find the transition from sailor to coach? Chris: It was great time to be involved when the Laser was first put on the Olympic stage. We thought we knew everything competing in the 90s, but the progression in the first Olympic cycle was amazing. As you know, on the run we used to put the vang (kicker) on and point dead downwind and suddenly Ben Ainslie was zigzagging around the ocean pulling literally 150 metres on us. Mark: Tell us about the Athens cycle and how everyone felt about Paul Goodison’s fourth place? Chris: The Athens 2004 cycle was more professional with National Lottery funding coming on stream to a greater extent. We had a great base in Athens and did a lot of sailing there. There was lots of experience in the coaching team with the likes of David Howlett and lots of learning for everyone. Paul was very confident, but at the Laser trials in Cadiz we all underperformed, including me, and the RYA decided to hold a local trial in Weymouth in April. Having the windward mark under Castle Cove Sailing club was not the greatest preparation for sea breezes in Athens but Paul came through that, after some early pressure from Ed Wright (subsequently Finn Gold Cup winner). Winning a medal comes down to fine margins. In the last race, Robert Scheidt was going to win it with the Austrian sailor in silver medal position and Paul and Vasilij Žbogar from Slovenia were fighting it out for the last medal on the final beat. Paul worked the middle like he used to but Vasilij clanged hard left and came out ahead. We were obviously disappointed and there were lots of other exciting things going on with Ben’s second gold in the Finn class and Shirley’s (Robinson) second gold, this time in the three-person keelboat, with the GBR team winning five sailing medals in total. Mark: Did that result for Paul provide a motivation for Beijing 2008? Chris: There was this unfinished business and it just happened to be a venue that suited Paul’s skill set, with his uncanny feel for the odd shifts in light breeze

Paul Goodison, Gold in Beijing 2008 Photo Richard Langdon

developed at Ulley Sailing Club. With his natural feel for the wind shifts, he won the test event and he never really looked in trouble at the Games although a few things did fall into place that really helped. Julio Alsogaray from Argentina dropped out of contention in the final two fleet races, leaving Paul to ensure victory by sailing the Swedish sailor off the podium in the Medal Race. Overall, that was a big highlight. The Olympic thing is the bug for me. The likes of Robert who just keep going around again and again, is incredibly impressive, and he is great role model for the Laser class. Mark Do you have any input to the selection side of things? Chris: The selectors will ask you questions, and I think selection remains one of our competitive advantages. But the trials are always just that - a trial. During the trials no one gets any better, you’re always competing, you’re not really training, and it can be a really frustrating time for everybody. But on the other hand, doing it, you learn a lot

about the sailors and how they perform under pressure. I would recommend anybody who’s planning to go for Los Angeles in 2028 to make sure they’re actually at the trials in 2024 as it is a great learning opportunity. Mark: Tell me about London 2012 and your involvement. Chris: After the Games in 2008, Paul had a fantastic 2009, winning everything including the 2009 Worlds in Canada (with Nick Thompson third) but after that Tom Slingsby was basically in form all the way through the London cycle with his light air sailing much improved. He was a fantastic Laser sailor by the end (winning three World Championships in a row). I wasn’t really involved in the build up to 2012, Paul worked with Arthur Brett, who had previously been Tom’s coach, to try to close the gap, but I suspect Paul changed things a bit in the build-up. My daughter arrived in late 2011 so a lull in the schedule was welcome. He was in contention and then had a back injury and a couple of bad shifts and suddenly


it was too far to get back. Again, it is down to fine margins, as Ben showed in the Finn class using his excellence and determination to win through in the end, though having to rely on the Judges correctly penalising the Dutch rep at the last mark. Mark: Then you had Nick coming through with back-to-back World titles in 2015 and 2016 Chris: He was Paul’s training partner and started to medal consistently at the Worlds in the build-up to London 2012 (Nick medalled at six out of eight consecutive Worlds) and his original skill set was much more about steady wins and good speed. But to win a Worlds a lot must come together, and they did in Kingston in 2015. He had a rather worryingly large lead going into the final race with a northerly forecast, which in Kingston is bad – I mean a lot worse than Weymouth harbour in a northerly! But again, that was another indication of the strength and depth in the UK that all eight sailors made the gold fleet, with Lorenzo and Elliot being near the top (10th and 22nd) so it was good (Nick’s win in) 2016, with hindsight was maybe a peak a couple of months early, though at the time it fitted the narrative of building into the Olympics. Mark: You have managed to keep everyone working together for the most part - how? Chris: The sailors realise that the learning opportunities are there. That is the major thing. You know, I think once they made that decision, it is great. After Rio, Nick made a logical, rational decision to work with the other sailors as they would really push him to medal but a lot of effort goes into trying to smooth out any issues and incidents that happen in training and racing where we often agree to disagree. Peter Bentley (British Sailing Team photographer and coach) tells a great story about Ben Ainslie and Bart (Andrew Simpson) out training years ago, on a long downwind, aggressively luffing each other all over the ocean in 25 knots and Bart saying he was going to murder Ben. It’s just how it is. You know that evening, they’re watching the Europa League final together and being best mates. I think the best competitors can separate


what happens on the water from what happens on shore anyway. So, it is not all a bed of roses but that’s half the fun. Mark: Tell us how you got into coaching and who were your role models? Chris: I was quite late starter in the Laser but happened to be in a club (Chew Valley Sailing Club) where the best Laser sailors were around like Keith Wilkins and Andy Brown. I then got involved in the RYA Youth Squad with Jim Saltonstall and he did a really good job getting some great people like Laurie Smith and Eddie Warden-Owen, to chip in. Then Trevor Millar (now Sailcoach in Malta) was the youth coach in the Laser class, and we started doing international events. Cathy Foster, who may not be everyone’s cup of tea, did a fantastic job on very limited days as the UKLA coach, and I still catch Iain Percy occasionally saying “Cathy used to say……”. Later at Plas Menai (National Outdoor Centre for Wales) I worked with many coaches in sailing, windsurfing and kayaking at different levels. In 1995, I was the Topper coach and worked with Matt Howard before the ISAF worlds which was rewarding. They were probably the formative experiences, learning how to coach as there was no book of how to do it then. Mark: Talking of books – which ones have informed your coaching? Chris: I reread most of them during lockdown. Dave Perry’s Winning in One Designs is very well written, and the first edition of Frank Bethwaite’s High Performance Sailing is very good on the mechanics of sailing, if a bit complicated. Mark: What’s your perspective on Rule 42, illegal propulsion? Chris: In the late 90s, the same judges were at every Laser event and very quickly you knew the level. Now it is much harder as you do what you have been doing all year and you get a yellow flag. Understanding early in an event how the rule is going to be policed is important. Also, rightly or wrongly, when you are going to stand out doing something different then you’ll probably get flagged. I am however not a fan of unrestricted sailing, at least until way up the wind range (18-20 knots). Mark: As a coach, what is your favourite

exercise on the water and do you make much use of analytics? Chris: Rabbit start, lane hold! (Lasers start on starboard behind a port tacker and try to hold their lane as long as possible). The team also think I always revert to a half mile windward leeward as it typically has one and half shifts (at Laser speed) on each windward leg, so it is difficult to get the timing right– five shifts a beat is easy! On analytics, the Laser has been slower on the uptake as it is not a technical boat. We do measure things like the number of boats which you have overtaken – Lorenzo managed to overtake over 100 boats downwind over the 2018 Hyeres regatta - phenomenal! I am a believer in data and more work on measuring the dynamics of the boat, but it is still a learning experience in progress in Lasers. It does seem though 8 or 9 degrees heel upwind is about optimal – any flatter and you are closer to the cliff if you sail into a lull and lose feel (getting lee helm). Mark: What makes a great Laser sailor and how important is talent in the whole thing? Chris: As a youth I had not realised that some others weren’t more talented, it is just they have been sailing for much longer. It is hard to work out whether a sailor is talented or has just been training a long time. Being roughly the right size, at 83kg, helps and being reasonably athletically gifted. But the ability to keep learning is the real talent and the ability to be realistic and reflect again and again. It is hard to shortcut this deepseated learning. Sometimes youngsters think I should be paid by the word, rather than creating situations to learn for themselves, often revisiting that learning a couple of weeks later. That is the real key, I think, the ability to keep learning and believe that you are going to get better. As soon as you start doubting your ability to get better, it is very hard to get better. Mark: What about the fitness side of things? Chris: These are real top athletes now and they get some good advice. The physiologists have finally linked hiking into some of the other fitness activities.

Nick Thompson and Chris Gowers 2016 in Rio Photo Andre Bittencourt

Before it was all the assumption that doing it (sailing) and being wellconditioned was going to make a difference to hiking and now they have got a decent model. Mark: Do you believe that some people have an innate understanding of the wind? Chris: I think it is acquired. I do not think anyone is born with a feeling for fluid dynamics - it’s a very unintuitive thing! But there are certainly people who learn quicker. Here in Malta, we have been having the pancake race ashore after training (the loser must make pancakes for others in the evening), which is through the harbour with high headlands on both sides. It is fascinating how close you can come to headlands and keep the wind or if you go a fraction too far, lose it all together, becalmed for 15 minutes.

This is a learned skill.

team that goes out to Tokyo?

Mark: What would be your advice to young Laser sailors today? And if you are a mid-fleet 16- or 18-year-old do you still have a chance to make it to the “big time”?

Chris: It is large. Ideally, we end up with a coach per class, but it doesn’t always happen that way. And you have a physiologist, doctor, physiotherapists, a chef, and a team that do a really good job on logistics from accommodation to delivering and preparing boats.

Chris: Keep learning and keep asking questions but if you are not near the front of the under 21 fleets, I think it’s very hard to make it into the top of the senior ranks. We often try to balance the demands of elite sport with college in Britain, as it is still not seen to be a great thing to go and commit a lot of your youth to sport, which I think is a great advantage the Australians and the Kiwis have.

Mark: Finally, I know you made an appearance in the Master Worlds about 10 years ago. Can we expect a reappearance in the Grand Master category (age 55 to 64) soon? Chris: It is a real possibility, but I will have to get down to a remotely competitive weight first!

Mark: Turning to Tokyo in 2021, you won’t want to reveal any competitive insight but tell us about the support


The Laser We all know the Laser as one of the most popular dinghy classes in the world with close to 220,000 boats and its strict one design principle, but what is the Olympic history of the Laser? When gun goes at 11:00 local time on 25th July 2021 at the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, it will be the Laser’s seventh appearance in the Olympic Games, starting in 1996 in Atlanta. The first ever Olympic Gold Medal in the Laser was won by Brazil's Robert Scheldt after a dramatic start line duel with British rival Ben Ainslie in the final race. Sydney 2000 saw Ainslie's revenge, as the GBR sailor match raced the Brazilian for the Gold. Following Ainslie's switch to the Finn for the Athens 2004 quadrennial, Robert Scheidt dominated the class and ultimately made a triumphant return to the top of the podium - his second



Olympic Gold Medal. Scheidt then switched classes to the Star, leaving another GBR sailor, Paul Goodison, to take Gold at Beijing 2008. London 2012 saw a long-awaited gold for Australia after years of strong Australian performances when Tom Slingsby was finally able to capture the Gold medal. The Rio 2016 quadrennial kicked off in Oman, where Robert Scheidt announced his return to the Laser in style by taking his ninth Laser World Championship title with Nick Thompson starting a run of three podium finishes with a third place which was followed with backto-back World Champion titles in 2015 and 2016. However, it was Australia who retained the Gold medal in Rio with Tom Burton. The universal appeal of the Laser is demonstrated by the number countries represented – 56 in Atlanta and, despite a squeeze of numbers, 42 in Rio.

The Olympics Laser Radial The Laser Radial was chosen for singlehanded women discipline at the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdao, China. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) won the first gold medal in a solid performance that saw her top the leaderboard from the start. In 2012 Chinese

sailor Lijia Xu upgraded her Beijing bronze to London gold, after a textbook performance in the dramatic final Medal Race that saw her see off Evi Van Acker (BEL), Annalise Murphy (IRL) and Marit Bouwmeester to realise her Olympic dream. Then in Rio the latter two moved up the leaderboard to claim Silver and Gold medals respectively.

Team GB Laser Sailors at the Olympics 1996 – Ben Ainslie 2000 – Ben Ainslie 2004 – Paul Goodison 2008 – Paul Goodison and Penny Clark 2012 – Paul Goodison and Ali Young 2016—Nick Thompson and Ali Young

Tokyo 2020 On 25th July 2021, women from 44 countries will line-up in the ILCA 6 along with 35 Men in the ILCA 7. They will compete in ten 50-minute races with the top 10 sailors going through to a Medal Race to finish on 2nd August.

Ben Ainslie

Nick Thompson

TV coverage will be shared between BBC and Eurosport.

Penny Clark

Paul Goodison

Photos Richard Langdon, RYA and Musto



GILL SYNONYMOUS WITH DINGHY RACING LOOKS BACK TO THEIR HISTORY AND FORWARDS TO THE FUTURE Quality, comfort and performance are of course key to any sailor when considering what gear they purchase to get out on the water. However, how well do you actually know the brand you’re buying from, and what goes on behind the scenes to achieve the products you desire? Here’s a taster of who we are.

About Gill Gill was an idea first born on British waters in 1975 by founder Nick Gill, a keen sailor who wanted to create a range of sailing product without compromise; the best fabrics, the best features, the best quality. Now trusted for over 45 years, Gill has grown into an established technical apparel brand meeting consumer needs both on and off the water and continues to combine innovative design with the latest fabric technology to increase the performance of its range. Based in Long Eaton (on the outskirts of Nottingham), we are proud of our British heritage. Distributed around the world to 37 countries and through a global Ecommerce platform, Gill remains the number one marine glove brand and its comprehensive product range continues to set us apart from our competitors.

Commitment to dinghy sailing In 1989 Gill created the world’s first two-piece Dinghy Suit and since then have continued to push the boundaries in relation to fabric technologies and design. In 2020, Gill reimagined and revamped their entire dinghy collection for adult and junior sailors. With advanced technological details offering ultimate protection and performance, the overhauled Race dinghy range has been put through its paces on the inaugural 2019 SailGP circuit, with both Team USA and Great Britain wearing the stylish products in the high speed F50 racing. And the feedback has been unanimous: Gill has delivered their best dinghy range ever. Designed and engineered to offer maximum flexibility with protection from the elements, the Race dinghy items feature all the technical capabilities required for this demanding sport. Fabrics We equip our consumers for the elements, creating clothing systems that can cope with the extremities of the Southern Ocean as well as the heat and humidity of the Florida Keys. And with water being such a key part of our brand story, consumers have come to rely on our waterproof fabrics and protective outer layers to keep them dry and comfortable, regardless of environment or activity. Rather than relying on branded fabric solutions or generic fabrics developed for non-marine conditions, we’ve taken a different path and invested in more fabric development and testing than any other Marine brand. “We know how hard the water can hit in gale-force winds, how salt can scour fabrics and how damaging high winds can be. We also know that even in gentler onshore conditions, people depend on our experience and expertise to help keep them protected.” Matt Clark, Gill’s Product Director. Conclusion As a brand, we are continuing to push the boundaries of technology and design, to enhance your experience and performance of wearing Gill. Offering an incredible 25% discount to all UKLA members this year (see inside cover for details), we hope to provide you with the opportunity to explore the range, making your own conclusion about Gill. During a challenging time for many sports and people, we wish you good health and access to the water soon! We look forward to dealing with you throughout 2021 and beyond. Joel Chadwick Gill Corporate Business Development Manager


Class Legal Boats and Equipment by Alan Davis UKLA Measurer

All you wanted to know about Class legal boats but were afraid to ask? To coin a phrase – FAKE NEWS. There has been plenty written about Class legal boats ranging from good, factual information to incorrect information and, dare we say it, some deliberate misinformation. So, from a UKLA perspective, we will try to provide some guidance so that we can all enjoy strict one-design racing in the best dinghy in the World!

BACKGROUND The original concept of the Weekender was first launched as the TGIF in 1969. It went into production as the Laser in 1970 with International Laser Class Association being founded in 1971. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary for the Class and the transition to a new name for the boat, an ILCA. Q. Why is Laser Performance no longer a builder of Class approved boats? A. Laser Performance did not meet its commitments under the Class Construction Manual and lost its status as an Approved Builder as required by World Sailing and the International Laser Class Association. Q. What is the “Fundamental Rule”? A. Quoting from the Class Rules. “The boat shall be raced in accordance with these Rules, with only the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails and battens manufactured by a World Sailing and International Laser Class Association (ILCA) approved builder in strict adherence to the boat design specification (known as the Construction Manual) which is registered with World Sailing. No addition or alteration may be made to the hull form, construction, equipment, type of equipment, placing of equipment, type of fittings, spars, sails and battens as supplied by the builder except when such an alteration of change is specifically authorized by Parts 2 or 3 of these


Rules.” It is designed to ensure fair racing within a strict one-design class. Q. Why do I keep reading about ILCAs, I thought the boat was called a Laser? A. There were 3 legacy builders; Performance Sailcraft Australia, Performance Sailcraft Japan and Laser Performance. Laser Performance was by far the largest builder with rights, through a sister company, to use the Laser and Laser starburst branding across about 80% of the world. Laser Performance has not approved the right to use the Laser and Laser starburst branding by the new builders and so it became necessary to rename the boat – an ILCA. Laser Performance own a number of branding rights and the rig sizes Standard / ILCA 7, Radial / ILCA 6 and 4.7 / ILCA 4 are synonymous. All new Class legal boats will be branded ILCA. Q. What is FRAND? A. Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory. It is a World Sailing requirement for all Olympic classes that means any boat builder can apply to become an Approved Builder under competition laws. The approval process is challenging for new builders to ensure they are able to consistently build boats strictly in line with the Class Construction Manual to ensure fair racing.


BACKGROUND It's important that when anyone is buying a new or used boat that they are completely aware of the implications of buying a boat that does not have a World Sailing plaque (details below) The Fundamental Rule one-design concept relies on the strict control of the manufacturing process. World Sailing and ILCA audit the approved builders and the approved suppliers of sails, spars etc. Boats, sails, spars etc. supplied by nonapproved builders may not be the same as the boats being built by the Approved builders - this undermines the universality of the one-design concept. The Racing Rules of Sailing rule 78 requires all boats to comply with Class rules which may not be altered by the Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions. At larger events there is formal measurement but even at club events any sailor is liable to protest by another sailor or the race committee if their boat does not comply with Class rules. Accordingly, the used value and marketability of a boat built by a non-approved builder is likely to be less than one built by an Approved Builder.

Q. Are there any Class Approved Builders based in the UK? A. Yes, Ovingtons. www.ovingtons.co.uk Q. Can you buy other approved boats in the UK? A. Yes, currently 3 builders sell their boats in the UK. Potentially all 9 new Approved Builders can sell their boats in the UK. The UK based dealerships are: Ovington – Sailingfast. www.sailingfast.co.uk Devoti – Dzero. www.dzero.co.uk PSA – Sailboats. www.sailboats.co.uk Q. How can you identify a Class legal hull? A. From sail number 148200 boats have a unique World Sailing (previously ISAF) plaque permanently affixed to the rear of the cockpit. Earlier boats have the identification number moulded into the deck below the bow eye or into the transom (a sail number or unique production number). Existing Lasers and new ILCAs can both therefore be Class legal, it is the plaque which evidences this. No World Sailing plaque means it is not Class legal. Example plaques you may see. 216242 is the current style (see above).



BACKGROUND Whilst you may not buy a new boat each year, sails need replacing and spars may bend. There are a range of shops and websites where you can buy Class legal sails, spars, foils etc. in addition to the Dealers. However, care is required to ensure what you buy is ILCA Class legal. Phrases such as “Class compliant” and even some websites stating “Class legal” may not be selling ILCA Class legal spares. Q. How can you identify a Class legal sail? A. Sails manufactured after 1 January 2001 shall have an ILCA authorized sailmaker button attached near the tack of the sail. These are red except for MKII ILCA 7 / standard sails which are orange (pictured top). There are two different insignia which may appear on a sail. The ILCA logo or the traditional Laser starburst, pictured right. Class legal sails will also have a patch placed near the tack of the sail (above the button). Older sails may have patches with Laser markings which remain class legal. Q. How can you identify Class legal spars and foils? B. Spars and foils will have a blue or red “International Laser Class Association” sticker on or an ILCA QR code sticker if supplied since the name change.



