|A Canadian newspaperman and former editor of Yacht Racing (predecessor to Sailing World), Bruce Kirby is best known for designing the Laser. Kirby started as a reporter in Montreal before editing Yacht Racing and, in his spare time, taking up yacht design and drawing the Laser.|
In 1970 Kirby became editor of Yacht Racing & Cruising (later Yacht Racing) where he stayed until 1975. Despite his duties with the magazine, Kirby was still designing boats which began with the International 14 class. Kirby designs won the world championships in 1958 and 1961. It was in 1969 that Kirby drew the Laser, one of the most successful sailboats ever. More than 200,000 have been built and it is currently an Olympic class.
Kirby represented Canada at the Olympics games in 1956, 1964, and 1968.
Among his other designs are two America's Cup 12-Meters, Canada I and II, the Apollo, Sonar, Kirby 25, and 30, and Ideal 18 and San Juan 24. The latter with over a thousand built since its debut. Kirby also served as both designer and skipper on Runaway, Canada's entry in the 1981 Admirals Cup.