Eight Bells – Bruce Kirby

Bruce Kirby Canadian born sailing legend and designer of many boats including the Laser passed away July 18, 2021. He was 92 years of age.

Bruce was a newspaper man in Ottawa and Montreal before he became a yacht designer. We was a pioneering sailing journalist, editor of One-Design and Off-Shore Yachtsman, which is still going today as Sailing World magazine.

A competitive sailor in International 14 dinghies from age 15 he went on to become a world-class sailor and Olympian. He represented Canada in the 1956, 1964, and 1968 Olympics.

As well as designing the Laser some background of which you can find Here Bruce’s design career included a multitude of successful classes such as the Sonar, Kirby 25 and Ideal 18, America’s Cup Twelve Meters, production racer/cruisers and offshore racing boats.

Eight Bells – Bruce Kirby

Bruce Kirby Canadian born sailing legend and designer of many boats including the Laser passed away July 18, 2021. He was 92 years of age.

Bruce was a newspaper man in Ottawa and Montreal before he became a yacht designer. We was a pioneering sailing journalist, editor of One-Design and Off-Shore Yachtsman, which is still going today as Sailing World magazine.

A competitive sailor in International 14 dinghies from age 15 he went on to become a world-class sailor and Olympian. He represented Canada in the 1956, 1964, and 1968 Olympics.

As well as designing the Laser some background of which you can find Here Bruce’s design career included a multitude of successful classes such as the Sonar, Kirby 25 and Ideal 18, America’s Cup Twelve Meters, production racer/cruisers and offshore racing boats.

Follow the Olympic Sailing

After a years delay and considerable uncertainty the Tokyo Olympics will kick off with the opening ceremony from 9pm AEST on Friday, July 23.

Sailing will commence on the 25th of July, with the medal races taking place from 31 July to 4 August. The schedule and Olympic sailing team information is Here.  Sailing is scheduled between 1.00pm and 7.00pm AEST each day.

Channel 7 has the broadcast and streaming rights to the Olympics in Australia. Highlight sports will largely be shown on 7’s free to air channels.

In addition there are 7plus apps which will have over 40 channels streaming live action from the Games. You can download the 7plus iOS or Android app free from the App Store or Google Play Store. To view sailing simply log in to the app on your smartphone, tablet, go to the Olympics section and browse the streams to find sailing. You will then be able to watch the live action.

You can also access the Olympics streams on your computer. Right now the best place to go is 7plus.com.au/Olympics. Shortly before the Games sport specific pages will be launched. The one for sailing will be 7plus.com.au/olympic-games-tokyo-sailing.

You can also get 7plus on Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Apple TV 4th Gen+, Chromecast, Android TV, Samsung TV, Sony Linux TV, LG TV (2016 and later) and Playstation 4.

World Sailing has setup a site with all the Tokyo Olympic Sailing information at https://tokyo2020.sailing.org/news/ . You can subscribe on this site to get updates and results.

Best wishes to our 13 Olympic sailors and the entire 472 Australians who will compete in Tokyo. It has been a tough preparation for most of these athletes. There are links to the profiles of the 13 Australian Olympic sailors Here. Just click the photo to see the profile.

Australian Sailing says “Australia has a rich history of success in Olympic sailing and this year is no different with a number of strong Gold Medal chances alongside some young and emerging talent. Our Laser, Men’s 470 and Nacra 17 classes were all in the medals the last time they competed at a World Championships, and you can write off the other classes at your own risk. All our competitors have strong podium results on the international stage and it is the Olympics – anything can happen and probably will.”

Southeast Sailboats in the UK has a race track conditions and form guide for the Laser Men’s event Here. and World Sailing has the guide to the top ranked Laser Women Here

Mara Stransky & Matt Wearn in stronger conditions than those expected in Enoshima

Laser Rowing Option

Winter winds are sometimes pretty ordinary so maybe then you can get some more use from your Laser with this Haka Laser rowing kit.

Originating from Switzerland this frame and oars setup looks well engineered though not cheap. It could allow safe rowing in combination with sailing in open water where regular rowing shells might offer rowing in combination with swimming.

More info from the Swiss firm is Here and a video on the concept is Here.

470s Wear & Tear and Reward

The hands of the front half of the winning 470 team Will Ryan pictured show the wear and tear and the reward of the Belcher/Ryan team.

A fabulous effort rewarded by Mathew carrying the Australian flag in the closing ceremony.

