World Sailing Council Unanimously Approves ILCA Equipment for 2024 Olympics

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The World Sailing Council approved the International Laser Class Association’s bid to be retained as equipment for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with 30 voting in favor, 0 against and 0 abstaining.

In May 2019, the World Sailing Council approved the re-selection of the Laser class for both Men’s and Women’s single handed equipment, but on condition of meeting WS contractual conditions including the adoption of a FRAND licensing policy for builders. A deadline of 1 August was set for concluding contract discussions.

ILCA signed the required Olympic Classes Contract by this deadline and submitted additional information and clarification about the arrangements for the Class as requested by World Sailing.

On behalf of ILCA, President Tracy Usher “wishes to thank World Sailing for reaffirming its decision of last May. ILCA would also like to thank its builders, the World Council and the countless volunteers who worked hard over the Summer to create a plan to comply with World Sailing’s Olympic Equipment Policy and to classs members for voting to affirm a major piece of this plan which allowed us to submit the proper documentation by the deadline.

We look forward to the implementation of this plan as we look forward to the Paris Olympics in 2024!”

Click Here to see World Sailing’s Official Announcement.

Australia announces Laser and Men’s 470 selections for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Reigning Men’s 470 World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan and back-to-back Laser European Champion Matt Wearn have today been announced as the first athletes selected to the Tokyo 2020 Australian Olympic Team.

Belcher and Ryan have been rewarded for their stunning 2019 season, which has seen them bank five successive international victories. 

Last month they secured back-to-back wins at the Olympic Test Event and World Cup Series on the waters of Enoshima, the same track they will be racing around at the Games in ten months’ time.

For Belcher this will be his third Olympics, his second with Ryan as crew.

“It’s amazing to be the first athletes selected for Tokyo 2020,” Belcher said. “To go to even one Olympics is so special, to get a chance at a third Games is an incredible feeling.

“Now selection is secured the focus is firmly on the Olympics and doing everything we can to be at our best in July.”

Belcher and Ryan also secured their fifth 470 class World Championship together in Japan last month. The pairing is primed to go one better than the Silver they took home from Rio in 2016.

“Last time around we were second, and it felt like we just missed a few of those last little bits,” said Ryan on Friday. “We are really honoured and excited that we have the opportunity to go again and we’ll be giving it our all to get on that top spot.”

World number one ranked Laser sailor Wearn will be making his Olympic debut in Tokyo, winning selection after consistently strong results over the last two seasons. 

This included wins at the European Championships and Olympic Week in Hyeres, as well as second places at the Laser World Championships and the World Cup Series in Enoshima.

“I’m just ecstatic with the selection,” said Wearn. “I am really excited to be able to go and compete for Australia.”

Wearn will continue a fine tradition of success for Australia in the Laser class, which includes Gold at both the London and Rio Olympics. 

The Western Australian sailor will be well prepared for the conditions he expects face in Enoshima next year. 

“Enoshima can have quite a big swell with bigger waves, which is similar to sailing off Sydney heads. The wind tends to come off the land there, which makes conditions shifty and quite hot. We can recreate those conditions whenever there’s a hot westerly in Sydney, so it gives us confidence to be able to train in similar conditions at home.”

Australian Sailing President Matt Allen AM highlighted the depth of the Australian Sailing Team when he spoke shortly before the announcement.

“Australian Sailing has a proud history of success at the Olympics, and this group is no different,” Allen said. “We have won six gold medals at the past three games, and we head to Tokyo with three classes currently ranked in the top three in the world including two top seeds.”

Australian Sailing’s High Performance Director Iain Murray AM also paid tribute to reigning Olympic Laser champion Tom Burton, who missed out on selection this time round.

“Australia is extremely fortunate to have the world’s top two ranked Laser sailors amongst our fleet, but unfortunately Olympic rules state that we can only send one athlete per class,” said Murray. “Most countries would have given anything to select either athlete, so this was a particularly tough decision for the panel to have to make.”

The decision to nominate Wearn was made by Australian Sailing’s Olympic Nomination Panel. This highly qualified panel of eight includes Chairman David Kellett AM, Murray, three-time Laser World Champion Glenn Bourke and five-time Laser World Champion and London gold medallist Tom Slingsby.

Australian Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 Ian Chesterman said today’s announcement is a great milestone for the Australian Olympic Team. 

