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YetMoreTrouble

Fundamental Laser Class rule change

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Laser Performance has about 15 different dinghies, not just Lasers.

 

There seems to be nothing saying that this sponsorship is only for Lasers, or even if it were, that it is a new racing class. It appears to be a sponsorship for selected athletes, regattas, and sailing organizations.

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Laser Performance has about 15 different dinghies, not just Lasers.

 

There seems to be nothing saying that this sponsorship is only for Lasers, or even if it were, that it is a new racing class. It appears to be a sponsorship for selected athletes, regattas, and sailing organizations.

 

Cool. Now all I need to do is to get LaserPerformance to build me an International Canoe and I can get sponsorship too!

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Really weird: its almost as if they are setting up an alternative class association to the class association.

 

They seem determined to completely change the way the Laser has always operated. The deal has always been with the Laser that you pay a few quids extra on the price of stuff, but the quid pro quo is that there's all the manufacturer support and everything else which keeps the class popular, thus second hand values up and so on. And there was always the tight relationship between CA and manufacturers - and sure people were always vaguely aware there were several manufacturers, but who really cared - which kept things aligned.

 

Now it seems as if the beancounters at the pushchair company want to change all that. This gives the impression they want to at least partially supplant the CA with a new body that will be completely under their thumb, and which the sailors will have stuff all influence over. For all the stuff Mr Wellmann was spouting about threats from Global Sailing, we're suddenly seeing change after a year or more of rumour, and it all seems to be stuff that LPE/Maclaren Pushchairs are attempting to impose on the sailors.

 

In his "clarification" on the Fundamental Rule Change thing Mr Wellmann said

If you want to preserve the Laser Class in its current set-up you need to vote YES. If you vote NO the Class in its current set-up will soon cease to exist.
Mr Wellmann, did you know it was Pushchairs inc who were making all the running for change, or were they being a bit economical with the old actualite with you? That does seem to be something ofa culture thing around Laser management...

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Mr Wellmann, did you know it was Pushchairs inc who were making all the running for change, or were they being a bit economical with the old actualite with you? That does seem to be something ofa culture thing around Laser management...

 

To be fair to Mr Wellmann he did say, back on the original announcement on the proposed fundamental rule change, that LaserPerformance Europe had told ILCA that it intended to form its own Laser class. It certainly looks like this LaserPerformance United organization might well be LP following through on that idea.

 

But it sounds as if they are going to set up "chapters" of LPU or "unions" for five dinghy classes, so this can't just be about the current state of things in the Laser class. It will be interesting to see the full details of the new unions when they roll them out in March. You have to join the "union" if you want to apply for sponsorship from Maclaren. I wonder what other incentives to join there will be?

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Mr Wellmann, did you know it was Pushchairs inc who were making all the running for change, or were they being a bit economical with the old actualite with you? That does seem to be something ofa culture thing around Laser management...

 

To be fair to Mr Wellmann he did say, back on the original announcement on the proposed fundamental rule change, that LaserPerformance Europe had told ILCA that it intended to form its own Laser class. It certainly looks like this LaserPerformance United organization might well be LP following through on that idea.

 

But it sounds as if they are going to set up "chapters" of LPU or "unions" for five dinghy classes, so this can't just be about the current state of things in the Laser class. It will be interesting to see the full details of the new unions when they roll them out in March. You have to join the "union" if you want to apply for sponsorship from Maclaren. I wonder what other incentives to join there will be?

 

I don't know Tillerman but I hope its not another step towards a potential splintering. Both GS and LPE have said they would set up their own classes and both appear to have taken small steps in that direction - maybe - at one time or another. It does seem a natural step all things considered. While its hard to know for sure, neither - though GS appears closer - seem to have all the necesary rights to sell Laser (or at least what most in the Laser class want like new top sections and sails, etc..) around the world. They could in theory sell something that looks and sails like a Laser but is not called a Laser - I think. Hard to tell but I wonder if these are the first baby steps towards that end since ISAF's inaction or blocking of ILCA's solution has left everyone with no path forward under the current class.

 

Chicken is such a stupid game and ISAF seems to be playing it.

 

 

Oh well, guess its just fodder for fools and lawyers. The only thing I am pretty sure of is that they can't stop me or my local fleet from frostbiting our Lasers this Sunday and having fun while we do so. So stick that in your pipe Bruce and get your hand out of my pocket!

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Yes, GS can sell whatever they want in the US so long as they don't use the Laser trademark.

 

LPE may have erred in overestimating trademark value.

 

Branding indeed can be extremely valuable, but in some instances value can disappear almost overnight. For example, some years back the Pontiac trademark might have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions, but what's it worth today?

 

With things going the right way, it's not inconceivable that whether something is branded Laser or Something-else might become fairly immaterial to buyers.

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LPE may have erred in overestimating trademark value.

 

Branding indeed can be extremely valuable, but in some instances value can disappear almost overnight. For example, some years back the Pontiac trademark might have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions, but what's it worth today?

 

With things going the right way, it's not inconceivable that whether something is branded Laser or Something-else might become fairly immaterial to buyers.