SPLM Replaced With a Two Day Open Event

Due to the COVID-19 situation Queensland Laser Association has decided to replace the South Pacific Laser Masters Regatta with a weekend open (all ages) regatta on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July. This is similar to the situation last year. All entries for SPLM will be refunded.

A NOR for the replacement two day five race event has been issued Here. You can enter Here. Entry is $50.

Entries will be refunded if COVID restrictions do not allow the regatta to go ahead.

There is an opportunity for coaching on Friday 9th July before the event. Details of the coaching are in the NoR as is the email for expression of interest.

QLA says “Please go ahead and enter the event if you can, we would love to see you there! Last year we ended up with around 60 entries in similar circumstances.”

50th Anniversary Bash on Sydney Harbour

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The Laser 50th Anniversary Event was held on Sydney Harbour on Sunday 20th June. The fleet of over 110 boats enjoyed the 10 -18 knots of breeze to complete the course from Farm Cove in front of the Opera House to Watsons Bay.

A number of interstate sailors who planned to participate were deterred by the mini COVID outbreak some others by the early start and the cold and rain. Those who did brave the conditions had a great time on the water and enjoyed the festivities, BBQ and prize draw back at Double Bay Sailing Club afterwards.

Pictured above is part of the fleet led by 13 times Laser World Masters Champion Brett Beyer sailing the prize 50 Anniversary gold boat donated by PSA. NB Sailsports also donated three ILCA sails for the draw.

Photos below are of Frant Bucek sailing his 1974 vintage Laser. The boat Frant insists is quite sound despite its years. The same could be said of many of the masters sailors on the day. The other is Peter (Pedro) Stephinson  sailing with Michael Blackburn’s sail and a boat from the Sydney Olympics in 2000. These Olympics were sailed on much the same water as the 50th event. Photos are by Aero Media

There are lots of photos taken by Jon West which can be viewed and purchased from his web site Here.

Story carried by Sail World is Here. Jeff Loosemore’s video perspective is Here.

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ILCA 6 (Radial) Worlds Venue & Date Change

The 2021 ILCA 6 Men’s and Women’s World Championships is being relocated to Mussanah, OMAN. The event dates have been changed to 29 November to 06 December 2021.

The change is due to disruptions to global shipping which have made it impossible ship the charter boats from Japan (post Olympics) to USA in time for the event. Oman has offered to host this event, although at this later date.

The application deadline has been moved to 30 August 2021. All existing applications for this event remain valid, although some sailors may elect to cancel due to the date and venue change.

Welcome to the new CV world of flexible arrangements.

The dates and locations for the following 2022 World Championships have also just been set:

  • 2022 ILCA 7 Masters World Championship – 30 May- 7 June 2022 at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
  • 2022 ILCA 6 Masters World Championship – 09-17 June 2022 at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
  • 2022 ILCA 4 Youth World Championships – 13-20 August 2022 at the Capable Planet Clube Nautico in Vilamoura, Portugal
  • 2022 ILCA U21 World Championships – 21-28 August 2022 at the Capable Planet Clube Nautico in Vilamoura, Portugal

2021 ILCA World Championships

ILCA Have announced opening of applications for Men’s and Women’s Radial (Now ILCA 6) World Championships 10-17 October Shoreacres Texas USA.

Australians considering competing in these events should review the ILCA World Championships COVID-19 Notice information Here. In the light of the Australian Government’s ban on Australian citizens and permanent residents travelling overseas sailors wishing to participate in these events should review the information on the Department of Home Affairs’ web site Here

ILCA are moving ahead with entry offers for other 2021 World Championships. You can view the details for each of the seven World Championships on the ILCA web site Here.

50th Anniversary Bash on Sydney Harbour

The Laser 50th Anniversary Event was held on Sydney Harbour on Sunday 20th June. The fleet of over 110 boats enjoyed the 10 -18 knots of breeze to complete the course from Farm Cove in front of the Opera House to Watsons Bay.

A number of interstate sailors who planned to participate were deterred by the mini COVID outbreak some others by the early start and the cold and rain. Those who did brave the conditions had a great time on the water and enjoyed the festivities, BBQ and prize draw back at Double Bay Sailing Club afterwards.

Pictured above is part of the fleet led by 13 times Laser World Masters Champion Brett Beyer sailing the prize 50 Anniversary gold boat donated by PSA. NB Sailsports also donated three ILCA sails for the draw.

