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 class sailboats and people interested in sailing them.
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 class events spanning from club regattas to training camps to national championships.
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, manages the class website and social media, 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 Advisory Council representatives. Our World Council is truly international, currently consisting of officers from five continents – all of whom 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 a number of 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 class boat was first introduced, a set of rules were drafted which, at the time, were very different from other existing classes. The rules for other classes 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 ILCA Class Rules are different in that they prohibit ANY changes unless the rules specifically allow a change. This means that a 10 year old boat 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 class 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 and monitor their production to make sure the one-design principle isn’t devalued by manufacturing changes. The construction specifications for the boat are controlled by an agreement between the manufacturers and ILCA, with oversight from World Sailing, which must approve all changes to the specifications.
Activity & Good Racing
Whatever reasons made you become a Laser class boat owner, they are all a results of ACTIVITY. ILCA 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 class.
The ILCA office is responsible for co-ordinating and organizing world and other major championships for the class. Of course these events are only of direct interest for a small group of sailors. However, the organization 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 increased participation at lower levels, which in turn attracts more people to the class. Standards that are set in sailing, racing and organization at the international level filter down throughout our organization.
Promoting the Class: Website and Publications
The amount and quality of literature available to a Laser sailor is high compared with most other classes. Many Districts and Fleets publish regular newsletters and email updates to keep their members informed of class activities. ILCA produces a high profile website and maintains a strong social media presences to keep sailors around the world up to date on a realtime basis. In addition to the electronic communications, ILCA also produces an annual handbook which contains the ILCA Class Rules, Constitution, By-Laws, age policies and other important information related to the Laser class.
Publication of the printed quarterly newsletter, LaserWorld, was curtailed ended in 2016 at the suggestion of the Chairman of the European Region.
The ILCA office deals with correspondence and communications from individuals, fleets, sailing clubs, district committee members, national yachting authorities, the World Council, World Sailing and the various manufacturing plants – in fact anything concerning our class!
ILCA is working for each individual 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 District. If you would like to join ILCA, please contact your District Class Association, details of which can be found through the ILCA Contacts page under ILCA Districts
Laser sailing is a truly international sport practiced throughout the world and, in this spirit, you can become a member of a local 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
- the official handbook, published every year
- the opportunity to qualify for official ILCA Championships
- the advice and support of a strong class association
- and a strong class association means a strong resale value for your boat!
A dedicated staff keeps the Laser Class functioning.
- Executive Secretary: Eric Faust
- Field Operations Officer: Andrus Poksi
- Technical Officer: Clive Humphris
- Assistant Technical Officer: Santiago Sampaio
- Publications Manager: Heather Jones
- Membership Manager: Diana Smith
- Media Manager: Katie Olsen
- Technical Specialist: Ravi Subramanian
To reach the ILCA staff, Contact our office.