Old Laser M-rig

RobbieB

Super Anarchist
3,160
1,655
Charleston, SC
We had a D12 event in June and a kid showed up with a vintage hull and M rig sail. Both were in nearly new condition. At first I thought it was a radial sail but the "Sun beam"? color scheme threw me and then I saw the halyard set up and knew what it was.

I used some duct tape to put a "0" on his sail so the RC could score him. The kid was a lake sailor, new boat, new to sailing and had never been in a salt water environment. He was DFL every single race, but he never gave up and finished every race, (when RC didn't assign his place to hurry things along).

I was really proud of the kid and told him so. He was exhausted but seems pleased that he'd finished what he started. He said, "Man, I got whooped!"

Now- what's the legality of someone showing up to an event with an M rig? I know it's slightly different from the radial but does not appear to be much so. If anything I think it's a slower set up.
 

Fretz

Anarchist
585
108
Most club bylaws state that clubs exist to promote sailing. I would hope that allowing someone to compete in a old boat with a non compliant rig would be seen as the right thing to do. Anyone complaining about that boat finishing last deserves whatever karma sends their way. Hopefully someone offered a used sail and whatever parts were necessary to bring him up to the current spec.
 

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,172
1,064
South East England
Well that depends. If the NOR said 'all Laser Rigs are welcome" then it was completely legit. If it restricted the event to specific rigs then I think a speedy amendment to the NOR to deal with the unexpected situation would have been appropriate. And yes, it would be cool if folk could help him out with a radial rig since the M rig was [redacted]...
 

RobbieB

Super Anarchist
3,160
1,655
Charleston, SC
Thanks for the replies. Now I'm feeling like a bit of a hypocrite. I haven't been faced with it yet, (and really don't expect to) but now I'm wondering what I'd do if the same newbie kid and his parents showed up to an event with one of the non-plaqued "Laser" hulls...I mean, this was a district event and I'm the district secretary. His parents did ask if the rig was legal and I think my reply was along the lines of, "that's not something you should be too concerned with at this point..." However, I am a self-proclaimed "plaque Nazi". It was nice to see the kid get the experience and his attitude was fantastic. Things that make you go hmmmm..
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
You did act in a way that is hypocritical. But everyone is telling you that rules can be bent for the proper reasons. Your reason was appropriate. Letting a back of the fleet bound M rig race is hardly a problem. I think I speak for many dinghy racers when I say I would buy you a drink, Mr. PRO, for not being a dick and sending a hopeful kid home.
 

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,172
1,064
South East England
I don't think anyone can be blamed for not anticipating an M rig in 2022. And if M rigs were still frequent then presumably the NOR would allow for them. So I suggest there is a qualitative difference between allowing a once legal M rig to race than there is in allowing definitively illegal boats to race. But if there's a next time I submit that a quick NOR amendment would dot all the is and cross all the ts and no-one can say anything...
 

deadrock

Member
67
42
UK
Are you sure it was an 'M' Rig? The early Radials were halyard-rigged, There was a steel cage that was popped over the mast-head; it had a fairlead. The M-Rig used the Standard-rig bottom-section with a shorter-than-normal top section.
The sail was cut similarly to the standard and 4.7 rigs.

If it really was an M-rig the sailor deserved a medal !
 

huntsman

New member
27
20
For more detail on the difference between the Radial and M rigs, please see this article

 

deadrock

Member
67
42
UK
I was intrigued by the last part of Rob’s post regarding legality. I dived for the garden shed and old copies of Beam Reach (the first ILCA international magazine). The ‘M’ rig rules were effective from August 1981, first published in BR 12, though the M rig had already been around for some time. These rules were created separately from the main ILCA Rules, with the Laser ‘M’ designated as a separate ‘Division’ of the Laser Class, even when the entire rules were re-published in Beam Reach 14. They were never incorporated, as were the Radial rules in 1985, within the main body of the ILCA Rules.

In 1985 the ILCA Rules were re-written, and incorporated the Radial rig rules in Part Two - Options and Exceptions to Part One (Beam Reach 21). There was no mention of the ‘M’ Rig, which appears to have been quietly ignored, almost forgotten, unlamented because it was a terrible rig. Notably, this issue of the rules does not rescind all previous versions of the ILCA Rules. It could therefore be argued that, because the rules for the ‘M’-rig Division were never incorporated into the main body of the ILCA Rules, they have never been rescinded and still apply.

There is an important principle at work: that a boat or its equipment that has once been class-legal cannot subsequently be rendered illegal by a change in the class rules. This principle explains why certain rules only apply to boats and/or equipment built after a certain point (usually identified by boat number or purchase date). (Rule 4.3 regarding sail numbers is such an example.) This principle protects our young person turning up for a Laser regatta with a class-legal Laser M, even though it is probably forty years since anyone else did.
 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
1,014
585
England
As a side issue, the M rig was rubbish. It did nothing to make the Laser easier to sail in a blow.

That why the radial came about . :)
 

Alan Crawford

Super Anarchist
1,374
644
Bozeman, Montana
Perhaps the District 12 sailers can help this kids family find a nice Radial rig? I just recently parted with one of those older, colored (white - red - orange - yellow) Radial sails with a halyard. Finding a used Radial sail and bottom section should not be so challenging.

Robbie - I think you did the exact correct thing by letting this kid compete. You may have enabled the makings of a life-long sailer! As for a non-plaque hull showing up, I think that's a whole different topic without easy answers (yeah, you can follow the "rules") especially for club racing and even district racing....
 

Latest posts




Top