BACKGROUND The Fundamental Rule defining the strict one-design principle has been at the heart of racing at Club, Regional, National and International events. Sailors who use boats or equipment that do not comply with the Class rules threaten the fairness of racing. Q. Can Laser Performance boats without a World Sailing plaque be raced against Class legal boats? A. According to the ILCA Fundamental Rule enshrining the one-design principle, the answer is no. In addition, the Laser Performance hull, sail, foils and spars are not audited by World Sailing & ILCA. Laser Performance boats numbered from 217251 may duplicate the hull / sail numbers of Class legal boats, further adding to the confusion. Individual sailing clubs will need to make their own decisions about the fairness of racing. UKLA, RYA, EurILCA , ILCA and World Sailing events will only allow boats that meet Class Rules to compete. Q. Can a Laser Performance boats without a World sailing plaque be used for RYA Youth development pathway training and events? A. Only Lasers and ILCA that comply to ILCA Class Rules may attend the RYA Youth development pathway training and events. Q. Can I be protested at a Club or Open Meeting race for non-Class legal boats or equipment? A. Yes. The Racing Rules of Sailing rule 78 requires all boats to comply with Class rules which cannot be altered by the Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions. At larger events there is formal measurement but even at club events any sailor is liable to protest by another sailor or the race committee if their boat does not comply with Class rules. For more information go to the ILCA website www.laserinternational.org


TOP TIPS FOR ILCA by Tony Woods ILCA Fleet Captain at Queen Mary Sailing Club So you’ve volunteered to be Fleet Captain at your local club, what do you do? 1. COMMS: I think the first thing is to communicate with your Fleet. So set up an email list, Face Book Page and a WhatsApp Group specifically for the Laser Fleet. QM of course has a sparkling website but I make most use of our Facebook Page, which I can update easily. It’ s a fun forum where photos of prizegivings, training videos and links can all easily be shared and commented on by me or others. Try to get to know everyone in the fleet, particularly newcomers. If you see someone you don’t know in the dinghy park carrying Laser bits have a chat! One thing I noticed when I took over as Fleet Captain at QMSC was that the front of the fleet had a great time racing and would chat with each other afterwards, but they didn’t necessarily know who was in the race behind them. The front guys had often finished and packed up their boats before the last boats had finished. We’ve tried to turn the fleet into a bit of a community. I write an email to the fleet every week. This includes a report of the Sunday Racing written by the person who rounds the first mark of the first race in first place. This is also posted on the FB page. The writers will often explain what they did well, what they learnt etc. 2.MENTORING Front of the fleet to coach the middle of the fleet and the middle of the fleet to coach the back of the fleet. Mentors are allocated 34

a Mentee whom they are to help with set up, technique, race strategy etc. Trophies at end of the year for most improved Mentee and best Mentor. 3. TRAINING: We have informal training sessions on the water after racing on Sundays, and before racing on Wednesdays - just for half an hour or so for those that want a bit of extra time on the water. Now and again I’ll organise full day’s training led by our own top sailors. More recently QMSC has become a centre for the UKLA Open Training Weekends, which are great experiences, but you can get the UKLA to send a coach to your club. 4. SPRINT RACES Organising short sprint race of about 15 mins is a great way to get the fleet to practise starting and first beats. They are often popular with people who are new to racing. 5. BIG SUNDAY: This is an idea I stole from Parkstone YC who also have a big Laser fleet. Once a year they do a thing called BIG Monday as part of their Monday evening series where they encourage as many Laser sailors as possible to get on the water - even if you’re too tired, ill, lazy, hung over etc. you must still try and make it! Their record is 54! I took their idea and we now have a BIG Sunday once in every series - so 5 in a year with its own very BIG cup of course! After each BIG Sunday we have the BIG Review - a


debrief session on shore with the winners answering questions etc. 6. PRIZES : As well as the BIG Sunday Cup club members have donated trophies for all five series, Wednesday Evening, Mentee/Mentor Cups, Endeavour Trophy, Progress Trophy, and Overall Trophy etc. 7. WINTER ACTIVITIES: We keep racing on Sundays through the winter and QM organises a few events on Wednesday evenings - e.g. presentations, rules evenings and there is always a QM Laser Night where we discuss issues such as digital compasses, rigging tips, general Laser techniques, rules etc. compete in the annual QM Laser Hike Off, do a stretching/core routine and even ask

ourselves what do we do with the Laser Sailor... During Lockdown we ran regular VR Races and a Virtual Protest game.

8. QM ON TOUR: Many of our sailors go to Opens, Masters, Qualifiers and Championships, often travelling together. We all support each other and experience the highs and lows together – in 2020 our travelling was obviously somewhat curtailed but we still had a good showing at the Nationals at Weymouth and the Masters Nationals at Pevensey. Several members joined Stokes Bay Sailing Club and trained on a Friday. This became a great opportunity for QM members to get more sea practice and meet some of the SBSC Laser sailors. •



Volunteers play a vital role in running sailing regattas and without them, it simply would not be possible to run events. When working with Junior and Youth Class Associations it is ideal to have a mix of venue and class volunteers to create a balance between how things are run on the site and class expertise. The UKLA has a great mix of class/parent volunteers who are expert in many of the roles and it is always a pleasure to be able to call on them to help out. Sally Reynoldson – Events Supervisor WPNSA The Mark Layer Hi, my name is Mike Barrett, I am the Dad of Coco who is a Radial/ILCA 6 sailor and I am a volunteer mark layer. I have two youth sailing daughters and have been mark laying at their events since the junior classes. It started with a chance encounter where I crewed for an experienced mark layer and realised very quickly that there was a little bit more to it than just putting the race marks in the water. I enjoyed witnessing the level of skill and effort put into the whole race and event management process that I had not previously given much thought to. As a mark layer you are part of the race team helping to set the course, monitoring and reporting wind and tide conditions to the race officer, recording mark roundings and finishing results, monitoring the pin end of start line and acting as back up if the safety team need extra help. (Note: The race officers are mindful that it is best if an independent/ non-parent volunteer monitors the start line where possible) Depending on the number of fleets that are racing, the


numbers of races and the shifting conditions it can be very busy and very active but I find it really rewarding. I much prefer being out on the water doing something useful than just driving my sailor to the event and whiling away the hours in the clubhouse waiting for the finish. Out on the water you also get to see the racing up close. This can be a double-edged sword as a parent where you can witness the good days and the not so good days. In Coco’s early years I once had to raise two ‘whiskey’ flags to her in one day…. Although less of an issue now, mark laying has meant that I am not around at launch and recovery time. I am also sometimes the last boat to return, meaning my sailors must hang around for me. Other than that, I don’t see a downside to being a volunteer mark layer and for me it has many positives. Each race officer has their own style, RIBs can be different, and I have worked with loads of different helms and crew, meeting interesting people and making new friends. Each venue is different but even the venues that you get familiar

...THANK YOU Photos Sam Pearce and Georgie Altham

with have different characteristics depending on the sailing conditions of the day. All this means it is rare for two days to ever appear the same giving a variety of different challenges.

at me and I’ll always smile back. I’ve learnt huge amounts about the laser class and made lifelong friends, what more could I ask for?

I have a lot of fun, learn a great deal about the sport and enjoy being involved in the events. You see a lot of the same faces volunteering at events, but I do get concerned that those not volunteering are missing out!

Jane Sunderland

Volunteering - why bother? I volunteered at my very first Laser event. I figured it was the fastest way to meet people and learn all about the class. I spent the week on a safety boat at the Youth Nationals. I loved every second of it and I asked endless questions, which were patiently answered. One windy afternoon I was sick over the side of the rib, no-one batted an eyelid, I wiped my face and carried on with the day. It was a week that kept offering different experiences, it was exhilarating watching the races, rewarding to help the sailors and we laughed until our sides ached. Now, anytime I am asked to help, I accept in a heartbeat. I’ve done a number of roles over the years ranging from timekeeper and recorder on the committee boat, to safety boat, commentating, food boat, tally and beach. It certainly has kept me busy, I’ve been cold, wet, tired, hot, salty, volunteering really has given it all to me. However smile

Getting the Job Done I volunteer because I like to be involved and help out when I bring my kids to events. I usually help on shore with beach or tally, as I need to be on shore for them when they get in, as my youngest is under-14. These are jobs that anyone can do, even if they have other children in tow, or need to do some work during racing (marking books in my case sometimes!). I really feel that I should do my bit, and many parents of younger sailors help out in this way. Being part of the team helping other sailors to go out and do what they and I love makes me happy, it’s as simple as that. I also love being on the water and helping with flags, results and timings, especially the team spirit on a boat getting the job done. It is exciting to see the racing close up and see the dedication of the sailors. I hope to be able to do more committee boat work in future, as my daughters get older; I am not sure I can manage full days pulling up marks, but do enjoy driving a rib! • Fiona Attwell



Mila Monaghan - photo Paul Gibbons

Christine Wood - Photo Artur Ponieczynski


he ILCA 4 and 6 classes are two of the most equally balanced fleets in sailing, in terms of participation from girls and boys. The difficulty for the class association though is keeping it this way. Despite the high number of female competitors in the class, girls are far more likely to drop out of competitive sport in their midteens than boys. As a result, sporting governing bodies across the UK have been making an effort to better involve young women in sports and to keep them competing for


longer. Like my ILCA 6 friends I am a tall woman, but unlike many of them I was tall aged fourteen and made the transition into my then Laser Radial before any of my friends. I found myself on the Scottish circuit that first year as not only the youngest sailor but also the only female sailor. Happily I was welcomed with smiles, advice, and hearty encouragement and soon I felt brave enough to go to my first Nationals. Here I found more girls my age, and best of all, they were also encouraging and kind. Friendships formed that were the start of some great adventures. To encourage women to continue in sport it is useful to look at what makes those who are still competing want to stay, and also to look at how to support girls in carrying on their sporting journey. I sought out some of our female sailors from the ILCA 6 fleet and asked them what had worked for them as they came up through junior and youth sailing.


ne popular scheme they described is the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) all-girls training weekends to give female sailors a chance to train


by Molly Tulett Molly started sailing Toppers, then moved on to 29ers but has been racing in the ILCA 6 class now for 5 years

separately. The advantage of events like this is that it allows girls a space to have discussions they would be less willing to talk about in larger groups. Christine Wood, a youth squad sailor from Scotland, said, “I have been to a few all-girls training camps where we could discuss topics and issues that I would be less comfortable bringing up in a different environment.”


iving girls an opportunity to build training groups with each other can be key to helping them remain in the sport. By having a support group surrounding them, young female athletes are more likely to feel confident into continuing competing. Another advantage of the all-girls training they told me about, is that they are run by female coaches. This gives young girls the chance to have positive role models they can look up to as they progress. Younger sailors can often find it easier talking to coaches to whom they can relate. Certainly this was ILCA 6 sailor, Natalya Williams’s advice for making girls feel more supported at training camps: “Hire female coaches.” Giving girls a safe place to learn and ask can be crucial to keeping them

in sailing and that reflects my own experience as a junior and youth sailor. Mila Monaghan, a youth squad sailor from Wales, felt most supported by the all-girls training and said that such training was encouraging because: “they are still reasonably large groups, there were a lot of chances to socialise, but also to benefit from a larger group to compete against for training groups.” She also appreciated high quality training in her region, local coaching that avoided weekends of long journeys. That is not to say though that always having separate training groups for girls and boys is the best way to go about it. Unlike in other sports where distances, or equipment are different, female sailors will compete on the same courses, with the same distances, in the same boats and the same conditions as their junior and youth male counterparts at the ILCA 4 and 6 level. Allowing girls to train with a mixed fleet allows them to be prepared for those all important big starts in competition. Training alongside the boys can help build more camaraderie between sailors too, allowing girls to widen their support network within the sport. Christine said: “I like the challenge of keeping up with the boys and trying to beat them.”

Christine Wood - Photo Artur Ponieczynski


“I’ve made some amazing friends, so going to events is a great chance to catch up and have fun.”

Natalya Williams - Photo FKWINDS


ila agreed with those sentiments, saying: “for female sailors, I think the best advice is- never fully separate yourself from the boys. They are obviously good competition and it’s more fun to beat the boys than the girls.” Overwhelmingly, the biggest help to female sailors looking to stay in the sport was support from each other. If you surround yourself with a group of sailors from all levels of the fleet, the incentive to return to events is there, if only to see each other. Any bad day on the water can be improved by talking it through with your peers in the evening, and any good day can be celebrated by people who understand what you have achieved. By having a group of friends at events and training with you, you can learn from each other and improve as a group, each person bringing their own knowledge and skills with them. Natalya said: “Our friendly competition pushes me to be better and I know no matter the outcome, I will always have a hilarious and deeply kind person to speak to at the end of the race.” She continued: “When it’s cold, the weather’s rough, or I’m coming dead last, I come back to every event so I can to see my friends. I have surrounded myself with people who share my passion for sailing, but more than that are kind, funny and genuinely great friends.”


hristine also said that it was the other girls she sailed with who were part of the reason she continued in the sport when so many others leave. “There were a group of girls a similar age to me and we formed a good friendship which I think encouraged each other to keep on progressing.”


Lydia Barber, an English ILCA 6 sailor said that much of the time she has struggled to find support from official places but that surrounding herself with friends has helped her continue: “I’ve made some amazing friends, so going to events is a great chance to catch up and have fun.” There is still a way to go to make sure more girls continue sailing. In many situations, young girls will require a different approach in training to boys. While the typical methods will work well in many situations, some matters require girls to have a different level of support from coaches. One area Natalya thought governing bodies could improve for the next generation of female sailors was in fitness and development. Exercise and diet can be sensitive topics for young women to discuss and this should be taken into account at training camps. She said: “Young sailors should be taught how to eat for performance and maintenance, how to exercise (something that is intimidating for young women) to improve boat fitness. They also need information that can help athletes manage their time effectively so they can balance sport and study.” Providing female sailors places to meet and learn together can be vital for them as they continue in the sport, it gives them the support they require to carry on competing.


aving female coaches as role models to look up to will help young girls see what is possible. Continuing the dual opportunities for all-girls coaching for the next generation of female sailors while still giving them a chance to race and train alongside the boys with gender differentiated approaches, will allow them to prove not only to others but to themselves that it is possible to do very well, or even to be the best, in mixed fleet racing. •


Ladies Who Launch by Sam Pearce Photo Julian Bradley


ackie Rhodes, a sailor at Wembley Sailing Club for about 40 years, had been thinking about the idea of a Ladies sail training day for a while. Although there were a handful of other female helms at times, mostly Jackie was a lone lady helm. She had mentioned her

idea of a ladies' training day to a few people at Wembley as she wanted to encourage crews to try helming. Then she asked two female crews, Nicki della Porta and Sam Pearce, to sit down with her one evening over a pizza and they hatched a plan for a ladies' training event. “We developed a plan for contacting female club members and finding out what would appeal for a programme and date. We got helpers volunteering for rescue and support, and did lots more planning, and liaising with other Harp users.” For the inaugural ‘Ladies who Launch’ day in 2018 we had about a dozen participants, a selection of Picos and Lasers, and a beautiful sunny May day with light/moderate winds. A perfect recipe. Lots of easy sail training exercises and, on the bank, talks and demos. At the end of the day a WhatsApp group was also set up to give peer support. There was a repeat training day a year later, with exercises like sailing around a moored boat with shouted encouragement, follow my leader, etc. At the start of lockdown, the world seemed to come


Photo Sam


to a grinding halt. Like most businesses, Wembley Sailing Club was closed and a newsletter was sent out informing members that they couldn’t come to the club to sail or socialise. In time, with the easing of lockdown, there was talk of opening up the club. It was difficult to interpret the government guidelines and what it meant for sailing, but eventually, after some guidance from the RYA and several committee

Photo Sam Pearce

meetings the club decided to open up for social sailing only, no racing.


his meant that the clubhouse was still shut but members could come and sail single hander boats. Doublehanders weren’t allowed unless they were from the same family. There were social distancing signs put up and hand sanitisers at the gate entrance. A lot of the female crews bought themselves Lasers so they could continue to sail. With the summer approaching and longer days, there was a brilliant atmosphere at the club and our WhatsApp group was gaining members all the time. From mid-August, racing had started up again, the clubhouse had opened to use the changing rooms only and the RYA training courses for adults and children had been fully booked. Wednesday afternoons, ‘The Ladies’ met for Laser training and lunch. Luckily for Wembley, our Commodore, Colin Brockbank, is hugely generous with his time and he came down every week to give advice and top tips on sailing techniques and racing. Patricia Hickey started sailing three years ago and learnt to crew in a Merlin. “It is a great club and all members welcome newcomers with open arms. “After the lockdown this year when everything slowly opened up we were still not allowed to sail on twohander boats as helm and crew sit closely together and can potentially infect each other. I decided to


Sam P earce

buy a Laser and started on a single-handed dinghy on my own. Luckily many women in our club had the same idea and we started to sail together on Wednesdays. The club’s Commodore Colin trained our, ‘Ladies who Launch’ group, for free which was such a bonus. We learnt so much! During the summer we met for lunch first and then we launched.”

“Sailing keeps me sane, feeling the wind, smelling and hearing the water, feeling the sun on your face is such bliss. It is like meditation! You dip into another world for 1-2 hours and forget the real world. In addition, our members are such a great bunch of people and it is always a delight to see everybody.” Hannah Burt explains that the Ladies who Launch group helped her into sailing Lasers. Prior to the first lockdown, she had been out in a Laser only a handful of times. Meeting every Wednesday during


Photo Julian Bradley


am Pea

Photo S

the summer gave her a chance to learn how to sail a Laser. The first hurdle was figuring out how to rig the Lasers, then how to set the sail to make the boat move in the correct direction. Roger Wilson, long time Wembley member and Laser sailor, would often come down to help ‘show us the ropes’. Hannah said, “I enjoyed pootling about the lake and setting our own courses but I also enjoy the competitive racing so I would stick about at the club for the rest of the afternoon and join in with the club ‘racing’. As the summer came along and racing was permitted, I decided it was time to get my own Laser. I spent the summer racing four days a week. If there was too much wind or not enough we would do some theory and apply it to one of the recent races


Photo Sam


to help with the next races. Learning how to sail a Laser has been the highlight of 2020.” Enjoying sailing and forming wonderful friendships has helped us all through these difficult times and we are looking forward to continuing to sail at WSC in 2021•


Musings from Wendy Fitzpatrick, winner of the first Laser British Open Championship in November 1972


rite something to inspire the distaff side’ said the editor. I paraphrase, of course, but you couldn’t have known, Guy, that I have always been vocal in my belief that sailing competition should be as open as horsey competition. I don’t understand the artificial demarcation between the sexes and I am very

for the duration.

much against the engineering of male-and-female crews in designated classes or simply allmale or all-female fleets.

Regatta a few months later. A combination of jet lag and Montezuma proved that a full rig Laser was not the right boat for a female standing just 5ft 2in and weighing in at 8 stone. Time to take up bowls, perhaps? No. Enter the radial.

The chaps at Performance Sailcraft were not at all keen to lend me a boat for that first Laser event. I learned later that they believed I was only there for the party. They were right. But we came to an understanding; they relented and I swore off the alc


They were even less amused to see me do so well in the prevailing gentle breezes and to read all the pundits’ claims of a new boat for lightweights. Sorry guys. You must have been relieved to watch my dismal performance in the strong winds of the inaugural Bermuda Laser

What a difference that sail made. It suddenly became possible for a lightweight to punch hard and level through

a chop upwind. Once again, it was ‘game on’, with no discernible difference in the boat’s handling characteristics. No more hanging on by the toenails, no more yanking the tiller up level with the ear’ole to avoid being blown flat, no more complete and utter impotence in the face of a hull shape which simply cannot be feathered gently through a nasty little chop to take the power out of the sail. Racing, real racing, was once more both possible and enjoyable. And suddenly females, oldies and youngsters were winning pots and prizes. And this brought a merciful reduction in the condescending and patronising headlines in race reports. Got any favourites, ladies? I have. But I’m not sharing them. The sheer size of Laser turnouts now and the necessity to separate the various fleets means that it is only away from national competition that we can admire what that Radial rig has achieved. At club level a competent sailor with a Radial can compete on level terms within the fleet. Yes, really. A big sail will always be more powerful than a little sail. But only if it is set up and handled well. There’s no substitute for time on the water. If you want to spend hours bimbling and tuning, buy a Merlin Rocket.


oatbuilding technology has moved on in the past fifty years and, for the Laser, that’s rather a pity. There are some very good boats around now which are so much lighter to drag up the beach or heave on to the car top. The Laser’s strict one-design concept, which triggered its worldwide success, will forever prevent it being

one of those lightweights. Be thankful that there’s usually a helpful bod to grab the other side of the trolley handle after a punishing race. There’s no room for feminist feelings at this point; I never was a bra-burner. Thankfully, a few modifications have been allowed to creep in. Remember the original teak tiller? About as useful as the teak wishboom and mast step on the early windsurfers and glorying in a similar life span.

rulemakers were persuaded that introducing multi-part purchases on a single control line also introduced a counterproductive amount of friction in the system. Dare I mention at this point my personal bête noire? That mainsheet system. At some point it has brought us all up short mid-gybe. It’s not as if the cockpit space (space?) is needed to house grandma in comfort. But I fear I am a voice in the wilderness here.

the future, a future which arrives depressingly soon. However, it’s the work of a moment (and a chunk of the parental bank balance) to move up a notch. Don’t even try to extol the speed and excitement of the small rig. That’s not what it’s all about. The 4.7 achieves about the same speed as a Topper (I’ve done comparative tests). It’s the elegance of extra waterline length traded against the pushy, bumpy spray of the smaller boat. I’d trade the swan any day for

Photo Bob Fisher

Remember the original tiller extension with the soppy little button on the end? That, too, claimed its rightful place in the dustbin. It took many years but we now enjoy efficient control line arrangements. It was an uphill battle but eventually the


mbrace the Laser’s sturdiness, then, and its relative stability on the water. That sturdiness has created a unique young person’s sail trainer. The 4.7 rig is an easy introduction for little people who are keen to campaign a Laser in

the splashy ugly duckling and its challenge of living on the edge in a bit of a blow. But then I’m not planning to be a future Gold Fleet winner •


Bring On The In 1980 the first Laser Worlds took place in France - So began yet another incredibly successful strand of the Laser sailing community....Here Ian Rawet and Alison Hutton give a flavour of the history and why the Masters events are so popular.


hat do you see when you visit your club? People having fun playing around in boats. Now have a closer look – how many are family groups in double handers and how many are sailing Lasers. The likelihood is that many of the sailors are sailing the most popular single-handed dinghy in the world - the Laser. Have another look and you can see that all ages are sailing them - many of the adults would qualify to be a Laser Masters (anyone over 34 years). The roots of this cross generational appeal go back a long way. In the 1980’s those interested in competition away from their home club were offered a mix of events from local Open Meetings, the Nationals and Qualifiers, a regime that could take you through to international competition. In the 1990’s the Olympic games became the pinnacle of Laser sailing. During the 80’s the expectations of international aspirants and the club sailor diverged. The club sailor wanted good competitive


racing with the camaraderie that goes with the travelling the circuit. Gradually, throughout the world experienced club Laser sailors were forming groups to fulfil this need and ultimately created the Masters. Ian recalls “We were doing a Masters European event in Austria, there were only two of us Brits, myself and Hilary Thomas. We were cornered by a group of European sailors who were initiating plans to introduce a European Lasers Masters circuit and they were desperate for the UK to get involved. Work pressures meant that I could not spare the time but fortunately Hillary stood up to the plate and agreed to take on the task. The UKLA Masters organisation was born.” In the early years, while women competed and had their own category in the 1980 Open Worlds in Kingston, Canada, they did this in the Standard rig. Meanwhile that same year the first Laser Masters Worlds took place in Bendor France. The ‘M’ Rig, the precursor to the Radial, had been around since the late 1970s but

hadn’t really caught on and it wasn’t until the introduction of the Radial rig in 1983 that women and lighter men could truly take advantage of this incredible boat. By 1988 both the Open and the Masters Worlds (Falmouth, UK) had a Radial class and a women’s category.


he Masters is a big club. Many of the regular racers have been successful sailors in other fleets in their youth. Old friends have met up on joining the Masters when they sought grown-up, fun, singlehanded competition. Some have run serious campaigns for Olympic recognition in other fleets (Lesley Hotchin) but have still returned to the Laser. Sailing is the only sport where male and female can compete on equal terms; the Laser Masters is no different. Some of the women have received accolades when competing in female only national and international events. The Laser Hall of Fame includes current Masters Ann Keates and Roberta Hartley. Some Laser Masters have been in Lasers for most of their sailing career, this could be up to 50 years!