 

So if you are a company that makes Lasers (and lots of other boats on which you had used the Laser name) and you want to sell them all over the world you need to have a different brand for them. If you had another fairly well know brand in-house you could start sponsoring sailors and sailing organizations using that other brand name in order to establish high awareness and visibility of that brand in the sailing world. Then at some point in the future you could start using that brand on sailboats including the boat formerly known as Laser.

 

Tell me I'm crazy. Nobody would think of doing that, would they?

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Ah, actually I was thinking somewhat off track of where the thread has most recently turned: I was meaning in reference to LPE's apparent decision to rely on trademark instead of trademark-plus-Class-approval as protection against competition with GS.

 

But your point that LPE could be working towards selling their own boats outside their own markets by building a non-Laser brand name could well be true also, and far more relevant to this recent announcement.

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Just wondering if the London Olympic games organisers have a contract with anyone to provide the boats for the Laser part of the regatta. Then I wonder if the boats provided will still be laser class legal with ISAF and ILCA by August, consiering all the legal debate and lack of progress so far?

So in fact will there be a Laser class in the olympics this year at all, or maybe a regatta in Laser looking boats with some other brand on them?

Seems like the companies, ISAF and the association are heading for a potential marketing disaster.

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Just wondering if the London Olympic games organisers have a contract with anyone to provide the boats for the Laser part of the regatta. Then I wonder if the boats provided will still be laser class legal with ISAF and ILCA by August, consiering all the legal debate and lack of progress so far?

So in fact will there be a Laser class in the olympics this year at all, or maybe a regatta in Laser looking boats with some other brand on them?

Seems like the companies, ISAF and the association are heading for a potential marketing disaster.

 

Good point. As things stand the change to the Fundamental Rule of the Laser Class has not passed (because it has not been approved by ISAF) so the old rule still applies. As I understand it, this means you can't sell class-legal Lasers unless you have an agreement with Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. which by all accounts LPE no longer has. If that's true, then the boats they sell as Lasers are not legal as Lasers under Laser Class rules.

 

That could be the main reason why they are starting what sounds like a new class association called LaserPerformance United. No doubt the boats made by LPE will be legal under the rules of LPU. So Laser events in Europe will presumably say in the NOR and SIs that they are being run under the rules of LPU and all will be well. Is that the plan, do you think? I wonder if you will have to be a member of LPU to sail in some of those events?

 

Please tell me I'm crazy.

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However, I'd think that Lasers as sailed under LPU auspices would not be an ISAF Class. But I don't know that for a fact.

 

Is the Class the boat as anyone might call it with some reasonable justification (for example I can justify calling the LPE boat a Laser), or is it the Class organization combined with the specific boats that that organization approves? I'd thought the latter: which is why one can't compete with a non-Class-legal boat no matter how identically it might measure to a Class-legal boat.

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Ooh, another organization to join so I can race. Where do I send my check? Truthfully, if I live in a right-to-sail state, can they force me to join the union just to race?

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So what chance of ISAF saying "Enough children", and withdrawing International status & Olympic class status for the Laser?

 

Might be time for a change anyway.

Nah... all they have to do is pick a builder with a good shipping department.. Make that boat the Laser for the ISAF grade One Events.... those sailors on the Olympic path will get that boat... the rest of the sailors and the Laser class will muddle along while the builders fight. ISAF can always ensure integrity on the race course by picking a builder...

Integrity of the class world wide on this issue is beyond ISAF control Maybe Integrity is over rated and sailors want cheaper stuff?

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Ship the boats halfway around the world, then ship the used boats back again, as they cannot be sold in that market?

 

Ouch, on shipping costs.

 

And arguably, spending your money largely for the purpose of supporting the market of the other builder?

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So what chance of ISAF saying "Enough children", and withdrawing International status & Olympic class status for the Laser?

 

Might be time for a change anyway.

Nah... all they have to do is pick a builder with a good shipping department.. Make that boat the Laser for the ISAF grade One Events.... those sailors on the Olympic path will get that boat... the rest of the sailors and the Laser class will muddle along while the builders fight. ISAF can always ensure integrity on the race course by picking a builder...

Integrity of the class world wide on this issue is beyond ISAF control Maybe Integrity is over rated and sailors want cheaper stuff?

 

Maybe it's time for a new one person Olympic dinghy , similar to the Laser but updated, carbon spars etc, but not controlled by the builders.

 

Just sayin'.

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Though the problem here isn't single manufacturer, but multiple manufacturers / split trademark rights, and possible conflict of interest in offering contracts.

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The Union thing seems to be all about those who want sponsoprship from Babby Bugy Inc. The LPE website has links to the various laser class offices and I found no mention of anything but support for those associations..

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So what chance of ISAF saying "Enough children", and withdrawing International status & Olympic class status for the Laser?

 

Might be time for a change anyway.

Nah... all they have to do is pick a builder with a good shipping department.. Make that boat the Laser for the ISAF grade One Events.... those sailors on the Olympic path will get that boat... the rest of the sailors and the Laser class will muddle along while the builders fight. ISAF can always ensure integrity on the race course by picking a builder...

