A warm welcome to the website for the Leader Class Owners' Association (LCOA)
Here you will find all sorts of useful information about the Leader dinghy, it's Class Association, latest news and information about events, plus details of pre-loved Leader dinghys for sale.
Designed in 1960 by J.G. Pollard, the Leader has always been a popular choice at County Sailing Bases, School Institutions and Holiday Centres both here in the UK and abroad. The Leader is the perfect all-rounder. It's traditional look and excellent reputation has established the boat as an ideal 14' trainer, day sailor, cruiser or racer.
Like it's larger companion the Wayfarer, the Leader features a tabernacle, enabling rigging to be done easily by one person. It's lighter weight also makes it easier to move on-shore.
Leader racing is competitive, but with a strong emphasis on fun. The Leader remains one of the few classes where lightweights and mixed crews can compete on equal terms with larger crews.
The Leader Class Owners' Association (LCOA) exists to encourage new and existing sailors to become active in the use of the Leader dinghy. The Association also promotes the interest of the Class and helps to maintain contact between members.
The Association is run by an annually elected committee of Leader owners to represent the racing, cruising and pottering fraternity. One of the main features of the Association since it's inception, is the friendliness between owners.
The LCOA arranges a series of Open Meetings during the season, together with the National Championships, which moves from club to club in successive years. All of these events are open to all LCOA members. Membership costs just £10 for full membership and £5 for an Associate Member (a non-Leader owner). Click here for a membership form or contact Roger our Membership Secretary.
Owners are responsible for ensuring that their dinghy meets Class requirements in order to race and to register with the Association.
A trial demonstration can be arranged in many parts of the country for prospective Leader owners by existing members of the class. If you are considering buying a Leader dinghy then why not visit us at one of our Open Meetings? You will experience the pleasure in owning and sailing a Leader and meet our friendly Class members.
The RYA no longer include the Leader in the Portsmouth Yardstick list as despite the Association's best efforts Clubs were unable to meet the minimum reporting levels required.
The Leader has traditionally always had a similar speed to the Enterprise. The Leader is listed in the Classic & Vintage Racing Dinghy Association as 97 in their handicapping system, which is the same as an 'old' Enterprise. (www.cvrda.org)
We also had the same PY number as the Enterprise from 1997 to 1999 and our boats are unchanged from that date. The Enterprise sailed under 1117 in 2013/2014.
Thus the LCOA asserts that a handicap of 1117 should be used when handicap racing against other boats with a PY number.
This .pdf document is a scanned copy of a leaflet published in 1992, containing a brief history of the design and some useful tips for setting up your Leader, either to race competitively or for cruising.
Small Craft Marketing Leaflet
Adventerous trip for two in a dinghy - July 1967 (transcript of the article follows)
Sailing enthusiasts, 27 year old John Ledger and his friend, Ted Lawson, aged 33, arrived back in Alnmouth et the weekend after an adventerous holiday cruise in a tiny dinghy.
Bluebird, a 14ft leader dinghy, built at Alnmouth by the Aln Boatyard, was their home for a fortnight as they sailed first down the east coast to Great Yarmouth and then across the North Sea to Holland.
"There were times when she battled against strong winds, once gusting up to force seven, but she came through it well," related John, a fitter at Boulmer Radar Site.
Coastguards were informed of their trip in advance and kept a look-out for them as they sailed down the coast on the start of their journey. "They were very good, and checked us in at various points," said John.
From Great Yarmouth, Bluebird sailed across the North Sea to Middelharnis, on the Dutch island of Overflakkee (pop 35,000), where the voyagers were warmly welcomed by the local yacht club.
Because of a long period without much wind at the start, it took them 34 hours to do the crossing.
Said John, still sporting the beard he grew on the trip: "It was cold at night but we were fortified with flasks of coffee. One of us steered the boat while the other snatched an hour's sleep.
We slept on airbeds in the boat throughout the cruise, and cooked our own food on a small stove. We never went short of a good meal."
Like good sailors, John and Ted were equipped with flares, special life jackets and spare rescue blankets in case of an emergency, but happily never had need for them.
Because they had to get back to their jobs they were unable to sail Bluebird back to Alnmouth. They left her to be transported back and came over on a steamer.
John, who lodges in Alnmouth, comes from Leeds. Ted, a miner, lives in Stanhope St., Newcastle.