sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : The American Tea Cup Regatta - where it all began
The American Tea Cup Regatta - where it all began

'Start - Laser Worlds 2010, Hayling Island, UK'    Richard Langdon    Click Here to view large photo

As sailing tries to broaden its base, the most desirable Olympic boats for the new and developing sailing nations are the single person boats, one-designs which are relatively inexpensive to build, the Laser and the windsurfer.

Almost 200,000 Lasers have now been built.

The boat's history began in 1969 when Canadian yachting journalist and boat designer Bruce Kirby was commissioned to design a dinghy small enough to be carried on a car roof rack. The design was for a camping equipment supplier, however that original design was never taken up.

The plans remained in Kirby's file until the following year when One Design and Offshore Yachtsman magazine, of which Kirby was the Editor, held a regatta for boats under $1000 at the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It was called 'The America's Teacup Regatta'.

The Weekender TGIF on Lake Geneva 1969 -  .. ©  
The first prototype, weighing in at 109 pounds, was named the 'Weekender' with sail number TGIF, the abbreviation for 'Thank God It's Friday'. (That was Hans Fogh's idea - he was another Canadian Finn sailor and the sailmaker and the first sailor to helm the dinghy.)

This week Kirby described the early days of the Laser.

‘There were two boats of note at the Teacup Regatta, one was the Weekender and the other one was the Windsurfer.

‘The Weekender was brand new, on that weekend. It had never been in the water before - literally, it had never been launched. In fact the hull and the masts arrived separately – but the windsurfer had been around for about three years.

‘The kid who sailed the windsurfer in the America’s Teacup Regatta was Matt Schweitzer, the 14 year old son of the inventor of the windsurfer Hoyle Schweitzer, who filed for a patent on the windsurfer in 1968.

‘It was really funny because young Matt had to a 720 in one race and of course he just spun the board with his feet and kept on going. It was the darndest thing. The middle of the boat never moved, just the ends of it spun around twice and he just kept on going.

'‘Our prototype boat in that America’s Teacup Regatta weighed only 109 pounds, it was 25 pounds under what turned out to be the proper weight. Hans explained that it had too much weather helm and so the builder Ian Bruce, built a second boat with a mast slot, so the mast could be moved back and forth while we played with the helm on the boat.

'In November of 1970 at the Royal St Lawrence Yacht Club, Ian asked a science student at McGill University ‘have you got any ideas for a name? We’ve got this boat ready to be produced and we don’t have a name for it yet.’

Bruce Kirby at the Bitter End Racing Pro Am 2006 -  Neil Rabinowitz   Click Here to view large photo
'Weekender was the only name we had and none of us really thought that was the right name.

'This young lad said ‘why don't you call it something scientific the young people will identify with?’

'And Ian said ‘do you mean something like Laser?’ And the kid said ‘yeah, that would be a great name.'

'Ian yelled down the table at me ‘how about Laser?’ And I said ‘that sounds pretty good.'

'And so it was the Laser...

'The first legal boat that weighed what we decided was within the range had the mast and everything in the right place, was built in December 1970, my boat was the boat from which all other Lasers has been copied. I sailed it for 18 years.

'We put a 100 on the sail, because of the two prototypes that had gone before. I eventually changed that to a zero because it didn’t make any sense to have a 100 on the sail and the builder had forgotten to put a number on the hull, which you have to do.

‘The number on a Laser used to be underneath the bow - the bow-eye on the old Lasers, the number used to be under that. Later the number had to be put on the transom, I think the US Coast Guard specified that.

'We sold 141 Lasers at the New York Boat Show in 1971 and on she took off from there.'

They certainly did take off and by the time of the Australian launch, one of the images used in the campaign was hull 6222 and one of the first boats sailed in Australia was 8000.

Laser 6222 September 1973 - Modern Boating (Australia) -  PSA   Click Here to view large photo


Kirby continues.

