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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
CenterboardBrake

Huh? New Sunfish Class?

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There are people whose livelihood friends upon certain Sailing organizations continuing to hold certain positions of power. 

Public statements by those individuals are limited by their need to keep their positions and related financial compensation

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I've asked World Sailing Prez and Comms officer to respond to some questions on this issue BTW.  They have received my email and usually will respond within a day or two.  My email said:
 

 

The thing I am afraid of is that many in the class have no idea this is happening, as many are not world class participants but local sailors of the Sunfish that do not get into the political side of it. I just happened to see this on FB the other day and asked a friend of mine who is a multiple time event winner what he thought after winning the local regional championship, and if there was any talk about it. I got a 'huh?' back from them.

The problem, most will not know what is going-on and if they get a notice from the 'class' will just go with it thinking maybe it is just a simple reorganization or something. The already appropriated the regional reps. list, etc. and placed on their website. I am wondering whether to listen to the webinar or not, just to gain info on the BS they will be spouting. I am sure it will be full of sugar coating on the whole hot mess.

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2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Trademark does not have to be registered. PTO registration allows you certain advantages in litigation (damages, priority, national constructive notice, etc.).

Copyright also does not need to be registered, but its even more important to register copyrightable works if you want to prevail in court.

Who owns the Class Rules is one big issue, and whether the new LP Fuckfish Class Organization has infringed the ISCA Rules...

Who owns the Sunfish Logo is another.

Who owns or can use various builder dox is a third.

World Sailing is the biggest one. 

 

 

AFAIK, Alcort had no initial interest in Sunfish as a one-design class. I think the owners formed the initial class, USSCA, and wrote the class rules and organization bylaws. I think that IP belongs to ISCA, although nothing prohibits ISCO from writing their own rules and bylaws. It would seem the big issue is which group is approved by World Sailing as 'the' class organization. 

There has been to my knowledge always a factory representative on the World Council, but the Council was independant of the manufacturer although acted mostly in cooperation.

 Lee Parks would be the person to clarify the historical record. I think she worked for Alcort about the time the class was formed, before working at US Sailing. I would strongly suggest you contact her.

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2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Trademark does not have to be registered. PTO registration allows you certain advantages in litigation (damages, priority, national constructive notice, etc.).

Copyright also does not need to be registered, but its even more important to register copyrightable works if you want to prevail in court.

Who owns the Class Rules is one big issue, and whether the new LP Fuckfish Class Organization has infringed the ISCA Rules...

Who owns the Sunfish Logo is another.

Who owns or can use various builder dox is a third.

World Sailing is the biggest one. 

 

 

AFAIK, Alcort had no initial interest in Sunfish as a one-design class. I think the owners formed the initial class, USSCA, and wrote the class rules and organization bylaws. I think that IP belongs to ISCA, although nothing prohibits ISCO from writing their own rules and bylaws. It would seem the big issue is which group is approved by World Sailing as 'the' class organization. 

There has been to my knowledge always a factory representative on the World Council, but the Council was independant of the manufacturer although acted mostly in cooperation.

 Lee Parks would be the person to clarify the historical record. I think she worked for Alcort about the time the class was formed, before working at US Sailing. I would strongly suggest you contact her.

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Lee may not be able to give an 'on the record' statement, but I'm sure can fill in a lot of background and historical info.

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2 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

The thing I am afraid of is that many in the class have no idea this is happening, as many are not world class participants but local sailors of the Sunfish that do not get into the political side of it. I just happened to see this on FB the other day and asked a friend of mine who is a multiple time event winner what he thought after winning the local regional championship, and if there was any talk about it. I got a 'huh?' back from them.

The problem, most will not know what is going-on and if they get a notice from the 'class' will just go with it thinking maybe it is just a simple reorganization or something. The already appropriated the regional reps. list, etc. and placed on their website. I am wondering whether to listen to the webinar or not, just to gain info on the BS they will be spouting. I am sure it will be full of sugar coating on the whole hot mess.

I know people who have "liked" that LP class hijack page who probably don't know any details. Whatever happens this will probably only change things for the crowd who travel to big SF events. Might even be good for the average SF sailor. 

