The Laser is by far the most popular and numerous single-handed boat in the world. At 4.23 metres (13 feet 10 1/2 inches) in length, with a sail area of 7.06 sq metres (76 square feet) and a weight of only 59kg (130 lbs), it is suitable for men and women to race competitively and to handle ashore. There are smaller sail versions for lighter sailors to use in stronger winds. Boats are readily available across the country at a wide range of ages and prices and the popularity of the class means that they can always be sold quickly and with very little depreciation. The class at Tamesis provides a warm welcome to new owners and coaching (if required) to ensure that they are able to become competitive as soon as possible. A busy social programme ensures that newcomers are rapidly integrated into the club.

The Laser is an Olympic singled-handed dinghy that was designed by Bruce Kirby in 1970 and first introduced in Canada in 1971. There are now more than 196,000 Lasers throughout the world. It is a strict one-design although the rules permit certain variations in the rigging of the kicker and boom outhaul, and the tiller. The Laser Radial, which has a smaller sail area of 5.76 square metres, was chosen as the women’s single-handed class for the 2008 Olympics.

There are 25 Lasers at Tamesis. Current turnouts range from five to 10, with 16 for the annual open meeting in October 2004, 14 in 2005 and 2006, 18 in 2007, 15 in 2008, 18 in 2009, 16 in 2011, 16 in 2012 and 14 in 2013.

Useful links

International Laser Association website:
Laser boats, spares and accessories:

Laser Notices

  • Constantin Gerber wins Cutty Sark Bolt 2017

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      Competitors drifting downstream Sunday 18th June 2017 dawned sunny with ne’er a cloud in the sky, and ne’er a hint of wind.  There was considerable discussion about what to do. The Cutty Sark Bolt was presented by then Commodore Peter Mason as a  tribute to the original races by the Tea Clippers.  The trophy is an actual bolt from the Cutty Sark.  This pursuit race is traditionally longer than the other pursuit races Tamesis holds as the Clipper races were very long. The Cutty Sark was designed to carry tea from China to England, and it was vital to be the first ship in.  More about the story of this fascinating vessel on In the end we opted for the shorter race and start times used for the Centenary Cup held two weeks earlier, so the slowest boats sailed for just over the hour.  This made for a much better race under the conditions. Twelve boats braved the shorter race, some not making it to the 1230 finish. The race is a fund raiser for the Cutty Sark restoration project, and we were able to collect £70. Race officer Carolyne Vines, ably assisted by Cherry Ehrlich in the box, and Peter Simpson and Ken Thatcher in the Patrol Boat, set a short course in front of the club.  The two Fireflies started first, but were quickly caught by the five strong Laser fleet.  Laser sailor Chris Taggart led from the start but was caught in the last 50 metres by fellow Laser Constantin Gerber.  Peter Mason sailing Bambusa, crewed by brother Richard, was the leading Merlin, but unable to catch the two leading Lasers.  Chris Balmbro crewed by Clara Wade was fourth in Merlin Bad Company. Ana, Jo and Lauren kept us going afterwards by doing the bar and serving up great lunches The prizes – boxes of green tea – were presented by the donor Peter Mason.  Constantin – the first Laser sailor to win the Cutty Sark Bolt, graciously thanked his fellow competitors and the organising team. 1st Laser 135387 Constantin Gerber 2nd Laser 130773 Chris Taggart 3rd Merlin 847 Bambusa Peter and Richard Mason 4th Merlin 3062 Bad Company Chris Balmbro and Clara Wade
  • Sunday afternoon sailing 7th May

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    The weather was brilliant, and the wind wasn’t bad too!  See the following link for photos by Chris Wade.  Thanks Chris
  • Jon Redding wins Laser Barometer for third year running

