Are you Bytesize?
And what is that weight? It’s anywhere between 90 and 160 lbs with the optimum all-round, all-weather weight for racing being 120 – 145 lbs. If you’re just out sailing for fun, which is what sailing is all about, your weight really doesn’t matter at all.
So who is Bytesize? When you come down to it, a huge part of the population comprising almost all of the early adolescent age group emerging from the Optimist, about 95% of the female population and about 45% of the male population. Of the above groups, the first is, by far, the most important for our sport and the Byte provides that all important first step after the Optimist. For years and years we have been watching our trained young sailors walk away from the sport – not because of ability but purely for lack of a boat that the vast majority can handle in the heavier conditions. Any youngster can handle any boat in 5 knots; if they can’t in 15 knots, you won’t see them again. There’s too much else to interest them out there: canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, roller blading, horseback riding, go karting, swimming, surfing, scuba, surfboarding etc., etc., etc.
International Youth Boat
That boat is here now, it’s the Byte. in fact, it has been here for nearly 10 years with over 2000 built! In the year 2000, however, the Byte was chosen as the 18 and under female singlehanded boat for the ISAF World Youth Championships in Australia. Check the special ISAF section in the Website for the Australian experience. It has been chosen again for the 2002 ISAF World Youth Championships to be held in Nova Scotia, Canada. If you are wondering where that young Optimist skipper in your family is going to sail next, go to the Byte website at www.byteclass.org and check out the racing schedule. It could be your option!
The whole concept of the Byte Class is based on all the boats, spars, foils, and fittings being equal. This is the concept of ‘one-design’ and the Byte takes it to its logical conclusion with a one-design sail delivered as part of the boat. The sail is a beautiful, double stepped, radial design by Hans Fogh. This construction is a bit of overkill but it results in such low stresses in the cloth that the sail is unusually long lasting.
Because you don’t need to be a brute to sail the Byte, we have led all the controls for vang, outhaul and cunningham to either side deck with proper, multi-purchase, ball bearing block systems. The vang can be adjusted, on a full plane, from the cockpit, effortlessly. You have to try it to believe it!
The Byte was designed by Ian Bruce who put his 18 years of experience with the Laser® dinghy plus the building of the Finn, International 14, Contender, Fireball, 470, Optimist (yes, in 1973, 20 years before it was fashionable!), Tornado hull, Tasar and Laser II into the design and development of the Byte. The foils, spars and fittings are all tried and proven and the construction of the boat is lightweight, non-exotic, (i.e. easily repairable), but capable of withstanding everything from knockabout recreational sailing to boat-breaking institutional programs. Discover the joy of lifting only 100 lbs onto your car’s roof rack!
The Class is everything
The backbone of Byte sailing and racing is the Byte Class International Association. Set up by the same people who started the worldwide Laser® Class Association, the Byte Class is the focus of communication between the members and is the body that pulls together the entire racing circuit of North America and Bermuda. It was instrumental in the Byte being granted ISAF Recognized Status thereby opening the door for the Class to be selected for the World Youth Championships.