“It is wonderful to have three such high calibre athletes named today, the first of what we expect will be a team of around 480 athletes representing Australia in Tokyo,” Chesterman said. “Each has an amazing record in their sport and can now focus on their preparations for the Olympic Games next year.”

“Congratulations not only to the athletes on their selection, but their coaches, teammates, Australian Sailing, the Australian Institute of Sport and state institutes, families and supporters who have helped them become the athletes they are today.”

Enoshima is a special place for the sport of sailing in Australia. The venue for the 2020 Games is the same harbour that Bill Northam and the crew of the Barranjoey won Australia’s first ever sailing Olympic Gold on in 1964.

The latest crop of Olympians will be hoping to recreate those efforts, and continue Australia’s fine record of success in Olympic sailing.

Photos: Beau Outteridge

Double Bay Sailing Club Hosts Women’s Laser Regatta

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(Double Bay, Australia) Last weekend marked the second annual Women’s Laser Regatta in Australia, hosted by Double Bay Sailing Club and raced on Sydney Harbour. The intention of this regatta is to encourage greater female participation in the Laser class.

The event was coached by high-profile sailors, including triple Olympian Karyn Gojnich, double Olympian Krystal Weir, and Katie Spithill—a multiple international and national Women’s Match Racing champion from youth to adulthood. Spithill also finished second overall in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart as tactician on Wild Oats X. 

In only its second year, co-organizer Christine Patton commented, “We were over-subscribed this year. When we started the event last year, we couldn’t have guessed how popular it would become so quickly.”   

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2020 Laser Worlds Australia

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The Laser Summer

Australia is the place to be in the Southern Hemisphere summer of 2020. Laser racing will dominate the calendar in the state of Victoria during Australia’s summer with seven major Laser regattas on the calendar and many sailors expected to line up in more than one event.

The busy three months kicks off on January 1, 2020, when the Australian Laser Championships will be held at Sandringham Yacht Club. The championships cover all rigs and organizers have already received 140 entries.

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Voting Now Open for Proposed 2019 ILCA Rule Change

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Voting is now open for a VERY important ILCA Class Rule change.
Voting is open from 1 July to 31 July 2019.To secure the future of our class and provide certainty to World Sailing that we can meet their new Olympic Classes requirements, the ILCA World Council seeks your support by voting “YES” to approve an important class rule change: to remove the requirement for Builders to be licensed by Laser trademark owners. 

Click Here to Vote Now 

For additional information about the proposed rule change, click on any of the following links:

Rule Change Overview
Detailed Rule Change Information
Comprehensive Q&A 
Full Rule Change Text

In a vote of the ILCA World Council, this rule change was overwhelmingly approved by an 11 to 2 margin, including the unanimous approval of all six ILCA Regional Chairmen.

The class now needs your support!

Your vote “YES” will:
1) Make sure that our class will remain in the Olympics.
2) Ensure that class-legal equipment is available in ALL parts of the world.
3) Give control of our class to the sailors, not the commercial parties.

To be counted you must vote by 31 July 2019.In order to secure the future of our class, please take a moment to click the link below and vote “YES” now in a quick, 1-question online survey.

Click Here to Vote Now

WIN a new Laser

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Aus Laser Nationals 2020 Entries NOW OPEN

Notice of Race issued for 2020 Australian Laser Championships at Sandringham

• The first of seven major Laser events to be held in Victoria, Australia, between January and March 2020.

• Entries are now open and “early bird” registrations go in a draw to win a new Laser courtesy of Performance Sailcraft Australia.

• PSA will produce 160 new Lasers for the World Championships and will also have charter boats available for interstate and international competitors at the Australian Championships.

Victoria, Australia, June 24, 2019: The Notice of Race has been released for the 2020 Australian Laser Championships, to be run at Sandringham Yacht Club, Melbourne, from January 1-8, 2019.

The Australian Championships, which include Laser 4.7, Laser Radial (men’s and women’s) and Laser Standard rigs, are expected to attract large fleets as Australian and international sailors prepare for the World and Masters World Championships later in the summer.

Olympic Selection

As all eyes turn towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Australia’s leading men’s and women’s Laser sailors will also use the Australian Championships to push for Olympic team selection.

In the men’s Standard division, 2016 Olympic Champion Tom Burton has been under pressure from compatriot Matthew Wearn to retain his Olympic spot. Both will represent their country at the Olympic Test Event at Enoshima in August of this year and both are expected to line up at the Australian Championships in January.