Integrity of the class world wide on this issue is beyond ISAF control Maybe Integrity is over rated and sailors want cheaper stuff?

 

Maybe it's time for a new one person Olympic dinghy , similar to the Laser but updated, carbon spars etc, but not controlled by the builders.

 

Just sayin'.

+1

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Though the problem here isn't single manufacturer, but multiple manufacturers / split trademark rights, and possible conflict of interest in offering contracts.

 

 

Even more a reason to look for a true modern new boat.

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The LPE website has links to the various laser class offices and I found no mention of anything but support for those associations..

Maybe so, but the ILCA -NA Executive minutes are quite clear in stating that their sponsorship from Laser Performance has ceased and they see no prospect of it being renewed. They say they have to put together a proposal for sponsorship to Baby Buggies. Surely that is a big change in the way things have been done historically?

 

My linkhttp://www.laser.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=962:2012-january-excom-minutes&catid=21:official&Itemid=250

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The LPE website has links to the various laser class offices and I found no mention of anything but support for those associations..

Maybe so, but the ILCA -NA Executive minutes are quite clear in stating that their sponsorship from Laser Performance has ceased and they see no prospect of it being renewed. They say they have to put together a proposal for sponsorship to Baby Buggies. Surely that is a big change in the way things have been done historically?

 

My linkhttp://www.laser.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=962:2012-january-excom-minutes&catid=21:official&Itemid=250

 

 

Had the Laser class stood up to LPE from square one maybe the thrat of their boats being unwelcomea t class events would have made a difference in some later decision making.

 

 

 

If the NA Laser Class had kept playing the role it served from 1999 until 2002 as the very best promoting and sales tool the NA Builder had maybe the new owner would have believed the racing organization was essential to its bottom line.

 

 

 

But as the NA Asociation can no longer point to its growing membership and consecutive years of increased boat sales to its members...

 

 

 

it makes perfect sense that the builder's position is, "Who needs you?"

 

 

 

My belief is the builder has always needed the association and still needs the association.

 

 

 

Had the NA association not been disassembed in 2002

 

 

 

or

 

 

 

had Vanguard's management stepped in and insisted the Association either do its job or lose its builder funding when the association quite doing its job on July 31, 2002...

 

 

 

maybe it would be obvious to the new owners of LPE that a well funded, well managed, enthusiastic, innovative, hard driving class association would almost certainly be the singular most important factor in continuing the four decade reign of the Laser as North America's and the world's premiere singlehanded racing toy.

 

 

 

However, LPE probably sees no need to fund an independent organization whose contribution to boat sales is difficult to quantify.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope the funding cutoff by LPE will lead to the eventual disbanding of NA ILCA and its replacement with a professional sales and organizational staff who will answer to management who will quit paying their employees when those employees cease to properly gather and disperse the information necessary to make Laser racing the most vibrant and successful it has ever been.

 

 

 

The LPE management might set a minimum membership of 3000 and boat sales of 1000 per year within three years as a minumum performance level for whoever manages their new NA ILCA.

 

 

 

Then again....it seems somebody suggested that as a standard ten years ago...

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+ 200,000...

 

So what chance of ISAF saying "Enough children", and withdrawing International status & Olympic class status for the Laser?

 

Might be time for a change anyway.

Nah... all they have to do is pick a builder with a good shipping department.. Make that boat the Laser for the ISAF grade One Events.... those sailors on the Olympic path will get that boat... the rest of the sailors and the Laser class will muddle along while the builders fight. ISAF can always ensure integrity on the race course by picking a builder...

Integrity of the class world wide on this issue is beyond ISAF control Maybe Integrity is over rated and sailors want cheaper stuff?

 

Maybe it's time for a new one person Olympic dinghy , similar to the Laser but updated, carbon spars etc, but not controlled by the builders.

 

Just sayin'.

+1

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Can't believe you guys are still banging on about this. ISAF isn't going to get in the way of what really is a commercial dispute. Nobody is saying that the current builders are building boats that do not comply with the building manual. The issue is about a bit of paper, not about how the boats are built. This will not effect the International status of the class.

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ISAF isn't going to get in the way of what really is a commercial dispute.

In that sense you're right: I think the class association should have had more sense than to try and railroad through an emergency rule change that got them involved in a commercial dispute they didn't understand, and I think we can be reasonably sure by now that ISAF have at least refused to rubber stamp that rule change. They can't actually veto the change finally without it going to council, which doesn't appear to have happened (yet?).

 

On the other hand PSE (or rather their masters, Maclaren baby buggies) appear to be imposing a significant change in the relationship between the sailors, the class association and the manufacturers in the part of the world where they have trademark rights, and, especially for the most numerous racing class in the world, isn't that of interest to the sailors?

 

And then this affair is casting some light about the way the class association is run. If I were in the class I think I'd be making some noise about that too.

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ISAF isn't going to get in the way of what really is a commercial dispute.

