Boat classes


At Lancing Sailing Club we believe that one of the best ways to improve your sailing is to learn from your peers. In an effort to promote this we have put together a guide to the classes of dinghies sailed at our club. The idea is to provide you with some useful information and informed opinions about each class, which may help you to decide which boat to purchase, sail and race at Lancing.

Classes sailed at LSC
Current classes at LSC

Topper 

As Topper International say: "The Simple and Sensational Topper". Whether just messing about in boats, having fun off a beach, learning to sail, flat out blasting or competitive racing; all good reasons for choosing the fantastic Topper! It requires little maintenance, is very easily rigged in a matter of minutes. It is rugged and safe for beginners and an exciting race boat too as your skills develop. Car-toppable…

"it truly is the most versatile of sailboats!"

Checkout www.gbrtopper.co.uk and select "The Topper", for the full story.

Toppers racing at Lancing SC

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It was designed in 1977 and has yet to be bettered for its value and all-round ability. The Topper can be raced single-handed at club level, as well as on the ITCA (GBR) class association race circuit. It also works well as training boat for novices, and tolerates all sorts of use and abuse. It is ideally suited to Lancing beach, and can be sailed straight up the beach at any state of the tide, without damage.

Toppers have been the main youth class at LSC for over 20 years now, popular for the reasons above and because they can still be purchased second-hand for just a few hundred pounds. Several former LSC Topper youth helms have been selected for the national and regional zone squads, and have scored top results in major events. Several lighter adults also sail Toppers successfully at LSC. Strict one-design class rules have been developed over time, and the dinghy can now be sailed with either the original aft main sheeting arrangement it was designed with, or the now more common, centre main sheeting. The class has also recently sourced its class sails (5.2 sq m) from a new supplier, nearly halving the previous retail price. They have also introduced a smaller 4.2 sq m rig especially to encourage even younger lighter youths into the class. National and International sailing events for Toppers now regularly generate fleet sizes of 250+; amazing!

The LSC Topper Class has its own annual Topper League, which both encourages frequent sailing, and provides recognition to newer helms. Do come and join our friendly club fleet. We will be happy to provide both practical advice and encouragement.

Nick Muggridge

Streaker 

Streakers racing at Lancing SC

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The Streaker dinghy was designed and launched in November 1975 by Jack Holt reputedly as a lightweight replacement for his Solo which was by then becoming a trial to drag up the sailing club ramps. It is a ‘One Design’ single-hander and is available for home construction (from a kit of precut wooden parts) and as professionally built finished boats in wood, GRP, FRP and composite forms.

With a hull weight of 48 kg (106lbs), a length of 3.8m (12’9), a beam of 1.37m (4’6) a stayed, una-rig sail plan, the Streaker is an easy boat to handle. In truth it virtually sails itself leaving the driver to concentrate on direction, speed and tactics.

Although not as fast as a Laser, with hard chines, it is very much more stable, and it offers extremely lively racing performance in a very broad range of conditions (its Portsmouth Yardstick is 1162). The Streaker can cope with a wide range of weight; 63 to 83kg (10 to 13st) are optimum, and is thus suitable to older girls and boys as well as the more long in the tooth (which sadly means most of the current owners).

A benefit of the low hull weight also means that when ashore the Streaker is both light and easy to handle, even allowing it to be popped on the roof of most small family cars without any problem.

Lancing has six or so Streakers on the books but there are rarely more than two afloat simultaneously. We need to build interest in the class and all owners will be happy to provide a test sail to anyone interested.

The class has a very active class association (with a website at www.streaker-class.org.uk) and extensive Open Meeting Racing circuits in the North and South of England – 13 meetings this year on the Southern circuit.

LSC has hosted the two day National Championships for the class on several occasions in the past (1993, 1997, 2001 and 2009) and always welcomes Streaker sailors.

Alan Simmons
Streaker 1700

To find all Streakers latest news on Alan Simmons’s Streaker blog, click here.


Laser 

Originally designed as a simple ‘beach boat’, and now the ‘world’s most popular single-hander’, the Laser comes with 3 different, interchangeable rigs to suit a wide range of crew weight; 2 of which are currently Olympic classes (Laser 1 – Men’s Single-hander and Radial – Women’s Single-hander):

  Sail Area Ideal Crew Weight
Laser 1 7.1m² sail 72 to 83kg
Laser Radial 5.7m² sail 60 to 70kg
Laser 4.7 4.7m² sail under 62kg

Whilst these weight ranges are ideal, all Lancing Laser sailors enjoy competitive racing, whatever their weight, as they sail in the same fleet. Friendly advice is always available, both on and off the water.

David Trout

RS200 

The 200 is a relatively new addition to the club handicap fleet, but is proving to be an exciting and competitive little boat.

