The ILCA (formerly known as Laser) fleet at Bowmoor is one of the largest in the region and has regular racing with both expert and beginner sailors. The racing is competitive but friendly both at the front and the back of the fleet.

The ILCA has been around since the early 1970s and is the largest dinghy fleet in the world with well over 200,000 boats registered. It is extremely sturdy and old boats are still competitive with the new ones. This means that there is a huge second-hand market which allows new entrants to the class to purchase a competitive second-hand boat at a very competitive price.

Compared with some newer boat designs, it is comparatively stable and easy to right after a capsize. It is also a (fairly) comfortable boat to sail as you can stay seated close to the centre line of the boat which means that you only have to resort to kneeling when going down wind in very light winds. The latest control systems are simple, easy to use and effective.

For normal club racing we allow people to use replica sails and parts which are often much cheaper than the official gear, but these are not allowed for use at many Open events recognised by the ILCA class association. Currently the ILCA Open Event at Bowmoor runs in the Spring and counts towards both the Wessex and Thames Valley regional championships.

The ILCA has three different rig sizes, the 7, 6 and 4, and is designed to cater for sailors of all ages and weights from youth up to masters. Recommended weight ranges are 45-65 kg for the 4 rig, 55-75 kg for the 6 rig and 65-85kg for the 7 rig. It is the Olympic single hander with the 7 sailed by the men and the 6 sailed by the women.

At Bowmoor, sailors can change rigs within a series so if you normally use a Standard 7 rig but wish to change to a Radial 6 Rig for strong winds, then you may do so. The ILCAs at Bowmoor sail in one of the two handicap fleets and sailors can initially choose which rig they use with the appropriate handicap rating based on the Portsmouth Yardstick. However, sailors who normally sail the 7 and change to the 6 in strong winds are encouraged to sail off the 7 handicap and the same for 6 sailors going down to a 4 in high winds.

If you would like to be added to the Laser What’s App group and or the Laser email list contact Doug Roberts at

We have a number of club ILCA dinghies set up for racing and these can be hired on an annual basis.    How to rig a club laser. 

Bowmoor ILCA class captain is currently Neil Crosby.


Links for ILCA training information below.

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