The International Laser Class Association is a self-administered, self-funded international organization which provides coordination, organization and communication for the class worldwide. ILCA is like a worldwide sailing club specifically for owners of Laser sailboats and people interested in the Laser.
ILCA’s objects, which are set out in its Constitution, are:
- to promote and develop Laser class racing in all countries, under uniform rules
- to provide a medium of exchange of information among Laser sailors throughout the world and enhance the enjoyment of Laser sailboats
- to encourage and foster the enjoyment of the sporting and recreational aspects of sailing.
On the local and national level, these objects are put into practice by hundreds of volunteers around the world who work all year around in sailing clubs, offices and even sailing federations to organize Laser events spanning from club regattas to training camps to national championships for Laser sailors.
On the international level, a dedicated ILCA office co-ordinates the international racing calendar, organizes Laser world championships, liaises with national and international authorities, publishes the annual Laser handbook and the quarterly LaserWorld magazine and works together with the builders to protect the One Design principle.
For administration purposes ILCA is divided into 4 main levels of activity, each with elected volunteers:
- International (World Council): The World Council operates like the board of directors of a company. They are responsible for directing the work of the Association and maintaining its objectives as they are expressed in the Association’s Constitution. The World Council consists of the President and Vice Presidents, the Chair of each region, the Executive Secretary appointed by the Council and two representatives of the Laser manufacturers. Our World Council is truly international, currently consisting of officers from Argentina, Australia, France, Switzerland, UK and USA – all are active sailors and between them have a wealth of experience spread over all levels of sailing.
- Regions: These are groups of Districts and Fleets, usually on a continental basis. Regional activities are co-ordinated by officers elected by the District representatives.
- Districts: These cover larger geographic areas of varying size and normally conform to national boundaries. Districts are usually formed when there are 50 or more Laser sailors spread throughout a geographic area. In North America and Australia, Districts are single states or amalgamations of states.
- Fleets: Small groups of sailors (up to 50) normally sailing at a club or clubs near each other. Fleet members elect a Fleet Captain to co-ordinate their activities. A Fleet would normally be formed within a District.
The contact details for Districts and Regions can be found on our Contacts page.
Protecting the One Design Principle
One important job ILCA has to do is to protect the One Design Rules: When the Laser was first introduced, a set of rules were drafted which at the time were very different from other existing classes. These other class rules listed a number of prohibitions which led to developers trying out new ideas if the idea was not specifically prohibited. The result of this is that quite often older boats became outdated with a subsequent loss in value. The Laser rules are different in that they prohibit ANY changes unless the rules specifically allow a change. This means that a 10 year old Laser is the same as a brand new one and as a result holds its resale value far better. ILCA plays an important part in keeping the Laser rules strictly one design by preventing changes and providing a measurement structure that maintains the one design. One aspect of this is to work closely together with the manufacturers of Laser boats and monitor building agreements to make sure the One Design principle isn’t devalued by manufacturing changes. The construction of the Laser is controlled by an agreement between the manufacturers, the ILCA, and the International Sailing Federation, and by the class rules.
Activity & Good Racing
Whatever reasons made you become a Laser owner, they are all a results of ACTIVITY. The Laser Association plays an important part in promoting and maintaining this activity and keeping the Laser at the top of the sailing worlds for both Laser sailors and sailing authorities. The ILCA office, together with the Regional and District officers, ensure a strong and healthy future for the Laser.
The ILCA office is responsible for co-ordinating and organising world and other major championships for the class. Of course these only directly interest a small group of sailors. However, the organisation of top quality championships has an effect on all sailors. The qualification and training for major championships can only take place at lower level regattas. This results in an increased participation at lower levels, which in turn attracts more people to the class. Standards that are set in sailing, racing and organisation at international level filter down throughout our organisation.
Promoting the Laser Class: Publications
The amount and quality of literature available to a Laser sailor is high compared with most other classes.
ILCA’s newsletter LaserWorld is prepared by the International Office and distributed throughout the world to supplement the many and various publications produced by the Districts. A truly international newsletter keeps everyone in touch with class activities and helps the class to develop evenly throughout the world. This is one of our greatest strengths. In many other classes a lack of international communication has caused groups of sailors in different counties to become isolated and the class in that country to become extinct. This fall off in activity eventually affects the class in established countries leaving only the truly international classes well supported.
ILCA also produces an annual handbook which contains the ILCA Constitution, By-Laws, age policies and other important information related to the Laser class.
Finally, the ILCA website holds information about all championships, is regularly updated with news items and provides links to related sites.
The ILCA office deals with correspondence and communications from individuals, fleets, sailing clubs, district committee members, national yachting authorities, the World Council, the International Sailing Federation and the various manufacturing plants – in fact anything concerning Laser!
ILCA is working for each individual Laser sailor no matter where they are in the world.
ILCA Districts range from sailing clubs with 10 members, to national Laser class associations with some over 1000 members to the sailing association of a country. Every year ILCA contacts each District and asks them to report membership numbers.
If you are not a member of ILCA and would like to join us, please contact ILCA.
Individual sailors become members of ILCA by association when they join their local Laser District. If you would like to join ILCA, please contact your District Laser Class Association, details of which can be found through the ILCA Contacts page under ILCA Districts
Laser sailing is a truly international sport practised throughout the world and in this spirit, you can become a member of a local Laser district where you regularly sail in the world, even though it may not be your permanent country of residence. National citizenship is no criteria for Fleet/District membership. If you are unsure about where you should become a member, please contact the ILCA office.
If there is no Laser Association in your country and you are interested in setting one up yourself, please contact the ILCA office.
Benefits of ILCA membership:
- local District/Fleet information and newsletters
- 4 issues of LaserWorld each year
- the official handbook, published every year
- the opportunity to qualify for official ILCA Championships
- the advice and support of a strong class association
A dedicated staff keeps the Laser Class functioning.
- Executive Secretary: Eric Faust
- General Manager, Regattas: Randolph Bertin
- General Manager, Publications: Heather Jones
- Membership Coordinator: Diana Smith
- Media Coordinator: Katie Olsen
- Technical Specialist: Ravi Subramanian
To reach the ILCA staff, Contact our office.