Laser Training Sessions

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The Victorian Laser Association is pleased to announce that dual Olympian Sarah Ogilvie will again coordinate and provide coaching on Sunday mornings prior to the Mordi Winter Series starting Sunday 7th August 2016.

The coaching is for Laser sailors of all ages and standards.

Coaching will commence at 9am and conclude at 11.30am. No sessions will be cancelled with on land sessions if conditions are not suitable to get on the water.

The session dates are the 7th, 14th and 21st August and 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th September.

The cost per session is $25.00. Bookings are required by the Thursday 8pm prior to the Sunday session so we can ensure we have sufficient coaches and support boats.
Please contact: Stephen Griffiths who will tell you how to do this – 0488 417 510

The Victorian Laser Masters Championships

The Victorian Laser Masters Championships were held in conjunction with the Sail Country regatta at Albury Wodonga Yacht Club on Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November.

179 boats registered for Sail Country with 68 Lasers competing in the regatta. The Masters sailed with the Open Laser fleet and scored separately for both events.


There were 39 Radials and 16 Standards competing. The weather over the weekend was unstable with heavy rain Friday night, Saturday morning and again on Sunday night, but during the races the rain held off. The scheduled five races were completed, 3 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday in light and variable winds.


There were some high profile names (apart from the MSC luminaries mentioned below!) in both fleets. Matt Blakey (second in the Apprentice Laser Masters Worlds) won from former MSC member Gavin Dagley (5th in the Grand Masters Laser Masters Worlds). Graeme Fisher finished 12th overall and was 4th Master.

In the Radial fleet former Olympians Sarah Ogilvie and Krystal Weir battled it out at the front with Sarah winning and Krystal placing 3rd. Mal Parsons was 15th overall and 5th Grand Master and George Solonari finished 25th and 9th Grand Master.


Sail Country is an amazing regatta if you have not been. Inland regatta sailing at its best. Camping and meals at the club, great hospitality and highly competitive sailing in a relaxed atmosphere.


Event website is:

 Lake Boga 2015. Jensen & friends sailing a laserthis photo has only a tenuous link to the Laser Masters....can anyone guess what it is...? 


Living the dream – Chris Meager – adventurer

The following is from long-time Laser sailor  Chris who gave it all up for this…..

We arrived in Hamilton Island on February 3rd but as is normal in Far North Queensland nothing was ready, and all deliveries were late

We got away a week later with strong SE winds – on the nose.  We persevered for two days and made it down to Mackay, where the wind became over 30 knots.  So we stayed put waiting for a change, but then along came cyclone Marcia!  So we ended up in Mackay for 9 days leaving with a North wind on the back of Marcia’s passing (she got to 60NM away and then changed direction and went South).  We took the North wind down to Bundaberg non-stop for 60 hours when the wind turned SE again.  Bundaberg was our first visit to the diesel mechanic with issues to the Starboard motor, which turned out to be an incorrectly installed Racal (fuel filter)

We beat our way down Hervey bay the next day, and then a very pleasant run for two days through the Great Sandy Straight.  The next day we headed out over the Wide Bay bar and south towards Brisbane.  After 5 hours the wind died and we tried to turn on the motors, but both would not start.  After two hours cleaning fuel filters and trying everything we gave up and called the Coast Guard who came out and towed us back over the bar and into TinCan Bay.  And it turns out that in TinCan bay there are no diesel mechanics!  So in the morning we pulled out the batteries and had them load tested, and bought one new one – the other started after being charged (clue number one)

With both motors started and a North wind blowing we headed back over the bar and down to Brisbane, never switching off the motors in case they did not restart

We spent two weeks in Brisbane installing solar panels, water maker, a third reef point on the main sail, a new gooseneck fitting for the boom and a number of small jobs including a new battery for the second motor and complete tests of the electrical system.  Also bought a large list of spares and tools, and provisioned for the trip to NZ.