Masters Photos EURILCA & Thom Touw

For example, Ann Young, from Grafham Water Sailing Club recalls joining the Masters in 1984 after 10 years of club sailing and she raced on the circuit for 20 years. She had another claim to fame - she may have had one of the first Lasers in the UK - number 3906.

a fun holiday in the Mediterranean was the main attraction. In the end correct technique is the way forward but height does help! For some the 4.7 rig is a great option on a windy day.

You don’t have to be a beast!

Raising a family tends to reduce participation in sailing activity for both men and women. Working life keeps some people away but the Masters will still be there whatever your age. Many Masters are recruited by word of mouth from clubs and circuits, although we have social media, and a section on the UKLA website -please spread the word. Sailing in a large mixed Radial fleet is one of the advantages of the Masters, especially fun on those days when the women are threatening to lead the fleet. Even at the tail end the competition is fierce.


he Radial rig was a game changer for women Laser Master sailors even though most had learned to cope with the Standard rig. Hilary Thomas even remained in the standard fleet for several years after most adopted the Radial. Now many of the older male Masters have joined the Radial fleet. The next great advance was when the new controls were allowed, which meant we did not have to lean on the boom or stand on the mainsheet to get the kicker tight on the beat. Then, when off-wind, the options were either trying to release the controls or capsize or both. Learning to sail a Laser involved lots of swimming! The current group of women preempted the current vogue for squad development. Instead they learnt as they sailed. They have taken advantage of training sessions at clubs or provided alongside open events. Some have taken this very seriously and for some

Keeping up the numbers

Fun and games After the sailing people find the old hands are ready to help and there are friends to be made in the boat park or camp site. The social aspect is an important feature of the Masters club. Usually, we share a meal or have a drink at the bar with the other sailors, their partners and families. Sometimes there are silly games or sensible talks and always prizes! •


1988 WORLD Masters From Laser Letters No. 3/1988


Steve Cocker ill

I was always frustrated with the controls on the Laser. No blocks or even thimbles. I did my apprenticeship and learned how to use them, but I looked for better solutions. I imported Spectwelve from the USA which I sold to UK sailors for pin money. They certainly helped me to 25th at the Worlds in Wakayama in 1994. GBR Team at the Wakayama Worlds. Can you spot the three young sailing legends: Iain Percy 20th, Hugh Styles 39th and Ben Ainslie 43rd. I was still frustrated by the mainsheet on the laser, always tangling on the bear-away. Despite my efforts, it was not until after our Olympic trials in 1995 that I found myself with the time to solve the problem, calling it Polilite. I was still attending the Olympic regattas scene, but this time as a coach to the GBR Europe Team. I gave the current world Champion, Robert Scheidt, a couple of Polilite main sheets to try and miraculously he loved them. It was then that I realised I had enough income to leave my engineering job and put my energy into Rooster. I started sharing as much information as I could on our website to make it ‘sticky’. Polilite® sheets took all three medals at the 2000 Olympic games and is still the

choice of medallists today. Carbon tiller and extensions were added to our portfolio, closely followed by hiking shorts which we completed after we had lost our Laser dealership. To bring them to the mass market, I just had to sail at lots of UK and World events to spread the word – what a hardship. Keen to share video, but with the internet too slow to cope, we launched the Single-Handed Techniques CD in 2001. I continued to do talks around the country, sharing the Boat Whisperer Techniques and finally got the inspiration to film the Boat Whisperer DVD’s with Laurence Handley as our guinea pig. I’ll never forget trying to walk across the boat park in the Australian worlds in Terrigal 2008 where every Aussie sailor wanted to buy Laurence a drink. In 2010 we added the Boat Whisperer Tactics to the series – all filmed in Lasers at Cabarette. The Rooster Blog continues to offer top tips and campaign stories, the latest on refurbishing a Laser is a must read. I love the class because I love the sailors. I have also loved improving the boat with the Padded Toestrap, Clew Strap, Laser Bailer Spring Plate, Toestrap Adjustment System ‘New Rules’, and the Ultimate Laser Traveller. When adding Polilite, Carbon tillers, carbon extensions and technical clothing we have quite a global export portfolio. Funny how things turn out. •

1994 GBR Team Wakayama Japan Find out who's in the picture turn to page 107


Rooster Rooster Rooster Rooster Rooster Rooster Rooster

When the Laser became an Olympic class in 1992 I was encouraged to leave my technical Europe, put some weight on and join Stokes Bay. I had some early successes, managing 2nd at the Palamos Olympic Classes regatta Christmas 1992 and 3rd at the 1993 Laser National Championships.

Masters were young once

1982 ans e p o r u Laser E ce e e r G Glyfda f Eurilca

rtesy o otos cou



Marit Sö


vening 82, one e 9 1 in ia in ically s in Sard oats vert b ld r r o te w r a e h h t d 100 c enge ember at ilors stoo ss Stoneh a s la g e r “I can rem e m b o s fi rty, a long Master sailors pa prentice each, like p b A e h e t after the r n o o ff Loosem transoms ght!” – Je on their li n o o 1988 m g in the hampion glistenin World C


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le!” Impossib ? ? t e k c ja weight oach s and no t o n k lympic C 5 O 1 “ R B G am wers – Te Chris Go

ke would wa I s n a e p o Eur “At the 93 e (RYA Derbyshir n h o J d n to fi oach) in Classes C d e d n a h Single ing gliari Sail a C f o s d r be the flowe ad snoring h y m s a k r pa Club car van the UKLA f o t u o forced him k).” r the wee fo e m o h s a (which w am GBR wers – Te o G is r h C Coach Olympic

Peter Vilby 53

TRAINING by Tim Hulse

Tim H


Tim has been involved with the UKLA for over 20 years through his youth and Olympic sailing career. Now being the training officer for UKLA, Tim is excited to give a little back to all its members. He says “I am extremely passionate about the ILCA dinghy. It’s a fantastic boat only bettered by its racing at all levels! Training allows me to share that passion.”



ith training seen as a cornerstone of the UKLA membership, 2020 was set to be the year where the number of days training was increased with the hope of turning a very successful National Training structure into an even more successful regional training programme, with far more access to training for members of all ages, all abilities and in all regions of the country. UKLA training has three strands: Open training - Training weekends

organised and run by the UKLA, open to all members.

Super Grand Prix - Weekends of training and racing combined, Saturday training with Sunday racing at the same venue, all as part of the Grand Prix circuit. You can do all the weekend or pick the bit you want.

Club training - Clubs making contact with

the UKLA to organise and run training for club members and local sailors of all ages and all levels.


Photo International Sailing Academy

Super Grand Prix

“The primary goal is to link regional training with regional racing”

The Super Grand Prixs are a new strand to training. Two events ran at the end of 2019 and early in 2020 proved a huge success. The primary goal is to link regional training with regional racing. Throughout the years, the Laser has had many modifications. The role of the training team on Saturdays is to help all members understand how these modifications help turn the Laser into a modern racing dinghy and make the sailing and racing a pleasurable experience. Saturday nights have an informal and social feel, where food and drink is a plenty and a guest speaker is organised to offer more training top tips. Sunday turns to racing, where the focus is on high percentage, decision-making gains, based around starting, upwind and downwind tactics. You can do the whole weekend or just one of the days.

Club Training Staunton Harold Sailing Club and Queen Mary Sailing Club both ran two days of excellent training followed by racing support on the Sunday. With both events being oversubscribed and excellent feedback received from both, there

“I did a fair amount of swimming that day,” said Jack “but our UKLA Coaches were really

Jack's Story Regional open training is for any sailor, of any age and ability. We look to run training over the winter and summer that allows sailors to achieve their goals. An example of this is Jack Graham Troll. Below he shares his journey of training with the UKLA. “For my 11th birthday, I was lucky enough to get my first Laser, a beautiful waterline blue limited edition” said Jack. Having started sailing just six months earlier, the Olympic dream had already begun.


In the beginning when the wind picked up, Jack lacked the experience,

and much to

for me”. Determined to survive and master the craft, Jack learnt all

my parents amazement”

saying “I struggled with the power in a boat that was really too big he could at his sailing club and soon realised that specialist training alongside other Laser sailors was the right way forward. Jack joined the UK Laser Association (UKLA), who provide high quality coaching for all Laser/ILCA sailors and work hand in hand with the RYA Junior, Transitional, Youth and Podium programmes. His first training session with the UKLA was in May 2017 and the weather at the time was still very unpredictable. On Saturday it was blowing a gale and the rain was horizontal! Sink or swim, “I did a fair amount of swimming that day,” said Jack “but our UKLA Coaches were really encouraging and, much to my parents amazement, I got back to the shore full of enthusiasm and wanting

was huge expectation for the upcoming planned events. Unfortunately all other Club Training was understandably cancelled due to COVID, however we are already excited to be planning plenty more for 2021. Keep your eyes out on the 2021 calendar, they truly are fantastic sessions. They book up early so be sure to get your name down. We look forward to seeing you.

Open Training Strategy In previous years, National training has been based out of WPNSA and run on a monthly basis. Within RYA youth categories, this training has been seen as a stand-out training programme amongst youth fleets with two Youth National Championships being won by UKLA open training members, as a posed to the expected RYA Youth Squad members. With such great success comes the need to ensure all members have access to it. WPNSA is a fantastic venue that allows sailors to get out on the water in a wide variety of conditions, something many other venues struggle to do. However, its location isn’t convenient for many. For this reason, the UKLA open training strategy has moved to a regional format, where we

more!” The weekend finished on a high with a great day on Sunday out on the water and some really constructive feedback from the coaches to take away. As a newcomer to the Laser/ILCA class, joining the UKLA provides an excellent opportunity to access top quality coaching, learn all the techniques and skills specific to the boat and make new friends. The UKLA run some very successful open training in a host of locations across the UK and in partnership with the Andrew Simpson Foundation which provides world-class training from Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and a variety of other locations here in the UK and overseas. With a frequent and diverse training program in place, Jack continued to put in the hours, training and improving his skills throughout the year. “I really put in the hours out on the water” he said, “any spare time I had, I spent in my boat and it was great to see my results improve, it really gave me the incentive to train harder”. With support from the Thom Touw training team and the Andrew Simpson Performance Academy, with just 2 years sailing experience, Jack went on to win the 2019 Laser 4.7 National Championships! He finished: 1st Overall 1st Boy 1st Under 16 1st Non-squad Sailor


look to spread the excellent training to all areas of the UK.

The Future In 2021 we look to increasing the number of days and venues again. We run the training from sailing clubs that have the on-and offwater capacity to cater for at least 15 sailors in as many areas and as many different venues possible. In 2020 we used nine different venues compared to one in 2019, however we look to increase

“At the heart of all learning is fun"

this. If you think your club has the capacity and willing to host a training weekend, please get in touch! More the merrier! At the heart of all learning is fun. The Training Team looks to help you build the skills and confidence to get out on the water at whatever level you currently are! For more info on training go to: www.laser.org.uk We look forward to seeing you on the water. •

“any spare time I had, I spent in my boat and it was great to see my results improve, it really gave me the incentive to train harder”

Check out the UKLA website for the scheduled training events near you: www.laser.org.uk/events 56

UKLA work closely with the RYA and the Andrew Simpson Trainings Centres - check out their websites for more information

RYA Training The RYA offers many fantastic courses from absolute beginners right up to elite squad level. For those who want to take their training to a higher level, get a free copy of the Performance Pathway Handbook - this is a must. Go to the RYA website www.rya.org.uk/racing/youth-junior/info/ Pages/Junior-Youth-Racing-Guide.aspx

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Photos Sam Pearce


7 INTERNATIONAL TRAINING CAMPS SailCoach - Malta A number of unique selling points. • SailCoach based at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, Ta’ Xbiex, next to the British High Commission. • World Sailing recognises us as one of two top tier training centres. • The RYA squads use the SailCoach centre as a winter training venue. • Most of the current top Olympic ILCA/Laser sailors have been using SailCoach’s Malta base for training camps in this Olympic cycle. • Our high-performance coaching staff had podium finishes with our athletes in most World and European

Wildwind - Vassilik Greece Our much-acclaimed Laser training weeks take place in May every year and are limited to 12 participants each week – all sailing our brand new fleet! These weeks are best suited to sailors who have at least a year of club racing under their belts. The first part of the week is dedicated to the improvement of boat-handling and boat speed both upwind and downwind, while in the latter part of the week, we move on to applying these skills in racing scenarios. Sailors can expect plenty of opportunities to perfect their start sequences, and, once the wind picks up in the afternoons, there will be plenty of chances to improve their high-wind gybing technique. Coaching sessions take place every morning and afternoon with each session followed by a debriefing. There will also be in-depth lectures and video feedback at the end of the day in the beachside bar, giving sailors a chance not only to learn from coaches but also their peers. Small groups provide us with an opportunity to record at the beginning of the week the aspects of your sailing that you would like to work on and personalise your training plan. www.wildwind.co.uk info@wildwind.co.uk


Championships during the 2019 season from under 21 levels and below. • We have “SailCoach lite” for club, regional or national teams to fly with their own coaches and use our equipment, i.e. boat charter, RIB, accommodation and airport transfers at competitive prices. • Malta is ideally situated in a wind corridor between North Africa and Southern Italy, making for few days lost due to weather. It is also well connected by air from the UK, and Malta’s airport is a short 15-minute drive away from our Malta SailBase. www.sailcoach.com info@sailcoach.com

Laser/ILCA Training Cabarete Dominican Republic Having been involved in Windsurfing since 1976, I missed the good old days of true One Design racing. I could not find a place where a Laser sailor could show up, at any time of the year and sail on brand new gear, supervised by a coach. So in 2003 we created the place. At the time my wife MJ and I were running the Carib Bic Center, a Windsurfing Club we founded in 1988 in the windy town of Cabarete. The wind usually starts light in the morning and increases during the day, thus allowing sailors to pick the best time of the day for their ability. One of the many reasons that brings the top sailors here is that as soon as the boat is in the water it’s full on practice. There is a protected in bay area for chop and shifty conditions, and open ocean for those who want to master

International Sailing Academy - Mexico ISA is a destination training center for ILCA sailors, based in warm and sunny La Cruz, Mexico on the Pacific coast. The center has been host to hundreds of sailors since 2009, including multiple World Champions, Olympic Champions and Masters Champions. In 2016 the World Championships was hosted in the waters of Bahia de Banderas, and crowned British sailors Nick Thompson and Alison Young. Check out the website to see upcoming clinics in 2021 Vaughn and Colin have developed a language and methodology for coaching unlike any other. They pay attention to creating a step by step process for learning, aided by checklists, video debriefs and deliberate practice.

big ocean swell. Eighteen years passed since we began and we can proudly say that among the sailors that came to train with us, are four World Champions, 30 sailors who participated in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games (see guest book). Our coaching program expanded, and improved to match the growing demands and abilities of the top sailors. At the same time we see the biggest growth in youth, masters and people who just enjoy sailing a Laser in a fun way to enjoy a relaxing Caribbean vacation with a friend or family. In the past year, as many work online, we are hosting sailors who come for 30, 60 or even 90 days. www.caribwind.com info@caribwind.com

All of their knowledge is currently being translated into virtual coaching methods, that are included in an online course. Alongside the online course, sailors will get access to continued virtual feedback from ISA and guest coaches. Upload a video of your sailing and a coach will provide you with a voiceover recording like this one. “This is better than a Netflix series. Every time I have watched a part of the course I want to do two things, 1. Go out on the water and practice what I’ve just seen and 2. Go on to the next lesson. Very informative, well done!” - John from Auckland www.internationalsailingacademy.com info@internationalsailingacademy.com



Minorca Sailing Menorca Balearic Islands - Spain Minorca Sailing specialise in sailing holidays in Menorca. Whether you’d like to learn to sail, learn to windsurf, improve your sailing, windsurfing or racing, sail foiling boats, foil windsurf - or just relax whilst the children are taken care of - Minorca Sailing are the experts. Our unrivalled location is safe and secure, yet expansive and challenging for more advanced sailors. Our sailing and windsurf equipment are continually updated, and our experienced RYA qualified instructors are always on hand to help. Accommodation options include villas, villa apartments and a small family-run hotel.

minorcasailing.co.uk enquiries@minorcasailing.co.uk

Vilamoura Sailing - Portugal Vilamoura Sailing Centre is based in the Marina de Vilamoura, on the south cost of Portugal. The Centre has outstanding facilities and unique sailing conditions, to suit all sailing classes. We have permanent staff dedicated to providing the best solutions for your training programme. Accommodation, Gyms, bicycles, 5 000sqm parking area (24hour security). 5 minutes out of the slipway and you will be sailing in the open sea with steady winds. A fleet of VSR’s (coach RIB) and all the required coaching equipment available for your training (marks, anchors, etc.).

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DinghyCoach Lanzarote & The Netherlands DinghyCoach is a Sailing Management & Coaching company founded in 2010 by Pim Stumpel. Later merged with Optisailors, founded in 2001 by Gonzalo “Bocha” Pollitzer, one of the worlds leading youth coaches. DinghyCoach organizes high level clinics, training camps & regattas for sailors from youth classes to Olympic athletes. DinghyCoach also manages two sailing centers, in Lanzarote & The Netherlands. We at Dinghycoach focus on getting the best performance out of sailing athletes and teams, helping them set and achieve goals by coaching, program management and providing all round professional support.

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Tea and the Art of

Weather Forecasting This is how I get a basic forecast to use through the day, and it only takes 15 minutes.


he Mark 1 eyeball is still one of the best weather observation tools around, and this is how I start my morning weather forecast. I’ll get myself a mug of tea, go outside and watch the sky. It’ll take a few slurps of tea for the grey matter to kick in, but then I’ll start to notice things. What I’m looking for to start are two things ... What sort of sky is it ? And Which way is it moving? There are almost always clouds around – are there lots, is the sky covered, is it raining? This is a great way to look at the overall synoptically driven wind. In the early morning especially the air at the surface may be disconnected from the movement above and it will take a bit of heating for the synoptically-driven wind to mix its way down to surface. Once I’ve got this worked out (and finished my tea) then I’ll go and look at the bigger picture. The clouds I’ve just seen will be part of a larger synoptic feature, a depression or a high pressure system perhaps, so I’ll look at the Met Office synoptic charts


A Met Office synoptic chart & the corresponding satellite image, both available from the Met Office website (these images contain public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0).

to see what’s with us now (the most recent analysis chart) and the next available forecast charts. I do this to get an overall context – as an example the high wispy clouds that have just looked lovely in the morning light may well be the first clouds ahead of an incoming warm front. Then I’ll look at the latest satellite image, and the Met Office website lets you see this overlaid with the rainfall radar every 15 minutes. This allows me to see that the features on the chart are backed up by what’s actually happening – really important. Not including brewing my tea this has taken

Synop tic relatin - METEORO g L simult to or showin OGY an g conditi eous weath e ons ov er a la r rge ar ea

about 5 minutes. By now I’ve got an idea something like this – “there’s a cold front forecast, it’s over Dartmouth now and if I look at the rain radar it’s taken 4 hours to get there from Lands End so I reckon I’ve got about 6-7 hours before it gets to me”. This is really useful info, and is based on real observations. My personal favourite source of UK weather is the Met Office, so I’ll then go to their website and get the hour-by-hour conditions for where I happen to be.

by Simon Rowell

However I’d like a second and even a third opinion, and also to see surface wind charts, which I can’t do with the Met Office. I’ll now go onto an app (windy. com for example) that I’ve used before and understand. By understand I mean that I know where they get their source data from, when they get it so that it’s not too out of date, and a vague idea of what processing they apply to get the better resolution they claim. There are many, and most of them get their data from NOAA (the US equivalent of the Met Office). Some get it from ECMWF (the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts based in Reading). Of these two sources, the ECMWF model has a 9km resolution, NOAA’s 22km, compared to the Met Office’s 1.5km. Both are professional and sensible choices, and both have their own forecast model separate from the Met Office so make for good independent comparisons. With most of these sources they have free & “professional” options – before you shell out have a good look at what your money gets you, and ask yourself whether you both need & understand what that is. If the answer to either of those is “no”, then stick to the free version.

Sugar Loaf at the entrance to Guanabara Bay - it doesn't exist according to the models! Photo: Dom Tidey.

