Laser Sails and Numbers

The most important Laser rules to get right before you go to a regatta are to do with your sail. Why? Because sail-numbers are a time-wasting pain to put on, and an even bigger pain to take off or replace. And if someone tells you to replace your numbers at the last minute, they might not stay stuck on.

Why do we place such importance on sail numbers?

The Race Committee (and the Jury) needs to identify your boat through your sail number:

What to do:

Remember the six Ps! (Something to do with preparation, I think.) Make sure you have checked these sail-related items before you pack your sail ready for the weekend. It's a real pain having to put new sail numbers on with only two hours before the first start of a 'Q' event.

You will not be allowed to enter a 'Q' event or the Nationals with an incomplete or incorrect sail-number. At Stokes Bay recently someone arrived with a new sail naked but for its Laser symbol. I told him to find the full sail number before he went afloat. The start was delayed, no wind. I saw his boat on the beach, a red '19' on each side, but that was all. I asked him where the black ones were, to which his reply was that Steve C's caravan had run out of black numbers. I checked. It hadn't.

Sail rules to remember

You are not allowed to swap your sail at any time after the start of the first race, even if the sail number's the same. We can usually tell if you've swapped a sail. If you damage a sail (through a top-section breakage, perhaps) you can apply to the Race Committee to change sails, but you will have to produce evidence that the original sail is damaged. Even if you manage to repair the original sail you are not allowed to swap back; you must continue with the substitute sail.