All sailors are subject to Racing Rule 5: “A competitor shall neither take a substance nor use a method banned by the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code or the World Anti-Doping Agency and shall comply with ISAF Regulation 21, Anti-Doping Code. An alleged or actual breach of this rule shall be dealt with under Regulation 21. It shall not be grounds for a protest and rule 63.1 does not apply.”

In-competition and out-of-competition testing can be undertaken by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) or a National Olympic Committee, at any event, at any time.

The Laser, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 are high profile classes, and all of them are used as youth classes to prepare sailors for the Olympics. Any of our sailors could be tested.

This is an important subject. Sailors are advised to be familiar with the rules and regulations as the penalties can be severe, as we unfortunately read about in other sports. Banned substances can include medication and dietary supplements that can be purchased in supermarkets.

Additional information about Anti-Doping is available through the World Sailing website: www.sailing.org.

This includes regular bulletins on:

  • The latest anti-doping news
  • ISAF Anti-Doping Policy
  • List of prohibited drugs
  • Information on dietary supplements
  • Questions and answers on the World Anti-Doping Code
  • Information about medicine and drugs needed for medical conditions

Further information can be obtained from National Sailing Authorities, who can refer to World Sailing if they do not have their own medical officers.

ILCA’s recommended policy is that Women’s championships should be held in the Laser Radial. ILCA runs “allocated place” Women’s World Championships and other “open” Laser Radial events that include women. For identification purposes, sails used at certain women’s events shall carry a red rhombus above the top batten pocket on both sides, see class rule 4(g). Red rhombi shall conform with ILCA Rules, Part Two, section 4(g)(i) RED RHOMBUS.


With the exception of World and some continental championships all Laser Radial regattas should be mixed gender and ages. However, if there are two or more categories (e.g. category men, category women) with 35 or more sailors in each, then these categories should race separately and have separate prizes.

Where there are separate prize categories, each category should be identified by either a masthead streamer or a color band on the mast.

When two or more categories race in one fleet, then the individual category results should be extracted from the overall results without re-scoring.

Although the Laser 4.7 is used primarily as a youth class, in some countries it may be appropriate to run “open” Laser 4.7 regattas for lighter weight adults. At these events, separate category prizes for youth and women should also be considered, in a format similar to the Laser Radial.

ILCA’s recommended policy for Masters events is that the sailor must reach the ages given below, which shall be defined in the Notice of Race. Overall prizes will be awarded in accordance with the ILCA Honour Award By-Law in each category.

Age 35 – 44:   Apprentice Master (Standard/Radial)
Age 45 – 54:   Master (Standard/Radial)
Age 55 – 64:   Grand Master (Standard/Radial)
Age 65 – 74:   Great Grand Master (Standard/Radial)
Age 75 and over:   Legends (Radial)

The Laser is widely used as a youth training and racing boat. The table below illustrates a typical progression and suggested age limits for prizes at youth events. The stepped progression maintains interest throughout youth years for different rates of growth.


Within these age limits there will be a wide variation in weight for a given age, therefore some overlap is necessary. The age bands for each rig show suggested main prize categories even when the total entry for a rig is starting together. In larger events, prizes for more age groups within the band limits may be awarded to generate even greater interest.

In general, ILCA recommends that youth events shall be held in Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial rigs. ILCA also recommends an “Under 21” category (17 – 20 years old in the year of the championship) for the Laser Standard Men and Laser Radial Women categories.

Competitors in Youth World Championships will normally be in the upper age limits and will be of a high standard. They should be experienced in big fleets and able to sail well in all conditions, including waves and high winds. Entering a World Championship without experience and ability in all racing conditions is not recommended, especially if a sailor is not heavy or strong enough to handle the rig.