Women and Girls Session 12 October

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Published on: 27 October, 2014

On Sunday 12th October, the second of the Women and Girls Laser training sessions was conducted by Mark Tonner-Joyce at Sandringham Yacht Club.

It was a perfect day for sailing with a light breeze and warm weather in the morning, and a gradually building breeze in the afternoon.

The focus of the session was on boat speed with a number of exercises, such as rabbit starts, downwind release and windward/leeward races.

Thanks to Sandringham Yacht Club and especially Sulis Papantoniou for making the participants feel welcome.

This is the last of the VLA Women/Girls sessions until 2015, but we will be conducting Laser Activate days and Class Development Days throughout the summer.

Just a reminder that Westernport Yacht Club are holding the inaugural Sarah Blanck regatta on the 8th and 9th November for women and girls sailors in Laser.  Please see their website: CLICK HERE 

Bart’s Bash 2014

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Published on: 27 October, 2014


Laser sailors from around the world unified to show their support for the Andrew “Bart” Simpson foundation by becoming part of a new Guinness World record for “the largest sailing race in 24 hours at multiple venues”. With over 1580 Standard rigs, in excess of 880 Radials, and more than 300 Laser 4.7’s the Laser was the largest class represented in the world fleet.

As the day started on our side of the planet we were one of the first countries to get underway, with over nine hundred Australian sailors competing in a worldwide field of more than twenty six thousand sailors! Seventy two Lasers represented Australia with our fastest being Colin Dibb sailing out of a breezy Fremantle in a standard rig with the next fastest in a Radial, also from the west, Yuki Nishio.

Worldwide the Britt’s cleaned up in Lasers with a fifth outright in the standard rig and a ninth outright in a radial rig, both from the same river yacht club so I suspect they were reaching back and forward across the river to give them far greater speed than we could achieve on windward return or triangle courses! Look out next year…..one km downwind legs coming up!

Six clubs from Victoria competed with four of these clubs having fleets of the twenty-five minimum required to be included in the world record ie: Mordialloc SC. Mt.Martha YC. Sandringham YC & Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. However, what they lacked in numbers they did not in spirit and great fun was also had at Port Arlington with Manfred leading them home.

James Mitchell was the fastest Victorian, sailing from Sandy, followed by Chris Bolton who was coerced from retirement for the day and loaned a boat at Mt.Martha YC. Hamish Fleetwood starred at Mordialloc with ten Lasers sailing from there.

Mt. Martha was quietly blessed with Glenn Ashby who gave everyone a sense of connection and loss to Bart even on this side of the planet. Glenn being a gentleman took his foiling Moth to the “wrong” side of the finish line so I guess we could say we had beaten him!

Feedback from everywhere was massive with “Barts” website, Facebook, and You Tube interviews and clips carrying on for days after the event. However, it was the fun, camaraderie and love of our sailing that will make this event even bigger in 2015 all in the memory of “Bart”!

So, do yourself a favour and check the “Barts Bash” website out and get your clubs Lasers involved next year or come along to a club that is!

NSW Youth Championships

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Published on: 27 October, 2014


A number of Victorian sailors attended the NSW Youth Championships at Botany Bay this month. Laser was well represented with 21 Victorian entries. Victorians represented 15 of the 28 entries in the 4.7 class and 6 of the 20 entries in  the Radial class.

Conditions were difficult and varied over the weekend.  Saturday had a fading breeze however race management were able to get a number of races in for all classes.  With a varied and light breeze on Sunday the patience of the race officers finally paid off managing to get one race in at 4.30 pm.

After many frustrating delays and wind shifts on Monday the breeze finally filled in and we were able to round out the regatta with a further three races.

There were some fantastic results for our Victorians including the first female and first male overall in the 4.7 class.  Please view the results through the following link: http://www.ynswyouthchamps.org.au/


2014/15 VLA Regattas

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Published on: 27 October, 2014

An extensive program of regattas for Lasers is being organised by the Victorian Laser Association.

Our objective is to plan a range of regattas that provide multiple opportunities for competition, skill development and fun across all our classes and sailor demographics.

We are keen to encourage maximum participation.

Therefore, review the program detailed below and reserve the dates in your sailing diary.

Specific details, including Notices of Race, associated with the regattas will be provided in subsequent newsletters and on our web-site.

