Laser class launches 50th anniversary celebrations

From the Weekender to the Laser to the ILCA Dinghy, the world’s largest one-design racing class turns 50 this year, with over 218,000 boats built and passionate devotees racing in over 140 countries. In 2021, ILCA will celebrate the many achievements of this remarkable five-decade run.

When sailors reminisce about their experiences with this iconic dinghy, it is a story of the pure joy of sailing, the thrill of competition, and – just as importantly – the love of friends, family and place. All lLCA sailors have a fond memory (or many!) of the perfect day, sailing in the perfect wind, either on a solo sail or with friends or fellow competitors. The ILCA Dinghy embodies all that and more.

2017 World Championship Laser Radial under 21
2017 World Championship Laser Radial under 21

This year’s 50th anniversary is about so much more than a boat. Together we will celebrate dedicated sailors and supporters filled with passion for this small sailboat that started out simply as Ian Bruce’s idea to create a “car topper” dinghy. From this moment of inspiration and a subsequent call to friend Bruce Kirby, who famously sketched the boat’s lines and sail plan on a notepad, came the greatest sailboat in the history of one-design racing.

Sailors all over the globe are gearing up for a celebration that will culminate in a world-wide day of sailing on September 11, 2021. Individuals, clubs and organizations are invited to plan events around this day and the options – regattas, fun rabbit start races or just a solo sail – are endless.

To support the events, ILCA is launching a website dedicated to helping groups facilitate planning and implementation, and for sailors to share stories and pictures of their own great moments and memories. Sailors will be able to register on the site and keep updated on all the world-wide ILCA 50th celebration news. And don’t miss your opportunity to promote your passion with a 50th anniversary T-shirt.

Laser Masters at Split in Croatia. Photo ILCA.
Laser Masters at Split in Croatia. Photo ILCA.

ILCA hopes that by giving sailors myriad ways to enjoy this milestone, sailors of all ages, nationalities, and genders will come out to sail on September 11, creating the largest community gathering of sailors across the world.

Want to learn more? Go to ilca50.com to find your regional representative, links to registration, goods, and more.

Katie Olsen, Media Manager, International Laser Class Association