The battle for the Women’s Laser Radial spot at Tokyo is also intense, with young Queenslander Mara Stransky winning selection for the Test Event after two top 10 finishes in Europe pushed her ahead of four other strong prospects. Stransky has confirmed that the Australian Championships are an important part of her preparations for the 2020 World Championships in February, at the same venue, where her closest competitors will also try to put their names in the selectors’ minds.

Victorian Laser Association President, John d’Helin said that it wasn’t just the “elite” sailors who would be lining up for the Championships, however. “I’ve heard from a number of middle-of-the-pack sailors and also from a few newcomers to the class, saying they can’t wait to get out on the water with the top sailors. It’s a rare chance for the Laser community, whatever their level of sailing, to take part in major events. I think that’s one of the beauties of our sport – Joe Average can be out there sailing with Olympic and World Champions, and having just as much fun.”

The Victorian Association has a solid program of social events planned for the summer and, thanks to major sponsor Visit Victoria, will also be distributing information about the many places to visit and things to do in the Port Phillip area and greater Victoria.

Win a New Laser

Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) will produce 160 new Lasers to cater for the demand from international and interstate competitors who intend sailing at the Australian, Oceania and World Championships.

The company is also offering early entrants in the Australian Championships the chance to win a brand new Laser with carbon top section, a beach dolly and the winner’s choice of rig. To be in the draw, all they have to do is get their entry in prior to August 31, 2019.

To enter, go to https://www.auslasernationals.com.au/ or https://www.trybooking.com/BDFIT.

Sailors planning to enter the Australian Championships, Sail Melbourne and any of the World events are also encouraged to visit www.laser2020.com where they can download the Laser2020 app and sign up to receive newsletters which will contain updates on the events, guides to sailing at both Sandringham and Geelong, information on the social program, special offers on tours and sightseeing, and valuable sailing tips from expert coaches.

The full Laser 2020 program is:

• Australian Championships, Sandringham Yacht Club, January 1-8, 2020.

• Oceania Championships in conjunction with Sail Melbourne, Sandringham Yacht Club, January 17-21, 2020.

• ILCA Standard Men’s World Championship, Sandringham Yacht Club, February 9-16, 2020.

• ILCA Men’s and Women’s Laser Radial Championships, Sandringham Yacht Club, February 21-28, 2020.

• Oceania and Australian Laser Masters Championships, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, March 13-18, 2020.

• ILCA Laser Masters World Championships, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, March 19-28, 2020.

Major sponsors of the Laser2020 program are Visit Victoria and Performance Sailcraft Australia.

PSA Easter Shutdown

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PSA will be closed for the Easter break from Friday the 19th April and re opening on Monday the 29th April.
Our staff will be in on Wednesday 24th April to process all online orders, if you need anything over the break be sure to have your online order in by Wednesday morning or visit one of our Laser dealers.
We hope you have a happy and safe Easter break and get some time out sailing !

Oceania Laser Master Championships 2019

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The 2019 Fiji Oceania Laser Master Championships

The 2019 Fiji Oceania Laser Master Championships will be once again held on the beautiful Denarau Island, Fiji. 
Warm waters and perfect breeze will greet you on your arrival at the event venue, the luxurious Sofitel Resort and Spa. 

Luxury suites, sparkling swimming pools, world-class cuisine, shopping, adventure options and best of all world class sailing conditions. 
A fleet of PSA Laser charter boats are onsite for the event, just turn up and sail in paradise! 

STD and Radial rigs from the 12th – 17th October 2019

Brett Beyer will also once again be running his Laser Masters Coaching clinic in Fiji before the event, spots are limited so get in quick.

Visit the event website for all event details and online entry.

NSW & ACT Laser News 2019

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Folks some Laser news and information items for you.

ILCA 2019 Laser Handbook

The ILCA has released the 2019 Laser Handbook. It has all the information you need on the class its governance rules and history.

We will have copies to be picked up at our regatta venues however you can as easily download the Handbook from the ILCA web site HERE.

Australian & Oceania Laser Championships

The Oceania and Australian Laser Championships sailed on Bass Strait off Devonport concluded on 8th January. Sailed from Mersey Yacht Club the event saw 148 of the top Australian Laser sailors competing with sailors from around the world.

On the first day the legendary Bass Strait conditions did not make an appearance and no races were completed. This resulted in some very long days on the water subsequently as the race committee scheduled three race days on some with early starts. In the end all 12 scheduled races were completed. Continue reading