With a favourable 14 day forecast we motored down the inside passage between Stradbroke Island and the Mainland, and managed to only get grounded once for a couple of hours, before being lifted off by the tide.  We spent the night midway down and then the next night at the Gold Coast Stadium before heading out of the Gold Coast seaway and going overnight down to Coffs Harbour with the North wind, getting in as the wind died.  

We stayed in Coffs for 4 nights and left on the Monday afternoon as the North wind came through again. The first evening our Auto Pilot died but we decided to continue and hand steer the whole way as the forecast was so favourable.  A good but tiring decision.  We sailed SE for two days doing about 140 nm per day, and then headed as close to due East as we could with winds ranging from S to SW, and 9 days after leaving we rounded the North Cape of NZ and later that day arrived in the Bay of Islands.  Winds were mostly 15 – 20 knots, with quite a few squalls – the strongest squalls were in the mid 30’s.

Believe it or not after 6 days neither engine would start, but as I had bought jump leads in Tincan Bay I could jump start them off the house batteries.  Turns out that on one engine a capacitor in the ignition circuit board had died which cuts the contact between the alternator and the battery – a simple repair in NZ. The alternator on the other engine died and I suspect this may have been the problem all along!

Our biggest issue was the Gooseneck breaking mid Tasman – the brand new extra strong one I had fitted in Brisbane!  We were setting up to fly the Spinnaker one morning and as I was checking the rig I saw the Goose Neck toggle had fractured in two, but as the wind was so light the sail was holding it all in place.  Fortunately I had the old one but it did not fit the thicker pins we had fitted, and I did not have a 12mm drill bit!  Two hours of machining later with a smaller drill bit and it fitted – substantial sighs of relief all round, and a celebratory drink that night (only one of the crossing!). Yes, we are having a new Gooseneck made up here – machined in steel!  

 We will be in and around the Bay of Islands till the end of April when we head up to Tonga


all the best



Laser News Report

The shifty E/SE winds of 13/17 knots provided perfect sailing conditions for Laser sailors during the last heats of the Championship, Perpetual, and Aggregate.    A further plus was the left over 20+ knot swells from the previous day which provided opportunities on the reaches and down wind legs of the triangular course.

The first race saw an even start with Mal Parsons getting caught in a port /starboard with Mike Champness resulting in a 720.     At the first mark after many leader and position changes Jon Faris narrowly led Mike and Brett Wilson with Nev Beeson a distant 4th 15 boat lengths in their wake.   The leading group sailed high to protect their positions while Nev sailed a puff down below the rhumb line giving good separation.    This proved a race winning move as the wind died and shifted easterly behind the fleet.   Nev emerged 15 boat lengths in front and maintained this lead to the finish.

The second race was sailed in similar conditions with an even start by all.   At the first mark Jon Faris emerged in front followed by Mike and Brett.   Nev and Mal were in touch and continued to close down Brett during the reaches. During the next beat Mal and Nev overtook Mike who was unable to maintain speed on port tack into the waves, dropping back to 4th..  Brett, seeking mastery of downwind sailing in waves had dropped back to 5th place.   The only position change on the last short beat was Nev overtaking Mal after pining him down to the lay line after catching him on port.     Jon led all the way crossing the finish line 2 boat lengths from Nev with Mal close behind followed by Mike and Brett.

Contribution provided by Competent Class Reporter Nev Beeson (Alias A Bar Fly).

Laser Report

Mordy Laser Fleet Awash with Irrational Exuberance

The national Laser Masters are coming to Victoria in February 2014 and this has had a profound affect on some members of the Mordy Laser Class fleet. Multiple trophy winner Steve Griffiths (Laser Perpetual Winner 1992 and ‘winner’ of the last place cup for Club race 06 April 2013) has purchased a new Laser.

