RSYS is the Organising Authority for the newest stop on the annual NB Sailsports Laser Winter Series, and on Sunday 7th August will welcome sailors from all local and regional Laser sailing Clubs for round #3 of this now popular mid-year racing series. In conjunction with the NSW / ACT District Laser Association and NB Sailsports, our Club will host what may be its first Laser Regatta since hosting the Laser Metro Championships way back in December 2000 – five Olympiads ago!
Additionally, for Olympic history buffs, it was back in September of that same year that RSYS played a key role in the delivery of the Olympic Sailing Regatta, as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Laser Class in its then second Olympiad was a high profile component of the Regatta, with Australian Michael Blackburn taking the Bronze medal after Ben Ainslie (GBR) famously sailed Robert Scheidt (BRA) ‘down the fleet’ in the final race to win the Gold Medal and Scheidt then having to settle for the Silver.
Way back then, and still importantly now for the Squadron, the Laser has woven its way into the fabric of the Club, particularly as a convenient youth sail training class. Although many an Old Salt can still lay claim to a boat they hold dear and being lovingly stored away within the Squadron’s racks today, a regatta on ‘home turf’ may be just the spark required to push the boat out again and go for a sail, as part of this easily accessible winter race series.
With a recently refreshed drive from RSYS Club Laser Coach Mike Leigh, the club’s newest batch of Optimist graduates have now stepped into Laser 4.7s for the first time, alongside the Radial cohort. With a full winter training program almost behind them and a busy summer program coming up, the opportunity for these young sailors to race their first Laser regatta at home is surely an experience to be savoured. Although some of these junior sailors are too young to remember Ainslie’s tactics back in 2000, the NB Series arrival at the Squadron is timely, as the Club is now in the final stages of preparation to announce the new Squadron Dinghy Racing Series 2016-2017, with details to be released by the Sailing Office in the coming weeks.
The Squadron is also no stranger to hosting ‘Winter Dinghy Regattas’, as it was not even 12 months ago that the Club accommodated a different one design class, playing host to the NSW IODA Travellers Trophy Round #2, for Optimists. After the RSYS Youth Sailing Committee had put on a good show and a successful event last August for TT#2, they quickly prompted the Club’s Sailing Office to contact NB Sailsports to be included in the 2016 Laser Class winter calender.
Up until now, the 2016 edition of the NB Sailsports Laser Winter Series has only managed to complete a handful of races, the first round being held at the Middle Harbour Amateur SC. With the second round conducted at the Georges River 16ft SC and unfortunately due to a lack of breeze not even a single race getting started, this hopefully makes the Squadron-hosted round a popular choice for Laser sailors to get their winter regatta fix.
The NB Sailsports Laser Winter Series Notice of Race was made available earlier in the year and entries are now being taken online for round #3. The earlier scheduled start time at the Squadron venue of 1100hrs, is an attempt to catch the best of the winter winds. Well known Laser sailing identity and RSYS Club Member Rob Lowndes, will be the Race Officer for the day to oversee all of the on-water proceedings. All three Classes of Laser (4.7, Radial and Standard) will be racing and entries may even be further divided into specific divisions, for women, U19s as well as including various Masters Divisions should entries be sufficient.
For more information, including online entries, Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions Click here.