Nearly 200 of the nation’s top small boat sailors will be in Clearwater Feb. 20 through 23 for the Laser Mid Winters East Regatta. Sailing fans can watch the action for the Pier 60 off Clearwater Beach.
The Laser is the world's most popular single-handed racing dinghy. The one-design boat can be equipped with three different rigs – Standard, Radial and 4.7 – making it available to sailors of all ages and skill levels, which is why it is one of the most competitive classes in competitive sailing.
Making its Olympic debut in 1996, the Laser has been called the world's premier one-handed racing sailboat. With more than 150,000 Lasers sailing in 85 countries, this boat has inspired more sailors, from juniors to masters, to excel in the sport than any design.
The Laser is fast, responsive, lightweight (car-toppable) and virtually maintenance-free. The Laser's accessibility and modest price make it the weekend warrior’s dream.
There is also no shortage on chances to compete. With more than 1,000 regattas worldwide, Laser sailors keep busy. Florida has more Laser sailors than any other state, or most countries for that matter.
The Laser Radial debuted for women in 2004. While the sail rigs may be different, the term “one-design” means that every hull, regardless of where it is manufactured or sailed, must be the same size and weight.
The sailors competing in this weekend’s regatta will launch from the Clearwater Sailing Center on Sand Key then compete north of Clearwater Pass within easy viewing of beach restaurants and hotels. To learn more, go to www.clwyc.org.