Photos below are of Frant Bucek sailing his 1974 vintage Laser. The boat Frant insists is quite sound despite its years. The same could be said of many of the masters sailors on the day. The other is Peter (Pedro) Stephinson  sailing with Michael Blackburn’s sail and a boat from the Sydney Olympics in 2000. These Olympics were sailed on much the same water as the 50th event. Photos are by Aero Media

There are lots of photos taken by Jon West which can be viewed and purchased from his web site Here.

Story carried by Sail World is Here. Jeff Loosemore’s video perspective is Here.

2021 ILCA World Championships

ILCA Have announced opening of applications for Men’s and Women’s Radial (Now ILCA 6) World Championships 10-17 October Shoreacres Texas USA.

ILCA are moving ahead with entry offers for other 2021 World Championships. You can view the details for each of the seven World Championships on the ILCA web site Here.

Australians considering competing in these events should review the ILCA World Championships COVID-19 Notice information Here. In the light of the Australian Government’s ban on Australian citizens and permanent residents travelling overseas sailors wishing to participate in these events should review the information on the Department of Home Affairs’ web site Here.

2022 Australian Open & Youth Championships

The 2022 Australian Laser Open & Youth Championship will be held at Fremantle Sailing Club WA between 1 to 8 January 2022.

The Notice of Race for the event is Here. You can enter from 1 July Here.

A limited number of charter boats are available for the event from NB Sailsports. If you need a charter get in an reserve yours on the NB Sailsports web site Here

There is more information about Australian Championship events and their venues on the Australian Laser Championships web site.

Entry links, documents, updates and results for the event will be on the Australian Laser app. Select 2022 Laser Masters Australian Champs in National & District Events.

2022 Australian Laser Masters

The 2022 Australian  Laser Masters Championship will be held at Westernport Yacht Club in Victoria 25-28 February 2022. This event will be the first under the new rotation arrangement for the National Masters.

The Notice of Race for the event is Here. You can enter Here.

There is information about the event and the venue on the Australian Laser Championships web site.

Entry links, documents, updates and results for the event will be on the Australian Laser app. Select 2022 Laser Masters Australian Champs in National & District Events.

The Australian Masters will be preceded by a two day coaching clinic 22-23 February.

Six New Class Builders

In accordance with World Sailing’s Olympic Equipment Policy, which states that any interested and qualified manufacturer must have the opportunity to become a builder of Olympic equipment ILCA have now appointed six new builders worldwide joining PSA here and PSJ in Japan.

To comply with the WS policy the International Laser Class boats will be sold under the ILCA brand in order to allow builders to sell boats in any part of the world without trademark restrictions.

The new builders are;

  • Devoti Sailing s.r.o. (Poland)
  • Element 6 Evolution Co Ltd (Thailand)
  • Nautivela srl (Italy)
  • Ovington Boats Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • Qindao Zou Inter Marine Co., Ltd (China)
  • Rio tecna srl (Argentina)

All ILCA approved builders’ boats are manufactured from moulds made from ILCA master tooling and are built in strict compliance with the standards and specifications of the class Build Manual.

In Australia we have been fortunate to have the most experienced builder in PSA here so perhaps little change in supply arrangements. Some other Laser Regions had not been well served under the previous builder arrangements so are very pleased to have production closer to home – an advantage we have enjoyed for a long time.

New Australian Laser App

Thanks to a VLA initiative and finance we now have a new mobile app which each Australian Laser district can use and which will provide notifications, information, documents, results etc. relevant to the district and regattas.

Many sailors will have seen how useful this information and notifications are for regattas when a similar app was used at the Victorian 2020 events earlier in the year.

The app is free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store – just search “Australian Lasers” and look for the distinctive app logo or click on one of the links below.

Apple App Store


Google Play Store

You will get notifications of any new information on one Australian Laser district and one Regatta which will be the last district and last regatta which you accessed. You can also see National Laser results, messages and documents by selecting the ALCA icon on the home screen.

A Blast from the Past

If we can’t have an Australian Championship this year we can at least reflect on the great events of the past.

Greg Pratt has dusted off photos which he took at the 2010 Nationals at Adelaide Sailing Club. You can see these photos HERE. In this series Tom Slingsby won 10 of the 11 races which is about as dominant a win as you can get at this level.

You can see the results of the Standards HERE and thanks to the work of Rob Lowndes and others the results of the Nationals going back to last century are HERE. You may not recall how you went in the past but the internet never forgets.

2010 Nationals Tom Slingsby on his way to a very big win – Photo Greg Pratt