March 17, 2020

Help! Laser sailors are in good hands with PSA

We’ve all been there. You arrive at the regatta, go to rig your boat and find that you’ve left your bung/battens/cleat/sheet in the shed at home. Or you find there’s a nasty stone chip in your hull from the road trip to the venue.

If you’re sailing a Laser, there is no need to panic. Just go to the ever-present PSA van and ask for help.

PSA has a presence at every major regatta. For the massive Laser Summer of Sailing in Victoria, which included the Australian Championships, Sail Melbourne, the Standard and Radial World Championships and the ill-fated Laser Masters at Geelong, the PSA van has been on site since Boxing Day.

The PSA Team thought that they may have got a short break between regattas, however because the sailors were training when they weren’t racing, PSA had someone based at Sandringham and Geelong the whole time.

At one point there were over 500 Lasers at Sandringham, as the world’s best brought their own boats to train in, then switched to the supplied equipment for the Worlds.

Building, delivering and then maintaining that number of boats has certainly been a a huge effort for PSA but worth it to see so many Lasers in use at one time.

Talking with competitors in the rigging area, it’s easy to see that they appreciate the service they are being given.

“I had a problem with one of the cleats, which is attached a bit differently here than in England,” said British Masters sailor, Glyn Purnell. “The chap from PSA came over and fitted it for me for nothing. I also found the bolt in my rudder was a bit tight. I could have walked up to the city, gone into Big W and bought a set of spanners, but PSA lent me a socket and the problem was fixed.”

PSA's van is there as a service, not a money-maker. If someone needs a new sail or a new daggerboard, PSA can assist. PSA also fixes heaps of little gel coat chips for free and hand out spare bungs like lollies.

When the regatta is over, the PSA staff are still working. Some of the charter boats from the Masters in Geelong were destined to be shipped to Italy, but will now probably end up in the USA or Canada.

Shipping containers (20 Lasers to a 40 ft container) to France, St Petersburg, Gran Canaria, Canada, the UK, USA…all over the world.

Unfortunately for PSA, the indefinite postponement of the World Masters has hit in cancelled charter boat fees. They aim to amortise their charter operations across three regattas, so to lose a complete event makes a huge dent in the business and production.

Look out for the van, it will still be at all the major regattas. With next year’s Australian Championships scheduled for Perth. The PSA Team is gearing up for another road trip across the Nullarbor, towing a massive trailer loaded with ILCA / Lasers.


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