What is a Laser?

The International Laser Class sailboat is a one-design class of sailing dinghy governed by the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), to promote and develop Laser class racing in all countries, under uniform rules.

The Laser is one of the most popular single-handed dinghies in the world. There have been more than 215,000 boats sold worldwide. A commonly cited reason for its popularity is that it is robust, and simple to rig and sail, and in addition to its durability; it’s also very fast. The Laser also provides very competitive racing due to the very stringent class association controls which eliminate any difference in hull, sails and equipment.

The term “Laser” is often used to refer to the Laser Standard (the largest sail area available for the Laser hull) sailed by men. The Laser became a men’s Olympic class boat in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and remains an Olympic class today.


Length 4.23m

Beam 1.42m

Hull weight 58kg

Sail areas:

Laser 7.06m2

Laser Radial 5.76m2

Laser 4.7 4.70m2

Various sails

A version with a smaller sail, the Laser Radial, was first sailed as a women’s Olympic-class boat at the 2008 Summer Olympics. 

A third sail plan the 4.7 was released about 10 years after the Laser. The sail area was reduced by 35% from the Standard with a shorter pre-bent bottom mast section, allowing lighter sailors to sail the Laser. All hulls are the same for the Standard, Radial and 4.7. Optimal weight for the 4.7 rig is 50–65 kg, thus becoming an ideal boat for young sailors internationally.

The three Laser rigs enable the Laser to attract female and male sailors of all ages. We anticipate competitors in the 2020 regattas will be aged between 14 and 80 years old.

Australian sailors have competed successfully at the World and Olympic level in the Laser class and are likely to be near the top of the leader boards at the World Championship in 2020. Please see the past results of some of the Australian sailors expected to compete in 2020 in Appendix One.




Demographics & Competitors

In Australia in 2015 nearly 240,000 people participated in sailing activities according to the National Sailing Participation Census conducted by Street Ryan. It is anticipated that the 2020 events will increase the levels of participation, as dormant sailors embrace the opportunity to sail in a World Championship.


The majority of sailors in the Men’s and Women’s World Championship will be professional sailors with a large number of international teams using the event to qualify for the Olympics.

The competitors will generally be in their late 20’s, but there will also be a number of very competitive Australian sailors aiming for inclusion in the Australian Sailing team. These events will attract a lot of media coverage both in Australia and internationally.

The Men’s Radial World Championship will include some international teams, but we anticipate there will be a large number of Australian sailors. The competition in this fleet will be intense will a large number of youth sailors aiming for inclusion in the Australian sailing team, and a number of excellent masters sailors taking the opportunity to sail in the Radial World Championship.

Five age categories

There are five age categories in the Masters ranging from apprentices aged 35-45, to Legends over 75 years of age. There will be a number of International competitors plus a large contingent of Australians. The World Master in Ireland in September 2018 have currently attracted 316 competitors from 25 countries. 


A number of the Master’s sailors competing in the Master’s regattas will combine the regatta with the opportunity to holiday in Australia, extending their stay and bringing their partners. It is anticipated that 30% of the competitors will be International competitors.