'In 1989 the Mystic Seaport regatta (at Mystic Connecticut) asked could they exhibit it (my boat) and its been there ever since.

'Mystic is a magnificent museum but it is nearly all old stuff – timber boats.

‘And among the exhibits is my good old Laser Zero. I think it was the first fiberglass boat in the museum.

'It was hand laid up and it was very nicely built, very stiff. It held its stiffness and quality for years and years. It was sailed hard - a lot. I think it is probably still a good boat. It started off Tangerine Yellow, but the sun took its toll and in its last few regattas the colour was listed as awful orange.'

Kirby concluded by saying ‘And now we are ticking to Laser number 200,000. But that is another story……’

Lasers in Canada at the 2009 Nautel Laser Worlds and Masters World Championships - Margaret’s Bay, New Halifax, Nova Scotia -  Matias Capizzano ©   Click Here to view large photo




Footnote: 81 year old Bruce Kirby is still an active sailor, although he no longer sails Lasers. He is off to his third Sonar World Championships in Scotland in 2011.


Laser designer Bruce Kirby’s famous first rough sketch - note not a paper napkin -  Bruce Kirby


by Rob Kothe

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=76372

1:26 AM Thu 13 Jan 2011GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

16 Feb 2012  Register now for NSW Laser Training - Places available this weekend
02 Feb 2012  Attention NSW Laser Sailors, Come Training THIS Saturday!!
04 Jan 2012  Laser Nationals - Exciting finale
03 Jan 2012  Australian Laser National Championship - Burton maintains overall lead
02 Jan 2012  Laser National Championships day 4 double for Burton
31 Dec 2011  Australian Laser National Championship - Competitive fleet racing
30 Dec 2011  Australian Laser National Championship - Choc tops and breakages
29 Dec 2011  Australian Laser National Championship - Heavy conditions on day 1
20 Dec 2011  2012 Laser World Masters Championship has new 4.7 category
19 Nov 2011  Perth 2011 Lasers – all Bent out of Shape
MORE STORIES ...




News - USA and the World

The new application from PredictWind for Mac and PC is revolutionary for accessing weather data when offshore. Accessing GRIB files, Weather Routing, GMDSS forecasts and Satellite Imagery is now a simple task with the unique and user friendly interface. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre takes lead in Leg 2 as break point looms *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The latest position report from Volvo Ocean Race Control has given the lead in leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Mapfre (Iker Martinez). She takes over the lead from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), who has led from soon after the start of Leg 2, a week ago. ... [more]  

Over 270 sailors from 38 nations have enjoyed a mixed range of conditions since their arrival early on in the week. The athletes have used the time to acclimatise to their surroundings, different sea states and a variety of wind strengths. But now, the practice time is over with racing across the ten Olympic and open kiteboarding fleets to kick start the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

VOR 2014-15: Some of them also wake up in the middle of the night to check the latest position reports of Team Brunel. The crew is aware of that, including our skipper Bouwe Bekking. 'We are not the only ones looking out for the position reports. We know that the home front is eyeballing every move of us. Our wives, children, girlfriends, friends and supporters live this race as extreme as we.' ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: Among the ten Olympic series represented, Franck Cammas will be participating in the event for the first time aboard a Nacra 17, this time teaming up with the young, light Alizée Desbordes. Having remained in France to satisfy her professional obligations, Sophie de Turckheim will be following the performance of her favourite helm closely. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Briana Provancha (USA), Sofia Bekatorou (GRE), Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Anton Paz (ESP) have fully embraced the Abu Dhabi and Emirati life, grasping the opportunities available with both hands. 'There are so many welcoming and friendly people here,' explained Provancha at the opening press conference. ... [more]  

Leading sailing marine electronics manufacturer B&G has been appointed an Official Race Supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15. B&G will also be providing full electronic navigation systems, tactical software and race support to the organisers of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, which began on the October 4th in Alicante, Spain. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. Adventures of a Sailor Girl #31 - Pathways and passion! ... [more]  