This comparison is very important – if all 3 data sources say roughly the same thing, then I’m going to be confident that the forecast is of good quality. If all 3 say something different then my confidence in the forecast goes down – and this is a really useful bit of information, as it’ll affect your race strategy. Also, a low confidence forecast makes the use of your physical observations (looking for clouds, feeling a change in air temperature, watching rain come in) even more important. One thing to remember with “high resolution” forecasts is that they are only as good as the models that underpin

them. In the Rio Olympics the single most important feature was Sugar Loaf, at what was usually the windward end of the Medal Race course. This is a 396m high dome-shaped rock – but it’s less than 1km wide and doesn’t show up at all on any of the land models used for weather forecasting! This is not a criticism, it’s a function of a computer model. In general the smallest thing that can be simulated by a model is 3-4 times the size of the grid used. This means that a 1km resolution forecast won’t see anything that is less than about 3-4 km across. Back to my 15 minute forecast – by now I’ve got a good idea



A The Carrick Roads in Falmouth with the Met Office 1.5km grid shown (red dots). With a SW the acceleration up the eastern side against the land isn't shown in the forecast this is a sub-grid feature of what’s forecast to happen through the day weather-wise, which I’ll write down in a few lines. This needs to include how things will change visually as the systems come through – e.g. it’ll rain with the front but probably not before it arrives. I’m up to 10 minutes now. The thing with sailing near land is that a lot of the weather features are what I like to call “sub-grid”, i.e. they’re caused by land features which, as we’ve seen, don’t show up on the weather models. A very effective way to do this is to look at Google Earth with your forecast, and work out the incoming wind may go through any gaps and around or over any obstacles. This should allow you to predict, for example, acceleration up the east side of Carrick Roads with a SW; the way a W tends to turn in to a WNW going down Southampton water;


The Carrick Roads in Falmouth - top Google Earth photo. Here one can see that the land masses are a significant influence on the wind direction and strenght. Below - Google street view taken from A

and that in a strong E it’s best not to leave Largs with too much sail up even if there’s only 10 kts in the marina. You might also want to think about the character of the breeze too – and by this I mean whether it’s going to be all puffy & shifty, or steadier. The expected clouds will give you a clue for this. If it’s a steady offshore day for example, then the expected cloud is light & puffy cumulus, spreading as the land heats up – this in turn will give a patchy & shifty breeze underneath it, but generally returning to the mean direction. In the warm sector of a depression you tend to get fairly featureless stratus cloud – however, looked at from above this tends to come in waves, and on the surface underneath that you tend to get bands of

pressure moving with the breeze. We’re now at the end of our 15 minutes – and not only do you have a good forecast firmly in your mind you also understand what the weather is that’s coming through, and possibly what that will mean for race strategy. This means that as the day goes on and, say, the front slows down and you don’t get the lowering clouds coming through as you initially expected, then you can confidently say that the veering wind will come along later, or you’ve got a bit more time before the showers hit. This way the knowledge you gave yourself at the beginning of the day will translate into better understanding of what’s going on and therefore what is still to come. And you’ve had a mug of tea in peace. •

A cross section through a classic depression, showing the progression of weather you can expect as it passes over you

Small scattered cumulus coming off the land at Portland - the wind pattern on the water underneath this will be puffy & gusty, with small patches of pressure all over the place. The pattern of the clouds shows the pattern of the surface wind

ghts insi k e r oo mo Get y the b u B

The top of a stratus cloud showing the long ridges of thicker cloud which you don't see from below. This is why wind under stratus clouds often has bands of pressure coming down

"As I have minimal balance & co-ordination and I like easy access to a kettle my sailing career has been in large yachts, with a lot of offshore & ocean racing. I really got into weather while skippering Jersey Clipper to victory in the 2002 Clipper Round the World Race. In a one design fleet you need two things to win - consistently better boat speed and a better idea of where to put your boat, and that's where understanding the weather comes in handy. In 2009 I went back to university to do a masters in applied meteorology at the University of Reading, and have been a marine forecaster since then. I've been privileged to be the British Sailing Team's meteorologist since 2015" Check out Simon's great book 'Weather at Sea' Published by Fenhurst


Fit to Sail I

often think about fitness as building a fire. You need to supply heat, fuel and oxygen constantly or the fire goes out, and sadly it takes a lot longer to build the fire in the first place than it does for the fire to die if you stop taking care of it. Such is fitness: it is something which requires constant effort to be maintained as well as being built using the best techniques. Bottom line: everything else being equal, the fitter you are the faster you will be in medium to strong winds. Hand in hand with fitness goes injury. Something we very sadly seldom think about until it is too late. A large percentage of our membership is actually Masters sailors and as you age acquiring fitness can become harder and we also need to be more careful with injury because generally our muscle tissue becomes in layman’s terms more brittle and therefore more prone to injury.


Loss of strength and flexibility does not have to occur with age and there are many amazing examples of this. None more so than the Laser class legend Robert Scheidt. However, we do need to work harder to maintain them. Perhaps a good incentive to avoid injury is if you do get injured when you are older, your recovery time takes longer!


e used to talk about stamina, the ability to keep going for hours and hours and indeed days and days. Sailing championships are a test of stamina or now we would say aerobic ability. It goes without saying that sailing in hiking conditions is the best training for sailing fitness but getting time on the water is time-consuming for most of us and the weather does not always play ball. A hiking bench does mean that you can get consistent hiking each week when sailing may not be possible.

Choice of aerobic exercise is very important, not only to achieve the training but something you enjoy whether it is rowing, cross trainer, running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis. I would say perhaps the most important thing is you enjoy and to keep this enjoyment maybe having a bit of variety is also a good thing. It is hard to spend lots of time doing an activity you don’t enjoy. Cycling for muscle endurance in the legs is great because it is more specific than other forms of exercise for Laser hikers (as opposed to if you were an America’s Cup winch grinder it would not be that useful). You can also get more time on say a road bike than you could sustain on a rower! There are advantages to all sorts of aerobic exercises. For example, cross country running would engage your proprioception (balance) and get you thinking about your (running) route whilst doing

n the old days we always used to warm up, stretch, do our main session, then stretch and cool down without really thinking about it. However, in terms of injury prevention the latest research has shown that it is the warm-up, rather than the stretching which plays the key role in preventing injuries. Deep stretching before competition can lead to loss of power and therefore increase the chance of injury, as can stretching when you are cold.

Photos Jon Emmett


by Jon Emmett something physical which is just like racing Lasers.


void injury by strengthening your weaknesses. Just like a bridge would always fail at the weakest spot, we want our “core” to be rock solid! My preference is Pilates as the best way to avoid spinal (back and neck) injuries. You may be surprised at just how many and how varied the sportspersons who do Pilates are. When asked what parts of the body do we need to work, the answer is all of them. Muscle imbalances cause poor posture, loss of range of movement and maybe ultimately injury. Try and do the “big” lifts (those involved using several major muscle groups) like squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, snatches at the beginning of the session when you are fresh, and do ask for help not only to get spotted when maybe you are not as fresh as you think you are but also to

help with technique because just as on the water it is always easier to see what is going on when you are an observer! Sailing is an endurance sport. Laser races typically last longer than a World class 10K metre race. Therefore, this should be reflected in the nature of our training. Once you are strong enough to do the job easily there is no benefit to being stronger. Remember you can never be too fit, but you can be too heavy or too light for your chosen rig. It is important that you choose that which you are best suited to and the 3 rigs are just one of the benefits of the Laser class.


ith regard to specific exercise: having worked with so many different athletes from different sports over the years I was at first amazed at the commonality of the exercises. Whilst at Loughborough University

we would have champion marathon runners doing the same exercises as the rugby team (admittedly with different weights, reps, sets and rest intervals). The same goes for sailors of different classes of boats, ages, and abilities. What works, works… When switching rigs, you may need to gain weight but this type of (hypertrophy) training should be considered a temporary thing as is perhaps (very relevant at the time of writing) losing a bit of weight (ideally by reducing body fat) to be competitive maybe after overindulging over Christmas! We see this in the transition from Optimist to Lasers where Asian countries dominate events like the Optimist Worlds and going back to my generation, I think the most wellknown is Ben Ainslie’s whose best result was I believe in the 30s at the Optimist Worlds. Then as soon as he was in the Laser class, he was right to the top of the fleet. So, performance


or sailors between races and perhaps even immediately after racing the key thing, in Northern Europe most of the year, is just to keep warm! A better time to stretch is as part of your active recovery: A light jog or cycle to remove lactic acid from the muscles after racing followed by a good stretch. The perfect time is at the end of any session (gym, cycle, run) where you finish exercising feeling hot!


at junior level is not a great determinate of end performance. You need to be the right size for the boat. Ben did not perform too well in the Oppy because he was too big, but he did very well in the Laser at Olympic level. For Masters sailors maybe the goal is the other way around to keep the weight down to an appropriate level.


f you look at sailors peaking for an event perhaps the best example was the 2008 Beijing Olympics


(expected light winds) and 2012 London Olympics (expected strong winds) the sailors who did best in both were those whose natural bodyweight was in the middle (so a small loss and small gain respectively needed).


ou do need to prioritise either weight training or aerobic at any one time. Therefore, periodisation training is so important, maybe 6-week training blocks. Otherwise, if you try and do

both at the same time – you wouldn’t get much progress in either! A minimum aerobic exercise (whilst doing weight training) at Olympic level would be 2 high intensity/ interval training to keep the volume low. (High intensity and low volume.) (If you are trying to gain weight, avoid those lovely long bike rides). A minimum weight session would be once a week, working the whole body. Fundamentally you must be the correct weight for your boat. •

Nutrition On and Off the Water By Jon Emmett


f training provides the heat, then we need fuel for our fire. The type of fuel will vary with demand. Easy to digest fuel is necessary when we are just starting training/building our fire or indeed when our energy levels are low. So immediately before, during and after sailing. Like the paper we use when we light the fire for the first time, or it is nearly out. To grow the fire, we need fuel which takes longer to digest and will ultimately make the fire bigger and stronger. These are the big logs, but we only add them when we have a nice little blaze going. Normally the main meal for “fuel” comes at the beginning of the day (lots of carbohydrates) and the main meal for nutrition comes at the end of the day (lean protein, vegetables etc.).


s with training types, exact choice of food and drinks can come down to personal preference. What I have given here are only examples that I have found work really well for me and I know are used extensively by top athletes. Remember the bottom line is if you dislike something you will stop using it sooner or later, so pick something you enjoy. You should always be intending to bring more food and drink [energy and hydration] than you think you might need on race day in case the day ends up being longer than expected which can and often does happen.


or those Masters sailors who maybe consume slightly fewer calories than the ever-active youths we need to be even more careful about the required nutrients because not only if we have less food, we have less supply but also our bodies tend to be less efficient at digesting them as well. Regardless of your age foods with high nutritional density are good and this is often

reflected in their bright colours, think sweet potato, broccoli etc and we want to be eating a “rainbow diet”. Besides just eating plain “white” food is pretty boring!

Top 2 Tips... For supplements Vitamin B12: Due to the way our food is now grown many people, even those who eat lots of food may have low levels of B12. This is a vitamin which is essential for good energy levels. It is also especially needed by vegans, which in many ways is a super healthy diet and with careful management contains everything you need but B12 is the easiest thing to miss out on. If you are trying to lose weight and on a lower calorie diet for your bodyweight then B12 is vital. Vitamin D: We are now quite used to taking vitamin C and Zinc when we get a cough or cold (although prevention is of course better than cure. So good to eat plenty of foods high in vitamin C and zinc year-round anyway. Personally, I really enjoy most fruit and so this has never been a problem for me. Vitamin D however is harder to obtain. I have found the easiest thing is to take an oral spray. Often, they are a nice minty flavour so double as a breath fresher and this has a much higher bioavailability and in my opinion is easier than and more pleasant than popping a pill. If you are trying hard it can lower your immune system, so Vitamin D is vital (especially over the winter when we have less exposure to sunshine).

Top 3 tips for Sports Products Hydration and energy supply go hand in hand. By getting the concentration perfect you can maximise both. The term isotonic (equal to your body fluids) is certainly much better known now than when I first started sailing. In 2021 it is absolutely possible to get products which are both nutritionally sound and taste great. Be careful to avoid so called “Halo” foods, foods which pretend to be much better than they are. Like Mars Hi-protein, if you want to get a high protein bar do get one (although I would suggest protein drinks are better because they are easier to use and have rapid absorption) rather than confectionery marketed to be something that it really isn’t. As we said earlier, we need a product we enjoy the taste of and this to me is something not too sweet with a neutral taste (so you can consume lots of it!). Perhaps most importantly kind on the tummy. I would recommend Maurten which forms a gel in your stomach (it contains pectin like they use to make jams) so you can consume a large amount without any discomfort. You may have heard of this as it was the product of choice for the record-breaking sub-2-hour marathon. Not only does this concentrate of carbohydrates get into your system sooner but it stays in your system longer, meaning better absorption (and less peeing!) www.maurten.com/products/unitedkingdom For recovery: After exercise we not only need carbohydrate, which is most easily metabolised into glycogen, which


is the fuel of your muscles but you also need protein for muscle repair. In fact, there is an optimum mix of protein to carbohydrate for recovery. I have worked with Science in Sport since my University days and I have found their Rego product as used by INEOS cycling team excellent. It has the bonus of being vegan so for those like myself who need to avoid lactose it is perfect (it is also wheat, gluten, and nut free): www.scienceinsport.com/sis-rapidrecovery-powder-1-6kg


f course, any food and water are better than nothing. Water itself will hydrate you but passes straight through your body much quicker, so has less adsorption. There is also the convenience of ready-made drinks like Lucozade. Do be careful with these high sugar drinks, they are not great friends with your teeth, so having a little bottle of water to rinse your mouth out will probably save you being told off by your dentist. For energy: Likewise, I can understand the desire for solid food. Although it is not as easy to digest as liquid. A good compromise I find in Gels which can easily be stored in your buoyancy aid. Again, it is important to choose a flavour you like, and I would recommend SIS (which are isotonic) but remember even a Mars bar is better than nothing!! www.scienceinsport.com/sis-go-isotonicenergy-gel-30-pack

Rest If training is heat and nutrition is fuel, then rest (and specifically recovery) is oxygen because it is not only fitness and nutrition but on our rest days our body rebuilds and becomes stronger. This rest is the oxygen for our fire and is just as important or perhaps more so than the heat and the fuel. Indeed, if you sit down quietly and take several deep “tummy breaths” it is a great way of telling our body to relax – as is splashing cold water on the face to help refocus. Our body is unlike a mechanical engine when if we asked a 30 HP machine to do 35 HP work overtime it would break. Our body can adapt, eventually becoming stronger, but it needs the rest time to do this or (like the machine) it could break … with illness and injury occurring. Remember we need this recovery time not only for our physical well-being but our mental well-being and our immune system. Think of it like a fire triangle: you need 3 elements: heat, fuel, and oxygen. Take away any of those elements (cool the fire with water, remove the fuel source or smother the fire with a blanket and of course the fire goes out). When planning, put those rest days in the calendar first and build the training diary around it. Not the other way round, and remember it is highly debatable whether 9 hours in a car or the day flying to an event can constitute a rest day.


rest day also doesn’t mean just lying on the sofa all day, although sometimes this can be more than tempting. Active recovery (doing extremely light activity for your current fitness level) leads to quicker recovery than passive recovery (doing nothing!) A good example is a light walk to purchase something, housework, boat work etc. jobs that need to get done but maybe you struggle to do on a sailing day. I also find when I am out and about sometimes it is easier to think clearly and find good solutions and you don’t want to be having those thoughts when you should be focused on your training / racing…. We need down time both physically and mentally (although of course too much downtime is not a good thing either). For top performance you must put the effort in. Muscle soreness 24 hours after (delayed onset muscle soreness – DOMS) is normal and indeed a good sign for long term improvement. Looking back over 20 years of working with Olympic teams the difference between sports science then and now is staggering. Even the average gym is far better equipped than it was in the 90s. Muscle soreness and pain are very different things, and you should be able to tell the difference on your rest days. The work of the muscles is to keep the joints (knees, back etc.) straight and supported. Pain is often described as a sharp feeling. Very different to the satisfying feeling of DOMS. Just a top tip, don’t do a very heavy glute (bottom) day just before you have a long flight (like from the UK to Japan) and have no choice but to do lots of sitting. Resting before your big Championships is key. The final tamper to make sure that you are physically and indeed mentally well rested before the regatta. Remember to look at the weather forecast because your preparation for a light week could be very different to a strong wind week and indeed your preparation for a 6-day Championship would be different to a 2 or even 1-day event. •



Old and New

by Max Hunt

50 Years of Incremental Innovation and Improvement Laser Number 1 at the Marine Museum in Kingston, Ontario - above


ack in the summer of 2015 when I was at the Masters Worlds in Kingston, Canada, I remember looking at Laser number 1, which is in the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes there. Apart from maybe the colour – the hull was a rather miserable brown, with contrasting cream topsides - you would be hard pressed to see the difference between it and an ILCA dinghy produced last week. Look a bit closer and there are differences, but they are subtle, designed to make sailing a little easier rather than completely changing what this great boat is all about. So what has changed over the years? Back then, the grab rails, tiller and foils 72

Photo wikki

‘...grab rails, tiller and foils were all wood’

were all wood. The grab rails changed to plastic, the tiller to aluminium and then, if you wanted, to carbon fibre. The foils have also evolved from the original wooden ones, first being produced in resin with steel reinforcement inside (which is why you see rust marks on some old foils), to the more recent fibreglass ones. Hulls, once available in a wide range of colours, I remember my yellow boat in the early 1980’, have ‘evolved’ into a range of whites and greys. A bit sad really, unless you are competing at major event when the last thing you want on the start line is a hull that stands out from those around you. Early boats also didn’t have a self-bailer,

“The basic concept of the boat that I fell in love with back in 1975 hasn’t changed!” – Tim Law UK National Champion 1975, 1978

New Ovington ILCA on show at the UKLA Nationals 2020 - above Photo Sam Pearce

just the recess into which the current one fits!


rom a rig perspective the original full rig sail design, apart from the sailcloth being made heavier at some point, remained unchanged for 45 years, until the MkII was released in 2016. There was more development in smaller rigs which started with the M rig. The M rig had a shorter top section, but as it used the normal lower mast the M rig was hard to depower. It was superseded in 1983 by the Radial rig, which used a normal top mast, but with a shorter and lighter lower section. Both the M rig and first Radial rigs used a metal cap at the top of the mast and a halyard to pull the sail up! The current

‘...Radial rigs used a metal cap at the top of the mast and a halyard to pull the sail up’

ILCA 6 (Radial) sail is the Mk6 version which was introduced in the early 2000s. Like the early hulls, sails were available in a range of ‘rainbow’ colours with different colours for each panel. To help the transition between Optimist and the Laser, the 4.7 rig was released in around 2000 and hasn’t changed since. Spars have in the past been ‘problematic’. Early masts and booms just weren’t strong enough. Even in the 2000s due in part to the amount of kicker being used, Radial bottom masts were bending and breaking. Top masts were bending, being straightened, bending again, breaking. Re-tooling some years ago resulted in a slightly heavier Radial lower mast that helped reduce the number of bent ones, but


Traveller Wear Protection pads help keep your deck pristine

An example of the best that could be done before the ‘XD’ rigging was introduced

breakages continued. A composite top section that became available in 2017 was an example of a much-needed improvement, probably introduced as a result of the larger forces imposed by the heavier MkII sail. A new composite lower section for the Radial became class-legal in September 2020. Booms had a strengthening sleeve fitted inside and the rather fearsome metal eye underneath the boom replaced with a fabric strap. The newer Harken boom/traveller blocks run much better than the original blue ones. One unintended consequence though was that the new traveller block is tougher than the deck. ILCA 74

introduced a rule amendment to allow the use of protective pads – that minor problem solved! As well as these visible changes, some are so small you may not notice them as they are minor improvements introduced by the approved builders. For example, the kicker attachment point on the lower mast has recently been strengthened.


rom the sailor's perspective, probably the most important and visible changes have been to the control line systems. The original boat had, by today's standards, primitive 3:1 kicker and 2:1 downhaul/outhaul systems. Adjusting the outhaul meant trying to reach the cleat on the top of

High Load kicker rope blocks run amazingly well, making it easier to pull the kicker on

the boom. Pulling the kicker on hard meant either cleating the mainsheet and pressing your feet against the mainsheet to squeeze the boom down whist at the same time pulling on the kicker line, or even more radical techniques…. “The old-style vang required a high degree of athleticism. Whilst rounding the bottom mark, I perfected the technique of leaping onto the boom with my back leg and simultaneously pushing down on the vang rope. I could get the vang on super hard doing that. ” – Jeff Loosemore Apprentice Master World Champion 1988 Rule changes were allowed to ‘fudge’

increases in purchase through the addition of rope or metal eyes, but the most significant change in terms of helping sailors was when what we call the ‘XD’ rigging was introduced. The old aluminium 3:1 kicker was replaced by a new 15:1 system. For the downhaul and outhaul a block and cleat base was added, allowing a dramatic improvement in the ease of using the system. Whilst the XD was a significant change, the way that it was implemented by using the same fixing holes for the new fittings, meant that the upgrade could be done simply and relatively cheaply. A great improvement to the ease of controlling the rig, introduced in a way that didn’t change the spirit of the boat.


Examples of Rigging Improvements

The ease of fitting XD rigging means that old boats can brought up to date. Let me share one example. In the summer of 2018, at a Southeast Sailboats rigging clinic, I had the privilege to upgrade what is believed to be the oldest Laser in the country. It’s still sailing and, with some of new control lines and blocks, it didn’t take much to bring it up to date! Recent developments in blocks and ropes make these XD systems work even better. A good example is the kicker where new ‘high load’ blocks are making the 15:1 kicker system run much better, making it easier for sailor to pull on maximum kicker. It is not just the boat that has evolved over the last 50 years. The racing was quite different in the early days. Long 2 hour races, sometimes with 200-250 76

boats in one race. After sailing activities seem to have been a bit different as well! So, 50 years of changes to the hull, spars, sails and rigging. In my mind, it is this slow, incremental change that helps maintain the health of the class. Things that needed improvement have been changed, but crucially our boat isn’t suddenly obsolete or outdated because of some radical new development. A 20year old boat will beat you in your brand new ILCA if sailed by someone better! As they say, it’s about the sailor not the boat. That is how it has been for the last 50 years, and how I feel it should be for the next 50! •

50 Years Books OLD and NEW - Why buy books? The last 50 years have seen phenomenal changes in technology allowing for advances in the way coaching can improve our racing. Photography, video, drones and tracking have now become accessible to all. But there is still a role for books. The best books communicate great wisdom and help us interpret the information we perceive and have recorded - being able to prioritise at any moment is crucial to making the best decision at that time and these books help that process. We all have our favourites, so here are some that I think are well worth a look. While the internet has made accessible used books some of these have become dated, while others are still as relevant as they were when first published. Fernhurst and the RYA are incredibly good at coming up with new publications and republishing the classics.

Immersive Reads Advanced Sailing Tactics by Stuart H Walker - 1976 - packed with wisdom and interesting stories that make powerful and informative points.

Winning in One-Designs by Dave Perry - 1984 - This is a must. Although not confined to Laser sailing it is full of great advice and insights. You can keep coming back to it and find things you missed. Sail, Race and Win by Eric Twiname - 1982 - Many people speak very highly of Eric and have their favourite books by him. This book is great for preparation both mental & physical.

Comprehensive Handbooks The Laser Handbook by Tim Davison - This has been up-dated and re-booted many times and is now the classic ILCA/Laser book covering every aspect of sailing the boat. Laser Handbook by Paul Goodison - incredibly practical and concise. Great photos and illustrations - needs updating as it doesn’t cover MkII sail and composite top sections - but written by a great Laser sailor. The Complete Introduction to Laser racing Edited by Ben Tan - First Published 2000. This has essays by Steve Cockerill, Michael Blackburn and many more. Fascinating.

