After winning “Americas Teacup,” the Laser went into its prototype stage, taking the name, TGIF, or Thank God It’s Friday. Its official unveiling was at the 1971 New York Boat Show, where it assumed its Laser moniker. The first official Laser World Championship was held in Bermuda in 1974, with entrants from 24 different countries. Peter Commette of the United States took first place. By 1996, the boat had become a men’s Olympic-class vessel, and in 2008 Olympian women started racing a modified Laser, the Laser Radial.
Yearly Laser World Championships are held at different venues around the world, with each year new applicants having a fair chance at hosting the event. Racing classes can include men’s and women’s; Laser standard, Laser radial, Laser 4.7, and Laser masters.
Each Laser boat is held to a specific rule set, ensuring that every boat is identical, with no modifications unless explicitly approved by the rulebook. The strict specifications allow races to be determined on the sailor’s skill, rather than the boat’s design.
Banderas Bay has played host to several other international sailing events, including the 2007 J24 World Championships, and the 2014 Optimist North American Championships.
Accommodations for racers and spectators can be found at the Paradise Village Beach Resort and Spa, of which the VYC leases its space from. The resort boasts decadent restaurants, a gorgeous beachfront location, swimming pools, and full suites that are equipped with kitchens. It also includes sports facilities, featuring an eighteen-hole golf course and five tennis courts.
his year’s world championship for the standard division is set for May tenth through may eighteenth, with the trophy presentation and closing ceremony scheduled for the latter half of May eighteenth. The master division world championship will extend another week later, from May twentieth to May twenty-eighth. Follow the events on their social media for race updates and general information.