San Pedro Sailing Club receives new Laser Sailboat Fleet
Thursday, February 5th, 2015
On Friday, January 30, 2015, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center, obtained 10 factory-direct Laser sailboats. With the new arrivals, it is the “coming of age” for the sailing club, as they now have boats for sailors of all ages. As such, the focus in this year’s sailing season will be in garnering adult participation. The club now has 27 boats ranging from Optimists to Hobie Catamarans. Last Sunday saw more than 30 sailors on the water, ranging between the ages of eight and 72 years!
The Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult and youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class, which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association recognizes 140 Laser fleets, Belize’s new fleet will make that 141. The Laser vessels are popular for its speed, fun and also the simplicity with which it can be transported and assembled. Although simple, a Laser can provide many challenges for top sailors at the Olympic level.
Unlike Belize’s fleet of Optimist dinghies, in which children cannot officially race after age 15, Lasers can be sailed by any age. Minors race Lasers against each other and even against adults. SPSC and the Belize Sailing Center at Caribbean Villas will make the Lasers available to cadet sailors who are now too old or simply too big for the Optimist dinghies.
A test Laser race was held on Sunday, February 1st at Caribbean Villas. Two recent Optimist cadets, Luis Blanco and Gorge Olivarez, took second and third places racing against three former Laser medal winning adult sailors. The Belize Sailing School will offer its lasers for commercial rental and lessons. The School also plans to set time aside to train cadets on its windsurfers and kiteboards for free.
For more information on the programs SPSC and the Belize Sailing Center are developing, call Andy Milner, Commodore of SPSC, at 632-4101 or email [email protected]
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