Bite Size Guides Laser Campaign Manual by Ben Ainslie - the man's a genius, so say no more,

buy the book.

Wind Strategy by David Houghton & Fiona Campbell - this is very well illustrated and explains the wind brilliantly.

Tactics to Win by Nick Craig - NC has won many regattas in so many different classes that what he says about tactics is proven to be invaluable.

Coach Yourself to Win by Jon Emmett - Jon looks at helping you self critique constructively with lots of good advice.

Championship Laser Racing by Glenn Bourke and Laser Racing by Ed Baird could be thought to be old hat but their advice on sailing the boat is excellent.

Tactics and Strategy North U. Racing Tactics by Bill Gladstone - this is a great book buy it if you can - clearly-illustrated and very well-written its a must. North U The Smart Course by David Dellenbaugh Sailing - another collection of essays by the great and good - brilliant.

Think Fast sail Faster by Gavin Dagley - Alan Davis pointed this out and said it was very good - available as a kindle book in several parts. NEW 2020

Tactics by Mark Rushall, 3rd edition - RYA - One of the most useful, and making effective use of modern tech. Get it as an ebook and see great animations. It's a step up from the simple guides. NEW 2019 Fitness and Training by Michael Blackburn - terrible illustrations but simple and very unpretentious - real Aussie stuff. No photo left.



Chris Turner Interview curve, you must have bought one of the first injection moulded Toppers. CT. Yes I think it was . The youth squad, at that time, trained out of Lyme Regis so I used to tag along at the back trying to pick up some tips. Gradually I had become too big for the Topper and bought a 420. After about a year I had outgrown that as well and went straight into a Laser and by then, I was in the Youth Squad. I financed my Laser in the same way but this time my parents said they would match me pound for pound, which they later regretted. I spent the summer in the tourist Photo Sam Pearce business. I remember going up to Banbury to get my brand-new Laser (my first Managing Director of Ovington Laser was 132108) and of course Boats, Chris Turner, talks about at that time there were no Radials. why he has got into the business of We all used to have to race with building ILCA dinghies. Chris is an the old Bruce Banks weight jackets. accomplished crew and helmsman Which of course is why we all have in several other classes - Winner of broken backs. I don’t think any of the International Flying 15 Worlds 4 us did much gym work so we really times (crew), winner of the Scorpion weren’t strong enough to cope with Nationals twice (helm), winner two to three Litres of water on our Albacore Internationals Worlds shoulders. (helm). Guy. Okay before we move onto your role as the builder maybe we can just take a quick look at Chris Turner, who is he? Where did you grow up? CT. I grew up in Lyme Regis - Dad was a motorcycle works rider, he was keen to get me into riding trials bikes but actually I never really enjoyed it. By the time I was about ten I used to go and see my grandmother after school (my grandfather was a trawler man) who lived at the Harbour in Lyme Regis - close to the sailing club. Gradually I started going sailing at the local sailing club. I started sailing Mirrors but pretty soon I wanted my own boat. When I was eleven I worked all summer in a chip shop and just about had enough money to buy an old Topper. G. Chris, you were ahead of the


There were quite a few Laser fleets locally and I found that I could round up five or six people who wanted new boats - I’d go to the builders and get a discount for buying six and that would help finance my new boat. G. Do you remember any of the names of the people who were in the Youth Squad with you? CT. Yeah, Gary Steel, Lee Whitehead, Gareth Greenfield, Simon Pascoe, a couple of Welsh boys. The guys we all looked up to were Tim Powell, Jon Lasenby oh and Simon Cole who were a few years ahead of us, but the guys to beat. We had some fun times back then. We got up to all sorts of tricks when we were young. I remember one time when we were at some big event off Weymouth beach - one

of the guys was being a bit of a dick head, we’d had a few beers and decided to bury his foils in the sand. Of course the next morning we hadn’t a clue where we buried them - the poor guy was going nuts digging all round his boat looking for them. I’m still mates with him even to this day, but now I have confessed he may think differently! G. Did you go to university? CT. No, I didn’t. When I entered secondary school I was top of the class in most subjects, but by the time I left I was pretty much at the bottom. I spent all my time drawing boats in my exercise books and sailing. On Wednesdays I used to bunk off from PE and go straight down to the sailing club. My PE teacher called me one day and told me that he knew what I was doing but said just don’t get caught. Strangely he now lives a few doors down from me and even weirder actually sails a Laser. I’ve always had a Laser since. Back then we had thirty racing at Beer and a decent fleet at Lyme Regis and Sidmouth Sailing Clubs. Interest has gone up and down, but things have changed recently - here in Lyme Regis the winter used to be dead because so many people had second homes but didn’t visit them in the winter. Now with this new situation a lot of people are spending more time down here so there is a big influence by the city folk. They roll up in the big four by fours, drop their kids off to do their Opi sailing and use the club a little bit like a babysitting service. But it’s great because it gets the kids sailing and that’s the main thing. We can’t really cope with all the kids that want to do the Opi sailing - we just don’t have the coaches to cope with the number of kids. Once they’ve done the training they kind of disappear and maybe they’re just not interested in continuing or the parents aren’t keen on doing the follow-ups. G. It’s funny these things go in cycles, when I was about 15 or 16 it was the introduction of the windsurfer that hit the sailing clubs

t B0a ton

19th International Flying Fifteen World Championships – Day 1. Graham Vials and Chris Turner

CT. Yes, now it’s kite boarding and foiling and they can just throw the stuff in the back of the car and they’re off. Through lockdown I’ve got contacts in various areas, the supplier of paddle boards has run out they literally sold out all the paddle boards which is extraordinary. G. I can’t get any gym equipment during lockdown but I did end up buying my son a punch bag CT. Yeah I’ve been doing some amateur boxing training having taken it up a year ago. G. Good way to keep fit - But let’s talk about Ovington … CT. Ovington boats was founded by Dave Ovington back in 1975. He started by building Enterprises and moved on to build International 14s and one or two other classes. Dave’s father had a joinery business so he had access to workshops - one

of which we’ve just moved out of after all these years. The sheds were actually used in the war to house prisoners of war. All this was in Tynemouth.

Dave was a bit like me; he built boats initially because he wanted to go sailing and that was the way you did it back then. I was down in Lyme Regis and I had a very good design for an international 14 from Paul Bieker, an American designer (who went on to be part of the design team that did the Oracle BMW America’s Cup boat) but Dave had a better building set up and not such a good design so we teamed up and that’s essentially where it all began.

within the Laser/ ILCA class might have been a bit too quick for some people and the name change is difficult to swallow. Of course I’ve known that some things have been changing for a while so it doesn’t seem that quick to me. I completely understand why the name had to change which is sad really.


hard. It was much more sexy to drive down to the beach with a windsurfer and a girl on your arm and just muck about on the beach.

Photo RHKYC Guy Nowell

I would end up going up to Tynemouth making the moulds for some of these boats. Gradually things just evolved from there.

As I said, I’ve always had a Laser It’s a boat I can launch and just go out for a burn when it’s blowing. If it breaks I can just sail it back jury rigged no problem - it’s one of those boats that you can just do that with, Lyme Regis in a South Westerly with swell is very hard to beat! G. What made you think there was an option to start building ILCAs ?

G. One of the things that I would like to talk to you about is the construction of the Laser or as we should call it the ILCA. But that’s another issue …

CT. About ten or eleven years ago we were asked to put together a business plan to build the Laser by a New Zealand Company. I flew down there to meet with them which is fairly easy for me as my parents and my brother were living there at the time.

CT. It has been an issue for some… I think perhaps the pace of change

G. When did the process really get going?


CT. About a year ago we put in a bid when the ILCA advertised they were looking for builders and we got our first set the moulds in March just before lockdown. G. Are all the moulds made in the same place? CT. Yes, in fact they’re all made on the Isle of Wight and are shipped all over the world by an experienced Laser/ ILCA mould builder, in fact he supplied the moulds for PSJ that have built the boats for the now 2021 Olympics.

to the build manual over the years. However we haven’t seen the older manuals so don’t know to what degree they may have been changed. Before we went into our technical approval process with ILCA I did quite a lot of research on LP boats PSA boats etc. - there were rumours of different transom angles and mast angles and I measured everything with a digital protractor and you couldn’t call it, I couldn’t find any significant difference. G. How does this square with the fact that the tillers seem to be higher on the Aussie boats?

remember, it just makes it easier to produce across the range of boats. G. You got any plans to produce boats that are different colours? CT. No, not at the moment. This becomes a bit more of a task than just changing a colour. As we are logging every little change of temperature and materials. There is an enormous amount of detail and data we are collecting. There are large spec spreadsheets that we submit to ILCA technical department as well as additional data for our own use. So the idea of changing any

Photo Chris Turner

G. Are the moulds that produced my boat in 1975, identical to the mould used to make a boat by Ovington? CT. Identical? Difficult to say but as far as I know, yes - they made a couple of minor adjustments, one of which is the thickness of the gunwale. Because most trolleys and trailers use a gunwale-hung system, which puts a lot of stress on a very specific point along the gunwale, the old join made that point a bit vulnerable. Decks and hulls were parting. So they simply adjusted the gunwale to make the bond a little bit thicker. G. Have you taken an old Laser apart to see exactly how it was made? Is there a difference? CT. I have! Very small, you can peel layer by layer of the fibreglass off but I couldn’t see any difference but I’m sure there have been improvements


CT. I’ve absolutely no idea it could be the rudder stocks but it’s so difficult to tell the tolerances are so small though. G. How many ILCAs do you make a week? CT. We make about 10 a week, we have 4 sets of moulds…… but we’re going to be building a bigger factory next spring to the side of our existing one so capacity can grow. G. Also in terms of the colour I’ve noticed that the new PSA boats have a slightly purple tinge and the LP boats ice blue but the Ovington boat is slightly yellowish - what’s going on there? CT. This is Ovington white - all our boats are exactly the same white and as you know there are thousands of whites and this is the one we’ve been using for as long as I can

of these mixed colours would involve too much work for now. For instance greens, yellows and reds are difficult, you have to use more gel-coat to get the opacity right and of course if you use more gel-coat it changes the weight - which means you’d have to loose it somewhere else… a nightmare. G. The fibreglass that we are using now, the resins and all the materials… are they the same as they were 30 years ago? CT. I am sure they’ve changed a little bit as we become more environmentally conscious, that is dictated by legislation and the suppliers. The build manual says there is only a limited number of resins you can use and I don’t think this has changed. The chopped strand mat can be sourced from many different suppliers but the specification in the manual dictates that they are pretty much the same

CT. Yes, I’ve heard this and have visited their factory. The problem with Australia’s climate is they have huge temperature fluctuations during 24 hours. Humidity is also a

TOP TIP G. So if you’re buying a second hand boat how can you tell if the hull is in pretty good shape - are there any tests you can do? CT. Turn the boat upside down and push along where the chine would be - that’s the max curve in the hull. Also about a foot either side of

2nd Place - Chris Turner and Alex Haymen in the 2017 Scorpion Nationals 2017

G. So what happens to the fibreglass over time? CT. It degrades, just think of a piece of metal bending back and forth, it gets softer and softer over time. The boats however last a long while; it takes a considerable time for a Laser to be uncompetitive. Some of my better boats have been older Lasers, I had a glamour pink one I used for one qualifier! G. Do you ever use an undercover in the dinghy park? CT. No, definitely not. Not for any length of time certainly! You want


G. In the Ben Ainslie Handbook he mentions that the rake should be 3.759m - I think that’s really raked aft. My mast rake on my PSA boat is 3.815. CT. Rake tolerance on the Ovington boats is 3,815 +/- 2mm G. I had no idea, and probably neither has the average club sailor, just how carefully controlled all these build parameters are. Of course in order to keep this boat a carefully controlled one design

Photo Amy Forbes

the centreline of the boat just run your hand down pushing hard and if you can push and there’s a lot of movement then that’s not good.

it’s necessary that these specs are enforced throughout the world. I know that there are a few people who have been unhappy with the transition from essentially what was a monopoly to multiple builders, but in the long term it seems a much more egalitarian and sensible arrangement.


factor that you get in more tropical environments. What you need is consistency in line with the technical data supplied with the resin. The closer you can control your cure rate to the technical data sheet supplied by the manufacturer the better the job will be.

that the rake was spot on.


G. I bought a PSA boat from Australia and one of the things I heard was that the ambient temperature of the factories in Australia was higher which sped up the curing process of the fibreglass that, in turn made the boats a little stiffer. Is this something that you’ve heard?

to keep the moisture away from the boat as much as possible because gel coat is microscopically porous, this is how osmosis can occur - get a good quality breathable cover, something that dries out, let it breath, think of it as a living thing!


within a small tolerance.

G. From what I understand the mast rake on the Laser has been an issue for years. I’ve seen a video from LP of the making of the Laser and in one bit there’s an interesting jig set up to set the mast rake. How have you approached the tolerance issue? CT. As it happens in the building manual there is a picture of this jig set up. One of the issues we had was dialling in the rake, making sure that it was the same for each boat. In the manual it’s an ILCA7 lower section that provides the mast and then there’s a frame that goes all the way round the boat – It has got little stoppers that go on the gunwale - all the way round in the same place every single time. We fitted a laser measure to level the jig to make sure

CT. Well, yes. Some people like to have the most up to date sail number but as we all know after a few weekends sailing you forget all that and no-one cares, just go sailing, this is as close to one design as you will ever get. G. 218,000 boats! Well, thanks Chris this has been fascinating. I for one am reassured that Ovington Boats will look after the one design gem of a boat •



Max Hunt Interview

Many of the Laser sailing community will be familiar with Southeast Sailboat’s beautifully designed and manufactured rigging. Max Hunt is the man behind the brand which he started in 2014. Max is a keen competitor in the Masters Radial Fleet and is often seen helping his fellow competitors in the dinghy park. the world of work? M. Yes, I went to work in aerospace for 35 years. For the first 20 years, I designed electronic systems for aircraft and I that’s what I love doing - innovating and coming up with elegant designs. Then the inevitable movement into management that sadly takes you away from designing. G. Military aircraft? Any stand-out things that we would have heard of?

Photo Sam Pearce

Guy. Welcome Max, so were you always at Whitstable? Max. No, I started at Minnis Bay SC (a beach club between Margate and Whitstable on the North Kent coast) from about 1968 until 1975, sailing Mirrors. In fact I had several - my father made the first one when I was 11. After that I sailed a Fireball - which was a big jump. I think the only similarity was it was made of plywood and had a blunt end. I always wanted to have a National 12 because I love the look of them, they just look beautiful but sadly they weren’t sailed at Minnis Bay. I bought my first Laser in about 1977 and moved to Broadstairs SC. In those days you wore a very thick, heavy woolly sweater as a sort of weight jacket! By the late 70s I started drifting away from sailing because I went to Polytechnic, now the University of Hertfordshire in 1976. Then, like a lot of people life got in the way and I stopped sailing for 20 years. G. So what did you study there? M. Electronics. I was still coming back down to Broadstairs to sail at weekends. But it was a start of the slow movement away from sailing. G. So after Uni did you go straight into


M. Oh yes – In 1988 I started working on the prototype Advanced Combat Aircraft which later became the Eurofighter which we call the Typhoon in the UK. Eurofighter was a joint venture with Germany, Italy and Spain. As a result of that, I spent the best part of 15 years flying around Europe. So much of business is actually down to building personal relationships. G. So then you had a family - the usual shebang. But you didn’t sail ? M. No. Not really - I ended up in Milton Keynes for many years, completely landlocked. But I remember sailing on what is called Willen Lake in about 1982 and at that time - it was largely weed. I then made a big mistake selling my Laser to get a windsurfer. I think it was more to do with the fact that trying to sail a Laser through a tonne of weed was never easy. Many years later my sister Sally, who has been a Whitstable member for a long time took me out on her Dart 16. I remember coming in afterwards and it absolutely dawning on me how much I had missed sailing. I was living in Sussex at the time, closer to the coast, and, having decided to get back into sailing, it was a bit of a debate as to where to actually go. I chose Whitstable because my sister was there and there was also a decent Laser fleet. This was about 2003. I remember going to pick the Laser up. Although it was three years old it was like new having only been sailed two or three times - 168950. A millennium edition boat, it was beautiful. Apart from the fact it was black. It stuck out like a sore thumb on the start line and later when I started going to events Ken Falcon took great pleasure in telling me so!

G. So how was the Whitstable Laser fleet at that time? M. Pretty good, we’d get about 15 Lasers out on a Saturday and Sunday racing, not dissimilar to today although we have a few more now as the fleet at Whitstable is very keen. G.…And started racing. M. I remember it vividly. I was mid-40’s, unfit and a lot heavier then, so sailed a standard rig. I think for my own personal health and well-being getting back into the Laser was one of the best things I’ve ever done, as I had to get fit! G. So how did you get on in your first few races? M. Not very well. I didn’t have to relearn how to sail, but in terms of racing, and fitness it was a steep learning curve. But interestingly one of the sailors from Whitstable, Nick Stephens, had gone to the Masters Worlds in Cadiz in 2003. I remember him saying to me “Max, why don’t you come to Roses in Spain and do the Masters Worlds”? This was in 2007. It never dawned on me to go to an event outside the UK let alone a world championships. I think the reason I went was because it was in Spain which I loved, having worked there for many years. It was my first Masters event and not wanting to struggle with the full rig I remember getting the radial rig just a week before I actually went. G. How was that experience of doing your first Masters abroad in a Radial? M. I really enjoyed it. It was a great event. It was one of the biggest events of that time with over 400 boats. I expected to be right at the bottom of the fleet but wasn’t so that was a boost. G. Here, I have the results… Max Hunt. 21st out of 44. That’s pretty good. M. I remember meeting Leslie Hotchin there and Steve Cockerill and also someone called Rob Cage who seemed a bit of a hotshot. That was my first ever event. It was certainly the first time I’d used a Radial sail. Rob Cage came

4th at the Europeans! G. When did you start to look more closely at the rigging on the Laser? Do you remember thinking you could improve some of these things? M. I was sitting on the harbour wall at Whitstable and one of my fellow sailors was sitting beside me splicing up some ropes. I’d never seen anybody splicing before and was really interested, so he showed me some basic splices. I didn’t think anything more about it, but a few months later, I started splicing up ropes just for myself. And then I saw something interesting on a boat at a Masters event at Highcliffe, and I thought I’d make myself one of those - it was it was a quick release outhaul where a large loop goes over the end of the boom. I had it on my boat when we had the Masters Worlds at Hyeres in 2014 and a few people saw this thing on my boat and said that it looked good. I made another one and put it on eBay. And what do you know, that was the start of the whole venture. Gradually it’s grown


M. Yes I developed the 8:1 downhaul in 2016 - it came about because of some conversations I had with the guys at the International Sailing Academy in Mexico. It was allowed under class rules - I think you can actually use a 10:1! That 8:1 downhaul system is probably one of my signature products and certainly one of the most popular.

Virtually everything on the Laser is an iteration of what someone else has done before. There are very few actual inventions per se, but what I like to think I


G. Wow. So before we get on to the rise of your empire. That little moment, appealing to your practical side, was obviously important. But then the Laser is not a boat you necessarily think there is a huge scope for improvements on. Class rules are, rightly often a little bit behind the game.

the downhaul need beefing up ….


But one of the great things about Masters sailing for me is meeting so many people - you form great friendships. I think my masters sailing may have peaked a few years ago as it seems to be getting more and more competitive, but the drive is still there. I did manage a win at the Europeans in Sweden in 2013 and in 2015 at the Belgium and Spanish Masters. Since then I seem to end up a very frustrating

from that first listing in December 2014 to the Southeast Sailboats website that was launched about 3 years ago and what is now a pretty thriving business. We have now shipped to over 40 countries across the world and counting.

M. Yes, but I think if you look at more complicated boats, splicing was probably pretty much standard. You know, Merlins and Moths, boats like that. A lot of the owners learn how to splice because there are lots and lots of control lines.

Because Lasers are simple I think people thought well everything is simply tied on. As a result there were an awful lot of messy Lasers out there. I just slowly try to find more bits on the boat to improve. I went from the quick release outhaul to a neat clew block with a toggle to attach it, and then gradually built up all the control line systems. Initially just using what I would call the default type of ropes that came with a Laser, but then moving on to use better and better ropes and understanding which are the best for each system.

do is innovate and come up with elegant, reliable, efficient systems. G. So it was outhaul then downhaul. But then the kicker? M. I think I’ve done two or three things on the kicker that have been important. I remember Micky Beckett, sending me a bag of bent and broken kicker keys. Because the Mk2 sail had increased strain on the rig, the keys were not surviving. I went to a couple of manufacturers and said, What can you do to improve these? Harken were the first to respond to my requests and strengthened up the top of the kicker key. Although it wasn’t exclusive to me because it was being made by Harken, I was the first to release it. The next thing on the kicker that I am quite proud about is the high load top block. I asked Allen to do a special version of their high load block with the key built in.


second! Then John Reay was fourth and several other Brits - not a bad showing. When I got back home, I looked at my new radial bottom section and it was so bent it looked more like a 4.7 mast.