 If the LP takeover succeeds, the Outlaw ISCA should expand to do Dirty Laser events too.

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5 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Trademark does not have to be registered. PTO registration allows you certain advantages in litigation (damages, priority, national constructive notice, etc.).

Copyright also does not need to be registered, but its even more important to register copyrightable works if you want to prevail in court.

Who owns the Class Rules is one big issue, and whether the new LP Fuckfish Class Organization has infringed the ISCA Rules...

Who owns the Sunfish Logo is another.

Who owns or can use various builder dox is a third.

World Sailing is the biggest one. 

 

 

Just to echo Clean's commentary. 

1. The relationship that the Class Association has with the Technical Division of World Sailing is going to be very important, alongside the legal agreement that the ISCA and WS signed when ISCA became an international class.

 If LP crosses a line and WS decides to support the Class then  WS and the Class Association combined have a lot of levers to pull.

2. The Sunfish logo is probably a registered trade mark. As Clean points out any brand orientated company is going to have taken the basic precaution of registering its brand trademarks. It is brand management 101.    However, the Sunfish logo has been used by the Class for a very long time.  As Clean has alluded, registration is advisable but it doesnt always prevent another party using the mark.  In trademark law, there is something called estoppel by Acquiescence.  , where the trademark holder can be estopped or barred from claiming infringement

If the senior user of the trademark (in this case LP) has assented to the use of the junior mark (in this case ISCA with a derivative of the sunfish logo), and the junior user's reliance on that assent would prejudice the junior user, then the courts can bar injunctive relief for the senior user. In other words, LP would fail to get injunctive relief for infringement of trademark

First ISCA would have to demonstrate Assent or Acquiescence.  Assent may be express affirmative consent such as: “I do not object to your use of the XXX mark” or it can be implied by conduct.  If there is a license agreement between LP and ISCA defining ISCA's use of the trademark, then all bets are probably off for ISCA. If there is not a license agreement governing the trademark, then there are some facts which might support assent (notice how careful I am with my phrasing - I dont want to be sued). LP has been aware that the ISCA uses the trademark to promote the class to LP's customers. LP has benefited from the work of the Class and from the Class's use of the junior mark. Most tellingly. LP has had a representative on the ISCA World Council for many years and it will be interesting to see how LP could possibly argue that the LP council member did not assent to ISCA's use of the trademark.

Second: ISCA would need to demonstrate "prejudice". In the context of estoppel by acquiescence, “prejudice” means "an injury to the junior user’s business and the goodwill it has already created in its mark resulting from the junior user’s reasonable reliance upon a justifiable expectation that the senior user would take no action against the potential infringement. "    It is pretty clear that the Class Association has invested heavily in promoting the Sunfish Mark. They even require it in their class rules. They clearly relied on the assent and they can possibly (carefully phrased again) claim that they would be injured if the well established logo of the Class Association was removed from them.

If ISCA can demonstrate Assent and Prejudice then.....LP might have a tough time claiming trademark infringement

My comments are merely personal conjecture based on many possible scenarios which may be entirely different from the situation at hand. I am not relying on any known facts about the dispute between LP and ISCA as I discuss a news item upon which I have no special insight

 

 

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Why is it so damned difficult to get someone to manufacture and promote  a decent one design racing sailboat we. An just use to play the racing game?

For the last fifty years, every time a boat has started to really get going, there has been some sort of catastrophic screw up to end the fun. 

Snipes were booming.... them they weren't

Fireballs and 470 got going pretty well

Thistles, Lightnings, and Stars had some huge fleets

the J-24 had a helluva run for about 15 years.

Lasers and Hobie 16s went batshit crazy from about 1975 to the mid eighties. Then Hobies disappeared and Lasers went into stumble bumble mode where they have remained.

Sunfish have continued to sell for many decades and racing actually seemed to be growing until LP stepped in and fell on its face leaving a market with no supply of goods.

is there a reason in the world not to abandon the monopoly builder paradigm and simply Contest our game in boats built as identically as we can describe in the rules of that game?? 

How hard is it so set up and manage the following??

