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Gotta Go

Sunfish Racing/Laser Racing

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Ok Guys, I have a question.

At 210 lbs I have been told that I am too heavy to race against people in laser's because the heavier weight I carry would hinder my ability to win against individuals who are 160-180lbs.  Is this true of the sunfish boats as well?  Are they that sensitive that in lighter breezes my heavier weight would be a huge handicap?

 

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All dinghies  are weight sensitive 

 

check your local fleet 

 

 

some local fleets have weight , age , class

some fleets have many oversized members

 

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Personal opinion, until you get to the higher levels sailing ability will be more important than weight. 

That said, lots of big guys race Finns. 

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I'm slow in my laser in anything under 12 kts.  as I have been on the covid diet.

BUT I fare ok on my sunfish.

 

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1 hour ago, Gotta Go said:

Ok Guys, I have a question.

At 210 lbs I have been told that I am too heavy to race against people in laser's because the heavier weight I carry would hinder my ability to win against individuals who are 160-180lbs.  Is this true of the sunfish boats as well?  Are they that sensitive that in lighter breezes my heavier weight would be a huge handicap?

 

I'm 215lbs and I finish top six most races in our local racing and second overall for this season.  You don't need to be 180lbs to be competitive, you need to have the boat trimmed properly, better tactics, and you need to read the wind better than your competitors.  Downwind is tougher because it's hard to go wrong in the Laser and the lighter boats are faster but you can still beat them with better boat handling.  Also, having raced both a Sunfish and Laser, I think the Laser is far more forgiving to larger people. 

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3 hours ago, dacapo said:

I'm slow in my laser in anything under 12 kts.  as I have been on the covid diet.

BUT I fare ok on my sunfish.

 

You're even slow in a J92 or S2 9.1  

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3 hours ago, WCB said:

I'm 215lbs and I finish top six most races in our local racing and second overall for this season.  You don't need to be 180lbs to be competitive, you need to have the boat trimmed properly, better tactics, and you need to read the wind better than your competitors.  Downwind is tougher because it's hard to go wrong in the Laser and the lighter boats are faster but you can still beat them with better boat handling.  Also, having raced both a Sunfish and Laser, I think the Laser is far more forgiving to larger people. 

Oh you mean like in big boats as well, tactics, trim, boat handling maybe good sails?

Wow how those things makes a difference. LOL   

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24 minutes ago, jesposito said:

You're even slow in a J92 or S2 9.1  

Happy holidays John.....

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20 hours ago, dacapo said:

Happy holidays John.....

LOL

Same to you Brother

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Is this similar to the other thread? There was another guy I think asking about Finns. 

Nfi how heavy 210lbs is.   I'm in the mid 90s kg and used to win races.   In fact I went a season at my old club and barely dropped one. 

I did torque my laser apart which kind of ended my laser racing. 

It is definitely in the heavy end.   I have a paper somewhere which gives tested drag numbers on lasers with various crew weights.   The numbers aren't good for us fatties. 

In the lasers at least there is a mid band where fatties truly suffer.   When you're cooped up in the boat and the light guys are starting to hike it is much harder to be dynamic in the boat. 

All in all don't believe the guys that say you can make up for it with good technique and tactics.   It's like 10-20% more in drag you have to make up for.  Also don't believe the guys that say you can't. 

I don't even know what a sunfish looks like. 

 

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If you weigh a lot and you're wearing a foam PFD, you might not be able to fold yourself in half enough to clear the boom. The boom may hang up on the back of the PFD and cause a capsize.

Reporting for a friend.

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As someone who's BMI is also a bit less than ideal (190 lbs + or -), I have found the Sunfish much more forgiving and comfortable to sail.  I raced Lasers for several years and sold it a few years ago to get a Sunfish, not so much because of body size, but because the Sunfish fleet racing was more convenient to my schedule and more active with 12+ boats on the line vs 4 or 5 in Laser fleet.  The benefit of the change is I'm more competitive with sailors of all shapes and sizes and I'm not as stiff and sore after 3 hours of crouching and ducking a boom.  I have also since started sailing MC Scows which are a lot of fun.  If there's an MC fleet near you that's the ticket for beefier guys - lots of fun, very competitive and plenty of room for the 6 pack beer cooler for proper hydration between races. 

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Where the hell are you going to buy an MC scow now that Covid got all the good ones and new ones scooped up?!

I want one eventually...have to sell a few boats first.

I have a laser and I’m going to sail it this summer for fun. I’m 160lbs now, but when I raced Laser Radial in my youth, I was 125lbs and had to wear a weight jacket to keep from flipping in a moderate breeze. No amount of skill could overcome the lack of weight against other teens who were larger.

I had a hiking platform set up for winter exercise so my gut and legs wouldn’t burn for the first weeks of summer. I need that platform back, the beer has my abdomen a little rotund..

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47 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

Where the hell are you going to buy an MC scow now that Covid got all the good ones and new ones scooped up?!

I want one eventually...have to sell a few boats first.

I have a laser and I’m going to sail it this summer for fun. I’m 160lbs now, but when I raced Laser Radial in my youth, I was 125lbs and had to wear a weight jacket to keep from flipping in a moderate breeze. No amount of skill could overcome the lack of weight against other teens who were larger.

I had a hiking platform set up for winter exercise so my gut and legs wouldn’t burn for the first weeks of summer. I need that platform back, the beer has my abdomen a little rotund..

If you know anyone in your area looking for a radial let me know. Carbon tiller/stick, racing vang/cunno etc. 