2014/15 Program

15th & 16th November – Port Phillip ChampionshipsSandringham Yacht Club (in conjunction with Kingston Sprint Series)

7th -> 14th December – Sailing World Cup Sandringham Yacht Club

28th December 4th January – Australian Laser ChampionshipsMandurah WA

24th & 25th January – Australia Day Regatta McCrae Yacht Club

14th & 15th February – Victorian Masters ChampionshipsIndented Head Yacht Club

28th & 29th March – Victorian Open ChampionshipsMt Martha Yacht Club

11th & 12th April – Yachting Victoria Youth ChampionshipsMornington Yacht Club

Class Development Report/Sunday 24th August two Great Events

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Published on: 18 August, 2014

photo 1Sunday 17th August saw over 20 Lasers hit the water off Mordialloc. First group out in the morning were the Class Development (12) Group, who under the instruction of Ben Gunther, undertook an excellent session in an 8 – 12 Knot SE breeze with plenty of sunshine.  Most of the HP squad went out for a practice sail and joined in the Class Development Group for a few of the drills, which allowed everyone to mix it up a bit. It’s great to see these two groups getting together providing nearly 20 boats spinning around marks, getting off the start lines or running downwind together.

Ben worked on this week’s specific drills for the Class Development group. Each week Ben and the sailors are consolidating on what has been done and also being introduced to a new aspect to practice.

photo 2

Ben’s report is below.

“Yesterday we got lucky with the weather and had a great southerly breeze of around 8-12 kts. In the morning a large group of 12 started with a short drill of rounding two marks. The aim was to focus on rolling our boats to help gybe and tack. Everyone did a great job with this but there was still room for improvement including closer mark roundings and bigger rolls (particularly to windward when bearing away).

Another key tip to come out of this drill was the aim of getting the mainsheet block-to-block (rear blocks) as the boat tacks. This helps steer the boat through the tack by tightening the leach.

After a few laps we headed up wind, keeping in an even line by using rabbit/gate starts. It took a little while but the whole group eventual worked out the importance of positioning as the ‘rabbit’ starts crossing. Boats need to be even with all the other boats (not 2 boat lengths behind!) and allow at least a boat length of space to leeward and windward. Overall everyone looked very good upwind. A few had a bit of trouble with outhaul tensions and keeping the mainsheet tight (needed to be b-2-b).

After a short downwind we started some quick, one lap races. For the first 4 races all sailors were not allowed to hike or use their hiking strap. The aim was to encourage everyone to use other controls to depower, keep the boat upright and moving. For the last two races hiking was allowed and everyone learned how much faster the boat goes when you hike :)
We finished the morning with an acceleration drill which made obvious the benefit of being able to sheet in the mainsheet fast.

The two races in the afternoon were a great show of the fantastic mix of sailors the laser fleet currently has in Victoria. Everyone started ‘reasonably’ close to the start line which made for some competitive first beats. A clear difference across the course was less clouds out to sea (right) and with it a bit more pressure. Lots of gains were made from staying right of the fleet. In the debrief we also covered how to manage boats on the final leg to the finish.

Hope you all had a great day on the water! See you next Sunday.


The afternoon produced perfect sailing conditions with a very steady breeze. Mordialloc Sailing Club put on two excellent races and congratulations to all those who participated and to the winners. It was a beautiful day out on the water.

It’s never too late to join in so if you want to come along next Sunday just register via the following link.


This Sunday 24/8 we will again be running the Laser Class Development with Ben, but also have our first Women/Girls only Laser training session being conducted by Mark Tonner-Joyce. If you haven’t already booked please use the link above and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Bookings are essential so that we can ensure the safety of all the sailors and maintain a good coach to sailor

Free Coaching for VLA members

Categories: 2013/14, Activate, Regatta
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Published on: 18 August, 2014


Sail Mordi on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August is a coaching regatta.

The VLA will have a minimum of two coaches at Sail Mordi with pre-race briefings by Mark Tonner-Joyce.

The NOR will be posted on the Mordialloc Sailing Club website http://www.mordiallocsc.com.au Coaching by the VLA will be provided free of charge to VLA

members thanks to our sponsors, and at a total cost of $50.00 for the two sessions for non VLA members.

To ensure we have sufficient coaches and support boats please book on line at http://www.trybooking.com/72382 by Wednesday 27th August. If you are a VLA member please enter the promo code VLAmember.

Look forward to seeing everybody there.

August newsletter now Online

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Published on: 7 August, 2014


The days are getting longer. Spring is just around the corner. Time to get your Laser out onto the water… In this issue you we cover off a message from our President. Laser Class Development @ Mordialloc Sailing Club in conjunction with the Mordialloc Sailing Club Winter Series. We have an update from SPLM in Brisbane and finally we have some notices from our measurer Neville Beeson. Plus our regular sections. Till next month. Happy reading.

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