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The Class

The Class

Designed in 1971, the Laser is the most popular dinghy class in the world with over 180,000 registered boats worldwide. It's distinctive flat top and low height above the water was designed for carrying the dinghy on top of the car. This leaves a very small cockpit space which can put off potential owners. (Imagine sitting on your draining board with your feet in the kitchen sink.) But it's a boat with a lot going for it:

  • Strict one-design which ensures competitive racing while keeping the price down
  • Ultra-low maintenance
  • Very active National and International Association
  • Fun enough for beginners and challenging enough to be an Olympic Class
  • Planes easily giving an exciting ride on the reach
  • Strongly built and not easily damaged

The same hull (length 4.23 m, beam 1.37 m, weight 60kg) can be used with three sizes of rig. This makes it a very suitable boat for youth sailors since, as they get bigger, it is only necessary to buy a new lower mast section and sail to move up a rig.

  • Laser full rig: 7.06 m2, PN 1078 - suitable for sailors over 76 kg
  • Laser Radial: 5.76 m2, PN 1101 - ideal for youths and lighter adults
  • Laser 4.7: 4.7 m2, PN 1175 - suitable for youngsters aged 12 and over

Given the sheer number of boats around it should be no surprise that the Laser class is the biggest at South Cerney with around 50 hulls in the dinghy park. It is usually easy to find someone of a similar standard to race against. It is an active class with most members attending at least one training event in the last 12 months. Club training is very friendly and is held at three levels - basic skills, improvers, and race training. The club hosts a Laser Open each June which is part of the popular Laser Wessex Region Traveller series.

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