In that sense you're right: I think the class association should have had more sense than to try and railroad through an emergency rule change that got them involved in a commercial dispute they didn't understand, and I think we can be reasonably sure by now that ISAF have at least refused to rubber stamp that rule change. They can't actually veto the change finally without it going to council, which doesn't appear to have happened (yet?).

 

On the other hand PSE (or rather their masters, Maclaren baby buggies) appear to be imposing a significant change in the relationship between the sailors, the class association and the manufacturers in the part of the world where they have trademark rights, and, especially for the most numerous racing class in the world, isn't that of interest to the sailors?

 

And then this affair is casting some light about the way the class association is run. If I were in the class I think I'd be making some noise about that too.

 

Good luck with the Maclaren sponsorship, they just filed for bankruptcy

http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2012/03/01/Maclaren-US-Bankruptcy-David-Netto-030112.aspx

 

What the significance of this is for LP and the Laser who knows, but it don't look good?

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What the significance of this is for LP and the Laser who knows, but it don't look good?

When I read it in depth it didn't give me an impression of a company whose business culture is big on partnership and long term committments. I suppose if your core business is one in which the vast majority of customers will not be with you for more than a very few years it may affect your outlook.

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As Laser customers our biggest problem has been suplier turnover. There was a ready made customer base in 1972 and still is. We have experienced junk boats, junk sails, bad masts, and still stick around.

 

 

 

These builders too shall pass.

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ISAF isn't going to get in the way of what really is a commercial dispute.

In that sense you're right: I think the class association should have had more sense than to try and railroad through an emergency rule change that got them involved in a commercial dispute they didn't understand, and I think we can be reasonably sure by now that ISAF have at least refused to rubber stamp that rule change. They can't actually veto the change finally without it going to council, which doesn't appear to have happened (yet?).

 

On the other hand PSE (or rather their masters, Maclaren baby buggies) appear to be imposing a significant change in the relationship between the sailors, the class association and the manufacturers in the part of the world where they have trademark rights, and, especially for the most numerous racing class in the world, isn't that of interest to the sailors?

 

And then this affair is casting some light about the way the class association is run. If I were in the class I think I'd be making some noise about that too.

 

Good luck with the Maclaren sponsorship, they just filed for bankruptcy

http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2012/03/01/Maclaren-US-Bankruptcy-David-Netto-030112.aspx

 

What the significance of this is for LP and the Laser who knows, but it don't look good?

 

Thats interesting, slightly off topic but 3 weeks ago I was visiting a factory in China that had a Maclaren buggy test room and they were still obviously stamping parts for the Maclaren buggys, although that is not to say they were just making them for the domestic market with the now surplus tooling, although the QC checks were still in place so its not that likely.

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Doesn't sound like Rastegar is going to reveal a sudden commitment to the class, his bio appears to reveal someone on the lookout for cash cows. Maybe its another good reason to keep Finns Olympic. Laser soon to be made in China?

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Doesn't sound like Rastegar is going to reveal a sudden commitment to the class, his bio appears to reveal someone on the lookout for cash cows. Maybe its another good reason to keep Finns Olympic. Laser soon to be made in China?

 

Haa..! obvious.. the boats will be made in China..: http://www.laserperformance.com/blog/laserperformance-partners-with-simon-cooke-to-launch-infused-foils-globally

 

I thinkt that can only mean an improvement to quality. Certainly, the foils are better than LP could have managed.

 

 

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Doesn't sound like Rastegar is going to reveal a sudden commitment to the class, his bio appears to reveal someone on the lookout for cash cows. Maybe its another good reason to keep Finns Olympic. Laser soon to be made in China?

 

Haa..! obvious.. the boats will be made in China..: http://www.laserperformance.com/blog/laserperformance-partners-with-simon-cooke-to-launch-infused-foils-globally

 

I thinkt that can only mean an improvement to quality. Certainly, the foils are better than LP could have managed.

 

Does this mean that they are stiffer as well?

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Won't that need another rule change if they do change the spec from the builders' manual?

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Won't that need another rule change if they do change the spec from the builders' manual?

Sounds like the builder is now unleashed from the class rule book... SMOD catamarans have experienced this for years...

SMOD builder .... trust us... they are identical in performance..... Class Sailor.....crap... another kilobuck!

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Well, if ILCA won't certify their boats as Class-legal for other reasons, then why worry so much about the Construction Manual either?

 

They have the trademark and are the only ones that can sell the boats as Lasers in their markets. Let the sailors decide whether they want to buy the boats with improved foils (that probably won't increase speed by anything detectable) or other manufacturing improvement; or don't want to buy them on account of varying from 1970-specification.

 

The boat probably loses more performance from 1 month of hard use than it gains from the foil construction method change. Individual examples of the boat probably vary more from each other than what this change amounts to.

 

So, is there are a real "equal competition" worry, when there is greater other variability anyway? Unless constantly buying new boats and mixing and matching best parts in the first place: but that practice is a lot more expensive than these foils are, seems to me.

