Laser Training Center
March 2012

Help us make the Laser world a better place.

In the past few months frustrated Laser sailors from around the world have approached us, asking for help with a solution to the crisis. What once seemed like a strong organization with great synergy between  ILCA and the boat builders has turned to what idiomatic slang refers to as a pissing contest.
When people buy a Laser they don't buy just a boat. They buy a dream. A strict one design class,  class camaraderie , a healthy master circuit, and most importantly they know that wherever they want to race around the world an identical hull will wait for them. Thus, avoiding all the shipping charges and headaches, that most other classes endure.
But things changed. The boat builders don't communicate (last update March 15th, 2012), ILCA seems to be choosing sides between boat builders, boats are not available for charter in major competitions, and slowly but surely mainly due to lack of supply, the class is losing its one design grip.

Whatever the cause of the dispute and the trouble is, it is clear that the ones forgotten are the people who made the class what it is. I am referring to the 200,000 sailors who bought Lasers and created this community.   The solution to the crisis will be quick once the boat owners needs and interests would become the priority or mission for the parties involved.

The Laser Training Center is a proud Laser Performance dealer, in good relations with ILCA, and in talking relations with PSA also a Laser builder.
Maybe we can play a part in the resurrection of the feel good factor in the  Laser class. To accomplish this task we ask for your ideas, and suggestions.  We prepared an easy to fill survey form, that you can share with anyone you feel can have constructive ideas.

We want to give the same importance to any idea that comes in, no matter who the originator is. So, please do not sign your name nor give any personal reference.

Once we will have a suggestion list, we will share it with all the parties involved.

Let's  build on the 'good old days' for even better days still to come.

Masters from around the world enjoying a January clinic in Cabarete, with coach Rulo, and Coach Andy.
Is it time to change Master age racing categories?

Here are some ideas following the 2012 Masters worlds in Brisbane Australia.
First time Laser 4.7 for the lighter sailors was part of the festival, and seemed to be a big success.
One group, no matter age nor gender.

Things to think about... Many of the Pro sailors are now over 35 years old. Some Master sailors feel that if the Pros start winning all the races, it will diminish the number of  what they refer to as "true" Masters participating in races.
On the other extreme of the spectrum, there are sailors who are soon to be over 75 years of age and they have to race with youngsters who are just 65 years old. Should we "mature", and declare Apprentice to be 40-50, Masters 50-60, Grand Masters 60-70, and great grand masters 70+ ?
We are not taking votes on this matter, but feel that the age issue really needs addressing.

Summer time is the best time to come and sail in Cabarete.

While the winter months attract sailors who want to improve surfing on swell, summer month are for those who want to concentrate on boat handling and boat speed. Trade winds blow and the waves are calm, flights and hotels are usually much cheaper as well. Contact us for details.

Is time relevant or relative at the start gun?

A good start is one of the most important ingredients of racing, and head coach Rulo  created new training drills to help sailors develop better starting skills. During the first three month of this year more than 100 sailors enjoyed our training programs in Cabarete, and practiced  the 'no time' at the start. In this drill only one sailor gets the time personally from the coach.  All other sailors have to start by watching the position of the sailor who has the time on his watch. The objective of the other sailors is to line up bow to bow and accelerate faster than the boat with the time when the start signal is given. We learned quite a few interesting lessons from the 'No time' drill.
  1. The sailor with the time rarely had the best start.
  2. Sailors who usually struggle in other starting drills had the best start when focusing on lining up bow-bow and on accelerating first.
  3. The sailors who start well with a watch, start well without one.

We don’t want you to leave your start-watch at home on a regatta day. Just remember that at the start line you should focus on how to beat the boats next to you. Awareness to their position and timing your acceleration based on the bows next to you are essential.

Start of the 10th Caribbean Laser Midwinter, January 13th to 15th, 2012. 14 Nations participated in our ISAF grade 3 event.
Pan Am Gold medal winner Julio Alsogaray from Argentina was first full rig, and world champion Juanky Perdomo from Puerto Rico was first Radial.

Tip of the month.

What does sailing with your head outside the boat really means? Julio Alsogaray, Gold medal winner of recent Pan American games, and winner of the 10th Caribbean Laser Midwinter regatta here in Cabarete, never keeps his eyes on the same spot for more than 10 seconds. Sail trim, other boats, clouds, mark location, leech, chop, other boats, and back again. Watch this newest tip of the month video.
Laser Training Center, Cabarete. Tel. 809 571 0640.