Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Up The Laser Rant

One of my favorite sailing bloggers once accused me of being too enthusiastic in my praise of Laser sailing. So at the risk of upsetting S...s..l.r, I'm going to indulge in another "Up The Laser Rant".

My April issue of Sailing World magazine finally caught up with me today. Many of the articles in the issue are a celebration of the Laser. So it seems I am not alone in my obsession.

Here are a few quotes from the contributors...

Dave Reed - Sailing World Editor

"The Laser is the only boat I've ever owned."

"It's the pre-eminent raceboat of our time."

"(I) couldn't imagine life without the Laser."

Gary Jobson

"The Laser is the only boat I've always considered to 'be my other boat'."

(After describing how how in 1970 he was asked by the Laser designer Bruce Kirby to try out his new design then known as the Weekender), "Today I enjoy day sailing my Laser as much as racing it. When I push away from the dock I still get the same thrill I experienced when Kirby let me take his Weekender for a spin."

Dave Olson - winner of the first World Masters Games - on the subject of Laser Masters sailing

"Conviviality develops so that all participants have a good time and... they leave with a warm comfortable feeling of fatigue of the body and a quiet renewal of the soul."

Couldn't have put it better myself.


Pat said...

"warm comfortable feeling " describing Laser sailing?

joe "what? no cup holder?" rouse said...

Old man, you don't have to convince me. The Laser is truly an awesome boat. Simple and elegant, it's pure pleasure sailing...just don't tell anyone I said that.

tim l said...

Hmm, but they're all American and most other US dinghies seem to be museum pieces...

Tillerman said...

Pat - the warm comfortable feeling is something you experience AFTER a day of Laser sailing. Somewhat akin to that peaceful feeling of relief you get after you stop banging your head against a brick wall for several hours.

Tim - ummm, SW is an American magazine so it's kind of natural for them to have American staff and writers. Though I'm sure if someone from Uzbekistan with the right credentials applied they would be glad to hire them. As long as he or she is a Laser sailor of course.

Whoever is pretending to be Joe Rouse please stop posting comments in his name. It's a well known fact that Joe only sails boats with training wheels (a.k.a. trimarans).

JSW225 said...

The only reason the Laser is awesome, is because it spawned the Laser II. That boat could move.

Anyway, the laser itself is cool, it just doesn't compare to the Sunfish.

Tim said...

I'm sure its fun to sail and more physically demanding than many boats to race but there is something quite soulless about another moulded plastic boat, even if they do come in a variety of colours.
I think the thing that bugs me about them, and its nothing to do with the design, its the strict control over the parts, sails and spars that make them so damned expensive for such a small boat.

Tillerman said...

jsw225 - you are entitled to your opinion. Far be it from me to suggest that other folk might not prefer other boats. After all some people drink Budweisier beer even though it does taste like drainwater.

tim - Do strict one-design rules make a boat more expensive... I guess we could debate that for ever. Certainly it means that I can't go out and buy a cheaper mast than the one supplied by the manufacturer for example. But it also means that my richer competitors can't go out and buy a more expensive faster mast either.

tim l said...

Exactly - and therefore their opinions of the laser are going to be good as there's not much competition from other classes.

One I saw in Dinghy Sailor Mag (UK) a few years back by one of the girls on the olympic squad, on the subject of switching from the Europe to the Radial:

'Like going from a thoroughbred to a donkey'

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