 

I've always found it bizarre that "the boat can't improve in performance, even incrementally, over boats from previous years since that would be unequal" yet if you want equal competition, you can't be racing anything but new boats anyway. If your boat isn't pretty new, you're already further behind than whatever the incremental improvement might be.

 

And if that improvement were better construction that added life? Can't have that! Why, that would make competition unequal between boats of different years! It's not as according to the Manual! Uh... actually it would soon lessen the difference, but whatever.

 

Not that LPE is likely to make the boats last longer anyway. But Gouv had discussed that such changes could be done, but might not or wouldn't be Class-legal.

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I still appreciate Steve Clark's candor on this topic. I think they ought to allow 15+ yr. old boats to be strengthened up to the level of a new boat, that would really breathe life into the class rather than just selling more new boats to Olympic aspirants.

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I missed that post.

 

That makes a ton of sense.

 

But it brings in the larger question, Is the Laser Class really about the sailors and the racing?

 

Or are the sailors and the racing the source and means for $$$

 

Not that manufacturers don't want to or shouldn't make money. The question is, is the driving force the sailor with his money with manufacturers doing best by best satisfying them, or do those with tight control have all the say?

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Just changing the subject a little, the biggest fundamental rule change for the Laser was the introduction of the turbo rig. IMO, at that point the Laser went from being a lowish quality, uncomfortable boat which was at least uniquely cheap and simple, to being just a lowish quality uncomfortable boat. It lost it's major point of difference in the marketplace. If anything, that's when the rot started.

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Just changing the subject a little, the biggest fundamental rule change for the Laser was the introduction of the turbo rig. IMO, at that point the Laser went from being a lowish quality, uncomfortable boat which was at least uniquely cheap and simple, to being just a lowish quality uncomfortable boat. It lost it's major point of difference in the marketplace. If anything, that's when the rot started.

 

It still is uniquely cheap and simple. Not many dinghies you can rig in less than 10 minutes, and although people complain about the cost, it's still one of the cheapest classes to campaign. The turbo rig widened the appeal because it removed one of the biggest difficulties with the boat. The class is now addressing the other pain points with the composite top section and new standard sail.

 

The Laser's point of difference in the marketplace has nothing to do with the boat itself and everything to do with the fleet sizes and the racing. I just finished the Masters Worlds - great racing and even though we had 233 boats on the water, it was still a small regatta by Laser Masters standards. What other class delivers that?

 

People who criticise the Laser as a boat are missing the point - no one sails them because they think the boat itself is awesome. We sail them because they provide the best big fleet, one design racing, at a low cost, no matter where you are in the world. By those measures, no other class comes close.

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It still is uniquely cheap and simple. Not many dinghies you can rig in less than 10 minutes, and although people complain about the cost, it's still one of the cheapest classes to campaign. The turbo rig widened the appeal because it removed one of the biggest difficulties with the boat. The class is now addressing the other pain points with the composite top section and new standard sail.

 

The Laser's point of difference in the marketplace has nothing to do with the boat itself and everything to do with the fleet sizes and the racing. I just finished the Masters Worlds - great racing and even though we had 233 boats on the water, it was still a small regatta by Laser Masters standards. What other class delivers that?

 

People who criticise the Laser as a boat are missing the point - no one sails them because they think the boat itself is awesome. We sail them because they provide the best big fleet, one design racing, at a low cost, no matter where you are in the world. By those measures, no other class comes close.

 

 

What he said!

 

Wess

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From July US Executiive committee minutes... Seems its official policy for "your" class officials to keep you Laser sailors in the dark - or are you hearing stuff that isn't public?

 

http://www.laser.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=994:2012-july-excom-minutes&catid=21:official&Itemid=250

 

b. Class communication: reminder from Lauralee that ExCom members should consider keeping comments on any of the forums to a minimum. This also applies to the forwarding of items to the class social media. There is currently a lot of chatter on the forums about the ILCA/builder situation. Hopefully there will be improvement on the amount of public communication on that topic after the Olympics.

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loose lips sink ships. If word gets out about what the Laser Class or its builders might be doing, the Force Five, US 1, Banshee, OK Dinghy, Dagger or Copperhead Class might attack and steal all the sailors.

 

The example above shows how totaly out of touch the entire Laser Class Association has become from its mission. The Laser Class was created to enhance the racing experience by gathering and disseminating information about where, when, how, with whom, and all the information any interested person might need to join the fun..

Somewhere along the way, the Tool created to serve that purpose was hijacked by people who thing it is ost important that they as individuals be IN CHARGE.

 

How screwed up is it??

 

the statement above ought to read.

 

Few of you seem to understand the mission of this Association is to grow and manage the game of Laser sailing. If we are not doing that we are just sucking sailor's dollars and we should disband the Association. Each of you shuold be using every tool available to disseminate information and make it easier to find us, put together toys, and play with us. Please make sure you take 15 minutes each day, and sometimes a couple hours, to post information all over the internet. Let's be the very most visible and active association and fleet in every internet boating forum.