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    Merlin sailor Jon Redding won the Laser Barometer in a borrowed Laser for the third year in succession at Tamesis on Sunday 2 October. In brilliant conditions with the north westerly wind giving long beats and runs Jon Redding may have won all three races for the Barometer Trophy but he didn’t win any of them without a fight.  In race one he and Donald Forbes reached the first windward mark side by side with Donald taking the faster course down wind to gain a lead which he held for the next two and a half laps.  On the final run Jon spotted a stronger breeze on the Middx bank, using this to draw level with Donald and be inside on the final mark to take the race with Andrew Harris third.  Carolyne Vines finished fourth and Constantin Gerber fifth. Race two saw Jon away to another good start and Andrew Harris leading the pursuers.  Chris Taggart was up there and Donald was catching up after a bad start.  Andrew got close to Jon but couldn’t pass and was concerned to defend his second place from Donald, which he did.  Chris made it to a very creditable fourth place with Constantin fifth again. Race three began as a runaway race for Jon after a third good start and Harry Harris leading his uncle Andrew for a beat at least but as the race went on the final lap leaders Jon, Andrew and Donald closed with Andrew getting the inside berth at the last mark.  Having lost the inside berth, Jon had stood out before rounding and then reached in at speed, tacking on the mark and then beat Andrew over the short beat to the finish line.  So the first five were Jon, Andrew, Donald, Peter and Carolyne Final overall result: 1st Jon Redding, 2nd Andrew Harris, 3rd Donald Forbes, 4th Carolyne Vines, 5th Constantin Gerber. Open the following link for photos taken by Chris Wade lineing up for the start of the third race
  • Hot summer weather takes over Autumn Regatta

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    Carolyne Vines and Jon Redding The crews of the 33 boats which sailed in the Tamesis Autumn Regatta on Sunday 11 September could be excused for thinking the weather was making a determined bid to have it renamed the Long Hot Summer Regatta.  Warm sunshine, temperatures in the mid-20s and a gentle southerly breeze and later westerly wind combined to make the racing as challenging as it was enjoyable. A fleet of 13 Lasers made the running with Jon Redding, normally a Merlin helmsman, sweeping ahead of all the others with three firsts in (188044) borrowed from Nick Forbes.  Second, in Laser (130773) was Chris Taggart counting a fifth, sixth and third.  Constantin Gerber was third in Buzz (39245) with a tenth, fourth and second. Only one of the five Merlins sailed the required three races.  Rob Wilder crewed by his daughter Milly in Flinkidink (1097) had three firsts.  Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris were second in the first race in Crescendo (607). The race between three National 18s was won after the application of handicaps by Vice Commodore Alan Green crewed by Peter Konidaris in Orion (336), scoring a third and two firsts.  Chris Pollard and Jim Green were second in Antedote (348) with a first, third and second. The Handicap class was won by Alex and David Cane, of Minima, in the Enterprise Alanah (E21439).  There was a six boat turnout of enthusiastic youngsters in Toppers.  The winner was Edward Mayley, from Minima, in Jester (20320), with three firsts. Commodore Carolyne Vines, the OOD, set a modest course, with an east-west dogleg opposite the Clubhouse.  She was assisted by Angela Caldara, Susan Green, Caroline Stilwell and James Berry.  Chris Starr manned the patrol boat and the Club launch was operated by Daniel Gerber and Florian Krueger The regatta was organised by Chris Pollard, Rear Commodore Sailing, who also presented the prizes.  Lunch was prepared and served by Jo Carstens with help from Lauren, Josaphine and Theo in the bar.    
  • Jim Hamilton takes two firsts at Minima

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    Donald Forbes reports that Jim Hamilton sailed up to the Minima Regatta on  Saturday 3 September and raced as one of three Lasers in the handicap fleet.  In three races he finished second Laser, first Laser and first Laser and finished second overall.  Well done Jim for making the big effort to sail up there.
  • Nick Forbes wins Bank Holiday Pursuit

