Angelo Lavranos designed the L26 in 1978, which went on to become the leading competitive keelboat class in South Africa. Below is Angelo’s own account of how it came about, so I’ll leave that to him. Angelo was a South African (as far as I know – he certainly lived here for many years), before moving on to New Zealand where he now lives. L26s were all built in SA, originally by PSI Yachts in Durban, later by Ton Cup as well. Maybe others too. Despite its age now (30 years) – the “Ls” as they have become known are surprisingly fast – even beating some of our larger racers across the line on occasion! They are particularly fast upwind if they have enough crew and benefit from the relatively high crew-weight/displacement ratio, sitting out on the wide beam. They have a high form stability factor, being beamy and light, but generally low-tech boats, keeping costs down. Despite this, Ls manage very well in heavy weather. Mostly, they have no reefing points in the main – at least in the racing suite! They remain a well-managed class, and the class choice for the Lipton Cup. They are now relatively affordable and have made performance sailing accessible to many of the youth and development programmes in SA.
The L26 is also currently the one-design class sailed in the prestigious annual Lipton Cup Challenge in South Africa
The KZN L26 Provincials will form part of the MSC Regatta
29 June to 4 July