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Also the first tranche of meeting papers for the ISAF November conf are on line, and a reasonable scan shows no sign of anything to do with the Laser rule change. Assuming that the change was indeed turned down by the ISAF class rules committee, I think this suggests that the ILCA have not taken up their right to challenge that decision up to council level.

 

Oh to be a fly on the right wall...

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Rumours and Lies??

 

Featured on S********tt is this page: a newsletter from the Laser Training centre at Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. It starts with some info about a proposed new clew fitting, then about the widely publicised proposed new sail and topmast.

 

http://ymlp.com/zLl0tK

 

OK, so far, nothing new.

 

It then goes on to talk about the possibilities for a name change for the Laser Class! Now is this just rumour and speculation, or is something going on? Something very big indeed by the sound of it... The implications of a class name change are considerable.

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Just changing the subject a little, the biggest fundamental rule change for the Laser was the introduction of the turbo rig. IMO, at that point the Laser went from being a lowish quality, uncomfortable boat which was at least uniquely cheap and simple, to being just a lowish quality uncomfortable boat. It lost it's major point of difference in the marketplace. If anything, that's when the rot started.

 

It still is uniquely cheap and simple. Not many dinghies you can rig in less than 10 minutes, and although people complain about the cost, it's still one of the cheapest classes to campaign. The turbo rig widened the appeal because it removed one of the biggest difficulties with the boat. The class is now addressing the other pain points with the composite top section and new standard sail.

 

The Laser's point of difference in the marketplace has nothing to do with the boat itself and everything to do with the fleet sizes and the racing. I just finished the Masters Worlds - great racing and even though we had 233 boats on the water, it was still a small regatta by Laser Masters standards. What other class delivers that?

 

People who criticise the Laser as a boat are missing the point - no one sails them because they think the boat itself is awesome. We sail them because they provide the best big fleet, one design racing, at a low cost, no matter where you are in the world. By those measures, no other class comes close.

 

The 2011 Finn world Masters had 306 entries. Not bad for a boat several times more expensive than a laser. It has a lot to do where the event is being held. Glamorous spot in Europe will always attract large entries.

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Rumours and Lies??

 

Featured on S********tt is this page: a newsletter from the Laser Training centre at Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. It starts with some info about a proposed new clew fitting, then about the widely publicised proposed new sail and topmast.

 

http://ymlp.com/zLl0tK

 

OK, so far, nothing new.

 

It then goes on to talk about the possibilities for a name change for the Laser Class! Now is this just rumour and speculation, or is something going on? Something very big indeed by the sound of it... The implications of a class name change are considerable.

 

The clew sleeve has been around for a while now.

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Good grief. Either DA is dead, or you guys deserve what you get through total apathy. Is no-one else interested that Laser, the boat that absolutely defines our sport in the eyes of the outside world, may change its name?! Surely not something to be undertaken lightly (will there be a new insignia too?), and a last throw of the dice in all this political shenanigans. I wonder who has control of the newly named design, class and infrastructure? Would existing boats change name, or just new ones?

 

Could there be a case of trying to have your cake and eat it? On the one hand claiming it is enough of a change to be able to ditch one of the parties claiming rights, whilst at the same time trying to convince the sailors, ISAF, IOC etc that it is the same boat and nothing has changed. It seems to me that someone is trying to open up a loophole that they can use, but (they hope) can't be used against them.

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Laser may be about to die a natural (product life cycle) death, but the powers that be certainly have been invested in maintaining its olympic status (if not qualities) regardless of its combined absurdities. Typically, the class seems ready to adopt an improved rig whilst trying to eliminate any performance improvements (never mind 40+ years of technological change, accelerating, hey relevance) in the process. This is guaranteed to fail, the more competitive will feel impelled to upgrade, pressuring everyone else, in short order 90% of active racers will have the section and sail (I suspectbthat I am not the only one hanging waiting for new gear), and the new gear will prove or seem to prove to be fractionally faster. So why design slowness back into rhe package? That would be like requiring the boats be built as poorly as possible, too stupid to believe,... o, wait....

 

Mr. Usher sounds like a good man trying to do The Right Thing but come on, be the rocket scientist you are and not the mediocrity embracing poltician, Sir!

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This is guaranteed to fail,

On the other hand why on earth would anyone want to buy a new Laser unless it was the same as all the other Lasers out there. If you take away the hundreds and thousands of active boats in every country in the world in what other way is the boat superior to any number of other craft out there now?

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Laser may be about to die a natural (product life cycle) death, but the powers that be certainly have been invested in maintaining its olympic status (if not qualities) regardless of its combined absurdities. Typically, the class seems ready to adopt an improved rig whilst trying to eliminate any performance improvements (never mind 40+ years of technological change, accelerating, hey relevance) in the process. This is guaranteed to fail, the more competitive will feel impelled to upgrade, pressuring everyone else, in short order 90% of active racers will have the section and sail (I suspectbthat I am not the only one hanging waiting for new gear), and the new gear will prove or seem to prove to be fractionally faster. So why design slowness back into rhe package? That would be like requiring the boats be built as poorly as possible, too stupid to believe,... o, wait....

