Where to Sail Lasers in Brisbane?
With a mild, subtropical climate, and relatively warm water year round, Brisbane is one of the best cities in Australia for sailing your Laser. Given the great climate for Laser sailing, it’s no surprise that there are a number of sailing clubs around the city which all offer frequent Laser racing and training. Here we’ll cover which clubs are sailing Lasers, and help you decide which club to join.
Sailing Conditions in Brisbane
As I mentioned earlier, Brisbane benefits from a subtropical climate, where the temperature during the day is rarely below 20 degrees (C) year round. This means that you can basically go sailing in Brisbane any day of the year - as long as the wind cooperates. The best months for sailing in Brisbane are between September and May, but you can also get some great days on the water during winter (May to September). In the first half of the summer season, the predominant wind direction is a thermal north-easterly wind which can reach as high as 20-25kts. From New Year to the end of summer, the prevailing wind direction tends to be low pressure driven southerly gradient winds, most of which are in the 12-18knot wind range. Winter months tend to be feature very light thermal winds or strong westerly offshore winds. These westerlies are mostly prevalent in July and August, and can reach up to 30 knots.
For finding wind information and forecasts for Brisbane, I tend to use Seabreeze. Their wind forecasts are based off well known global models, and they also feature observations for wind readings at various locations around Brisbane.
Laser Sailing Clubs in Brisbane
One of the premier sailing clubs in Australia, RQYS boasts a long history in high performance sailing. Numerous Olympic sailors have begun their journey at RQYS, and the club is home to the Queensland High Performance Sailing Program. In the sailing season, there is club racing for Lasers every Saturday, alongside regular training for the RQ Youth Squad members. Membership fees can be quite expensive for adults at RQYS, but they will give you access to some of the best sailing conditions, competition and off water facilities in Brisbane.
Membership Costs: Adult $1095 Junior $200
Club Racing: Every Saturday from Early September to Early April
Fleet Size: +/- 40 boats
Training: Weekly in Summer for RQYouthSquad Members ($200)
Based on Bulimba Point on the Brisbane River, BSS is one of the few clubs located in the centre of the city. Alongside their premier location, BSS has one of the best Laser Standard fleets in Brisbane, with more than 20 boats regularly racing in the tricky conditions that river sailing has to offer. In contrast to RQYS, BSS is a family oriented club, with low membership fees, and great programs to help you learn to sail in Brisbane.
Membership Costs: Adult $175 Junior $80
Club Racing: Every Saturday from Early September to Easter (excluding most of December and January)
Fleet Size: +/- 40 boats
Training: Mostly for Junior classes with occasional coaching clinics run by the Queensland Laser Association (QLA)
For those of you on the northern side of Brisbane, Humpybong Yacht Club sits on Woody Point and regularly runs Laser racing in Bramble Bay. Being a bit more exposed, racing here can bring you some extra experience in bigger waves, alongside racing against a variety of different classes. Similar to BSS, HYC are a small volunteer run club, with a number of rental Lasers available to get your feet wet.
Membership Costs: Adult $290 Junior $120
Club Racing: Three different series run throughout the year. More information can be found here.
Fleet Size: +/- 10 boats
Training: Youth Laser 4.7 Team with occasional QLA coaching clinics
The club most central to Brisbane’s CBD, SBSC offers regular Laser racing right in the heart of Brisbane! Based in West End, racing way upstream on the Brisbane river is sure to test any sailor. With strong currents, and often fickle winds, you won’t get the typical ‘ocean sailing’ conditions which you might get at most big events, but you will definitely get challenged in new and interesting ways. SBSC is a family oriented club, and offer a low membership fee as a result. If you are just getting in to Laser sailing, SBSC also have a number of Lasers which you can rent out, and see if you love it.
Membership Costs: Adult $149 Junior $69
Club Racing: 27 races throughout the year
Fleet Size: +/- 15 boats
Training: Occasional coaching clinics run by the Queensland Laser Association (QLA)
The Queensland Laser Association is the organising body for all things Laser sailing throughout the state of Queensland. They run regular training, regattas and social meet up events. In order to compete in major Laser regattas in Queensland, you will need to become a member of the QLA which costs between $40 and $50.