Lasers racing across Cazenovia Lake

Willow Bank Yacht Club and Cazenovia Lake will be host the Central New York Sailing Association Annual Regatta the weekend of July 9 and 10. The event will bring participants from 30 sailing clubs across the state to partake in races.

In the preceding weeks, a series of articles about the various fleets that will be seen competing will be featured.

Since the 1970s, Willow Bank Yacht Club in Cazenovia has had an active Laser fleet with weekend races as well as Tuesday evening informal racing. Juniors and adults enjoy sailing and racing the Laser on Cazenovia Lake and at many venues around Central New York.

Several Willow Bank Laser sailors have competed in the Empire State Games which is New York state's version of the Olympics. Cazenovians Peter Bushnell, Bruce Campbell, Ray Cudney, Dick Mitchell and Campbell Woods have all raced Lasers in the state competition.

For more information about Laser sailing on Cazenovia Lake contact the current Fleet Captain Michael Mueller at 637-3473.

History of the Laser

The Laser was launched to the public in 1971 at the New York Boat Show. It was designed by Bruce Kirby with simplicity and performance in mind, and quickly became the quintessential one-design. The Laser is sailed all over the world, and there have been over 190,000 Lasers built as of 2010. There have been builders in Rhode Island, Canada, USA, England and now Europe. At 13 feet 10.5 inches-long with a 12.5 foot waterline and 76 square feet of sail, the Laser has enough power to glide in extremely light air and blast along in a stiff breeze.

The Laser's flush deck, minimal beam (4.5 feet) and low freeboard (12 inches) were designed to keep the hull weight to a minimum (average 130 pounds) and to allow simple car-topping and easy handling on shore by women and junior sailors.

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