Why build a Laser >> class in the US?

The Laser Two is the most fun for the least fuss.

It is the boat you can do everything you want in, have fun with all of it, and get into it right now.

Most people want a boat that is really fun. One they can sail with anybody, from a friend or relative who's never sailed before to their Rock Star cousin that crewed in the America's Cup. They want to be able to start sailing right away, and yet never get board with it. They want a boat that they can sail whenever they want, walk away as soon as they are done, and not touch it until they go sailing again. And they want one that won't break their bank.

So, the reason for building the class is so that more and more people can

Read more about the Laser Two's strengths.

Why am I doing this?

Well now, that's an interesting story. A few different things came together to cause this. The first thing that happened is in 1994, I saw a Laser Two, and thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen - but I couldn't afford one. Eventually, in 1998, I got one. By then, the class was dead in the US, so I spent 3 years learning how to sail it on my own. While I loved it, I learned very slowly, because I had nobody to compare notes with. The egroup was generous with information and advice, but you just can't learn how to rig and sail a boat through email. What I really needed was someone to be right next to me with a Laser Two that was set up correctly, and who knew why things were the way they were. And it wouldn't have hurt to have actually gone sailing with him either.

Instead, it took two years for me to figure out by myself how to solo the thing, and three years to be able to get the spinnaker up reliably, albeit being clueless about actually using it. While I had fantasies about having someone on the wire while the kite was up, I was assuming they were just that; fantasies. My lack of knowledge led to fear. I was frustrated, and basically approaching the conclusion that this was too much boat for me.

Then one day, I noticed that the president of th International Laser Two Class Association worked at Deloitte & Touche, which was in Manhattan. I was travelling to Manhattan at the time, so I asked him to have lunch. He was astounded that I had never had the kite up with someone on the wire. He talked me into going to the European Championships on Lake Como, in Northen Italy, despite my insistance that I would be terrible at racing, be last in every race, and be in everybody's way. He assured me that there would be other novices there, and that I would definitely not finish last in every race. I didn't believe him, but I was excited to actually see some properly rigged boats, and talk to their owners. And spending a week in Italy wasn't a hard sell either. Once he convinced me that the trip would be cheap (thanks to some frequent flier miles, the whole deal cost me less than $800), I was sold.

The search for crew was not easy. But to make a long story short, I made it, and made a friend. Along the way, I made another friend, and he raced with me two weeks later, at CORK. I learned more about, and got better at, rigging and sailing a Laser Two in these combined eight days than I had in my three previous years of owning the boats. I probably would have been furious that it took me that long to trap with the kite, except I was having way too much fun to be furious.

I chalked up the three years I spent, barely learning anything, to "experience." But after spending two of those years subscribed to the egroup, I also learned that Laser Two sailors all over the country were just like me - people who thought the boat was cool, and bought it on their own, with nobody else to "show them the ropes." I eventually decided that I wanted to simultaneously enable myself to have these regattas in my own backyard, and save all these people the hassel and frustration of having to figure it all out on their own - and possibly having less luck than me, and *never* figuring much of it out. And if in so doing, I make new friends and get a bunch of people to race against and practice with, so much the better. And here I am, and here you are.