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      The Bank Holiday Pursuit Race on Monday 30 May took place under grey skies in chilly conditions with a Force 3-4 northerly wind blowing.  Three Lasers and a National 18 took part in the race.  The boats start times were based on their handicap so the slower boats started first.   Chris Taggart started first in his Laser with a radial rig which gave him an advance of 3 minutes (half a lap’s advantage) over Nicholas Forbes and Tom James who were racing their Lasers with full sized rigs.  Due to the handicap timings Doug Pope and his crew Jose Ugarte started in their National18 “One Over the Eight” 14 minutes after Chris Taggart.   The boats beat down the river to the bottom mark and then ran back up the river with the wind behind resulting in some exciting sailing.  The race was finished at 12.30 with Nicholas Forbes taking first place and was on his 9th lap when the race was finished; Tom James and Chris Taggart were 2nd and 3rd respectively and were on their 8th lap and Doug and Jose were 4th.   Alan Green, Vice Commodore, and James Berry manned the patrol boat but no rescues were necessary.  Angela Caldara and Race Office Rupert Fletcher managed the starting box and race timings.   Thanks to everyone who took part in the race and also to the catering team who provided an excellent ploughman’s lunch afterwards. (This report was written by Rupert Fletcher. the OOD).               Reply   Forward     Click here to Reply or Forward       13.56 GB (90%) of 15 GB used Manage Terms – Privacy Last account activity: 5 hours ago Details         Rupert Fletcher   Add to circles         Show details
  • 17 boats compete in Spring Regatta

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    Seventeen boats took part in the Spring Regatta at Tamesis on Sunday 22 May but, disappointingly, only nine competed in all three races. Of the 10 Merlins which entered, four did not sail in the second race and five did not compete in the third. One of the five Lasers withdrew after the first race. Both National 18s sailed in all three races. With all three races to count, those boats which did not compete in the last two races lost any hope of winning a trophy. Rupert Fletcher won the Merlins in Omega (1605) with only a fifth and two thirds because Jon Redding, who won the first two races in Pikey did not sail in the third. Ken Duffell was second in Take it Easy (3606) with an eighth, fourth and second. In the Lasers, Donald Forbes scored two firsts and a second in Storm (146120). Peter Johnson won the third race in Zhik (180963) and was second overall with a fourth, second and first. The first two races were held in warm sunshine and a light south westerly wind which had welcome but short lasting gusts every now and again. Officer of the Day Brian Southcott set a double dogleg course with the upstream mark just north of Steven’s Eyot and the downstream mark about a third of the way down Trowlock Island. He was assisted by Cherry Erlich and the patrol safety boats were operated by Ken Thatcher and Joanna Rand. Many spectators enjoyed watching the racing from the Clubhouse, the veranda, and the seats in front of the lawn. The regatta was organised by Tamesis Commodore Carolyne Vines, who also presented the prizes. Results: Merlins 1 Omega (1605) Rupert Fletcher & James Berry/Phil Abbey 11 points; 2 Take it Easy (3606) Ken Duffell & Joe Woods 14 points. Lasers 1 Storm (146120) Donald Forbes 4 points: 2 Zhik (180963) Peter Johnson 7 points; 3 (59700) Emilie Hall 9 points. National 18s 1 Orion (336) Alan Green & Peter Konidaris 4 points; 2 One over the Eight (349) Doug Pope & Jose Ugarte 5 points.
  • Racing and training Sunday 10th April

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    Racing took place in a gusty south easterly (ish) and lots of fun was had by all. Was hard work though! Photos below by Robin Lince   Lot               Racing took place in a gusty south easterly (ish) and lots of fun was had by all. Was hard work though! Photos above Training continued on Sunday when even experienced racer did a bit of capsizing in the morning . Despite force three southerly winds the young students had a great time on and in the water and the adults braved the elements in the Laser 2000s .  Photos below by Robin Lince and Eric Eric     
  • Jon Redding wins Laser Barometer for second time