G. And then what did you pick up next? M. Next was the 8:1 downhaul.

G. With the Standard Mk2 sail being made from a thicker cloth

G. Yes, I remember you at Broadstairs. Actually, you were just trying it out. It was so expensive that you took it off your boat


©samuel hodges

between races and carried it with you to the club. I remember laughing, thinking well what idiot would pay that amount of money for a block. And three weeks later, this idiot bought one! It’s amazing what people will do to get a bit more out of the boat. M. Joking aside - one of the things I like doing is helping people. I get lots of emails from people all around the world with questions about rigging - it’s one of the things I actually love about my business. Not necessarily talking to people face-toface, but over email about how they can improve this or that – questions like “I’ve just bought a secondhand Laser - what do I need to do?” It’s time-consuming, answering emails in a personal way with detailed answers, but I get a lot of satisfaction from doing that. In April I added a review section to the website, and the reviews and feedback from customers is just fantastic. G. Do you ever go to clubs to do clinics on how to improve the gear on your boat - piece by piece, and just explain the advantages of getting good kit? M. Yes. The last one I did was at one of the clubs on the Thames. Each sailor rigged their boat up, and I’d have a look at it, go over all the systems and make sensible recommendations based on what level the sailor was sailing at. Some of those people are still contacting me when they want upgrades. It’s something I would love to do more of, but trying to fit it in during the sailing season is very difficult. G. Do you think all your


refinements gives you that much advantage? M. What I say to people is that the Laser is a simple boat but can be hard to sail unless you have your rig under control. You need to match the power in the rig to the wind and wave conditions and your ability to keep the boat flat. To do that, you need to have effective systems. If you’ve got really thick rope, or not got the right amount of purchase, poor blocks etc. you’re just making your life harder than it needs to be, probably going slow and also expending valuable energy trying in vain to control your rig when you should be using energy hiking and steering. G. Has doing the Masters circuit been the most effective way to promote your brand? M. I think when people see my rigging, they understand how well it works as well as how good it looks, and it spreads through word of mouth. Absolutely, not just in the UK but also all over the world. G. So how did these people hear of you? M. I think it’s a combination of Google searches, Facebook and Instagram and word of mouth. G. Sponsoring some of the Team GBR sailors, like Micky Beckett and Matilda Nicholls, plus of course Jon Emmett, how do they help? M. They help me immensely, and all in their own different ways, as some people are a wizard at social media and others really good technically. For example, Micky is fantastic at saying,

Max, can you find a better way of doing this? The outhaul double puller elastic for example - another Southeast Sailboats signature solution - came from a discussion with Micky. He also has a great analytical approach and his feedback on testing systems and rope is precise and detailed. Matilda in the Radial, but with a background in the 4.7, has helped immensely in optimising those systems. Jon, as we all know, is the social media wizard and has done some great videos for me. G. So what’s your feeling about the Olympic status of the ILCA? M. Like a lot of people I’m worried that the sport is pandering to the interests of television and what media thinks is exciting rather than good racing. Like the America’s Cup, going from yachts to foiling catamarans and foiling monohulls. I’m not convinced it’s making it better to watch. I think, if taken too far, it would alienate club sailors who wouldn’t be able to afford a foiling boat. Plus you need ideal conditions to sail them. If I look at Whitstable, how many times does a Moth go out ? It is few and far between whereas the Lasers are out sailing in all conditions. I’m worried that too much has been and will be dictated by what the media wants rather than what the actual sailors want. So many of the really successful sailors of today have cut their teeth racing Lasers and I hope that it will continue for many years to come. G. Thanks Max. This has been a really great chat and I hope to see you very soon on the water. •


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Ian Aldridge Interview

Photo Ian Aldridge

Guy. Hello Ian, Minorca Sailing have been a great supporter of UKLA over the last few years, for which we are very grateful, so I think our members might like to know more about you guys. What is your role in the company?

to work out there. After two weeks, they wanted me to stay on to the end of the season, which I did. And that was it.

for this. And so yeah, during the summer months we’ve got children, teenagers and adults out there being taught at different levels.

Guy. This was 1999 - how many Lasers did you have in there?

Ian. I've been working with the company for 20 years. I started as a sailing instructor at the sailing school in Menorca. After a couple of seasons I began working for the UK side of the business. This involved preparations for the coming season such as new kits and new instructors. I also got involved with selling our holidays but remained an active member of the instructing team while the centre was open in the summer.

Ian. The Laser has always been the main fleet out in Menorca, and we had 70 Lasers then. There were 70 advertised but we did have more. If I remember correctly in one half-term week in 2000 we had 75 out sailing. Because you know, people are so keen on sailing the boat. It was incredible.

Guy. That sounds great. What about the Masters? Alan Davis is one of your fans. He was very impressed by the quality of training.

Ian. Great job. After university, about 1999 I got a call from a friend who was working out there. They needed some more staff and I had a brief telephone interview with a chap who was managing at the time and they took me on for two weeks. I was a bit reluctant to do it initially because I was so keen on my racing here in the UK - I was sailing a Laser II at the time. You know, I wanted to keep pursuing that racing. So I went out there a little bit reluctantly. And yeah, really, really enjoyed it. It was just such a wonderful place. I couldn't believe I was being paid

Guy. So what about the support teams, whether they're parents or wives - how are you set up for them?


Guy. So, nice job as an instructor in the Med – how did that job come about?

Guy. What kind of people were you getting out there - experienced sailors or beginners? And has that changed?

Ian. We often have Masters sailors come out, many come year after year - Chris E. Ashley D. Alan and many others. We teach an advanced level as well. We are always seeking instructors who have got racing experience with good results backgrounds.

Ian. We've always wanted different levels. You know, basic, intermediate, advanced, and that's for the adults. But then we also have groups for teenagers and children. Back then we would only really encourage teenagers and adults to sail Lasers. That's changed. As the beginners get more confident they move into the Laser so it's gradual. Our refresher group, which is people who've done a little bit of sailing, they would progress into a Laser as the week goes on. But over the years, we've actually introduced Laser sailing to a lot more children aged between the ages of 10 and 12. The 4.7 is ideal

Ian. Often they will get involved as well. You know, it's not just one person. We cater for non-sailors, but to be honest, even people who come out as someone who's not necessarily interested in the sailing get drawn into it – and end up having a great time – The water is warm, the breeze is kind, you know, it's easy launching. Yeah, we do a lot of rigging for the client. So yeah, they're not expected to have to get their boats ready. So it's quite an attractive place for somebody who's not that keen to actually get into it Guy. Sounds great. And then so is it a hotel and sailing school?


Photo Ian Aldridge

Ian. It's not a hotel. It’s a proper sailing school on the beach with all the facilities; changing rooms, outside classrooms, boats and all the equipment. We are on the beach front of a small village called Ses Salines. Within the village, you get different styles of accommodation. There are villas, apartments, and a hotel for clients to stay in. Most people go for self-catering villas, or self-catering apartments - most have swimming pools. They're well equipped with all facilities and air conditioning and stuff like that. So you know, it's a very comfortable place to come on holiday.

Ian. I sailed at Lancing SC. There was a big Laser fleet there but initially I sailed Toppers as a junior. I then progressed into a Laser and Laser II. I'm not particularly tall, which is why I sail a Radial now.

Ian. May to October, so six months. It's dictated by the charter flights to be honest. You fly in to the main airport. And then it’s a 25 minutes transfer to the Village.

About five or six years ago, when my children got to school age, we relocated back to the UK. I thought, well, now's my opportunity to get back into racing. So I brought one of the Lasers back and re-joined Lancing. A master and member, Jimmy Carter persuaded me to do the Masters Nationals at Pevensey Bay SC. I never thought about it. Because I didn't consider myself a Master! I thought I'd give it a go. It was fantastic. I mean, there was a great, great bunch of people, the racing was good, really competitive. And I was hooked, to be honest. So I decided that I just try and do as many Masters events as possible.

Guy. Prior to you going to Minorca what was your sailing experience?

Guy. You also had a crack at the Open Nationals at Weymouth.

Guy. Are you open all year?

86 Photo Ian Aldridge

Ian. I did, we were in Devon at the time so we weren't far from Weymouth. I must admit it was tough. Guy. What about COVID - how's it affecting the Holiday business? Ian. We did manage to open last year. We opened up at the beginning of July. And we were running for about three or four weeks. And then the government introduced the quarantine regulations for people coming back into the UK. So any bookings we had dropped out. But yeah, looking at it this year it's all systems go and we are very positive about opening for the summer. Menorca is expected to vaccinate all their adult population by the summer- that's their aim - but who knows what's around the corner? Guy. Well thanks Ian – I look forward to seeing you at the next Masters event this summer. •




Duncan Hepplewhite Interview Duncan and Emma Hepplewhite are the two terrific people behind the company Sailingfast. Although based in Scotland, Duncan can be seen at many events on the Laser /ILCA circuit where he sets up his mobile chandlery store that sells everything you could possibly need. Duncan chats with Guy about his coaching and setting up the company. the country.

G. You never did the Opi thing?

Duncan. Hi Guy. Yes, of course. I was born and went to school in Edinburgh. But we lived just north of the city, which is where Mum and Dad still live. Although we were in Fife, which is East Coast just north of Edinburgh, our home club was Loch Lomond - It’s about an hour’s drive and just north of Glasgow. Mum and Dad sailed so we all sailed together. When we were nippers we sailed an Achilles 24 and a Squib. But then as my brothers and I got a little bit older we moved to a Mirror - we would play around in that. G. Did your Dad build it? D. I think he did. Yeah, I think it was built in the sailing club, I don’t know for sure if he built ours but he certainly built several for other members of the family. So he definitely played that game. Then after Mirrors my two brothers and I moved into Toppers doing events around

D. Yes. I went to university in Glasgow. I wanted to do outdoor sports, instructing in lots of different sports, but didn’t end up doing that. I did a degree in leisure management covering Law, HR and economics. When I graduated in 2002 I applied for different jobs, but nothing took off so I decided to coach sailing for the summer and realised I could make it into a job - I was selling equipment as well as coaching. And that’s where it all started.


Guy. Hello Duncan, thanks for doing this interview. Before we start talking about SailingFast could you just give us a little bit of background? Are you a native Scottish fella?

G. That takes up to 1999/2000 - I guess you were then off to Uni?

Once I got helming the 420 I started to race seriously but never really did much international stuff. Because of where we were living we didn’t really need to travel as the competition locally was properly fierce. There were so many very good sailors - A bit older than me was Chris Draper, he won the youths that year, the year after it was Graham Viles - and there was the likes of Libby Greenhalgh and many others.

G. So how do you know Lorenzo Chavarini ? D. He was sailing a Topper as I was taking a break from my Topper coaching - I still coach the Scottish squad but at the time I took three years out to coach the Laser squad. But I was supplying him with kit, which was how we first met. Then he moved into Lasers, so coached him a little bit then, but he spent most of the time with the GBR Youth Squad occasionally joining in with the Scottish Squad. G. Sounds like you’re underplaying your coaching.


Photo Sam Pearce

D. No. There were 20/30 Toppers at the club. So the Topper fleet was where the fun racing was. But really I’ve always been a bit small. I was even too small for the Topper - I’m probably about the right weight for it now. As soon as I could I went into 420s which was when I started the youth programme. I didn’t sail the Laser as I was too small for that reason - don’t forget the Radial rig wasn’t really established. But the Scottish youth programme was great…I came through with many really good sailors - Peter Walker - he won the youth worlds around 1997 in Japan.

as well. We straightened the mast and finished the event.

I finished 420s in 1998 dabbled in the 470 for a year 18 months…. Not a great success in the 470 - I think we were fundamentally last. I remember doing the 470 trials in 2000 at Weymouth. We had a few issues, it was howling all week. In the first race at the gybe mark we broke the mast. So we were out for 3 races. We had a spare but a couple of days later there was a massive storm that blew over. Everybody went down to the boat park the next day. Virtually all the boats were capsized. A couple of boats were actually blown down the ramp and were found the other side of the harbour. I mean, it was it was bad - just brutal. Because the boat had been laying on its side all night we bent that mast

D. Well we’ve had some very good people come through the youth system and I enjoy it. It keeps me in touch with the sailors and I can see what kind of kit they need, what sort of thing is useful to them - you know that sort of thing. And I’m still doing it. But I have stopped coaching the Lasers because I have a young family now and want to spend some of my weekends with them. G. So before we leave your coaching, what was the one thing that you were always coming back to when you were coaching the Lasers? D. Oh that’s easy and it is just as relevant


today as it was back then and that is keeping the boat flat - it’s probably the most important thing above everything else. G. I think for a lot of master sailors it’s their inflexibility that is their undoing. It’s not that they don’t know what to do. It’s just their anticipation and inflexibility at

five grand which enabled me to buy a laptop, a mobile phone and a car. Basically I ran things from a bedroom in my parents' house. By 2003 I was doing quite a lot with the established Laser dealer in Scotland. He stopped in 2004 so I took over.

time looking after their 29er and 49er program and helping them establish their European dealer network. By 2016 I really needed to be here helping Emma, so I came back. Over the years we’ve had various people working for us, but now, rather than full time staff, we employ specialists to do specific jobs.

G. So your business is starting to

G. Do you have a big warehouse

Duncan Hepplewhite in his Topper

those critical moments is just a bit too slow - maybe that’s just me. D. You are right. It’s the timing, it’s the bravery, to be able to choose to let the boat heel, whether it be in your downturn, or upturn. Having the bravery to go with it. But also the confidence to know that you can flatten the boat out and recover. That’s the bit I think, not just Masters but all those transitioning into Lasers can have trouble with. But of course it’s time on the water - some of the guys will spend every single day on the water sailing during the summers! G. Around this time then presumably you set up SailingFast? D. I started the business in 2002. I then applied to the Prince’s Trust and got a loan from them, a low interest loan for


take off, then you meet Emma? Or had that happened sometime before? D. It was 2003 when I went down to Southampton boat show to meet some of the guys from Harken and some of the other companies. I have an old friend who was working at the time for Dufour Yachts so I went over to his stand to chat. He was busy and Emma was there so I just started talking to her. We hit it off so I handed her my business card and a few days later she texted me… the rest as they say is history! G. You have connections with Ovington Boats as well - how ? D. After a while Emma came and worked with me at SailingFast but then about 2013/2014 I went to work at Ovington Boats for 18 month to 2 years full-

and shop and where is it? D. Originally we were based in Fife, Scotland. In 2007 we moved to our current premises near Linlithgow which is about 20 minutes west of Edinburgh. Yes, we have a few decent sized spaces as offices and stores. Our main business is online, but we do have a shop. So people do come by and pick stuff up. But 99% is online. It is a difficult figure to calculate as we do travel and attend and support events. Attending these events is a great way to get to know our customers and that makes a huge difference. G. And what does the future hold? D. Yeah, it’s quite interesting. We’ve actually been working with a manufacturer to develop a toe strap. We’ve been working with him for two years now, partly on the WASZP side of

s gFa

Photo Marc Turner 2014

D. We’ve sold quite a few… they are a Polish company and have a great grip but very hard wearing - Alison Young has one. G. What is your biggest selling item, sails? D. Sails are an interesting one, because the branding has changed from the starburst to the ILCA logo people are thinking they need to have one of the new sails. The new ILCA6 carbon/ composite bottom section - I wouldn’t say that’s selling like hotcakes. It’s quite a high-value item, but there’s a lot of interest in it. I think it’s probably one of those items people will buy when they need to replace the old one. It’s made by CST, which is exactly the same manufacturer as the top section. So the two are pretty identical. G. Anything new coming out we should know about? D. The ILCA6 bottom section took about 10 years to develop and I have seen an ILCA7 composite bottom section but … hmm 10 years ?! And I’ve heard talk


G. Ha ha ha ! Virus hiking straps!

yourself and a whole crowd of Masters and several of the top guys eating pasta, chatting and laughing while still in your wetsuits...

about a composite boom but again these things take an incredibly long time to come to market.

G. Most people seem pretty happy with the improvements but there will always be a few that don’t want any change ever.

G. Oh yes that was at The Nationals in Weymouth. D. Yes - I thought that was just brilliant because that’s what this is about; people having fun and enjoying themselves, whether pro or beginner, and if you’re not having fun then what’s the point.

D. The composite top section, that’s been a success - the old alloy ones used to bend all the time and often if they broke they would tear the sail. I think the sail, the MK2, was a bit of a big one, because of the price hike. But again now we’ve all been sailing with them I don’t think anybody would go back. It’s just a much better sail and you can de-power more easily which helps the average club sailor so much.

G. I’ll drink to that. Duncan thanks for chatting and see you in 2021. •

In the long run these upgrades seem to be better all round. Some of the top British Sailing Team members will go through 4-5 Alloy lower sections a season, admittedly this is for the top professionals


things, but and also for the Laser/ILCA. It’s a really nice product, the company although unrelated to the challenges faced this year is called Virus… Toe straps by Virus!

G. Yes the top guys are pushing things all the time.

n Upton

Photo Gordo

D. They are and they are a very important part of the community but I remember seeing



Ian McManus Interview

Ian McManus is joint owner of Noble Marine, who you may know as they are one of the principal insurers of the Laser / ILCA not to mention many other classes of dinghys. They have also been sponsoring UKLA for several years and are an incredibly loyal supporter. 4.7. If your boat is damaged beyond repair, i.e. “written off” we will replace the boat with a completely new one, regardless of its age and value. G. It’s very good. But do you sail Ian? IM. Not very small dinghies. I’m more of a fan of boats that I don’t have to concentrate on in order to keep them from capsizing. I’ve been away from the water for many years, aside from the occasional invite to join friends on their yachts which I always jump at! Last year I started sailing again with my cousin on his Drascombe Dabber, my first introduction to a classic boat, which I absolutely loved. I spent my early years in Scotland in a small fishing village near Inverness. I have fond memories of the family Wayfarer and what I remember being called Q2 Fisher, a flat bottomed fishing boat that dad took us out in to watch the porpoises. G. So it's in your blood?

Photo Ian McManus

Guy. Hello Ian, thanks for doing this … Could you start by just saying how Noble Marine got its name?

to UKLA reflecting the large number of Laser/ILCA sailors who trust us to insure their boats.

Ian M. Noble Marine was founded in 1989 by Richard Langford (a keen Laser sailor), originally RA Noble the business remains in Newarkon-Trent. Richard built a fantastic business, which he sold to Royal Sun Alliance Insurance in 2011. Henry Arundel and I acquired the business in February 2019.

Dinghies make up about two-thirds of Noble Marine’s policyholders and we are therefore very keen to support the dinghy sailing community. We are all about offering excellent cover and service.

G. Of course, ultimately it’s a commercial operation but you do have a special relationship with UKLA? IM. Yes. Each year we make a significant sponsorship contribution


We handle claims in-house and we are very proud of our 5 Star Trust Pilot rating for our claims service. It is our aim to get you back on the water as quickly as possible with the minimum of fuss. We also offer a special extra enhancement for our customers insuring Laser, Laser Radial and Laser

IM. Well, yes I had hoped to do much more sailing in 2020 but Covid put paid to that! Still staff and families are all well at Noble, which is the most important thing. Fingers crossed we will all be back to normal in 2021! G. Where are you based now? IM. The business is still in Newarkon-Trent near Nottingham and we are committed to keeping the business there. I live in Newbury about half way between Oxford and Southampton. G. How did you end up in insurance? IM. I left school and worked my way up in big insurance companies - It’s funny but insurance is one of those businesses you do while you are looking for something else and I ended up staying with it. I’ve had a

I’m always looking to get more contact with the sailing side of the business. This is how our re-vamped website came about. I wanted to create more space for the class associations - UKLA were kind enough to let us have some photos but we are looking to do more. G. Are you and Henry involved day to day in the business? IM. We are both involved full-time and we’re in Newark most weeks. We don’t rest on our laurels and we are keen to make things even better. In October 2020 we launched our new brand, website and an improved policy wording. Our new system allows boats of any type to be insured under a single policy with one renewal date – a first in marine insurance we believ ….multiboat policies also receive a 12.5% discount. Although our claims service already receives a 5 Star Trust Pilot rating, we have made some changes that should make our claim settlement

le M arin

Whilst dinghies make up the majority of our policies, we insure everything from paddle boards worth a few pounds to racing yachts worth over a million. This makes the day job really interesting.

process even faster.

We’d love feedback from UKLA members on areas we can improve or things you’d like to see – can’t promise we’ll do it but I promise we will look at every suggestion. G. What else do you get up to?

IM. Out of work I just love being in the great outdoors, any excuse! I really enjoy walking, particularly in any available mountains.

We have a space for class associations that we’d like to use to promote sailing generally but also allow the class associations to promote themselves or to highlight particular events or issues. G. One thing that comes to mind is making Laser/ILCA owners more aware of the difference between class legal equipment and boats and what’s not legal. This can cause confusion so any opportunity to clarify would be good.

Workwise I am also a non-executive director of a ‘not for profit’ business, the Civil Service Insurance Society. All the profits go to Civil Service charities and some local good causes around Maidstone where it’s based. It’s great to be able to use my insurance skills to help raise money for good causes.

IM. Yes that’s the sort of thing certainly some kind of basic FAQ and a direction to your class website for more detail.

G. Yes it’s good to put something back. Tell us more about the website. Some people may not be aware, but I discovered a brilliant service you have on there. A comprehensive list of boat builders and repairers. It has a great map which helps you locate your nearest builder.

IM. As a core sponsor we are looking forward to next season. Hopefully there will be a full calendar of events to enjoy. This year has been difficult for everyone. The sailing community included, but it’s been incredible how many clubs seem to have had a resurgence of interest in sailing. Hopefully new comers and returners alike will stick with it – something positive out of a tough year?

G. Sticking to the class legal boats and equipment is fundamental to keeping the class a strict one design boat. So next season ?


really interesting career but it’s great to be involved in providing insurance for something I’m really excited about.

IM. I’m glad you like the repairer list. We had great feedback on this from our old site so we’ve updated it and improved the experience. We put it up there as a resource for the sailing community alongside our surveyor and marina databases.

G. Well thanks Ian it was great to chat - renewing my insurance with Noble Marine will now feel considerably more personal. •



Simon Morgan Interview Wildwind Holidays was started by Simon in the early 1980s . Looking for thrills and spills Simon found himself sitting on a beach in Vassiliki, Greece and an idea came into his head ... the rest, as they say, is history Simon. That is me circa 1963.(photo) Guy. It looks like an EOD (Essex One Design) or something like that. East coast? Simon. Yeah, Thames Estuary. So the first boat I ever sailed was a FINN. I was about six or seven - I was sailing it with my two brothers. If I’m not wrong, the photo has Keith Masterson and I suspect that’s probably Nigel Musto. Actually, I don’t know - Nigel is a bit younger than us. Nigel is the son of Keith Musto. My dad won the silver medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics with Keith in the Flying Dutchman. G. Your dad was Tony Morgan. The same era as Rodney Pattisson? Simon. Yeah, Pattisson 1968. And then 72. G. So you came from a sailing family, then. How did your Dad get into sailing? Simon. I’m not sure. I think he made a little boat when he was a kid. They called it the PAM and I don’t remember what it was. But I’m not certain. G. Where were you based? Simon. We were on the East coast Thorpe Bay was our local club. A Big Cat club with Shearwaters and C class cats. But we started with the Finn. Dad saw that we enjoyed mucking about in it so, you know, he just let us go off. I mean, it had a big metal keel so probably was safe enough. We might sail three miles out to sea before we were too fazed. Then we I did a sailing course in Dartmouth. I remember us three kids learnt how to sail properly and then, from around about nine, started racing Cadets. I wasn’t particularly good at it. But I now realise I was probably too heavy. We only did well when it was blowing. That’s the story of my life for sailing, which is why I ended up in Vassiliki.

