Laserist

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  1. Laserist

    Huh? New Sunfish Class?

    I'm with Wess, while Tillerman keeps harping on about the RS Aero it is really no more than a minor distraction. The real issue here is how two of the most successful dinghy classes in the world, the Sunfish and the Laser, can sort out their manufacturer issues and continue to grow and contribute to the ongoing success of dinghy sailing as a sport. We don't want or need new classes but we do need LP to get on the side of their customers and work with them, not burn all their and their customers cash on legal spats. The RS Aero is not a factor. It has been around for almost 4 years. Based on the boat numbers I can find is looks like they have sold maybe 2500 boats in total since launch. There was a real rush at the beginning so my guess is this year they have sold maybe 4-500 boats worldwide. On the same basis, looking at sail numbers and even with the horrific LP supply constraints Laser have sold in excess of 2000 boats every year for many, many years and continue to do so. Thats not to mention the thousands that are sold second hand and rotate through the fleets every year. The Laser remains indisputably the preeminent single handed dinghy racing class in the world. Its a fantastic boat, challenging and rewarding to sail, and offers top quality racing for Junior, Youth and Olympic sailors right through to Masters. It attracted over 1500 entries to its World Champs this year, not that far short of the total Aero production to date, and had to restrict entry numbers at several of its World Champ events. By comparison the Aero is but a niche class. Judging by the published results the standard of racing is nowhere near the Laser, with Laser Grand Masters (and Aero dealers) dominating its top open championship results. In my experience and observation it is not nearly as great a boat to race in many conditions and while light is just not nearly as good a boat ,or a fleet to race in, as the Laser. The Laser is undoubtedly a lucky freak of a boat. We are so lucky that the original designers and those that have refined it over the years have, by good luck or good management, just got it right. No amount of negative publicity or even the negative attitude and approach of LP will change the fact that the Laser is a great boat that deserves every bit of its success, which will hopefully continue well into the future. So LP and pretty much everyone else should forget the Aero, LP should sort out its supply issues as its says it is and let the sailors and volunteers who have run Sailfish and Laser racing for over 40 years get on with it. LP can then focus on selling lots of boat, growing their market and with it sailing in general. So LP and Mr Rastegar how about it. You own great products. Why not sell them to people who acknowledge that and want to buy them and let them get on with using them and growing your market so they and you all benefit. Don't worry if they utter the name of your products or show a trademark somewhere, even without your express permission. They do that not to disrespect you or your brand but to acknowledge how great the products that you have are. Rejoice in that, embrace your sailor customers, supply them with boats and parts and make your company as great as the products you sell and we will all (except maybe Aero sailors!) bathe in the success of LP. Good luck to the Sunfish class with their Town Hall meeting. Merry Christmas