No expense was spared as the boat is equipped with all the ‘hi-tech’ goodies, carbon fibre tiller, turbo kit etc. On the boats maiden ‘cruise’ Steve easily accounted for current Victorian Laser Master Champion sailor Mal Parsons during a club championship heat. An exuberant Steve announced later in the bar that he would be a certain starter at the coming nationals and was planning to do the ‘hard yards’ during the off season!!    After another round of beers and between fistfuls of bar snacks Mal (Parsons) announced that he would be following a disciplined diet during the off-season and expected to weigh in at 70 Kg for the nationals!! Stony faces greeted this news with nods and silence as a mark of respect for age and deeds long past.

Note   In the interests of responsible gambling, readers are advised against making wagers using this ‘inside’ information.

Contribution provided by Class Reporter Nev Beeson (Alias A Bar Fly)

Laser Report – 23 Feb ’13

Laser Report

Mordi Laser Sailors find new Pep and the Tide at Mt Martha

The Victoria Laser Masters 2013 Championships were hosted by the Mount Martha Yacht Club on the weekend of the 16-17 March. Mordialloc was well represented with Steve Griffith, Brett Wilson, Mal Parsons, Chris Meager and Nev Beeson attending with great results.

In the Radial Class, Mal Parsons continued his good form and finished in 1st Place in the Grand Masters division and 4th overall whilst Chris Meager finished a promising 4th in the Masters division. Steve Griffith was unable to complete the series due to ‘series management’ issues.  The Standard Rig Laser Grand Masters Division (55 – 64) saw Nev Beeson finish in 1st place and 7th overall while Brett was unable to complete the series due to prior commitments, however, he showed a spark of potential  in the race he completed.

The forecast was for a moderate NW wind for the series but this did not eventuate and at 2:00 pm on Saturday with very light /zero breeze the race committee made an unprecedented decision to wait on shore for the breeze to fill in.

At 4:00 pm the breeze filled in from the south and racing got underway in a moderate breeze. Three (2 lap) races were completed using the Olympic configuration of windward return and racing was not completed until almost 8:00 pm but the 3 races sailed, constituted a series. The wind did not materialize on Sunday and accordingly no racing took place.

Contribution provided by Laser Class Reporter Nev Beeson


Laser Report for Sail Mordi 2012

“When the wind is high, the mediocre Laserer may notice the increased influence of what is known as ‘submarine helm’*.  This is a force which takes advantage of near random sheeting, reliably unreliable boat handling, and the sheer power of the wind, to turn the boat at an angle such that the centreboard replaces the sail as the primary aerofoil, ejecting the sailor from boat while simultaneously giving him a major neoprene wedgie and creating in the mainsheet a series of random and devious knots.” – Excerpt from Lasering Mediocrely, by J. Faris [in press]

The first day of Sail Mordi was characterized, for me, by an abundance of ‘submarine helm’.  It was difficult from my mostly watery vantage point to see if any of the other racers were similarly afflicted, but I suspect not.  With only 6 Lasers out on the water, there definitely seemed to be a preponderance of good sailors, with only myself to ‘represent’ for the bottom 50th percentile of the fleet.  Gavin D. was the other hardy full rig sailor, and he had his hands full being challenged by the remaining, talented young radial sailors.  It was definitely a good day to be in a Radial as the winds seemed to be in the 25-30 range all afternoon.  Not to take anything away from the radial racers, though.  They continued to sail confidently, and fast, through the quite different conditions of Day Two.  Also, unlike Gavin and I, they managed to stick it out for all 4 races on the first day.  Between my chattering teeth and my increasing resemblance to Frankenstein’s monster (picture broad sweeps of the arms, neck bolts(?), and a general lack of finesse), I felt like 2.5 races was enough of an effort.