Photo Simon Morgan

at Wildwind?

for him.

Simon. Yes. I lived in a caravan on the edge of Dartmoor for the first two years of college. You know, my shower was a black bag hanging up hanging off a tree. I really got the whole thing - you know, way before it was popular. It just interested me. But I left that field to get married, very early. I met a girl when I was 16 and she was 15. We married in our early 20’s.

G. I mean, it was a hell of a thing. He’s writing a book actually about it.

As you know, you usually give up sailing Cadets around 14 - I’m not exactly sure how I traded Cadets for a wife! Then, when my wife and I split up in my mid twenties a friend of mine, Martin Green said yeah, let's buy a Hobie cat together. I didn’t know much about how to sail Hobie cats, but you know, it’s just a boat. Just a bit more tippy in the forward direction than most boats. Since then, I’ve done some completely radical sailing races and had some great experiences with my Hobie 16, including a 727 mile nonstop race from Miami to Pensacola. I was based out of Highcliffe Sailing Club, Christchurch and sailed, with a mate from Christchurch to Cherbourg one day, just for the hell of it.

Simon. In a Hobie 16 it took us a couple of hours to get to St. Catherines and then five hours to the whole lot. And the racing that we did in Miami, we were a part of an Invitational Teams - we did the first 92 miles in six and a half hours - Which is not bad. Couldn’t do that in a Laser. G. Around that time, other than these intrepid journeys, what were you doing? Simon. I worked for this company that was involved in the health business and then just before my 30th birthday, I was living in London and I was spending every spare moment rushing down to the south coast to sail when there was a blow. Although my bodily strength is not as much as it used to be, I can still beat the youngsters in a blow.

Simon. I went to agricultural college down in Devon. I just wanted to run my own commune - real hippie stuff.

G. So you must be a bit of a fan of Stick. You know, Neil Peters, who sailed around the UK in a Laser in 2019?

So I took a sabbatical off work and drove down to this place called Vassiliki in Greece, which I heard was really windy for wind surfers, and I figured, well if it’s windy enough for wind surfers it could be good for me. I sat on the beach for a month in 1987 and thought what the hell am I doing with my life?

G. You’re keeping the ethos alive

Simon. I don’t know the man but good

Came back to the UK, sold my house and

G. So plenty of sailing - then, off to university?


Simon Morgan and Thanos training in Vassiliki

I love it so much. I organised the Hobie 16 European Championship there in 2001, which was ‘2001 a race Odyssey’ ! To give you an idea how it was … the three final races of gold fleet we were racing in 25 to 40 knots. Guy. When did you feel Wildwind had become established? Simon. About the time of the first Gulf War I teamed up with another company who I’d hoped were going to sell our packages for us, but because of the war it didn’t work out. But we got through that. So I would say we started being successful, probably around about 1995/96. We didn’t take on dinghies until about that time - I wasn’t sure if they could cope with the conditions. And similarly I was very wary of joining the RYA because at that stage I thought we were a bit hardcore for them. I have absolutely changed my mind. I think they’re the most extraordinarily brilliant organisation - my opinion has just changed 1,000%. They use us as a test centre for doing

everything right. For example in a lot of the places where catamarans are sailed they put masthead floats on the boats - you can’t do that with a laser. But with a catamaran, you know, there are entrapment issues, but we went, well, the truth is that if you go out there in a force five, and capsize and you’ve got a masthead float and you left the boat, there is no way in hell you are ever going to swim back to that boat. The RYA said

Simon. Well, technically we’re allowed a mile off the coast. We’ve got extremely good relationships with the Greek authorities, as you’d expect them after 30 years there. So we don’t push it.

W i ld w ind

started Wildwind. At the time Vassiliki didn’t even have a road, just a dirt track and donkeys. There was very, very little there but it’s an amazing place. It’s a bay closed on three sides. About five kilometres out to the lighthouse and about a mile and a half to two miles wide. Sea breeze in the morning, usually force 1 to 3 then about 2:30 it switches to across the bay and it’s usually blowing 20/25 knots. Fantastic. Yeah.

G. What’s next for you Simon?

Simon. My next life goal is to win the great grandmasters in the Hobies They race the masters, grandmasters and the

Photo PROtography 2017

ok let’s go test that out. We ended up all agreeing! G. When did you introduce Laser to the Wildwind fleet?

Simon. I guess it was 20 years ago. Over the years we’ve had some great Laser sailors working with us. We’ve had Chris Draper, Chris Gowers and many other great sailors. We’ve got about 80 boats in total - but we’ve got more Lasers than any other class. Lasers are the most popular boat and we usually have 15 brand new every year. G. Any stand-out events for you at WW?

Simon. You know, it’s a kind of heresy but we’ve got videos of our Lasers being sailed at over 20 knots with a foiling kit attached. Given that I’m a multi -hull sailor that’s kind of impressive. And we’ve got video footage of people sailing in, you know, coming up to 50 knots! G. Do you ever go beyond the bay?

great grandmasters together, and the women’s all in one fleet - that make a great fleet. G. And COVID, business wise?

Simon. We won the award for the best sports activity company in 2019 so things are actually very good. Before Covid we had a 15% increase in bookings, then Covid struck and we had to give back those deposits …but now we’re 30% up from where we were this time last year, which is 15% up from where we were before. Now, I suspect lockdown is gonna slow everything up again. However we have around 65%, 70% repeat bookers so many have just said hold on to the deposits and well change the dates. But yeah, I’m not that fazed, I mean, it’s not great, but we’ll see what happens. G. Well thank you, Simon and let’s hope for a great 2021 and on behalf of UKLA thanks for you support and I hope I can visit Vassiliki very soon - it sounds amazing.


Laser Masters Europeans 2020 Andora ITALY 16 - 22 October by John Curran

Photos Marta Rovatti Studihrad


lthough a number of us had planned to take part in the 2020 Masters Europeans, Coviddriven rescheduling whittled us down to just myself and Joe Cic representing Wembley Sailing Club. As the date neared it looked like the cost of attending was going to increase as we were committed quarantine and testing when we returned to London. Both of our wives were keen to travel as well, so we made the best of the week that we could. Whilst we were sailing they trekked and ran pretty much every mountain in the area. Andora is situated in the mouth of a valley on the Ligurian coast, with an active surfing community. We were about to discover why.


This being Italy, the food was amazing. The weather was a bit overcast and cold in the evenings but in the mid-teens during the day. This late in the season this seaside town was pretty empty, but everything was open and there enough bustle around the harbour. For an event of this scale it was as well-organised as you could expect. The Covid regime for regattas, involving Zoom, WhatsApp, masks and social distancing was in place and worked very well. The daily briefings were informative, driven by Giorgio Elena, a super friendly international coach and local.


he original intention was to have our own boats shipped down. When that became unviable Joe

volunteered to drive them down. Eventually as countries become impossible to drive through for quarantine reasons we resorted to chartering boats from Marçon Yachting. These were of the Australian variety and were ready for us on arrival. The only challenge was convincing airport staff that a tiller and extension was nothing sinister and would fit in the overhead. We registered and the combined Standard fleet came to 41 boats, a nice size fleet to race in. The race team provided trackers for every boat, a very neat solution from Metasail, an Italian company. The functionality and analytics are very good and provided much to talk about apres-sail. An example from one of the races here.



he early part of the week was dominated by light winds and long waits on shore. The first day out one race was attempted and abandoned. It was useful nonetheless as we discovered that, despite the Med having minimal tides, it does have current. There’s quite a strong consistent current that runs along the Ligurian coast. I’m hoping it explained the, frankly, bizarre tacking angles the tracker was showing. We had a reasonable spread of results over the first three days, from mid-teens to fairly dire. The light winds were playing havoc with the schedule and despite the best efforts of the race team we lost a couple to the conditions. There was one


highlight in these days, with myself and Joe leading the fleet for a short time with an 8th place for me by the finish. For the last two days the winds freshened and sea conditions got lumpy. Over the last couple of years I’ve done quite a bit of sea sailing on Lasers but nothing like this. Not hugely breezy, but huge roller type swell, direction offset from the wind, with breaking tops. I failed to figure out how to sail fast through these and the results reflected it. However uncomfortable it was for us, the race team deserve huge kudos for sticking it out in the dumpy committee boat.


o after looking promising results-wise in the first three days, the latter two removed all hope of a decent

position. But there was really strong racing in all areas of the fleet and it was possible to break out and battle it out at the front end of the race. This is my second international Masters event and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Covid rates back in the UK were awful around this time and in Italy they were heading in the same direction. After sailing on the last day, we handed back the boats, got on a train to Milan and flew home. Back to two weeks quarantine, which ran straight into Lockdown 2. At this stage I’d give anything to be back sailing in those huge waves off Liguna. • 1st overall Adonis Bougiouris 13th Master John Curran 17th Master Joza Cic



Laser YOUTH Europeans 2020 VILAMOURA PORTUGAL 14 - 21 August UKLA While the ILCA-Worlds in Lake Garda were cancelled, the week of 15th – 22nd August saw the 2020 Eurilca ILCA4/ Laser 4.7 Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal. The championships were originally scheduled to be held in Vilamoura in April 2020, but were postponed to August due to the Corona virus Pandemic. Being one of the only major international regattas taking place this year, the Laser 4.7 Eurilca's 2020 saw a number of Radial fleet sailors from other countries participate against the 4.7s. Our squad demonstrated


Photo Thom Touw considerable determination and tenacity, navigating very complicated pandemic travel restrictions. The week was consistently hot and sunny, with generally light winds in the morning, but building up through the afternoon so that either or both races of the day were in the region of 20 knots on almost all days. Our younger sailors did extremely well in the first two days, especially Max Steele and Carys Attwell (day 1) and Jack GrahamTroll (day 2). But in the end, the weight, strength and experience of the older international (especially Radial


sailors) prevailed. In the girls fleet, it was Coco Barrett who came out top GBR girl and 32nd overall in the Gold Fleet. In the U16’s fleet Carys Attwell finished 19th , Dru Townsend 23rd and Anya Morris 28th In the boys' fleet, Javier Segui and Oliver Allen-Wilcox represented the UKLA in the boys' U18 gold fleet. Javier ended the regatta in 34th place, with Oliver in 40th. It was a similar performance for the U16 boys, who were all very closely matched and almost had a regatta within a regatta between themselves (see results - right).

Girls U18 1st Anja VON ALLMEN SUI 2nd Carlotta RIZZARDI ITA 3rd Lilly May NIEZABITOWSKA POL

Boys U18 1st Anastasios GKARIPIS GRE 2nd Domenic LAMANTE ITA 3rd Przemyslaw MACHOWSKI POL

Girls U16 1st Petra MARENDIC CRO 2nd Viktoria JEDLINSKA SUI 3rd Annemjin ALGRA NED

Boys U16 1st Domenic LAMANTE ITA 2nd Hidde SCHRAFFORD NED 3rd Massimiliano ANTONIAZZI ITA

Brits Girls Carys Attwell 19th U16 Dru Townsend 23rd U16 Anya Morris 28th U16 Coco Barrett 32nd U18

Brits Boys Jack Graham-Troll 26th U16 Freddie Howarth 30th U16 Max Steele 32nd U16 Javier Segui 34th U18 Oliver Allen-Wilcox 40th U18


Laser Open Europeans 2020 Gdansk Poland 6 - 13 October by Sam Whaley Photo - Robert Hajduk - ShutterSail.com


hilst travelling to Poland on my way to the Laser Europeans in October 2020, I remember thinking about how the year had gone and what might happen over the coming weeks of competition. The global pandemic had completely obliterated our national and international sailing plans from March and we had only had two events since - the UKLA Nationals in Weymouth and Kiel Week, in Germany. In some ways, I knew we were coming into the Europeans on form; but what I did not quite realise was the extent of our progression over the summer as a squad. Looking back at the year we had a pretty solid programme over the summer and once we were finally allowed to get back on the water in May, we quickly set about making the training as world class as possible, making sure every session was intense and purposeful. It really was dog-eat-dog, which was brilliant for us all, and allowed us to push to new levels of performance. By the time the UKLA Nationals came around at the end of August, we had all


made a step up in performance and everyone had a good feeling about the programme we were undertaking.


he first time it really hit me that we were onto something was at Kiel Week in September. Heading into the final day Micky and Elliot were almost dominating in 1,2 whilst I was just outside the top 10. At that stage I remember thinking 'Jeez we are sailing well - guess we smashed the summer training'. Unfortunately, Philipp Buhl then threw a spanner into the works and had a stunning final day to just about claim victory, but the statement was there. The Brits were on form. Fast-forward a couple of weeks and it was finally time for the Europeans - the biggest event of 2020 reborn. We all arrived about a week beforehand, settled in and did our usual pre-regatta tuning before racing started. Day One was awesome as Lorenzo smashed both races to take the win and overall lead. Lorenzo is quite obviously an incredible and very capable sailor but after taking seven months off due to injury, I am sure even he was amazed to see him start

Photos - Thom


so strongly, especially as he had only sailed 6 times in the weeks before heading to the Europeans! Micky and Elliot were also right up there and as the week progressed, it became clear that they were in a good position to clinch the championship.


he sixth and final day of competition dawned and it was absolutely freezing - 4 degrees as we were rigging up and when the wind came in a few hours later it felt like much less. I joked that maybe this cold snap would benefit us Brits, being used to the cold back home and all that. Maybe in the end it did - as after a solid day from Elliot, Micky and Lorenzo, they finished one behind each other to claim the gold, silver and bronze medals. It was a great feeling when we found out the final result on the water and it really was a celebratory sail in like no other, especially when I found out I had smashed my own PB to finish 24th.


y biggest takeaway from all this is teamwork is key. Without a doubt the environment we created as a squad helped all of us progress and hopefully will continue to do so as we strive to consistently raise the bar and become the best sailing nation in the world. • Gold Fleet 1st Elliot Hanson 2nd Michael Beckett 3rd Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini 29th Sam Whaley Silver Fleet 14th Daniel Whiteley 36th Joseph Drake 48th James Percival-Cooke 53rd Jack Hopkins 58th Krishan Bhogal


Laser Radial Open Europeans 2020 Gdansk Poland 6 - 13 October by Daisy Collingridge Photo - Robert Hajduk - ShutterSail.com


s I am writing this, we are currently in our third national lockdown experiencing the highest death rate due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began and wow has it made me realise how insanely fortunate we were to get to compete at all last year, let alone at the Europeans attended by many of the best Laser sailors in the world.


he event did not come without its challenges. Originally destined to travel to Greece in summer, the event was moved to Poland in October, swapping 25° for 7°- it was time to dig out the woolly hats! Although I have been in Poland 3 years consecutively for age group Worlds and Europeans, our destination this time was somewhere new for me, Gdansk. In preparation we completed an intense training program throughout the summer with Matilda Nicholls and I having the pleasure of getting rolled regularly by Ali Young, our Olympic representative. Hannah Snellgrove also came back into the game, returning from injury. Meanwhile our other British friends made it out to Malta to join the Sailcoach centre, ensuring that all of us had plenty of


time on the water in the lead up. What we all lacked was that international racing experience that, in any normal year, would have been extensive with the busy spring and summer international event calendar. However, this event was unique. For many, it was the first time lining up against our European friends and rivals since the Worlds in February and for others it was even longer than that. There was a kind of weird anticipation… Would the event actually happen? Would we be able to travel there? And, after all this, where would our months of training place us against the rest of the world? Against the odds, including a well-timed BBC news update that Poland had been added to the UK’s quarantine list due to rising cases as we drove across Europe, we made it. It was incredible to be sailing against more than 3 other boats again. Once the racing began, it felt like no time had passed at all and the last 6 months had been some sort of bad dream.


he event consisted of a three-day qualifying series, determining the gold-silver split for finals. The conditions were tricky. The offshore direction brought quick shift patterns and gusty patches which

Photo - Thom


Photo - Robert Ha

jduk - ShutterSai

seemed to appear from nowhere, keeping everyone on their toes. The challenge kept the racing tight and exciting. After the qualifying series, three British girls; Ali, Hannah and myself successfully made it into Gold Fleet whilst Matilda alongside Molly Sacker, Christine Wood and Anya Haji-Michael were set to battle it out in Silver Fleet. Meanwhile, former World and European champion, Anne-Marie Rindom was sailing away from the rest of the fleet with a near perfect score line, a testament to her ability to achieve such consistency whilst others were discarding higher points. However, the competition almost resets in the final series as sailors are only able to discard one of their final race results, making these races all the more critical to get right. The game was on. The last day bought onshore conditions for the first time that week and bigger breeze. Marit Bouwmeester sailed a great two races, scoring a 2nd and 1st, which was enough to clinch the European title from Anne-Marie by a mere 2 points, demonstrating it’s never over till its over! Leading the British charge, Hannah finished 18th, a promising result following her time away from the boat.



riting this and reflecting on the year that we have had has made me realise how lucky we are to get to do what we do. Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder and I really cannot wait for us to beat this terrible virus and get back to doing the sport we love and having the pleasure to compete on the international stage once more! Final results 1st Marit Bouwmeester 2nd Anne-Marie Rindom 3rd Agata Barwińska Brits 18th Hannah Snellgrove 38th Daisy Collingridge 54th Ali Young 58th Molly Sacker 60th Matilda Nicholls 82nd Christine Wood 85th Anya Haji-Michael


Results Roundup 2020

UKLA NATIONALS WPNSA 2020 26 - 29 August A 'National' event has seldom meant as much as it did for the 2020 UKLA Nationals - Volunteers from all over the country (over 80 of them), WPNSA, young and old competitors all pulled together to put on, against the all the odds, one of the best events in recent years. It was split with 3 days racing ILCA4s and ILCA7s followed by 3 days with the ILCA6s. ILCA4 & ILCA7 Although the second day was lost to bad weather, a brisk 15- 22 knots enabled everyone to get some full on racing in for both the 1st and 3rd days - racing was held in the harbour. A last minute change in the UK quarantine rules allowed ILCA4 travellers from Portugal to compete. In the end, the boys fleet was won by Oliver Allen – Wilcox, ahead of Jack Graham Troll and Freddie Howarth in third. The girls fleet was won by Carys Attwell, ahead of Honor Procter in second (first Welsh sailor), and Harriet Sacker 3rd. The same three podium girls won the Under-16 league as well, which bodes well for the future of GBR sailing, considering the strong wind conditions. In the ILCA7s Elliot Hanson put in a reassuringly dominant performance considering he's off to the Olympics (see page 18) with Micky Beckett and Sam Whaley pushing hard. Joseph Drake U21, Dan Whiteley, Jack Hopkins, Ben Flower, Krishan Bhogal, Norman Struthers and Jake

ILCA7 1st Elliot Hanson 2nd Michael Beckett 3rd Sam Whaley 4th Joseph Drake U21 5th Daniel Whiteley 1st Master Nick Harrison (13th) ILCA6 Overall 1st Ali Young 2nd Hannah Snellgrove 3rd Ben Elvin (1st Master) 4th Arthur Farley U17 5th Finley Dickinson U19


Farren-Price all sailed well to make the top 10. Nick Harrison was the first Master showing that it is possible to mix it with the kids!! Mark Lyttle was the 2nd Master and Tim Law 3rd. All credit to the masters in all fleets! ILCA 6 As the week unfolded the weather gods played fair providing some challenging conditions. But fortunately there were no days lost. Like Elliot the 2021 Olympic representative Ali Young emerged triumphant this year collecting an almost perfect score with only Hannah Snellgrove and Ben Elvin nickin' a couple of race wins. The strength of the ILCA6 fleet was evident as all 100 places were snapped up several weeks before. There were some outstanding performances by several younger sailors notwithstanding the blowy conditions. In one of his last events in the ILCA6 Arthur Farley obviously had a weight advantage but sailed well to take 4th and still so young! Finley Dickinson, Kai Wolgram (also U17), Matilda Nicholls, Daisy Collingridge, Ben Whaley and Drew Barnes made up the top 10 super stars. Chloe Barr was on track for at least a top 10 place but had a couple of disappointing final races - listen to your husband Chloe! (She's married to some old geezer called Ben Elvin - congrats BTW).

ILCA6 GIRLS 1st Ali Young 2nd Hannah Snellgrove 3rd Matilda Nicholls U21 4th Daisy Collingridge ILCA4 Overall 1st Oliver Allen-Wilcox U17 2nd Jack Graham-Troll U16 3rd Freddie Howarth 4th Terry Hacker ILCA4 Girls 1st Carys Attwell U16 2nd Honor Procter U16 3rd Harriet Sacker U16 1st Megan Farrer U17 G (18th)

Masters Nationals Pevensey Bay SC 2020 10 - 11 October A great weekend of wonderful racing, for both the experienced Laser/ILCA sailor and the club sailor (over 33 years old) with Orlando Gledhill becoming the new ILCA7 Masters National Champion and Ben Elvin the ILCA6 Masters National Champion. Six high quality races were sailed: Westerly (offshore) 12-16 knots on the Saturday and North North West 10-14 knots on the Sunday. The wind was always, with big oscillating wind shifts and big pressure differences, offshore. That, combined with flattish water (particularly on the Sunday) and neap tides meant the pond and sea sailors were evenly matched, so much so that the Champion Club could only be separated on count back, Queen Mary Sailing Club taking the honours. ILCA7 - Orlando Gledhill (QMSC) and Matt Howard (SBSC) shared the race wins with 3 each. The group nipping at their heels consisted of 3 Grand Masters, Alan Davis, Tony Woods (QMSC) and Stuart Hudson (Keyhaven SC). ILCA6 - A much lower number than previous years turned up, but understandable in these strange times. Although Ben Elvin and Ross Harvey won all the races and dominated, 11 points separated 2nd and Rob Cage in 3rd, they didn't have everything their way. Jimmy Carter and Rob Cage kept chipping away. However they never really threatened and it ended up a 2 horse race. Sergio Messina and Max Hunt had their moments and sailed well. As is usual with the Masters it's not just the racing that keeps us coming back it's the people !

