We sail 4.7, Radial and Standard Laser rigs. A Laser is a 14-foot fibreglass boat with a single mainsail. It is an Olympic class sailboat, with a huge following all around the world. It is generally sailed by a single person, and certainly raced single-handed. They have a surprising amount of power, which equates to quite a turn of speed when the wind is up above the 15 knot range!
The Narrabeen Lakes Laser fleet is growing, as are the skills and experience of the skippers. There is a great camaraderie amongst the regulars, and new faces are welcomed with great enthusiasm. Commonly, Laser sailors are attracted to the class for its simplicity, speed and the close racing that one gets from this fantastic one-design class.
The club has a Laser available for those with some sailing skills to ‘have a go’. It is also used as a training tool when we run our sailing school days.
The Laser fleet races along the same course as the Herons, usually starting five minutes earlier. This makes for some interesting moments when the fleets cross each other, but generally each fleet keeps to themselves. On the short-course days, close racing is assured by starting the Lasers three minutes behind the Herons. Over a 20-minute course you are almost guaranteed to see two fleets hit the final bottom mark all at the same time!
For those new to the sport, a Laser is a fantastic introduction due to its low cost, simplicity and ease of use. A basic boat will cost you $500, right up to $8000 for a brand new vessel. Due to the simplicity of the laser, you will spend 10 minutes learning how to make it go, and the next 10 years learning how to make it go faster!