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On 12/7/2020 at 9:43 AM, Gotta Go said:

Ok Guys, I have a question.

At 210 lbs I have been told that I am too heavy to race against people in laser's because the heavier weight I carry would hinder my ability to win against individuals who are 160-180lbs.  Is this true of the sunfish boats as well?  Are they that sensitive that in lighter breezes my heavier weight would be a huge handicap?

 

I've got you beat by a few many lbs and I do just fine in the boat.  Go with whatever has the biggest fleet in your area.  The best sailors in the world are in the Laser fleet and you will never stop learning or getting better.  That said, if you decide on the Laser fleet and you've not sailed dinghies much, I wouldn't worry about your weight for at least 4-5 years as it will take that long to work your way up to the the front of the fleet.  

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Ihavent seen s proper laser fleet in decades.

Some years ago the laser olympic qualifier was on same course with us.

There were two boats.

 

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22 hours ago, highlander709 said:

As someone who's BMI is also a bit less than ideal (190 lbs + or -), I have found the Sunfish much more forgiving and comfortable to sail.  I raced Lasers for several years and sold it a few years ago to get a Sunfish, not so much because of body size, but because the Sunfish fleet racing was more convenient to my schedule and more active with 12+ boats on the line vs 4 or 5 in Laser fleet.  The benefit of the change is I'm more competitive with sailors of all shapes and sizes and I'm not as stiff and sore after 3 hours of crouching and ducking a boom.  I have also since started sailing MC Scows which are a lot of fun.  If there's an MC fleet near you that's the ticket for beefier guys - lots of fun, very competitive and plenty of room for the 6 pack beer cooler for proper hydration between races. 

MC became very active in CT rrecentky. One very good egg promoted them and drove all over bringing used boats.

Lots of fun fir us full szed types.

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

MC became very active in CT rrecentky. One very good egg promoted them and drove all over bringing used boats.

Lots of fun fir us full szed types.

Where are MCs active in Connecticut?

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Cool, they look like a good singlehanded one design for a biggie like me.  What's a competitive weight range for the MCs?

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1 minute ago, ODSailor said:

Cool, they look like a good singlehanded one design for a biggie like me.  What's a competitive weight range for the MCs?

120 to 450 lbs

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Ihavent seen s proper laser fleet in decades.

Some years ago the laser olympic qualifier was on same course with us.

There were two boats.

 

we've got about 20 that sail regularly in dallas..  mostly Wed nights spring summer fall.

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The AERO. Seems to tolerate my obesity better than a Laser. 
210 pounds is only a problem in Lasers when the wind velocity is between 8 and 15 

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2 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

The AERO. Seems to tolerate my obesity better than a Laser. 
210 pounds is only a problem in Lasers when the wind velocity is between 8 and 15 

That's true. Most people don't realise you  can CRUSH the light sailors in light winds if you are heavy. Your roll tacks and jibes are better. In college sailing you are allowed to eincrease speed out of tacks. Perhaps you just get disqualified in open events. I only raced lasers eriously from age 12 through college.

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8 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Most people don't realise you  can CRUSH the light sailors in light winds if you are heavy. Your roll tacks and jibes are better.

And momentum is your friend.

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On 12/7/2020 at 9:43 AM, Gotta Go said:

Ok Guys, I have a question.

At 210 lbs I have been told that I am too heavy to race against people in laser's because the heavier weight I carry would hinder my ability to win against individuals who are 160-180lbs.  Is this true of the sunfish boats as well?  Are they that sensitive that in lighter breezes my heavier weight would be a huge handicap?

 

only answer is get a finn. You're the perfect size. 

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On 12/13/2020 at 1:35 PM, Gouvernail said:

The AERO. Seems to tolerate my obesity better than a Laser. 
 

Second on the Aero. I think the chined hull doesn't pick up wetted surface as much as a dish-shaped hull, and the 9 rig has tons of power.

The fleet at Cedar Point YC in Westport CT is up to 19 boats, fyi.

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5 hours ago, heymatey said:

Second on the Aero. I think the chined hull doesn't pick up wetted surface as much as a dish-shaped hull, and the 9 rig has tons of power.

The fleet at Cedar Point YC in Westport CT is up to 19 boats, fyi.

Golly whiz Heymatey!! That’s about as anonymous as my old BANNED Keeldude screen name...

 

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23 hours ago, heymatey said:

Second on the Aero. I think the chined hull doesn't pick up wetted surface as much as a dish-shaped hull, and the 9 rig has tons of power.

The fleet at Cedar Point YC in Westport CT is up to 19 boats, fyi.

It isnt the chone. Its the superligjt hull and more powerful sail.

You simply arent "too heavy" because still in lowe displ / (L^3) range

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The ideal full rig Laser body type is 6’2” 183lbs. The World’s guys are in the 6’0 - 6’3” range. 80-85kg. (176 - 187lbs) 

Slingsby was 6’1”  183 at the height of his Laser success.

I’m 6’2” 87kg when fit. I notice it in light air at 90kg when someone of equal skill is 15kg  lighter. When it’s above design wind speed(10-12kts) like 15+ the righting moment wears them down. 
 

I absolutely believe that the height 6’ plus gains you comfort more than hiking moment. I did a 5 1/2hr nonstop point to point race 12-20kts constant on our river. Reaching and upwind no downwind. No hiking shorts. I got quad cramps twice.My leg length is perfect for the Laser. 

Lasers were designed to go upwind really well on Canadian lakes 8-10kts. 

Where do you sail? What wind strengths?
 

 

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