Star Sailors League Finals: This Bahaman event is about much more than just sailing, however: it promises a blistering week of high emotion, passion and dazzlingly action that will deliver a unique display of sporting prowess from a slew of champions. All in an easy-to-grasp and see format that even non-sailing folk will understand perfectly. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Sweden to host World Series regatta in 2015 by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th - 30th) 2015. Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina and last night an informal welcome drinks reception was well received with crew ... [more]  

2014 Chicago Match Cup - At the end of Chicago Match Race Center's sixth season, the numbers show how well CMRC reached both into and beyond the Great Lakes sailing community. CMRC hosted a total of 12 graded events from May to October. Of these, the five Grade Three regattas were the best attended featuring 23 skippers from nine countries. ... [more]  

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Tom Slingsby, Australian Olympic Laser Gold medalist, and member of Oracle Team USA, has signed up as skipper of Oman Air, one of two Oman Sail Extreme Sailing teams, for the final act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia (11-14 December). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big spread in fleet as Abu Dhabi leads *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race. She is the most westerly of the fleet as they approach the coast of Madagascar. In a video, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explains the weather hazards of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and competitors, the ISAF President welcomed the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be battling it out on Abu Dhabi's waters. 'It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,' explained Croce. ... [more]  

Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016. The second European location is expected to be Cagliari in Italy, where Luna Rossa Challenge have their base. ... [more]  

Chairman and founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox Johnston said: 'The Clipper Race is very pleased to welcome Hyde Sails back on board as Official Sails Supplier for our fourth consecutive race partnership. Hyde Sails evolved with us when we introduced the new Clipper 70 fleet in the last race and we were very pleased with how well the new sail wardrobes stood up to almost a year' ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Brian's Gime *Feature by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind, At sea
The irrepressible Brian Carlin, the On Board Reporter for Team Vestas Wind is on fitness program on board, under the watchful eye of race veteran Tony Rae. Today as my personal trainer, friend and fellow shipmate we accomplished a goal, 70 press-ups. I’m sure to some it maybe easy but I ask anyone of you right now sitting at your desk, hit the floor and give me 70 on the spot. ... [more]  

Two of the crew from Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing look at leg 2 and the race overall. Here are the latest blogs (unedited) from On Board Reporter Matt Knighton, along with an onboard video with Simon Fisher (navigator) musing on what is required to win the race, and skipper Ian Walker on how Leg 2 has panned out for them so far. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - A new deal for corinthians by Bruce Montgomery – Rolex Sydney Hobart media
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Since 1945 starters in the Sydney-Hobart have raced the equivalent of two circumnavigations of the world, almost 45,000 nautical miles. They have been drawn from the seven seas; they come from all corners of the world; they board boats that range from 100-feet supermaxis to boats littler larger than the Owl and the Pussycat’s. ... [more]  

2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships - The International Hansa Class Association has announced that the 2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships will be held in the Netherlands. ... [more]  

Most of the nearly 300 sailors on 216 boats in 21 classes in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 67th Turkey Day Regatta came to enjoy sunny sailing in mild conditions, which the weekend delivered beautifully. By tradition, the winners received turkeys, not trophies, but for a few others it was another important stopover en route to Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Olympics. They hope. ... [more]  

Everyone was expecting a battle between Besson and Cammas. In the end, Morgan Lagravière took the Champion’s title of the seventh edition of the St-Barth Cata Cup with a near-perfect journey. The Marché U day ended with a friendly race to Public. ... [more]  

Robert Scheidt talks to us just a few days before the Nassau start of the Star Sailors League Final. How do you feel inside? I feel very calm. Myself and Bruno have tons of experience with the Star. We’ve been competing together for 10 years now. ... [more]  

