New Composite Boom for the Laser & ILCA Boats!

The secret was kept for a long time, but is now revealed.  After years of testing, the new Laser boom is finally here!

It was time. The boat already benefits from a composite top mast section. And recently, a bottom mast section for the Radial was added.

For certain, the boat became increasingly odd, mixing the original aluminum boom with these composite add-ons.

The intensive exacting research conducted on the new composite boom will ensure that it will have exactly the same performances as the existing aluminum boom. No more bend, no less bend. Exactly the same.

The new composite boom has exactly the same dimensions and diameter as the old aluminum boom. A weight compensation feature has been included so that both old and new have identical weights, something omitted with previous add-ons.

The new composite boom is of course equipped with the latest carbon cleat and fittings, scientifically developed to the necessary exacting standards.

What’s the key rationale to move to the new…

Coronavirus: Important News about Therapy

You may have heard by now that there is significant hope with treatment to be available for the coronavirus. This was little known just a week ago. I have written a piece about what the treatment is, what are the current indications about its effectiveness, and how it is being progressively adopted in various jurisdictions. I also reflect in the article about the implications of this development for controlling the pandemic. I invite you to read it. I also report on important developments, as published by scientists. This is informational, and I don’t want to provide false hopes. We will know more in a matter of weeks about the treatment’s actual efficacy. Yet, this may well be a game changer and may help to control this
pandemic faster than initially thought. Please share and also provide your feedback.

Access articles here:

and mo…

Opinion: Postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2022

by Jean-Pierre Kiekens, Oxford educated development economist, former lecturer at the University of Brussels, and sailor.

This is just a short piece to express a very straightforward viewpoint, a viewpoint of reason.  There shouldn’t be any Olympics before it is safe, and it will not be safe before we have a vaccine.

While the coronavirus pandemic is growing, stock exchanges are plunging, many governments are taking draconian measures to deal with the pandemic, there is kind of a surreal approach when it comes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

« The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive. » stated the International Olympic Committee (IOC) just 2 days ago, on March 17.

« The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can. »…

Sailors, Officials, Volunteers at Risk at Oceania & Australian Laser Masters Championships?

Suggestion to the organizers: cancel NOW!

March 17 Update: contrary to initial reports that the event was interrupted after a day, the sailing went on, with races on March 15, 16 and 17. See results here.

When announcing that the Oceania & Australian Laser Masters Championships were maintained, from March 14 to 18 in Geelong, Victoria, AUS, organizers sought to reassure sailors by stating that:

« With 165 competitors entered, the event falls within the guidelines announced by the Australian Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison. Mr Morrison advised that any nonessential gatherings of 500 or more people would be banned from next Monday, March 16 as a precautionary measure. »

In addition, the organizers of this event provided guidance to sailors regarding COVID-19.…

European Laser Districts Divided over the Future of the Class

This article covers recent events relating to a working party established by the European branch of the International Laser Class Assocation - EurILCA - to decide on the future of the class in a European context. An inconclusive vote, at a specially convened general assembly, took place today on the recommendations of this working party. The article also provides a brief update on The Laser Class - the new class announced just a week ago. Finally, the article comments on the urgent need for ILCA and EurILCA to take their responsibilities regarding the coronavirus epidemic.

Following its January 1 ultimatum to the international laser class ILCA, and an absence of response to the ultimatum by ILCA’s secretariat, the European branch of the class, EurILCA, formed a working group to explore avenues for the future of Laser sailing in Europe. With nearly two third of the world-wide membership, Europe is indeed essential for Laser sailing.…

Coronavirus: Time to Be Proactive

Coronavirus: Officials, Sailors, Parents Should be Proactive -

by Jean-Pierre Kiekens, Oxford educated development economist, former lecturer at the University of Brussels, and sailor.

Note: this is a follow-up to the article Sailing and the Coronavirus - which you are suggested to read prior to this one, if you haven't done so yet. Please share the article, as it will likely be helpful to others

Update: please also watch this March 8 Video by Dr John Campbell about the critical importance of being proactive.


The sailing season is now starting in Europe, with events such as the Valencia Optimist Regatta,  starting tomorrow, with nearly 400 sailors.

These are huge events, with numerous sailors, coaches, parents, officials, club personnel, involved.

Other important events that will come soon are the Garda Optimist Meeting in Northern Italy (over 1,200 registrations) and the Laser 4.7 Europeans in Por…

New Laser Class Announced

A new Laser class, called « The Laser Class » - presented as « a class for sailors, by sailors » - was announced today, on the occasion of the RYA Dinghy Show in London.

Note: if you haven't done so yet, please read Sailing and the Coronavirus.

The class is supported by a number of Laser sailors until now associated with  EurILCA / ILCA, as well as UK Laser builder LaserPerformance.

The Laser Class Interim President is Heini Wellman, from Switzerland, who is the immediate past president of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA).

The Laser Class is presented to be a class « For sailors, by sailors - with the original Laser spirit in One Design dinghies. »

« Welcome to The Laser Class. Or should I say, welcome to the original One Design Laser Class that we all wanted. I wish we didn’t have to go down this road but it’s time that the largest racing dinghy class also be the most democratic and the most respected. So many around the world are passionate about our beloved Las…