Laser 5000 reunion on Hayling Island

A reunion of Laser 5000 sailors will be held on Hayling Island Photo: Sailjuice A reunion of Laser 5000 sailors will be held on Hayling Island Photo: Sailjuice

Some of twin-wire skiff sailing’s early pioneers are set to meet at Hayling Island Sailing Club on 30 November for a Laser 5000 class reunion.

When the Laser 5000 came on to the scene in the early 1990s, it spawned a revolution in high-speed skiff sailing. The early days of the 5000 attracted some names that have gone on to achieve great things elsewhere in the sport including Olympians Adrian Stead and Paul Brotherton.

Andy and Ian Budgen were one of the most successful crew in the Laser 5000’s heyday, and it’s Ian who, along with Joe Burnie, Steve Norbury, Tracey Covell and Simon Spolton, decided to get people back together for a celebration.

Best sailing ever done

“Whenever you speak to anyone who raced the Laser 5000 back in the mid-nineties, they remember it as some of the best sailing they’ve ever done,” said Ian, who has gone on to forge a career as a professional sailor including a stint in the Volvo Ocean Race. “It was 1994, with the Audi Laser Eurocup, when the 5000 really hit its stride. We had TV coverage and that enabled many of us to get sponsorship that helped cover your costs of competing for the season.”

If you were part of the Laser 5000 scene in the 90s or any time since, details can be found on the Facebook event page “Laser 5000 25 Year Reunion”.

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