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    Jon Redding won the Laser Barometer for the second year in succession at Tamesis on Sunday 4 October.  Jon, normally a Merlin sailor, borrowed Rusty Old Bones (203991) from Mike Goldsmith and out-sailed 13 other Lasers in light winds, convincingly winning the first two races and deciding not to sail in the third.  In so doing he missed the best wind of the day. His main competition came from 16-year-old Nick Forbes in Greylag (188044), who scored two seconds and a first. Nick had the misfortune to miss out the two east-west cross river doglegs while he was leading in the first race and then having to unwind, losing valuable time. Race Officer Colin Stokes wisely set a short course to allow for the lightness of the southerly wind, with an upstream start to a turning mark opposite the Albany and a downstream mark close to Trowlock Island.  The competitors enjoyed the warm sunshine and made the most of the occasional gusts of wind it brought. Nick’s closest rival was his grandfather, Donald Forbes, who had two fourths and a second in Storm (146120), finishing third overall.  Fourth place went to visiting helm Mark Sancken, from Queen Mary SC, in (204678), with three thirds, scoring the same six points as Donald Forbes. The prizes were presented by Commodore Stewart Colley, who had also taken part in the racing.  Colin Stokes was assisted in the starting box by Fiona Bolwell and the club patol boat was manned by Ken Duffell and Richard Mason. The fleet approaching the downstream mark Nick makes the most of a welcome gust of wind
  • Boxing Day Races

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    The first shall be last and the last shall be first. So it was with the Boxing Day races on Friday 26 December. Mike Goldsmith won the Laser race sailing ROB (203911) in very little wind, taking just over 30 minutes to complete one round of a very short course between the recreation ground and the Canoe Club. No other Lasers took part. Rear Commodore Sailing Alan Green was the first (and last) National 18 crewed by Pek Konidaris in Orion (336), taking almost 50 minutes round the same course. The Merlins were rumored to be racing with the gee-gees at Kempton! Clive Mence and Fiona Bolwell operated the two patrol boats, Adrian and Sally Warwick-Haller helped the OOD in the Smithy (no horses there), and Steve Katz served at the bar. Sally presented the Laser Pot (gozunder) to Mike Goldsmith. No presentation was made to Alan Green because non-one could find the Broken Barometer (the National 18 Boxing Day trophy) – something to do with missing keys. Eighteen members brought scrumptious festive leftovers for lunch, and Susan Green kindly did the washing up. Normal racing will resume when the wind blows. Happy New Year.
  • Bambusa wins Trafalgar Trophy

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    It blew hard before the battle and after the battle was over, but just as at Trafalgar in 1805, the battle for the Trafalgar Trophy at Tamesis on Sunday 19 October took place in much lighter winds. Most of the race was sailed in a light southerly force 3 which gave the 13 competitors a difficult up river beat into the sheltered water beyond Steven’s Eyot. There was enough stream to make the rounding on the Canbury mark a tricky business and the Lensbury buoy, set half way down Trowlock Island, proved equally difficult. The six competing Lasers were the first away on this 91 minute class pursuit race, followed by an Albacore, four Merlins and two National 18s. Donald Forbes established an early lead in his Laser, Greylag (188044) but after the second round of this three round race he was facing some strong competition from David Baker and Jim Green in Cobblers, the Albacore (6813). It was not long before the leading Merlins joined the battle and Peter and Richard Mason, the eventual winners, in Bambusa (847), were soon pressing the Lasers and Albacore hard. Several boats in each class were lapped by the leaders and one Laser gave up in sheer frustration with the awkwardness of the wind shifts and retired. Results: 1 Bambusa (MR847) Peter & Richard Mason; 2 One over the Eight (N18 349) Doug Pope & Jose Ugarte; 3 Greylag (L 188044) Donald Forbes; 4 Limelight (L 42169) Kaan Yargici; 5 Cobblers (A 6813) David Baker & Jim Green. Peter Fryer, the Race Officer, was assisted by Daniel Gerber and the patrol boats were manned by Paul Jamieson, Simon Craig, Chris Pollard and Carolyne Vines. For more picture see The Gallery.  
  • Laser Barometer 2014 – big turnout, little wind