It offers the thrills and challenges of asymmetric sailing (but without a trapeze to worry about) and is ideally suited to a range of crew and helm abilities and weight.

Whilst being a thoroughbred racer with plenty of ropes to tweak for the technos, it is also an ideal double-handed training boat. Current club sailors include three teams of teenagers and a father/daughter.

A quick peek at the fast handicap results for this year shows that the 200 has the potential to go well against other classes.

RS200 crossing yachts at Lancing SC

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On the wider scene there is an active and lively class association with a wide choice of training days, open meetings, circuit events and championships (over 100 boat fleets).

For further information, see http://www.rs-association.com

Karen McGrath
ex RS200 845


Laser>> 

The Laser >> is an exciting, ISAF recognised, International One Design racing dinghy which is ideal for couples and light weight crews (less than 150kg in total).

The combination of a trapeze for the crew and a large spinnaker ensures exciting sailing. With a tough 4.4m long hull, it works well off Lancing beach, and the traditional spinnaker gives greater flexibility of racing venues and courses than is found with the newer asymmetric dinghies.

Nationally there is a friendly fleet with great socials and well-established, active UK and International class associations. It can be bought new for under £5000, while championship condition second hand boats sell for upwards of £1000.

LaserIIs racing at Lancing SC

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More information can be found at:
www.lasersailing.com/disp/uk/laser-2/introduction
and
www.laser2sailing.org.uk

Every year, Lancing SC hosts a Laser>> Open meeting in conjuction with the Summer Regatta. Participants always enjoy the atmosphere of our club.

Mike Croker

RS400 

Phil Morrison designed two person asymmetric hiking dinghy. Suitable for inland and sea sailing. Optimum combined crew/helm weight approx 150 – 190Kg (on the sea). Excellent UK circuit with fleets often exceeding 40 boats.

At Lancing there are currently 3 boats in the fast fleet but the boat is particularly good for sailing in Lancing conditions so that is sure to change.

RS400 racing at Lancing SC

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The RS400 requires effort upwind to sail quickly but you are rewarded by excellent downwind sailing.

A stable forgiving hull shape makes the boat once mastered a dream to sail in all conditions.
For further info, see http://www.rs-association.com

Ian Beale
used to sail RS400 606

International Contender 

One of the most exhilarating boats to sail, the Contender enjoys the varied sailing conditions we have at Lancing. This class has stood the test of time being one of the first single-handed boats to have a trapeze, bringing with it incredible performance. Not a boat for the total beginner but once mastered and off on a windy reach, you will not want to come ashore.

The Contender is ready to sail in a flash. Cover off, sail up, rudder on and you are away (and no unreliable crew to worry about). The class has not stood still and some boats have a carbon mast and boom with a loose footed sail.

Lancing SC Contenders racing at Weston SC

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We have six active Contenders at the club, sailing in the fast handicap fleet.

Second-hand Contenders can be purchased from just a few hundred pounds, offering a lot of fun for not too much money. If you are interested come and talk to us at the club.

The Contender website offers more information at www.sailcontender.org.uk.

Gary Austin

Laser4000 

There are no rewards for being the lightest crew in a drifter or the heaviest crew in a blow, the unique ‘crew power equalization’ sees to that. There are no prizes for expensive go faster extras because class rules ban it. It is all down to you on the water!

The Laser 4000 Grand Prix circuit is fully sponsored with great venues, huge après sail. Serious sponsorship. Major prizes. All this leads to the best events available all over Europe. The race course is short and so are the races, usually 3 back to back. The closest sailboat racing you will find.

Due to its hull design with new generation rig and asymmetric gennaker, high-speed racing can be enjoyed with sublime control. Steering is light, perfectly balanced and precise.

Laser4000 in light winds at Lancing SC

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"Probably the best and closest single trapeze high performance racing on offer!"

For more info, visit www.laser4000.org.uk

Stuart Hart

Comet 

The original Comet, fast and exciting for club racing but with its roomy uncluttered cockpit and can be ideal for beginners and lightweights. Having been built for twenty five years, there are large fleets at many clubs and the active Class Association organises plenty of Comet races each year. Renowned as a deceptively fast dinghy in light winds, the decent sail area and light hull ensure an exciting ride in a breeze. At only 50kg hull weight and using a two-piece mast, the Comet will easily cartop. Built in GRP in a wide range of colour schemes a standard Comet is ready to sail and has top quality fittings with powerful rig controls led aft.

Comet Extra

New exciting variation of the Comet uses a 6 sq m Mylar Sail on a 570mm shorter mast. The sail has battens and a zipper on a sleeve luff allowing the sail to be raised on a halyard. The shorter mast and smaller but more efficient sail make the Xtra easier for lighter crews. As the overall performance of the new Xtra is very similar to an original Comet, Xtras can race alongside Comets at Open Meetings.