Lough Erne Yacht Club

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Fleets > Lasers

Fleet Captain:

Laser Fleet goes from strength to strength in 2011.

Weekly Sailing begins on May 1st 2011 and will continue through to the end of October 2011. The junior sailors will receiving training each week and will have the opportunity to improve through the levels to reach the NI squads.

Email contact Aislinn Martin juniorsail@leyc.net

History of Class

Born 1929, Bruce Kirby became a sailing journalist. His design and racing experience with International 14s and knowledge of Sailing and sailors led to his 1969 concept of a high performance yet simple, single handed dinghy, that could be carried on top of a car, easily rigged and launched anywhere. Thus began the Laser, each boat made exactly identical in hull and rig for real one-design sport. Kirby’s other designs including Canada’s America’s Cup challenger.
The Laser’s simple hull and rig has deeper historic roots. Back in 1852, Earl Mountcharles brought Europe’s first racing dinghy home from New York. There was nothing like the Una on this side of the Atlantic, fifteen foot long, single sail and centreboard, she darted around the big yachts of the day, and many replicas were built. Mountcharles was an LEYC member and the Una was still listed in LEYC’s fleet in the 1880s. Mountcharles was also Commodore of today’s Royal St George YC. On the wall above the RStGYC bar is a cased model of the Una, historic ancestor of the Laser.
Lasers built in thousands world wide number over 200,000 today. In 2000, the US magazine Yachting surveyed dinghy and keelboat classes and declared the Laser ‘Dinghy of the Millennium’. (The J/24 was Millennium’keelboat)
The Laser’s performance and exact one-design were just right for Olympic sport. The boats are identical so crew fitness and skill are paramount. Two LEYC members have sailed in the Olympics, Charles Crichton, Gold Medal 1908, and Hugh Allen in a Firefly for Ireland in 1948. Time we had a third, perhaps someone from LEYC’s Lasers?
The ubiquitous Laser has been used for other voyages. In March 2005, Australian, Michael Blackburn, took a 4.2 Laser 115 miles across the Bass Straight. But, 15 years before, LEYC’s Rob Henshall took a Laser round Ireland, a voyage eight times longer, her cargo a tent and gear and Rob sleeping ashore. Our Rob’s 1990 record still stands.
LEYC’s young Laser fleet will grow, and has a lot of old history behind it.
© Michael Clarke, Historian LEYC,

Click here to view fleet photographs

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