We certify builders who will strive to supply the toys we want.

"Build the boats like this. If you build them so they go faster we will de-certify your products. If you build them to go slower we will de-certify your products. You can make your boats prettier, more durable, or even mess around with upgrades and features that provide ZERO advantage for the racing  game.  The ideal builder isnonevwho can brag its boats are the most consistently similar and most like every other supplier's creations. Builders are EXPECTED to help each other create identical racing toys."

Why cant we have a game like basketball where the competitors simply compete to throw the same ball through the same size and height hoop?? 

Why??

Because the competitors haven't insisted we organize that game. 

RS and Melges and Devoti and Beneteau and Catalina and PSA and LP and many other companies couid build generic lasers and Sunfish or aeros but we have decided to divide and self conquer.

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, dgmckim said:

#BringBackTheFireball

It was a great boat in 1965. Today it is just an outmoded design that goes slow and is a light air torture rack.

the fireball is still a super ride in 30 to 40 mph breezes and waves.  But having a toy just for occasional joyrides and no available racing within  1500  miles isn't my style 

 

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You yanks are the problem. There is still a great fireball scene and although the worlds in South Africa weren't well supported, in 2015 there were over 100 boats at the worlds from 9 different countries. The Hobie 16's had over 130 boats from 16 different countries. Over 300 lasers at the masters world championships. I know these are headline figures from worlds, but I also see people sailing these boats at club level. I admit that the numbers aren't what they used to be, but overall participation is down because there is far more competition from sports that sailing will never be able to compete against. 

It's time to stop blaming the boats and also to stop looking at manufacturers to solve the problems of the sport, particularly in the USA. The issues are simple. Sailing takes too long. In an age where leisure is measured in 1 hour segments, where kids can train in other sports once or twice a week for up to an hour and play a match at the weekend that only takes an hour, it is not surprising that a sport that needs a minimum of half a day is struggling to compete against well organised junior offerings from rich sports.

What needs to happen is for somebody in the USA to work out why small boat sailing is struggling far more there than elsewhere in the world.

One thing is clear. The market is different in the USA and that might be why we see LP behaving even worse there than elsewhere. Compare the USA to the UK, where LP probably has more customers almost all of who live within 2 hours of the factory. Where would you put your efforts and where would you try to rationalise the market?

The answer to the Sunfish problem is not redefining the market. It's about getting the word out so that the new organisation doesn't get traction and fighting a bully.

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6 hours ago, Team_GBR said:

You yanks are the problem. There is still a great fireball scene and although the worlds in South Africa weren't well supported, in 2015 there were over 100 boats at the worlds from 9 different countries. The Hobie 16's had over 130 boats from 16 different countries. Over 300 lasers at the masters world championships. I know these are headline figures from worlds, but I also see people sailing these boats at club level. I admit that the numbers aren't what they used to be, but overall participation is down because there is far more competition from sports that sailing will never be able to compete against. 

It's time to stop blaming the boats and also to stop looking at manufacturers to solve the problems of the sport, particularly in the USA. The issues are simple. Sailing takes too long. In an age where leisure is measured in 1 hour segments, where kids can train in other sports once or twice a week for up to an hour and play a match at the weekend that only takes an hour, it is not surprising that a sport that needs a minimum of half a day is struggling to compete against well organised junior offerings from rich sports.

What needs to happen is for somebody in the USA to work out why small boat sailing is struggling far more there than elsewhere in the world.

One thing is clear. The market is different in the USA and that might be why we see LP behaving even worse there than elsewhere. Compare the USA to the UK, where LP probably has more customers almost all of who live within 2 hours of the factory. Where would you put your efforts and where would you try to rationalise the market?

The answer to the Sunfish problem is not redefining the market. It's about getting the word out so that the new organisation doesn't get traction and fighting a bully.

I love the fireball. Both my father and grandfather sailed them. My grandfather was at one point USIFA commodore and brought 2 world championships to Wrightsville Beach. I sailed one for a while but I couldn't keep up with the costs. I plan to get another one, one day. Anyways, I can't put my finger on what the exact reason is for low participation in the US. It could be no support structure from sports organization that makes entry/competition easy to manage/afford. We (the U.S. Fireball class) had a high school boat building and racing program in Ohio that was really taking off for a while. Anyways thanks for the response - you again make great points

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I have a different theory.

The problem isn't the yanks (it often is ....but not in this case)

The problem is not the organizers, or the competitors, or the builders.

The problem is plastic.

 

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If World sailing mandated that all one design classes must be built of wood , cold molded or otherwise, then the old classes would naturally fade away and we would all be sailing the same toy.  #thereisnothing wrongwithaJ24 thatcan'tbefixed withachainsawanddumpster.

:)

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7 hours ago, Team_GBR said:

What needs to happen is for somebody in the USA to work out why small boat sailing is struggling far more there than elsewhere in the world...

One thing is clear. The market is different in the USA ...

Bingo. The sailing culture and market are completely different. Check out  http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/class/ and play around in the Championship Attendance section. Boats that have never seen American waters are getting triple digit attendance. And popular American dinghies - such as the Sunfish, Lightning and all the Scows - are nonexistent. LP (specifically Lasers), somewhat ironically, and Optis are the only common threads of any significance between the US and UK (with all due respect to RS). 

I have no answers. 

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7 hours ago, Team_GBR said:

It's time to stop blaming the boats and also to stop looking at manufacturers to solve the problems of the sport, particularly in the USA. The issues are simple. Sailing takes too long. In an age where leisure is measured in 1 hour segments, where kids can train in other sports once or twice a week for up to an hour and play a match at the weekend that only takes an hour, it is not surprising that a sport that needs a minimum of half a day is struggling to compete against well organised junior offerings from rich sports.

What needs to happen is for somebody in the USA to work out why small boat sailing is struggling far more there than elsewhere in the world.

One thing is clear. The market is different in the USA and that might be why we see LP behaving even worse there than elsewhere. Compare the USA to the UK, where LP probably has more customers almost all of who live within 2 hours of the factory. Where would you put your efforts and where would you try to rationalise the market?

It is incredible how much sailing has dropped off in the country over the last several decades.

When I was a kid in the 70s, it seemed almost everyone had a small boat of some sort.  TV was starting to take over, but people still Went Outside and Did Stuff.  My father had a boat he raced, though I didn't enjoy sailing as a kid.

I got into sailing in college and bought my first boat right after I graduated in the 90s.  Cable TV was now around with 57 channels and nothing on.  There were less people sailing, but I would still say good numbers in the sport.

Now here it is another 20 years later, and everyone is glued to their smartphones watching cat videos.  I'd say there are less than half as many people sailing now than in the 90s.

 

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Youth and college sailing is still strong in my area, but after college they're burned out, starting careers and families, paying off student loans, and trying to afford housing.

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5 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Youth and college sailing is still strong in my area, but after college they're burned out, starting careers and families, paying off student loans, and trying to afford housing.

cost is a huge part of it. I had an idea a while back, to try to build a local fireball fleet - local class owned or class built boats sold to people in a structured way - they pay a deposit of some amount, and a contract that if they sail the boat regularly for 3 years (for example) they don't have to pay any more. Maybe like every time they sail in a regatta they get x amount deducted from the cost of the boat. But, if they don't sail it they have to pay the remaining balance. or something. Of course, it'd take a decent amount of upfront capital to build or buy boats for the program. Also, the larger problem that people would have to want to be a part of the class to begin with... but I thought it could be a way to get people in a race-worthy boat for cheaper than buying new. It was a lot of logistics I didn't have time to manage.

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37 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Youth and college sailing is still strong in my area, but after college they're burned out, starting careers and families, paying off student loans, and trying to afford housing.

Each kid exits college with north of 100,000 of loans to pay (because parents cannot afford the loans they take out on behalf of the kids).  96% or so of kids out there have this issue. Where does the money for a boat come from then?

It doesn't.

So a used $400 beater is what happens.

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A few things don't stack up. You cannot blame college debt, because what about those who don't go to college, or is sailing so exclusive in the USA that only the intelligentsia are allowed to do it?

I do think the youth and college programs are part of the problem. I often marvel at the threads that pop up over the years about how a club or college is replacing its fleet asking what to buy. IMO, this is where it all goes wrong. While I am sure there must be clubs in the UK that have club fleets, my experience is that you need to buy your own boat or crew somebody who has their own boat. The one time I have had "club boats" available was at university but what made that work was the non university events the class had. Sailing Larks or Firefly's was as much about the non university events as it was the team racing. The highlight of the year was the Lark nationals. Those nationals rate as some of the best weeks of my life. After university, you could buy an old shitter and still take part in the best nationals events of the era. Cheap old Firefly's were competitive.

The problem with relying on club/college programs is the boats those programs buy. You cannot buy a fleet of lightweight, fast boats because you need a boat that is robust and can be sailed by beginners as well as experienced racers. Those boats are not the most inspiring to sail.

I don't have the answers, but I suspect they involve rebuilding the sport from the junior level up, because what is happening at the moment isn't working.

 

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4 hours ago, fastyacht said:

"or is sailing so exclusive in the USA that only the intelligentsia are allowed to do it? "

 

Well yes, actually.

 

It's pretty hard to participate in for much of the population, requiring money and/or time, and at least some basic skills.

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7 hours ago, Team_GBR said:

A few things don't stack up. You cannot blame college debt, because what about those who don't go to college, or is sailing so exclusive in the USA that only the intelligentsia are allowed to do it?

I do think the youth and college programs are part of the problem. I often marvel at the threads that pop up over the years about how a club or college is replacing its fleet asking what to buy. IMO, this is where it all goes wrong. While I am sure there must be clubs in the UK that have club fleets, my experience is that you need to buy your own boat or crew somebody who has their own boat. The one time I have had "club boats" available was at university but what made that work was the non university events the class had. Sailing Larks or Firefly's was as much about the non university events as it was the team racing. The highlight of the year was the Lark nationals. Those nationals rate as some of the best weeks of my life. After university, you could buy an old shitter and still take part in the best nationals events of the era. Cheap old Firefly's were competitive.

The problem with relying on club/college programs is the boats those programs buy. You cannot buy a fleet of lightweight, fast boats because you need a boat that is robust and can be sailed by beginners as well as experienced racers. Those boats are not the most inspiring to sail.

I don't have the answers, but I suspect they involve rebuilding the sport from the junior level up, because what is happening at the moment isn't working.

 

I dont think the boats used in college sailing are so seriously different in the US.

Some of the colleges use Larks (Tufts) and some use Fireflies (MIT) but most use 420s.

The bigger difference is the intensity of US college sailing. When I google a UK college sailing program, it seems to be much less time consuming. I speculate that this allows more time for non-college sailing and leaves the college sailor thirsting for more sailing. Thus they are interacting with adults sailors and adult one design classes earlier, so there is a smoother transition into post college sailing.

When our kids go off to college to sail, we hardly see them for four years.They are practicing and competing 3-6 days a week during the college year. When they graduate, they are ready for a break

 

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9 minutes ago, RKoch said:

It's pretty hard to participate in for much of the population, requiring money and/or time, and at least some basic skills.

and a portion of the un-intelligentsia are very busy right now, making America great again.

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10 minutes ago, Wavedancer II said:

This discussion is going for the wrong mark.. 

Well said. We have veered off course into one of those depressing, interminable and ultimately unsatisfying discussions as to why sailing is in decline. 

This thread is about the much more exciting topic of an attempted hostile takeover of a successful class association by a failing builder. if you don't know anything about the subject in hand, then make something up like most of the rest of us are doing.

Extra points for plausible (but totally flawed) legal analysis.

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Reading back through the thread I have this thought: Did ISCA threaten LP that they would make non-builder supplied parts & pieces legal if LP could not/would not keep the parts readily available? Could the power grab be a "Oh no you won't!".

From the info ISCA noted it sounded like the class and LP have been going at it for several years over supplying boats, etc. for the worlds, and other issues. Maybe since the class would not play ball they decided to take it all over.

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30 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Well said. We have veered off course into one of those depressing, interminable and ultimately unsatisfying discussions as to why sailing is in decline. 

This thread is about the much more exciting topic of an attempted hostile takeover of a successful class association by a failing builder. if you don't know anything about the subject in hand, then make something up like most of the rest of us are doing.

Extra points for plausible (but totally flawed) legal analysis.

Cann't we declare a winner right now?

Oh...sorry...I missed the bit about plausible. :)

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2 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

Reading back through the thread I have this thought: Did ISCA threaten LP that they would make non-builder supplied parts & pieces legal if LP could not/would not keep the parts readily available? Could the power grab be a "Oh no you won't!".

From the info ISCA noted it sounded like the class and LP have been going at it for several years over supplying boats, etc. for the worlds, and other issues. Maybe since the class would not play ball they decided to take it all over.

The idea of the class having to "play ball" with the builder is patently absurd of course. This boat design is way way way past patents, the intellectual property is mostly public domain at this point. The hull predates the Digital Millenium Copyright Act by many decades. You could make an exact copy of the hull and there isn't a damned thing LP could do about it.
About the only thing they own is the class emblem.

About the only thing that I would think could trip them up would be any contracts between the current builder and the class.

The class is a real thing. They have status with the international and national sailing bodies. The builder does not.
The class can do anything they like at this point. In fact they could simply amend their rules to allow more than one builder.

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For many years I was one of those guys defending the higher prices for brand name Sunfish and Laser parts and boats:

"We play a game that works best with identical toys. We need to have a well funded builder who can afford to:

build a high quality product

promote that product

provide warranty support 

provide financial and logistical support to the racing game

*****

i repeatedly made the case the extra purchase $$$ extracted for our toys was rewarded with high resale value and the presence of the  most successful singlehanded sailing game. 

*****

I have not changed my mind. The problem, as I see it, is the North American builder has abandoned the market. 

They quit supplying dealers with new boats and parts. They did not lower their prices to reflect their abandonment of the quid pro quo that justifies those prices. 

We need toys or our game will wither and die.

i see zero reason to continue to restrict participation to those who can manage to procure toys from an unwilling supplier. 

We need to form a relationship with a new (set of) supplier(s).  We need toys. 

 

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5 hours ago, IPLore said:

Cann't we declare a winner right now?

Oh...sorry...I missed the bit about plausible. :)

You and Tiller cann't keep doing this and making me buy new keyboards. And of course LOLing during evening church service did not go over well. So busted on so many levels...

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1 hour ago, Gouvernail said:

For many years I was one of those guys defending the higher prices for brand name Sunfish and Laser parts and boats:

"We play a game that works best with identical toys. We need to have a well funded builder who can afford to:

build a high quality product

promote that product

provide warranty support 

provide financial and logistical support to the racing game

*****

i repeatedly made the case the extra purchase $$$ extracted for our toys was rewarded with high resale value and the presence of the  most successful singlehanded sailing game. 

*****

I have not changed my mind. The problem, as I see it, is the North American builder has abandoned the market. 

They quit supplying dealers with new boats and parts. They did not lower their prices to reflect their abandonment of the quid pro quo that justifies those prices. 

We need toys or our game will wither and die.

i see zero reason to continue to restrict participation to those who can manage to procure toys from an unwilling supplier. 

We need to form a relationship with a new (set of) supplier(s).  We need toys. 

 

I think that is what the class is doing, except for hulls.

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5 hours ago, torrid said:

I still have my Laser Performance United membership card.  Does that get me anything?

A subpoena?

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6 hours ago, torrid said:

I still have my Laser Performance United membership card.  Does that get me anything?

Yes, it gives you the right to receive a weekly email of Laser news. I am eagerly awaiting the next email as the last one I received was in March of 2013.

Not to mention it will get you 5% off every purchase at http://shopna.laserperformance.com/Good luck with that!

But I have high hopes that my International Sunfish Class Organization membership card will have even better benefits.

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19 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

Reading back through the thread I have this thought: Did ISCA threaten LP that they would make non-builder supplied parts & pieces legal if LP could not/would not keep the parts readily available? Could the power grab be a "Oh no you won't!".

From the info ISCA noted it sounded like the class and LP have been going at it for several years over supplying boats, etc. for the worlds, and other issues. Maybe since the class would not play ball they decided to take it all over.

You kinda lost me on this. Could you explain your thinking a bit more? 

I assume you agree that the class's obligation is to its members.... who are sailors... and so who need boats and parts.  So if a builder (or whom or whatever) is purposefully putting the class and its members into a situation where they can't get boats and parts then the class's obligation to its members is to find some other way to support its members.  The class does not exist to support the builder... the class exists to support its members.  No?

This is why I think you will find most folks support the class's move to secure boats and parts for its members through reasonable legal means.  The fact is ILCA and ISCA both reacted to a similar threat (no boats for class members) in a similar way... namely to protect the interests of the class members.  Think we should take our hat off to them (ISCA and ILCA) for standing up to bullies and defending their members and hope that World Sailing does the same (I have yet to see and will only believe when they do... I have doubts... curious to see if @MR.CLEAN gets a response from them).

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18 hours ago, fastyacht said:

The idea of the class having to "play ball" with the builder is patently absurd of course. This boat design is way way way past patents, the intellectual property is mostly public domain at this point. The hull predates the Digital Millenium Copyright Act by many decades. You could make an exact copy of the hull and there isn't a damned thing LP could do about it.
About the only thing they own is the class emblem.

About the only thing that I would think could trip them up would be any contracts between the current builder and the class.

The class is a real thing. They have status with the international and national sailing bodies. The builder does not.
The class can do anything they like at this point. In fact they could simply amend their rules to allow more than one builder.

What he said.  Change the rules to allow more than one authorized supplier for hulls, sails, parts, etc.  Suppliers must be class approved and possibly pay a royalty fee to the class.  LP can continue to build and supply boats.  North can continue to supply class legal sails, but no monopoly for any supplier.  This is something the class should have been working toward a long time ago.  This is a lesson for other class associations tied to builders who place their interests well ahead of the interests of the class association.

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17 hours ago, fastyacht said:

 This boat design is way way way past patents, the intellectual property is mostly public domain at this point. The hull predates the Digital Millenium Copyright Act by many decades. You could make an exact copy of the hull and there isn't a damned thing LP could do about it.
 

The conclusion is correct.  The copyright of a registered hull design is protected in Chapter 13, Title 17 of the US Code.  The design copyright must be registered within two years and the copyright expires after 10 years after the design. Anyone can splash a sunfish mold.

Quote

About the only thing they own is the class emblem.

Hmmm. See my earlier comments.  Until we see the terms of any agreements or license agreement between ISCA and LP, we dont know if LP has exclusive use of the emblem. It is possible that LP may have relinquished the ability to claim trademark infringement by acquiescing to ISCA's use of the trademark.

 

Quote

About the only thing that I would think could trip them up would be any contracts between the current builder and the class.

The contract between builder and Class will be the big determinant of what happens here. In order to become an World Sailing international class:- The ISCA, the builder and World Sailing would have signed an agreement. Typically these agreements specify who owns the right to appoint builders etc.

The template for ISAF agreements used to look something like this:

OPERATIVE TERMS:
1. Definitions.
1.1 "XXX Class boat" means the XXX Class boat built by a Licensed Builder, designed
by XXX.
1.2 "Licensed Builder" means a builder authorised by COPYRIGHT HOLDER to build
XXX Class boats in accordance with a Manufacturing Licence Agreement issued by
COPYRIGHT HOLDER.
1.3 ”Manufacturing Specification" means the specifications developed by LICENSE
HOLDER or BUILDER and drawings that prescribe the materials to be used in the
construction of XXX Class boats and the method of manufacture.
1.4 "Master Tooling" means the master hull and deck patterns owned by LICENSE
HOLDER or BUILDER used to produce Production Tooling for building XXX Class
boats.
1.5 ”Production Tooling" means hull and deck moulds produced from the Master
Tooling or by other means approved by COPYRIGHT HOLDER.

