In January 1999 the Laser Class World Council set in motion a proposal to review the control line systems on the Laser with a view to making the control lines (boom vang, Cunningham and Outhaul) easier to handle.
The class members approved the changes in principle during 1999. During 2000 a World Council Working Party was tasked with putting the proposals into a final format and testing various systems. Much work was undertaken with a wide range of input. This work was finalised at a 4 day meeting in late January 2001 when the working party met with builders' representatives and test sailed proposed systems using a variety of experienced and inexperienced sailors and established a framework for the rules drafting. Drafts were prepared and the builders went into the final development phase of producing production fittings and testing these.
In preparing the new rules the Working Party followed World Council guidelines that the changes should be easy to retrofit with a minimum of tools, that there should be a similar freedom on rigging control lines to the current rules without compromising the "one design" philosophy of the Laser class and that the controls should be simple and look neat. In addition the Working Party felt it was desirable to limit cost increases by restricting additional fittings, that the rules should contain enough direction to limit to maintain a controlled evolution, that allowed solutions should work in strong weather conditions, that all boats should continue to look similar and any new fittings have an aesthetic design.
For a complete description of the rules changes including photographs of the fittings by Jeff Martin, and rigging suggestions for the new rules by Mark Littlejohn go to: