Celebrating the birth of the Laser

Published on May 23rd, 2021

Australia will be celebrating the birth of the ILCA Laser dinghy by organizing a world record attempt of 200+ Lasers to sail in a parade from Sydney Opera House to South Head on May 30 to recognize 50 years of the popular sailing class.

Double Bay Sailing Club, which has the largest fleet of active ILCA Laser dinghy sailors in Australia, has invited all Laser sailors from around Sydney and beyond to participate in the exhibition parade, with festivities to follow at Double Bay Sailing Club.

“This is going to be real spectacle, with such a large fleet framed against the iconic backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House,” said Andrew Cox, Commodore of Double Bay Sailing Club, with the parade led by 13-times World Laser Masters Champion, Brett Beyer, on a commemorative gold-coloured Laser created for the occasion by the Australian ILCA Laser builder, Performance Sailcraft Australia.

Since the class was established in 1971, over 218,000 boats have been sold worldwide, making it one of the most popular sailing classes ever. It was first introduced as an Olympic one-person dinghy class in 1996 and, in the six games since then, Australia has won three medals, including gold in the last two Olympics.

“This event is generating a lot of excitement, with sailors travelling from around Australia to participate, including the Victorian owner of one of the first 10,000 Lasers ever built – numbered 9956!”, said Cox. “We are thrilled to be hosting this showcase event, which will highlight the popularity, the competitiveness, and the fun of the ILCA Laser class, and which we hope will inspire new and returning sailors to the sport.”

Are there other events planning to celebrate this 50th anniversary? Send details to editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com.

UPDATE: Double Bay Sailing Club has postponed the Laser 50th anniversary event until June 20 due to marine weather warnings issued for Sydney waters and the lockdown in Victoria which will prevent a number of sailors from traveling.

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