The video is recommended viewing.
“Welcome to Dobroyd Aquatic Club in Sydney. This is the 2015 Australian national championship of the RC Laser. The RC Laser is a quarter scale model of the very iconic Laser Dinghy Class which has been sold for decades all around the world and has been an Olympic class for many many years. In fact the current World Champion is an Australian whose dad sails with us here in the RC Lasers.
We have close to 40 sailors here this weekend which may well be a world record in terms of numbers for such an event like this. Devotees sail all around the world, there are very large fleets in the UK, the United States – of course the boat was designed and in the United States – through Asia and the Middle East, South America – all over the world. There has been a big fleet in South Africa for many years.
What we have here this weekend is a collection of people from all of the states of Australia and vying to be the national champion for the year. There is also a state shield which is based upon participation
So here we have the boat – everything above my hand is a quarter scale model of the Laser. Of course being radio-controlled and not having a person sitting on it – it has a keel on it which will ensure that it cannot overturn. You can turn them upside down – it’s a very simple design.
You see you fit the mast into the step here. In order to operate it is just too simple controls with your radio controller. One lets the sail in and out and the second one is the steering with the rudder.
It’s not an easy boat to sail – you’ll see when you have this breeze it’s a challenge for these people sailing with us today. There are world champion classes so it’s at the top level it’s a very competitive sport but at the same time we have people here that it just here not to try and win the competition, its just the sport appeals. – certainly for people who sail other classes of boats and in some cases people that have sailed for many many years then there’s probably half the people that sail with us had never heard of sailing but it was the radio-controlled part that got them into it. We have all ages – it’s certainly very appealing to young people.
In terms of how the boat operates, we control them using 2.4 giga hertz radios which will find their own frequencies so you never get frequency conflicts and basically a small electronic engine under here which is called a servo and that’s just a little winch if you liked it rotates and allows the sail to be let out and pulled back and we have another small winch you can rotate so allows you to move the rudder. We control it with a hand held transmitter and inside here we have the receiver that the transmitter talks to. It’s as simple as that really just have those two controls.
Of course when you’re out on the water it’s all the principles of sailing, which is being able to pick the wind shifts where they’re going to come from. A big part of it is staying out of trouble because we essentially sail to the same rules as big boats America’s Cup and so on so you’ve got to give way approaching buoys and there’s rules around not touching and if you do you do incur a penalty …