Day Two was much more civilized, starting out quite blowy at around 20 knots, and then slowly easing back to as little as 10 knots, on occasion.  The rollers remained high all day which made it a bit interesting, as the wind strength to wave height differential was quite large at times.  As the wind came down, the full rigs and radials came together a bit more, and on race 2 or 3, there was the great experience of all 5 racers on the run in quite close quarters.  Many of the races continued to be contests between Gavin and Thomas V., who was the lead Radial in most races.  But, the young lady Radial contingent was also putting a good effort, and several of the races were quite close, with the bullet even being passed around on occasion.   In the end, the Radials won the day, bumping Gavin off the podium thanks to the yardstick (when my book is published you’ll be able to read more about my analysis of handicapping in the chapter entitled, “Yardstick, shmardstick…why the Laser yardstick should be slathered in butter and dropped into a volcano“) and, of course, excellent sailing.  The medals went to Thomas V., Anna P. (in the excellently named “Go-Anna”!), and Caitlin D., and grumbling about the yardstick aside, my hat is off to them: it was a challenging weekend, and they all demonstrated some great, consistent and capsize-free sailing.  Everyone but me has my admiration and kudos.


Laser Report for Mid-Winter Float #3

It’s tempting to sum up the lameness of a windless day by comparison, such as, “it was as lame as planking” or “it was as lame as as a peg-legged kangaroo”*, but it’s pointless, really.   The sad fact of the matter is that the benchmark for lameness is: being in a sailboat on a windless day.  So, while the race last Sunday started out promisingly enough, it ended up being “as lame as being in a sailboat on a windless day”.  Nonetheless, after a light breeze on the first inner lap, and the progressively pathetic wispiness of the gratefully shortened second lap, the results at the line were as follows:  plastic bag, me, chunk of seaweed, dead pufferfish, Lachlan from Parkdale.  To be fair to Lachlan, I’m pretty sure the pufferfish hit the gybe mark and didn’t do his turns, so there was room for a protest.  Steve, in a well calculated move, turned back to the club with about 5m to go to the finish line; however, that 5m being equivalent to 45 minutes each way, he had his boat put away well before the rest of us, and his choice of the mostly freshly steamed dim sims.  Frankly, I think he had the plastic bag’s number, but I suppose it was the pragmatic choice.

On the crawl back to the club, I was reminded of that most poignant of bumper stickers, ‘the worst day sailing is better than the best day working’, and thought that it was still (although rather less) true of “floating”.  I saw two seals, snorting and playing at surface.  I drifted quietly on may way, and they got closer.  I looked at them.  They looked at me.  There was no wind.


*expression of the week

Laser Report for Winter Series Race No. 1/2?

Oh Boy!  The Winter Series is here!  After the mixed feelings associated with the cancellation of Race 1 in the face of high winds, the relatively tame conditions this last weekend offered a more gentle introduction back onto the water.  There was just enough pressure to blow the cobwebs off the sails, although some boats were displaying bathtub-like algae rings after sitting out in the wet winter of 2012.  For my part, I was feeling very enthusiastic after a couple of months out of the boat, and Tom Slingsby’s great performance fresh in my mind.  There was a decent turnout for a non-too warm winter race, with a few PMYC fellows showing up.

Five standards and 2 radials took off from the line.  The relatively light pressure on the right hand side of the course created some early separation of the fleet, but at the top mark, Dan W. and Gavin D. rounded pretty close together, with Chris B. and I not too far behind.  The radials lost a bit of ground in the light wind and the fact that Cam P’s abaft block on the boom was hanging off of a broken rivet forced him to sail with a “light touch”….nothing like an extra challenge!  The wind held in quite steadily for the whole race, which was great as there was the threat of it dying out late in the day.  Positions didn’t change too much, but this made for some close contests.   Dan and Gavin were neck-and-neck the whole course, with Dan finishing up just a couple of boat-lengths ahead.  Chris and I battled for bronze, but as so often happens when I attempt anything remotely like “tactics” everything went worm-shaped*, and Chris sailed out of contact on the last run.  In the radials, Cam maintained a lead despite the handicap, and he and Chris M. finished quite close together, and not far back form the standard rigs.

