The single-handed Laser is the largest one-design class worldwide. Designed in 1971 by Bruce Kirby, its simple rig, its strict one-design rules and its Olympic status make competitive racing available to sailors of all ages and abilities. Modern rigging improvements include convenient multiple purchase systems for the vang, downhaul and outhaul and make the boat more user friendly for younger, older and lighter sailors. Sailors in our Laser fleet range in age from 10 to over 80 years old!
MBYC’s Laser fleet was started by Hal Brown (son of Commodore Halleck Brown -1975) in 1971. Ken Wild bought his first of many Lasers in 1972 upon his return from military service in Vietnam and still races actively while encouraging new sailors. Santa Clara Racing Association (SCRA) held monthly Laser regattas on Mission Bay from the 70s. These were attended by many MBYC sailors and many SCRA members also joined MBYC, adding considerable depth to our Laser fleet. Great Grand Master Nils Andersson was one of these and proves age is no barrier by leading us round the marks. In 2013 he bought an MC Scow which he and Richard Hoffmann developed into the MBYC’s MC Scow Fleet. In that same year SCRA closed its operations and donated their remaining funds to Juniors In Boating. MBYC absorbed their Laser fleet and the monthly regattas continue as strong as ever. Our fleet continues to be extremely active (7 out of the top 20 in club racing for 2013). Summer TNT events often attract 10 or more boats.
In the MBYC Junior program older juniors mostly race the Full or smaller Radial rigs, while the youngest learn on the five small 4.7 meter rigs, donated to the program by the Laser fleet. Our youth have benefitted from tough racing in the local fleet and gone on to win numerous national and international single-handed sailing championships, including the Smythe (Steve Hochart and Kevin Laube), Sears (Scott & Evan Hoffmann) and CORK (Kevin Laube, Caleb & Olin Paine).