by Richard Crockett
Will the decision to have the RS Aero as the Olympic singlehander from 2024 sound the death-knell for the Laser singlehanded dinghy?
One would hope not as the trusty Laser has served so many yachties so well for so long now, that it almost has a cult-like following. I certainly know people who are besotted with their Lasers and the great sailing it has offered, not just on their local sailing patch, but internationally too as the Worlds are always well contested. The Masters events bring back Laser sailors from different eras to compete against each other. Lifetime friendships have been forged at these events, and will continue to do so long in to the future too.
The shenanigans in the Laser class, the renaming of the boat and disputes with a builder have, I am sure, not helped the Laser stay in any way.
But let’s be positive as things have to change and newer classes do appear and do make a big impact in terms of what they offer in terms of , build methods, rig options, ergonomic design, and better all-round speed too.The Evaluation Report regarding Equipment for the Olympic One-Person Events (2024 and beyond), which has been published by World Sailing, shows that the RS Aero achieved the highest overall score in the extremely comprehensive report, which analysed all key aspects of the boats and their production:
RS Aero 80%
Melges 14 54%
World Sailing Equipment Committee will discuss the Evaluation Report and make a recommendation to Council, for its selection decision, at the Mid-Year meeting on May 18/19.