Friday, April 24, 2009

RYA Laser Handbook

With Laser NA's being held here at Severn Sailing Association this year we're all in a Laser mood here at the shop. Well, I guess it might just be me since I'm going to sail them but I think Chris might hop in his boat for the first time in a couple years. Aaron in customer service will also be out.I figured this would be a good time to talk about one of the newer Laser books we have, the RYA Laser Handbook.

Lasers are arguably the most easily accessible one design class out there, and certainly one of the most popular. Laser regattas regularly get 50 boat turnouts all across the country with big events well into the 100s. I've heard Master's Worlds being held in Nova Scotia this year might be over 600 boats (they've already got over 330 registered & it's in August). When was the last time you sailed against 600 boats?

Since the Laser is so easy to hop into there's lots of folks out there looking for advice, tips and how to guides and there's a lot of them to be found. We carry a whole bunch of Laser books and a number of CDs and DVDs as well.

For racing Laser sailors I think the RYA handbook is one of the best books out there. It's up to date with the modern rigging packages as well as the most current sailing techniques. It was put together by Paul Goodison - the Laser Gold Medal winner in the 2008 Olympics from Great Britain so I think it's a good bet he knows what he's talking about.

The RYA handbook has a lot of the little tips and tricks people use for rigging, tweaking and fixing their boat. It has some workout suggestions and some diagrams and instructions for on the water drills to practice boathandling and other skills.

Most of the book is devoted to Goodison talking about how to setup and handle the boat in varying conditions. He covers upwind and downwind across the wind range with great pictures illustrating how much vang you should have, what hiking positions work best and all sorts of other skills. The pictures are all full color and very well pieced together to show how he moves through different actions.

Overall I think this is a really good book for people who want to get into racing a Laser. Whether you've been racing for a couple weeks or a couple years I think a lot of people would benefit from reading the RYA Laser Handbook.

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