 

Mr. Usher sounds like a good man trying to do The Right Thing but come on, be the rocket scientist you are and not the mediocrity embracing poltician, Sir!

 

 

 

...if they're actually going to produce a reliable topsection,,,that would only be a favor to the class and it's sailors.

 

 

 

 

...about 20 years late <_<

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if one had said a year ago that kites would evict sailboards most would have disagreed, i think that laser as a brand has tried a number of different avenues to reinvent and extend the brand, the jo richards design was well thought out, but to no avail because of the imho disfunctional corporate and class structure. in mittens word it needs to bk and reemerge sans some baggage. lasers will be sailed for the next 50 yrs, but the class has failed its sailors by clinging over hard and long to its smod model value chain. eventually even iyru noggins will get the drift. agree, i own a laser again because it is the easiest way to get some fleet racing locally. but as the poms haveshown other classes can supplant lasers mediocrity. bite the bullet, upgrade the boat and carry on, how many consistent top ten club sailorsdo you know who have not spent the hundreds of dollars and hours of time to rerigwith the new gear?

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What singlehander is perched to take over the significant market position?

 

The Solo is the most popular adult single hander in the UK. It's a completely different model to the Laser. A member-driven one design class association, not a single manufacturer one design, hence not dependant on a manufacturer. Significantly older than the Laser, having allowed "high-tech" sail materials it now looks more modern.

 

Not perhaps the most exciting boat in the world but sail-able by those baby-boomers who are no longer in the first flush of youth but actually have the time, money and inclination to sail.

 

As for what boat will take over the position of a class where a manufacturer can supply a large fleet of charter boats anywhere in the world, I doubt we'll see that again.

 

Alt_solo_0054_1060.jpg

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Yep- and there's forecast to be over 120 boats at their UK nationals next summer. I hesitate to use the pronoun, 'we' as I won't get mine for another month and have only had a quick sail in one previously. (there's actually a pretty decent waiting list at the 3 major builders for the class).

 

But it's not about the numbers of folks at the nationals- impressive though that is. It's about local fleets at loads and loads of sailing clubs throughout the UK. It's about the fact that it can be sailed competitively and as evenly as possible by both men, women and youths from around 65kg to over 100kg - simply by allowing some choice over the mast and sail manufacturer. It's about a boat that is simple to sail around a course- allowing you to work on your tactics and race game as well as your boat handling to improve week on week.

 

You won't find many Solo sailors claiming their boats are fast, cool or any of the other crap we all got to hung up over the past 20 years. It's about quality racing, throughout the fleet whatever your age, weight and sailing standard at local, regional and national level. They even sail them in the Netherlands so a trip abroad isn't off the agenda either.

 

There's a lot going for them to be honest, just as long as you don't expect owning one will up your street credibility and be as exhilarating as a screaming downwinder on a musto skiff.

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wow....it just goes to show where the demographic mind's at :mellow:

...it doesn't seem like popularity and high performance will be seen together in one boat for quite.some.time.

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Most of them are out picking up kiteboards, the rest seem to be content to race their elders in old boats. That's if they're even involved in wind sports at all...

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...as I understand it,,,the youth market doesn't have much for disposable income.

...they sail OPB's,, cast-downs of existing classes,,or have gone kiting.

 

 

...unless they've convinced ma/pa that they're the next ben ainslie and MUST have a brand-new designated boat,

,,,and act like an ass

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Extremely limited income, schooling costs an arm and a leg (and then some), means people in their early-mid 20's have nearly no disposable income. $2000 around here will buy you all the kiting gear you could need for enjoying yourself from 8-10knts to 30+ (depends on your weight, experience, etc) and about the same for windsurfing. The same money will get you a beat down older boat in ok shape, eventually you'll be putting a lot of work and money into maintaining the boat, which will never win you a large competition.

 

To find someone who's willing to design a boat in this age category would be difficult unless you're willing to invest a lot of money into it, you'll have a hard time finding a 20-something who's willing to drop every penny on something that could be a complete flop...

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ISAF Executive Committee September meeting minutes.

 

B) Secretary General’s Report

ii) International Laser Class Association

The Secretary General informed the meeting about the request for approval to the Laser construction Manual.

 

Decision

The Executive Committee expressed concern that the International Laser Class Association has not completed a consultative process within their Class with the class membership. ISAF will withhold approval until the consultation process is completed.

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Good spot Presuming, I've been keeping a vague eye on ISAF documents, but I hadn't noticed that one. I wonder what on earth the Laser Assoc are up to now...

 

couldn't make this stuff up could you?

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Most likely this change is about the new standard sail and top section. Nothing mysterious, the powers that be have been saying for a long time that it will happen after the Olympics.

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Most likely this change is about the new standard sail and top section. Nothing mysterious, the powers that be have been saying for a long time that it will happen after the Olympics.

 

Yeah they've been working on something for a while.. rumors of carbon are out there.

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does anyone have any more news on this? I understood that the whole shit fight would be sewn up by the end of November, yet nothing, nadda, no news on the KOD?