ILCA 6 1st Ben Elvin 2nd Ross Harvey 3rd Rob Cage 4th Jimmy Carter 5th Terry Scutcher 6th Niall Peelo 7th Max Hunt 8th Sergio Messina 9th Gareth Edwards 10th Matthew Knight 14th John Reay 1st F Alison Stevens


ILCA 7 1st Orlando Gledhill 2nd Matt Howard 3rd Alan Davis 4th Tony Woods 5th Stuart Hudson 6th Michael Hicks 7th Andy LE Grice 8th Nick Harrison 9th Chris Ellyatt 10th Malcolm Courts


Photo Georgie Altham

UKLA Q1 WPNSA 2020 7 - 8 March Due to bad weather only Saturday saw any racing at WPNSA. However Saturday's racing in the ILCA4s saw Josh Morgan and Luke Anstey tying on points with Josh just taking 1st on count back. Jack Graham Troll a few points back in 3rd. Samantha Edwards was first Girl and 4th overall. ILCA6 - Jon Emmett, Dan McGaughey and Ben Elvin made up the top 3, although Jon was pushed hard by Dan. Matilda Nicholls (9th) , Molly Sacker (13th) and Chloe Barr (14th) were the top 3 girls. ILCA7 - Elliot Hanson started the season's qualifiers with 3 bullets and was looking forward to the Olympics. With that event postponed until 2021, his challenge was to stay focused. Team GB is so strong that shouldn't be a problem. Mickey Beckett kept pushing to take three 2nds. Dan Whitely was super consistent with three 4ths. Joe Drake (U21) and Charlie South (U19) are making their presence felt as the youth bloods.

ILCA7 1st Elliot Hanson 2nd Micky Beckett 3rd Daniel Whiteley 1st Joe Drake U21 (5th) 1st Charlie South U19 (11th) ILCA6 1st Jon Emmett 2nd Dan Mcgaughey U19 3rd Ben Elvin U17 Arthur Farley ILCA6 GIRLS 1st Matilda Nicholls U21 2nd Molly Sacker 3rd Chloe Barr 1st Coco Barrett U19 ILCA4 BOYS 1st Josh Morgan 2nd Luke Anstey 3rd Jack Graham-Troll U16 4th Thomas Williamson ILCA4 Girls 1st Samantha Edwards (4th) 2nd Dru Townsend U16 3rd Carys Attwell 4th Jasmin Robertson

UKLA Q2 WPNSA 2020 14 - 15 March The first day started in an ideal 12 - 20knts with 3 or 4 races planned. As the wind steady increased during the day only 3 races were sailed. The forecast had predicted the wind would go on increasing over the weekend, therefore there was only one sailed on the second day. The ILCA4 fleet saw Samatha Edwards put on a magnificent performance with a very consistent first 3 races (2,2,2). Neither Drew Gibbons or Tim Evans quite matching Sam's points, she took home the chocolates. The ILCA6 fleet, was the biggest fleet, with 53 boats. Arthur Farley won the event closely followed one point behind by Ben Elvin. Finley Dickinson 3rd. Matilda Nicholls was 1st girl in 7th. A great last race by Scott Forbes put him just ahead of Dasiy Collingridge (2nd Girl) and Chloe Barr 3rd. ILCA7 - with the top boys away, Joseph Drake just pipped Sam Whaley to take 1st and Joseph Mullan getting 3rd with a consistent 2,2, 2,DNC, 3. Tony Woods was the lone Master but managed a creditable 11th.

ILCA7 1st Joe Drake U21 2nd Sam Whaley 3rd Joe Mullan 4th Krishan Bhogal U21 5th Lewis Smith 1st Charlie South U19 (15th) ILCA6 1st Arthur Farley U19, U17 2nd Ben Elvin 3rd Finley Dickinson U19 4th James Foster U19 5th Drew Barnes U19 ILCA6 GIRLS 1st Matilda Nicholls U21 2nd Daisy Collingridge 3rd Chloe Barr 4th Anya Haji-Michael 5th Christine Wood U21 6th Eve Kennedy U19 ILCA4 1st Sam Edwards 1st Girl 2nd Drew Gibbons 3rd Tim Evans 4th Freddie Howarth 5th Oliver Allen-Cox 9th Dru Townsend 2nd Girl 15th Jasmine Robertson 3rd Girl

UKLA Q5 WPNSA 2020 17- 18 October Wind conditions started with 11 – 15knts, a fresh 12˚C, and grey skies. The second day saw much lighter winds, generally 5 – 10 knots, depending on which patch of the course you were in. The ILCA6 fleet was dominated by the experienced women sailors, with Matilda Nichols scoring a bullet and two 2s on the first day, and a further 2 bullets on the second light-wind day to claim the top spot ahead of Hannah Snellgrove in second. ILCA7 - The first day's racing was dominated by the four British Sailing Team sailors who were recently back from the Europeans in Poland. Day 2 Jake FarrenPrice won the first race. History was also made this weekend when the ILCA7s started every race first time - no general recalls whatsoever! Paul Jackson and his team were heard to compliment the fleet on its good behaviour. ILCA4 - The UKLA Noble Marine Q5 and the RYA Youth Nationals were combined - Jack Graham – Troll got the shifts right and scored two bullets to win both the qualifier event and the RYA Junior Championships. (see UKLA website for more results). It was very pleasing to see a growing female participation (almost 50%) in the fleet.

ILCA7 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6st 11th 12th

Lorenzo Chiavarini Sam Whaley Michael Beckett Dan Whitely Jake Farren-Price Drew Barnes U19 Kai Wolgram U17 Mark Lyttle 1st Master

ILCA6 Overall 1st Matilda Nicholls U21 2nd Hannah Snellgrove 3rd Finley Dickinson U19 4th Daisy Collingridge 5th Shotaro Kikkawa U19 ILCA6 GIRLS 1st Matilda Nicholls U21 2nd Hannah Snellgrove 3rd Daisy Collingridge 4th Coco Barrett U19 5th Ellie Hutchings U21 ILCA4 1st Jack Graham-Troll 2nd Keijiro Kikkawa 3rd Arwen Fflur 1st Girl 4th Max Steele 5th Antonio Pascali 6th Hazel McDonnell 2nd Girl 11th Leah Fidling 3rd Girl




Ladders Explained

The ladders listed here are a simple rolling tally of the sailors who have been most active in the UKLA events during the course of 2020. They are not for qualification rankings for World and European events for the forthcoming season. For qualifier ladders go to www.laser.org.uk

MASTERS ILCA7 Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th 31st 32nd 33rd 34th 35th 36th 37th 38th 39th 40th 41st 42nd 43rd 44th 45th 46th 47th 48th 49th 50th 51st 52nd 53rd 54th 55th 56th 57th 58th 59th 60th 61st 62nd 63rd 64th 65th 66th 67th 68th 69th 70th




MASTERS ILCA6 Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th 31st 32nd 33rd 34th 35th 36th 37th 38th 39th 40th 41st 42nd 43rd 44th 45th 46th 47th 48th 49th 50th 51st 52nd

Gender M M M M M F M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M F F M F M M F F M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M F M M M



1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th 31st 32nd 33rd 34th 35th 36th 37th 38th 39th 40th 41st 42nd 43rd 44th 45th 46th 47th 48th 49th 50th 51st 52nd 53rd 54th 55th 56th 57th 58th 59th 60th 61st 62nd 63rd 64th 65th 66th 67th 68th 69th 70th 71st 72nd 73rd 74th 75th 76th 77th 78th 79th 80th 81st 82nd 83rd 84th 85th 86th


A A A A A A A A U21 U19 A A A U21 A A U21 U21 U21 GM U21 U21 A A GM GM GM U21 U21 U17 U21 U21 GM A U21 GM GGM A AM U21 A M U19 A A U21 GM



ILCA6 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86


Age / GEN M M AM M U19 M U19 M A F U21 F U21 M U21 F U21 M U21 M U19 M U19 M A F U17 M A F A F U21 M U21 M U21 F U19 M U19 M U19 M U19 M A M A F U19 F U21 M U19 M U19 M U19 F U21 F U19 F U19 M U21 M U19 M U21 F A F U21 M U19 F U21 M U19 M U19 F U21 F U19 F U21 F U19 M U21 M A F A F U19 M U21 F GM M GM M U19 F U19 F U21 M U21 F A F U21 F U21 M U21 M U17 M U19 M U19 F A M A F U21 M U17 M U17 M U19 M U19 M GM M U21 M U19 F AM M U21 M U21 F U19 M U17 M U17 F U19 M U19 M U19 M U19 M U19 F U19 M

87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147



U19 F U19 M M F A F A M U19 M U17 M U21 M A F U19 M U21 M U21 M U19 M U21 M U21 M U19 M GM M U19 M A F U19 F U19 M M M GM M U21 M U19 M U21 M U21 M U17 M AM M U21 M U17 M U19 F U19 M U17 M U17 M GM M U17 F AM F U19 F GM M U19 M U21 M GGM M U21 M A M U17 M U19 M U19 F U17 M U19 M U19 M A F U17 M U19 M U19 M U17 M U17 M GGM M U21 F U21 F U19 M

ILCA4 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


Age /Gen U17 M U17 M U17 M U19 M U19 M U17 M U19 M U17 F U17 F U19 F U19 M U17 M U17 F U17 M U19 M U19 M U19 F U19 M

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97


U17 U17 U17 U19 U17 U19 U19 U19 U19 U19 U17 U19 U19 U16 U19 U17 U19 U19 U16 U19 U16 U17 U19 U16 U19 U17 U19 U17 U19 U16 U19 U19 U16 U17 U17 U16 U19 U19 U17 A U19 U17 U19 U17 U17 U19 U16 U19 AM U17 U21 U17 U17 U19 U16 U16 U17 U19 U16 U19 U19 U17 U19 U19 U19 U17 U16 U19 U19 U19 U17 U19 U17 U17 U16 U16 U16 U17 U17



2020 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AUSTRALIA The year didn't start well - Bush fires, Covid, storms and no wind! But we did get a magnificent world championship in. Check out the write ups on the ILCA website. www.laserinternational.org

ILCA7 GOLD FLEET 9 - 16 Feb 1 Philipp Buhl 2 Matt Wearn 3 Tonči Stipanović 4 Jean Baptiste Bernaz 5 Elliot Hanson 6 Hermann Tomasgaard 7 Luke Elliott 8 Sam Meech 9 Jesper Stalheim 10 Filip JuriŠiĆ 11 Wannes Van Laer 12 Pavlos Kontides 13 Michael Beckett 14 Duko Bos 15 Tom Burton 16 Alessio Spadoni 17 Rutger Van Schaardenburg 18 Charlie Buckingham 19 Nick Thompson 20 Juan Maegli 21 Thomas Saunders 22 Jeemin Ha 23 Benjamin Vadnai 24 Sergei Komissarov 25 Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini 26 Maxim Nikolaev 27 Mitchell Kennedy 28 Finn Alexander 29 George Gautrey 30 Christopher Barnard 31 Finn Lynch 32 Kaarle Tapper 33 Enrique Arathoon 34 Stefano Peschiera 35 Giovanni Coccoluto 36 Jonatan Vadnai 37 Ryan Lo 38 Tadeusz Kubiak 39 Eliot Merceron 40 Robert Davis 41 Gianmarco Planchestainer 42 Robert Scheidt


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30




Karl-Martin Rammo Milivoj Dukic Jakub Rodziewicz Julio Alsogaray Ethan Mcaullay William De Smet Francisco Guaragna Rigonat Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy Maxime Mazard Clemente Seguel Lacámara Richard Maher Daniil Krutskikh Emil Bengtson Francisco Renna Nicolas Rolaz Alexandre Boite Santiago Sampaio Alp Rona Rodopman Marco Gallo Tomas Pellejero Kenji Nanri Sam Whaley Hugh Macrae Zac Littlewood Nik Aaron Willim Fillah Karim Christian Guldberg Rost Yoshihiro Suzuki Nicholas Bezy Etienne Le Pen

31 Ewan McMahon 32 Liam Glynn 33 Juan Pablo Cardozo 34 Berkay Abay 35 Nicolo Villa 36 Dan Self 37 Josh Armit 38 Marnix Bos 39 Anastasios Panagiotidis 40 Keerati Bualong 41 Juan Bisio


BRONZE FLEET 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Kazumasa Segawa Giacomo Musone Yigit Yalcin Citak Arthit Mikhail Romanyk Gustavo Correa Nascimento Samuel King Luke Ruitenberg Yuichiro Kitamura Stijn Paardekooper Justin Norton Wilhelm Kark Fredrik Westman Georg Philip Bunk Lauritsen Leo Boucher Jacob Farren-Price Luke Deegan Mark Wong Upamanyu Dutta Ao Higuchi Matti Muru Guillermo Flores Martín Campbell Patton James Juhasz Alexandre Kowalski Martin Aruja James Stewart Liam Bruce Thad Lettsome Andrew Robinson William Sargent Forrest Wachholz Eroni Leilua Seung Kim Campbell Stewart Ken Fujimoto Agustin Vidal Incatasciato Connor Shaw Pietari Airakorpi Thomas McEvoy Teariki Numa Stephen Gunther


ILCA6 MEN 21 - 28 Feb

1 Daniil Krutskikh 2 Michael Compton 3 Nik Pletikos 4 Brody Riley 5 Stefan Elliott-Shircore 6 Mario Novak 7 Zac Littlewood 8 Gustavo Correa Nascimento 9 Zac West 10 Luke Cashmore 11 Daniel Costandi 12 Ethan Mcaullay 13 Rhett Gowans 14 Jon Holroyd 15 Campbell Patton 16 Caleb Armit 17 Frazer Brew 18 Jordan Makin 19 Simon De Gendt


20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Thomas Mulcahy Jarupong Meeyusamsen Jack Graves Campbell Stewart Jack Eickmeyer Samuel King Jan Heuninck Daniil Maistrovskii Rohan Langford Mark Louis Jeff Loosemore Dmitry Golovkin Owen McMahon Pedro Lepecki Madureira Bradley Utting Lachlan Weber Oliver Gordon Michael Parks Lawson Mcaullay Nicholas Smart Stephen Gunther Minaki Endo Koen Kooren John Jagger Brendon Jukes Alexander Bijkerk Michael O' Brien Ryan Moreton Logan Cortis Suchakree Detthotsapol Roger Winton Paul Garaty Thomas Farley Rohan Allen Julian Taylor Nicholas Ede Ian Saunders Andrew Crawshaw James Henderson Finn Potter Hamish Cowell Ian Louis Orlando Yen Garth Bickfird Samuel Savage Phillip George Linden Wareing


ILCA6 WOMEN 21 - 28 Feb 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Marit Bouwmeester Maxime Jonker Line Flem Høst Anne-Marie Rindom Magdalena Kwasna Josefin Olsson Daphne van der Vaart Manami Doi Emma Plasschaert Mirthe Akkerman Vasileia Karachaliou Annalise Murphy Svenja Weger Paige Railey Marie Bolou Maud Jayet Alison Young Mara Stransky Tuula Tenkanen Marie Barrue Monika Mikkola Silvia Zennaro Agata Barwińska Zoe Thomson Pernelle Michon Erika Reineke Sarah Douglas Louise Cervera Ecem Güzel


30 Ekaterina Zyuzina 31 Hannah Anderssohn 32 Pauline Liebig 33 Anna Munch 34 Mathilde De Kerangat 35 Elena Vorobeva 36 Charlotte Rose 37 Pia Kuhlmann 38 Tatiana Drozdovskaya 39 Elyse Ainsworth 40 Aoife Hopkins 41 Luciana Cardozo 42 Lucía Falasca 43 Yumiko Tombe 44 Olivia Christie 45 Casey Imeneo 46 Julia Buesselberg 47 Fatima Reyes 48 Sandra LuliĆ 49 Matilda Talluri 50 Mariia Kislukhina 51 Marilena Makri 52 Marlena Berzina 53 Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52



Joyce Floridia Annabelle Rennie-Younger Carolina Albano Dolores Moreira Fraschini Clara Gravely Maura Dewey Mina Ferguson Athanasia Fakidi Coralie Vittecoq Aisling Keller Francesca Frazza Valentina Balbi Caroline Sofia Rosmo Jacinta Ainsworth Annie Eastgate Estere Kumpina Lena Haverland Laura Bo Voss Brooke Wilson Isabella Maegli Laura Schewe Gabriella Kidd Paige Caldecoat Hanne Weaver Eve McMahon Valeria Lomatchenko Kim Pletikos Lin Pletikos Paloma Schmidt Gutiérrez Victoria Chan Courtney Reynolds-Smith Sylvie Stannage Jia Kim Aleksandra Lukoyanova Ekaterina Guseva Greta Pilkington Martina Bezdekova Adriana Penruddocke Evie Saunders Erin Cowley Caitlin Shaw Simone Wood Adele Auchterlonie Sophia Morgan Lucy Ede Julia Francis Nelle Leenders Kamolwan Chanyim Rose-Lee Numa PatrÍcia Raulino Isabella Boyd George Aulich



Glyn Charles Simon Cole


NATIONAL Champions

1984 1983

Steve Rich (Wales)


Eliot Hanson


Richard Robinson


Sam Whaley


Richard Robinson


Sam Whaley


Mike Budd


Matt Howard


Steve McQueen


Jack Wetherell


Tim Law


Martin Evans


Keith Wilkins


Jack Aitken (Scotland)


Keith Wilkins


Lorenzo Chiavarini


Tim Law


Alex Mills-Barton


Eric Twiname


Jack Wetherell


Paul Withers


Greg Carey


Wendy Fitzpatrick


Dan Holman


Nick Thompson


Mark Powell


Steve Powell


Paul Goodison


Andrew Commander


Mark Howard


Paul Goodison


Paul Goodison


Dan Holman


Ben Ainslie


Ben Ainslie


Ben Ainslie


Iain Percy


Iain Percy


Gareth Kelly


Richard Stenhouse


Mark Littlejohn


Steve Rich (Wales)


Gareth Kelly


Keith Videlo


Andy Brown


Colin Smith


Simon Cole


Laser/ILCA6 Year

NATIONAL Champions


Ali Young


Jon Emmett


Georgina Povall


Ben Whaley


Hannah Snellgrove


Hannah Snellgrove


Jon Emmett


Jon Emmett


Hannah Snellgrove


Jon Emmett


Elliot Hanson


Jon Emmett


Jon Emmett


NATIONAL Champions


Steve Cockerill


Jon Emmett


Oliver Allen-Wilcox


Steve Cockerill


Jack Graham-Troll


Jon Emmett


Lorcan Knowles


Steve Cockerill


Matt Beck


Steve Cockerill


Matt Beck


Steve Cockerill


Benno Marstaller


Steve Cockerill


Arran Holman


Steve Cockerill


Ross Banham


Mark Howard


Will Creaven


Steve Cockerill


Matt Whitefield


Robert Dyer


Will Harris


Olly Porter


Henry Wiliams


Sophie Mckeeman


Adam Sims


Greg Carey


Max Holloway


Chris Carden


Tom Smedley

Who's who from photo on page 51


2021 KEY FIXTURES Remember Racing? As of February 2021 the early season fixtures are in doubt so the events listed below should be checked on the UKLA website. UKLA are considering putting on additional UK events where possible, especially if international travel continues to be difficult. Covid permitting, 2021 will bring more high quality ILCA racing to clubs around the country. If you like the idea of some slightly stiffer competition then the Super Grand Prix and regional events are a must. For a complete list of the National, European and International event check out the UKLA, EURILCA and ILCA websites. Here are some key events to look out for:

UK Events

European and World Events

Super Grand Prix

Youth & Senior Events

SOUTH 22 - 23 May - Queen Mary SC 17 - 18 July - Pagham YC 7 - 8 August Castle Cove SC

ILCA Senior Euro Championships & Open Euro Trophy 15 - 22 May Bulgaria, Varna

MIDLANDS TBC - Rutland SC 16 - 17 October - Staunton Harold SC NORTH - (more planned) 29 - 30 May - St Mary’s Loch 3 - 4 July - -Pennine SC Masters - Qualifiers/Nationals Masters Qualifier 12 - 13 Jun - Parkstone Yacht Club Masters Nationals and EuroMaster 9 - 11 Jul - Pevensey Bay Sailing Club Masters Qualifier 4 - 5 Sep - Queen Mary SC Masters Autumn Qualifier 2 - 3 Oct - WPNSA Masters Inland Nationals 16 - 17 Oct - Grafham Water SC OPEN Qualifiers Spring Qualifier 2 Spring Qualifier 3 Autumn Qualifier 1 Autumn Qualifier 2 Autumn Qualifier 3

Cancelled - WPNSA Cancelled - WPNSA 28 - 29 Sep - WPNSA 2 - 3 Oct - WPNSA 23 - 24 Oct - WPNSA

UKLA Open National Championships 13 - 18 Aug WPNSA 30 - 31 Oct UKLA Inland Championships Rutland SC Grand Prix (Regional) As of February there are 17 Grand Prix events listed see website for details www.laser.org.uk


ILCA6 Youth World Championships 23 - 31 July ITALY, Arco ILCA4 Youth Euro Championship & Open Euro Trophy 23 - 30 July Germany, Travemunde ILCA6 Youth Euro Championships & Open Euro Trophy 26 – 3 July Croatia, Kastela ILCA4 Youth World Championships 7 - 14 August IRELAND, Dun Laoghaire ILCA Under-21 World Championships 19 - 27 August UK, Portland, Dorset ILCA7 Men's World Championship 9 - 16 September SPAIN, Barcelona ILCA6 Women's World Championship 10 - 17 October USA, Shoreacres, Texas ILCA6 Men's World Championship 10 - 17 October USA, Shoreacres, Texas Europa Cup 10 events - https://eurilca.eu/europacup/venues Masters - Europe/World - selected events 23-29 July Master Europeans, Gargnano, Italy 17-26 September Master Worlds, Barcelona, Spain 23-25 April, EMS Calella, Spain 8-10 May, EMS Ostend, Belgium 13-16 May, EMS Hoorn, Netherlands 3-6 Jun, EMS Sorpesee, Germany 3-5 July, EMS Carentec, France



Profile for UKLA ILCA Sailing


UKLA have been busy planning a season packed with high quality racing and training events. To kick things off they have produced a magnifice...


UKLA have been busy planning a season packed with high quality racing and training events. To kick things off they have produced a magnifice...