The US Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) has selected Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) to host their 2015 National Championships. This championship will be a week-long sailing spectacular on Pensacola Bay sailed by International Optimist Dinghy sailors from eight to 15 years old. ... [more]  

More than forty five years since his historical circumnavigation, legendary Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, continues to prove inspirational to adventurers around the globe. Sir Robin, the oldest entrant in the 3,542 mile Route du Rhum, finished third in his Rhum class into La Pointe À Pitre, Guadeloupe. ... [more]  

With Olympic heroes and World Champions in their numbers at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, UAE, local children are being inspired to take up the sport. By utilising the star names on show at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, hosts of the regatta, are using the event to promote the sport in the Emirati capital. ... [more]  

The last day of the Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup saw a grandstand finale to the 2014 PWA World Tour as the morning showers finally cleared to allow the wind to fill in and the respective titles to be decided. With the racing beginning later than scheduled the title race came down to one final race, which would ultimately decide the title. ... [more]  

Sometime during last night’s moonless gloom in the Volvo Ocean Race, the masthead lights of Dongfeng and Mapfre appeared to the west, maybe right where they would have been if we had jibed with the fleet the previous day. To say that was a relief is an understatement-that we are back in touch, back in the fray near the front, it keeps everyone motivated and pushing a little bit harder. ... [more]  

Olympic medal-winning skipper Ian Walker, from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) – the emirate’s Volvo Ocean Race contesting squad – recently took time out of his hectic schedule while he was in Cape Town, as the team prepared for Leg 2 of the race to catch-up with students at The British School Al Khubairat via a video call. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Corinna Halloran reports on day five of leg 2 for Team SCA. Team SCA has a super fan. She’s seven and, at home, she has posters of Team SCA on her wall. As a member of the team, and as a woman in 2014, this is extremely cool. ... [more]  

The Sailing Instructions for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final that will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 26-30 November have been published. All ten Olympic events and an Open Kiteboarding event will be contested in the Emirati capital off of the stunning Corniche. ... [more]  

Italy's Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich have been one of the leading teams in the Women's Skiff, the 49erFX, and head to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ready for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

St Barth Cata Cup day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Racing between a Rock and a Hard Place
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 24 Nov 0700 UTC
2014 RC44 Championship Tour trophy – Video highlights
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 1930 UTC
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 0748 UTC
Gladwell's Line: The America's Cup is now Bermuda's Cup? *Feature
VX ONE Winter Series - Norris and Family earn first weekend victory
RC44 Oman Cup - Nika wins and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 title
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three
Volvo Ocean Race: On board with Abu Dhabi - torn sail and where to go? *Feature
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Bermuda shines
2014 Turkey Day Regatta – Day 1
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Delphine Cousin officially world champ
Volvo Ocean Race: A man's got to do what a man's got to do
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Open Formula Kiteboarding event preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet heads into the Southern Ocean + Videos *Feature
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Set to be an 'experience of a lifetime'
America's Cup: Source named in Bermuda venue leak *Feature   
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos   
Volvo Ocean Race: A bumpy, hard driving ride in the Southern Ocean   
EPA punts on renewable fuel standard   
Yates Cup: US supermaxi Rio100 wins first offshore race + Video *Feature   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Men’s title race takes a twist   
RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency hard to come by   
Volvo Ocean Race - Discomfort takes over for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Rapid change for Team SCA   
Viper 640 event at Lake Garda - 22-26th June 2015   
British Cycling grows by over 500%, can sailing do the same?   
GC32 Racing Tour 2015 - Dates and venues   
Class 40-footers to be featured in 2015 Annapolis-to-Newport Race   
Spectacular performance by Bakewell-White maxi early in first race *Feature   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Big strides for Cousin and Moussilmani   
America's Cup: Team New Zealand responds to Venue rumours *Feature   
ORC reveals rule improvements for 2015   
Volvo Ocean Race - Hammer down for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA heads for unknown territory   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final set to be 'an experience of a lifetime'   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News





Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT