handicap- faster than a laser?

rick walker

Posted: 31 Aug 04 11:57
Message ID: 164
Is the Lark really faster than a Laser? I`m new to sailing and want to buy a Double Handler to race with my son against different classes. Without the spinnaker how would the Lark compare to a Grad or Enterprise?


Posted: 31 Aug 04 12:55
Reply ID: 443
I race with my son against both Lasers and Ents sometimes we beat them sometimes we don't both on the water and on handicap, although normally we finish before most of the Ents if we get a good start. Downwind without the spinnaker we're about the same speed as Ents upwind we're about the same maybe slightly faster if we can get clear wind. The big gains come when we're planning with spinnaker on a reach and the're not. The difference between us and Lasers is not very marked on handicap the Lark gives a Laser 5 seconds in every 1000 i.e. 0.5% Whereas for an Ent its 38 seconds in every 1000.

However, since Richard and I sail rather slowly compared to a lot of the Lark fleet this only goes to show that your speed around the course and hence finishing position is more dependent on relative abilities than handicap.

Having sailed both the Laser and Lark I can confirm the Lark is more fun.


Posted: 31 Aug 04 02:36
Reply ID: 444
I used to race an Ent at our club before moving up to the Lark. The best move so far! I regularly beat the lasers on the water and also on handicap. As for beating Ents and fireflys, that is more dependent on whether and if we get a good spinnaker leg or not. Without a good reach/broad reach we dont stand a chance. But i have to say it is alot more fun trying! Get a lark!


Posted: 31 Aug 04 04:51
Reply ID: 446

Stu - Erratum

Posted: 31 Aug 04 05:18
Reply ID: 447
Good point well made, however, all i needed to do was take out the words 'and if' as what i was trying to say was, it depends on whether we get a good spinny leg or not. Not on the weather, however, it does depend on the weather as to whether or not we get a good spinnaker leg!! :-)

I'll do my spelling home work to knight and rite out the wons i got rong ten times.

Nick Marlow

Posted: 31 Aug 04 06:00
Reply ID: 448
At Attenborough (a small gravel pit near Nottingham which is fairly sheltered by trees) we usually beat Lasers on the water although you do need spinnaker to keep clear on reaches in marginal planning conditions.

We race on standard portsmouth yardstick but some (lasers) want to change the Lark handicap to make it harder for us!

I think in an hours race we need to be about 20 seconds ahead.


Posted: 01 Sep 04 12:05
Reply ID: 449
All the Enterprises I've helped haul out are much heavier and more unwieldy than the Lark which may be a consideration for parent/child sailors.
And they don't have spinnakers so there's no opportunity to progress or explore something new once you're used to the boat.
As for beating Lasers it all depends on course, weather and skill not just the boat.


Posted: 03 Sep 04 06:32
Reply ID: 452
larks are much faster than lasers on handicap - about 3mins for standard rigs and 4mins for radial rigs. Without a spinnaker the lark is still faster than an Enterprise as well

Chris Fish

Posted: 05 Sep 04 10:08
Reply ID: 455
I've just sailed in our Club Championship. Its an invitation event and this year 2 Larks, 1 Wayfarer and 2 Lasers competed. Alan Krailing/Chris Whitehouse won on countback from Gordon Harris (Emma's dad!) second and my Mum and I in third. And the Lasers, arguable the best Laser sailors in the Club 4th and 5th in every race. Fair conditions F2-3 great day for sailing at Waldringfield. Knowing the Laser sailors reasonably well I think their rating is a little harsh.

(Oh and Gordon/Emma finished third at the Wayfarer International Champs a week or two ago. Well done)