So, all-in-all, a gentle and satisfying re-introduction to weekend racing.  Having sailed without boots, it took a couple of days for me feet to thaw, but other than that no harm done.  With Sail Mordi coming up in no time, it was great to get out on the water and we’ll be hoping for the best this coming weekend.

Jon F.

*I’ve made a personal commitment to introduce a new expression into every Laser report this season.  These expressions are public domain, as far as i’m concerned, and I encourage anyone who actually reads these things to use these expressions freely and often.  Try them on your friends and family!  Although most of them will be very lame, I’m hoping that at least one will “go viral” (at least within the Mordi Laser sailing community…don’t want to aim too high).

Laser National and World Masters Report (Radial Rig)

19 races in 9 days! – Laser Masters National and World Titles 2012

The Laser Masters National and World Titles were held at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron from the 4th March to 17th March 2012.  Masters sailing is divided in to 3 age divisions in the Laser Standard rig; Apprentices 35 – 44, Masters 45 – 54 and Grand Masters 55+.  The Laser Radial categories are the same with the addition of a Great Grand Master category for the 65+ sailors and there are plenty of them!

Mordialloc was represented by 2 Masters sailors, Nev Beeson in the Grand Masters Standard division and Mal Parsons in the Grand Masters Radial division.

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron is a fantastic place and one that should be on everyone’s must-sail-there list. Great grounds and facilities and very friendly and helpful members.  The coffee was good pre-racing and the outdoor bar and bistro fantastic for getting together after the racing.  It is also one of the few venues inAustralia that could cope with the 250 boats that competed in the Worlds.

PRO was Kevin Wilson who always does a top job. He keeps the sailors fully informed and held a competitors meeting every morning for a bit of a de-brief on the previous days racing and to listen to questions and suggestions for the racing ahead.  Even the jury members fronted to discuss decisions made and advice on how to stay clean.  He was assisted by a great team who put on two very professional series.  He made a great comment during one discussion and that was ‘we are here to race, not to go just sailing’.

The Nationals preceded the Worlds and the fleets were bolstered by the addition of many of the internationals using this series as a warm up for the Worlds. The conditions were fantastic with all races being sailed in 15 – 20 knot SE winds and minimal tide. Winds did top 25 knots in some races.  WaterlooBayis a beautiful place but shallow and a capsize resulted in joining the dreaded choc-top club.  Happily I can report Nev and I came home with clean sails.  The sighting early on of a 3 meter bull shark may have had something to do with that.

I finished 9th (6th Aussie) in the Radials. There was now 3 days break to the start of the Worlds and I was really looking forward to that.

The first three days of the Worlds mirrored the Nationals with fresh SE winds. At this stage I was wondering if there was any other type of breeze.  My question was answered when racing resumed after the lay day.  After 3 hours on the water racing was abandoned when the breeze refuse to settle in direction or fill in.  We returned to shore to the news that there would be 3 races on each of the following two days to complete the series.  Thankfully these were sailed in building 10 – 15 knot SE (what else) breezes that provided champagne sailing conditions and a great way to finish the series.

I finished 17th overall in the Worlds with a final race 7th which was a thrill.

The Radials were dominated by the Kiwis who won all but the great Grand Master division.  They had an extremely professional fit and talented team over and set a benchmark that would be hard to beat.

The Standards’ results were spread across 3 countries with Chile, Australia and Germany taking the honours.

Overall I was really happy with my results.  The fleets were extremely high quality and contained many current and ex-world open and Masters champions, ex-Olympians and even current Olympians (the winner of the Apprentice Standards had just been selected for theChileOlympic team!!).  The fulfilment, enjoyment and camaraderie of the event made the cost, time and pain more than worthwhile.

Next Worlds are in Oman.  Hmm – maybe.

– Mal P.

Grand Master Radials hit the line Worlds Day 1


Apprentice Standards shortly after the start Worlds Day 2