I let most of the stuff I read on this forum go by, but sometimes I have to jump in. In response to the above post:
1. Yes, that's exactly what we've working to do right now -- establishing new builders spread out globally. This is proceeding well, but the process does take time. In case you have not been aware, to be able to proceed with and accomplish this objective we first needed to pass the rule change vote this past summer and only thereafter receive WS' 2024 Olympic equipment selection. Then we needed to get the two currently approved builders to agree to the FRAND requirements, while continually reaching out to LP to have them reapproved.
2. In co-ordination with each local venue organizing group, ILCA's primary focus is on organizing, promoting, contracting with venue organizers and charter boat suppliers, an unparalleled 7 world championship regattas every year, including: 4.7 Worlds, U21 Worlds, Standard Men Worlds, Radial Men Worlds, Radial Women Worlds, Youth Radial Worlds and the Masters Worlds (plus supporting events like the Olympics, Pan Am Games, etc). Is there any other class that comes anywhere close to this?
Regarding "interfering" with builders, trademarks and FRAND policies, it seems you are suggesting ILCA should:
- not get involved when a builder is in breach of class equipment construction specifications (and other agreements) and who does not allow factory inspections by the class' technical officer?
- ignore, infringe and not respect a commercial entities (i.e., builder) trademark ownership?
- ignore World Sailing's Equipment Policy and requirement for FRAND compliance, with the result being eliminated as the selected Men's and Women's Single-handed Dinghies in the Olympics?
- and do you really believe it's ILCA's responsibility for a low turnout at a national championship regatta?
I'd also challenge this statement: "The Laser was never a class association led product, it was a commercial product that sprouted a fan club". This is incorrect. The strength of the class association that Ian Bruce established at the same time and within the same location that he established the initial Laser factory, is what made the Laser such an astounding success. He didn't just produce a "commercial product", but due to his talents and international sailboat racing know-how (Ian represented Canada in the 1964 Olympics in the Star class) he built the strongest class in the world that continues to thrive, and inspire and challenge sailors young and not-so-young an incredible 50 years later. (I'd also add that the incredible contributions into the Laser class association by the late Jeff Martin from 1975-2019 were instrumental to the growth and strength of the class).
And when you say, "the lunatics are running the asylum", are you referring to me and my colleagues on the ILCA World Council? I've certainly been called worse than a lunatic, but just want to be sure who you mean here?
re: low UK nationals turnout, it is the regional class association's responsibility for promoting a particular national championships. As for low turnouts in the Standard rig, this is trend we've been seeing more of in recent years. I believe it's an unfortunate but perhaps natural result of both (a) the decline of the younger (say aged 20-34) "weekend warrior" group, and (b) the preference of the Olympic wannabe's, who are at a full-time professional level now, where few if any of them elect to enter regattas like a UK, Canadian or similar National Championships. They prefer to either train in their team groups or race almost exclusively in major World Cup events.
I note that the 2019 UK Nationals were held in Largs, Scotland - a beautiful place and sailing venue (I coached there at an IYRU Women's World Championships there way back in the 80's); however, Largs is a long road trip for the bulk of UK Laser sailors, who I would assume are predominantly located in the south of England (note that I welcome any countering opinions from UK sailors out there).
And finally a comment to Wess' recent remark: "Just feels like ILCA and Laser builders are interested in getting rich(er) and thus killing a good thing". You've outed us, Wess. Indeed, at the November World Council meeting we were popping champagne over how much money we're making and the bonus' and share options we awarded ourselves. But more seriously, I can guarantee you that I, along with the other volunteers on the WC, are not trying to "kill a good thing".
We on the ILCA World Council always welcome constructive criticisms, suggestions and proposals on how to improve the class.