Well, almost last post...... :-) Two replies to my previous popped up while I was writing.
Steve, good luck with the Serenity and I hope you enjoy it. Not everyone will like light winds, but it's great that you opened yourself up to the idea.
I'm not looking at structuring our sport based on what used to be; just using it as inspiration and looking at why things happened.
Bill, I see Laser sails about every second day - when I go training on my Laser. I've got or had a lot of higher-tech boat sails (we've got or had skiffs, high-performance cats like Tornadoes and F16s, and fast dinghies like Moths and Int Canoes) but for what it's meant for the Laser sail works very well, and it's better than a modern windsurfer sail in the light and shifty winds most places normally get (as Jim Drake says "Most of the really good beaches, both fresh water and salt water, have winds in the 4 to 8 knot realm").
These sails do what they do damn well, just like a modern windsurfing sail does something different damn well. By the way, that allegedly old-fashioned sail is now getting record fleets in some areas and 'round here there are more Laser dealers and more Lasers sailing than there are boards. There are many more kids who are into racing Laser 4.7s and Radials than racing FE or FW or T293.....you don't see board fleets with 300+ kids like you do in Lasers.
PS while looking for the Jim Drake bit about wind strengths, I noticed this line from Jim about widestyle boards - "Be prepared to be ridiculed by the skinny board north shore Maui crowd in return for more water time at more places. "
There is it again, from the father of windsurfing - those who want to go light wind sailing will be ridiculed. Why can't we just let people like their own vision of the sport? Oh, and it shows someone from the industry who is actually creating and pushing a vision - just like the Kona One which is said by some to be the world's top selling board.