 

The only thing I've heard is that the Laser & Radial are guaranteed a place for 2020... who will be building them by then though?

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Had the ILCA contested ISAF's apparent rejection of the Fundamental rule change I would have thought it would have come up at the November Conference this year. There is a report on the conference from ILCA here.

 

http://www.laser.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1007:ilca-office-report-on-the-isaf-meeting&catid=1:latest&Itemid=213

 

As you will see it says exactly nothing about either the fundamental rule change or the proposed new sail/topmast. So it would appear that the ILCA's apparent policy of saying almost nothing to the people they supposedly represent continues unchanged. You'd think at least good manners would require an occasional "we still can't say anything because..."

 

 

 

 

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The only thing I've heard is that the Laser & Radial are guaranteed a place for 2020... who will be building them by then though?

 

.......''Laser's'' already in production,,,,very responsive to enquiries,they say their ''laser'' isn't yet registered by isaf,,but how long??

 

http://www.alibaba.c...e_Sailboat.html

 

 

Far East Boat Co.

2002-

www.fareastboats.com

 

Shanghai Far East FRP Boat Co., Ltd. is recognized as the biggest dinghy builder in China. The goal is to produce various high quality sailboats and boat fittings for our customers. “Even better than our faith is the honesty of our objective.”

In the same year, Far East was licensed by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to build the Optimist and now have become the biggest Optimist builder in the world with a yearly capacity of approximately 2000 Optimist hulls. More recently, Far East also became an ISAF licensed builder of the 420 and started the plan to diversify the product range to Kayak and other sailboats.

Far East is also the sole distributor of Laser in the mainland China and serves China’s national sailing team in their daily training and regatta performance.

 

Shanghai Far East FRP Boat Co., Ltd.

Room 209, Focus Business Center, No.2468 Gudai Rd, Minhang District, Shanghai, 201100, P.R.China

Tel: +86-21-6728 5977 6728 5978

Fax: +86-21-6728 5976

Email: fareast@fareastboats.com

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Typical Chinese shit. Suppliers to mainland China because if they ship one out of the country they break all sorts of internmational trade treaties and laws.

 

But they may do it anyway because nobody has the power to stop them.

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Interesting, wonder how he bought his brand back and how much it cost him? Not a big vote for sri lankan outsourcing, his tubes are sourced from kilwells, i guess he then rivets on fittings? rivets on carbon need insulation. still, just shows that the will is the only thing lacking in the laser world, not the way.

though i wonder about the purppose of putting a nice spar in a crap hull, should extend the life of the poly/mat combo a bit by not transmitting loads asmmuch if designed to flick but then what happens to the beautiful laser leech, flutters even more? wouldn't want to change that, its special trademark signature, the flapping leech, then the olympians might not know what to do. yes, we would not want tonupdate a thing as then all the 200k active racing boats would be obsolete....

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Typical Chinese shit. Suppliers to mainland China because if they ship one out of the country they break all sorts of internmational trade treaties and laws.

 

But they may do it anyway because nobody has the power to stop them.

 

Actually, they will sell to the US. For grins, I contacted them to see exactly "how cheap" this boat was. See attached.

Laser Standard(One).pdf

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Typical Chinese shit. Suppliers to mainland China because if they ship one out of the country they break all sorts of internmational trade treaties and laws.

 

But they may do it anyway because nobody has the power to stop them.

 

Actually, they will sell to the US. For grins, I contacted them to see exactly "how cheap" this boat was. See attached.

 

....I'll bet they got a lot of enquiries!! :rolleyes:

...apparently $4200 can get one,,,though they didn't send any production pictures as requested :huh:

 

..........they say that they'd have to double-check on pricing for a carbon-fiber version :mellow:

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Is it even within the CAs power to do this vote?

 

As far as I can tell, it's beyond their control if two builders are having a dispute, but using the CA as leverage... Laser would be lowering the standards even further if they removed the rule that said they must be under agreement from Bruce Kirby (inc). BK should have the say over who gets to build his boat, the way I see it. It appears that the ILCA have just kinda taken over the show and decided to do what's best for 'everyone' (them).

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Typical Chinese shit. Suppliers to mainland China because if they ship one out of the country they break all sorts of internmational trade treaties and laws.

 

But they may do it anyway because nobody has the power to stop them.

I may be wrong, but I think you are actually being rather unfair on this company. They are the first Chinese company to do things properly, getting the right licences to build International classes. They are also listed as the official distributor for mainland China (there are 2 in HK). They seem to be playing by the rules and considering all the copyright problems we know that come out of China, they should be applauded, not attacked.

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Typical Chinese shit. Suppliers to mainland China because if they ship one out of the country they break all sorts of internmational trade treaties and laws.

 

But they may do it anyway because nobody has the power to stop them.

 

Actually, they will sell to the US. For grins, I contacted them to see exactly "how cheap" this boat was. See attached.

 

Note the options. Would you trust your life to a $20 Chinese-made life jacket?

 

I checked, and my current life jacket actually was made in the USA.

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