Laser Sailing with Hanne Weaver
By Tom Burden, Last updated: 6/11/2019
The International Laser Class is arguably the most competitive worldwide one-person dinghy class, and Lasers are raced in 122 countries on six continents. The boat is raced in the Olympics by both men and women, and winning an Olympic Medal in either the Laser or the Laser Radial gets a sailor on the short list for the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and just about every other top “pro level” sailing campaign.
With three choices of rig; the “Standard” or full rig (7.06 m2 or 80 sq ft) used by male Olympic athletes, the Radial (5.76 m2 or 62 sq ft) used by women in the Olympics, and the 4.7 (4.7 m2 or 51 sq ft) sailed mostly by junior sailors, the Laser is three different classes for three sizes of sailors. There is an extremely active worldwide Masters (over 35) circuit, with Masters Worlds events regularly drawing up to 500 entrants.
One of our West Marine Associates, Hanne Weaver, is a very successful upcoming star in the Laser Radial, and has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics. Hanne has won the 2012 U.S. Sailing Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, and has been a top finisher in the Midwinters East, Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, North Americans and Nationals. She’s also an Assistant Manager in our Shilshole Store in Seattle, Washington.
What does it take to campaign a Radial in top international competition? To find out, I interviewed Hanne here in our studio. She shared some great tips on all aspects of training, conditioning, race psychology and boathandling.
If you’re a serious dinghy campaigner, you’ll find these videos worth watching.