With over 200,000 under sail, the Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult & youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association (http://www.laserinternational.org/) recognizes 140 with Laser fleets. Belize’s new fleet will make that 141.
On Friday, January 30, 2015, The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center (www.belizesailingcenter.com), landed 10 factory-direct Lasers on the beach that the Club and the Center share in front of Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye.
With the new arrivals it is the “coming of age” for the sailing club as we have boats for sailors of all ages and the focus this year will be on adult participation. The club now has 27 boats ranging from Optimists to Hobie Catamarans. Last Sunday we saw 30+ sailors on the water, ranging between 8 and 72 years old!
Reasons why the Laser is so popular are its speed, fun and also the simplicity with which it can be transported and assembled. Although simple, a Laser can provide many challenges for top sailors at the Olympic level.
Unlike Belize’s fleet of Optimist dinghies which children cannot officially race after age 15, Lasers can be sailed by any age. Minors race Lasers against each other and even against adults. SPSC and the Belize Sailing Center at Caribbean Villas will make the Lasers available to cadet sailors who are now too old or simply too big for the Optimist dinghies. In the three Laser christening races last Sunday, 2 recent Optimist cadets, Luis Blanco and Jorge Olivarez traded 2nd and 3rd places racing Lasers against three former medal winning adults.
The Belize Sailing School will offer its lasers for commercial rental and lessons. The School also plans to set time aside to train big enough cadets on its windsurfers and kiteboards for free.
For more information on the programs SPSC and the Belize Sailing Center are developing, call Andy Milner, Commodore, SPSC, 632-4101 or email him at email@example.com.