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    Well, it was sunny, it was warm, there was no stream, and we had 19 eager Laser sailors ready to take part in what was billed as the Tamesis Regatta of the year (by myself at least). The only problem, not much wind. 1 mph in fact, which isn’t a lot. Still the forecast was for it to pick up to at least 2mph by the afternoon, and with that in mind the OOD Peter Mason called the first race, on time, at 11am. It was a straight forward up and down course in front of the club, with 4 laps and marks to port. There really was very little wind but somehow quite miraculously all four laps were completed in good time by the leading boats, who managed to lap some people more than once (I think including yours truly). Jon Redding won the race, with visitor Julia Hancock (who knows Tamesis well) second, and Steve Bartlett third. After a long break for lunch – these Laser sailors need long lunches – it was time for the second race. But before we started we had a little get together with the ODD Peter who re-enforced a few pointers on Rule 42, which loves to make an appearance in light winds, apparently. Peter stated that the first warning was a 720 and the second was a disqualification. Everyone nodded, smiled, and got on with the second race, which perhaps unsurprisingly was much closer this time round. Despite that the second race got off to a good start and with a little extra breeze the competition was close. Indeed there were moments where the box was frantically hitting the finish buzzer. Again the race was won by Jon, and with one discard allowed he was confirmed Barometer champion before you could say “anyone for a third race?” (and despite not having sailed a Laser for years). Second was Julia with Nick Forbes coming in a very impressive third (given his career as a top Laser sailor is in its early stages). Nick continued his good form in to the last race coming in second behind our other visitor James Baxter, with Julia third. So although the wind was pretty terrible everyone enjoyed the day and the turn out was fantastic. It was great to see visitors James and Julia, and of course big thanks to Peter who as OOD ran a very tight show. Lastly thanks to everyone who lent other members their boats for the day. The Laser Barometer remains a great event in the Tamesis calendar. Looking forward to over 20 boats next year. Final placings are: 1 – Jon Redding – 2 pts 2 – Julia Hancock – 4 pts 3 – James Baxter – 5 pts 4 – Nick Forbes – 5 pts 5 – Steve Bartlett – 8 pts  
  • 50 sailors take part in keenly competitive Autumn Regatta

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    Twenty five boats helmed and crewed by 50 sailors took part in some keenly competitive racing at Tamesis Club’s Autumn Regatta on Sunday 14 September. The Thames A Raters were sent on a lengthy course to Lensbury which gave a beat from a downstream start followed by a reach and beat upriver to a Canbury buoy near Hampton Wick Bridge. The other classes had a shorter course. A moderate to fresh gusty easterly wind provided some exciting sailing, with several capsizes, and the result of the three races for the majestic A Raters had to be postponed pending the outcome of a protest hearing. The Autumn Cup for Merlins (presented by Ken Duffell the Merlin Class Captain in 2005) was won by Richard Harris, with two firsts in Passing Cloud (1079), crewed by his son, Harry. The other first, counting the best two of three races, was scored by Rob Wilder and his young daughter Milly Chong-Wilder in Flinkidink (1097). Ian Burnett won the National 18 Class in Zephyr (374), crewed by Angela Caldara. Donald Forbes in Greylag (188044) fought off some strong competition in the Laser fleet from his grandson Nick Forbes in Storm (146120) and Henry Defries, who won the first of the three races in Phew (178209). The Race Officer, Mervyn Allen, was assisted by Anne Bayne, and the Club launch was operated by Chris Starr and Sara Jamieson. Vice Commodore Carolyne Vines presented the prizes. There were visiting boats from Thames and Upper Thames Sailing Clubs. Results:- Merlin Rockets: 1 Passing Cloud (1079) Richard & Harry Harris, 2 Flinkidink (1097) Rob Wilder & Milly Chong-Wilder, 3 Pikey (3520) Jon & Amanda Redding, 4 Andromeda (3259) Dave Baker & Jim Green; National 18s: 1 Zephyr (374) Ian Burnett & Angela Caldara, 2 Antedote (348) Chris Pollard & Kaan Yargici; Lasers: 1 Greylag (188044) Donald Forbes, 2 Storm (146120) Nick Forbes, 3 Phew (178209) Henry Defries.
  • Donald Forbes

  • Kaan Yargici


Laser poster