4. XXX Class boats shall be manufactured only by Licensed Builders. COPYRIGHT
HOLDER shall supply World Sailing with copies of the clauses relating to the
design control of the Licence Agreements of all builders authorised by it to
manufacture XXX Class boats at the date of this Agreement and shall issue no
further Licence Agreement without the prior approval in writing of World Sailing,
such approval not to be unreasonably withheld. Within two months of concluding a
Licence Agreement or renegotiating an existing Licence Agreement, COPYRIGHT
HOLDER shall file a copy of the covering page and one-design control clauses
thereof with World Sailing and shall supply World Sailing with any further relevant
correspondence regarding approval of premises or tooling as required by Clause 5.
COPYRIGHT HOLDER shall take disciplinary action against its licensed builders if
so required by World Sailing in response to serious rule infringements.

For various reasons I might be able to drive a truck through that language...but that is only a personal opinion. After the GP Kirby vs ICLA vs LP suit, one might imagine that World Sailing lawyers tightened things up.

However the ISCA has been an international class for a very long time and who knows what the International Class agreements looked like back then? Certainly the Laser agreement was different.

 

Quote

The class is a real thing. They have status with the international and national sailing bodies. The builder does not.
The class can do anything they like at this point. In fact they could simply amend their rules to allow more than one builder.

Not necessarily. Without seeing the WS/ISAF agreement we don't know if they could make that amendment. All rule amendments for an international class have to be approved by World Sailing , and World Sailing (and the class) will be bound by the Class agreement.

  My comments are merely personal conjecture based on many possible scenarios which may be entirely different from the situation at hand. I am not relying on any known facts about the dispute between LP and ISCA as I discuss a news item upon which I have no special insight

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Listened to most the morning web presentation.  Mostly the same excuses, but some highlights:

1. Early on, he identified two different class groups as the International Sunfish Class ORganziation and the International Sunfish Class ASSociation.  Nice one Bill.

2.  He spent some time talking about national associations that appear to feel under-represented.  He seemed to promise financial support and more slots at the Worlds as enticement to go along with ISCO instead of the ISCA.

3. He kept talking about how LP "does not intend to be a class association", but that is exactly what they are doing.

4. He kept stressing this was about "intellectual property", which as pointed out above only consists of the Sunfish name and the sail logo.  I guess I owe LP a couple bucks there for using the word "Sunfish"?

5. He claims any agreements that the ISCA had to use the Sunfish name have long expired since those companies are long gone.  Yet in buying those companies, that is what gives LP the rights to the "Sunfish" trademark.  You can't have it both ways.

6. It seems the whole scheme is dependent on World Sailing recognizing the ISCO over the ISCA.

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

You kinda lost me on this. Could you explain your thinking a bit more? 

I assume you agree that the class's obligation is to its members.... who are sailors... and so who need boats and parts.  So if a builder (or whom or whatever) is purposefully putting the class and its members into a situation where they can't get boats and parts then the class's obligation to its members is to find some other way to support its members.  The class does not exist to support the builder... the class exists to support its members.  No?

This is why I think you will find most folks support the class's move to secure boats and parts for its members through reasonable legal means.  The fact is ILCA and ISCA both reacted to a similar threat (no boats for class members) in a similar way... namely to protect the interests of the class members.  Think we should take our hat off to them (ISCA and ILCA) for standing up to bullies and defending their members and hope that World Sailing does the same (I have yet to see and will only believe when they do... I have doubts... curious to see if @MR.CLEAN gets a response from them).

The builder (going way back, not just LP) has always wanted to maintain control over parts. Not only to maximize their profit, but also to keep the promotion of racing the boat 'right out of the box'. There has always been bones of contention between the builder and class members...the racers generally wanting freedom to replace parts with cheaper (generally) and more reliable ones. Since the class needs a healthy builder, and the builder needs happy owners, ISCA  leadership has had to conduct a balancing act...usually some sort of compromise was reached that satisfied most people. 

i don't know details of current issues. It sounds like parts aren't getting to dealers. Perhaps the builder is trying to eliminate them in order to pocket the dealer markup themselves. Again, IDK. But, if the builder is unwilling or unable to ensure an adequate supply of replacement parts the racers need, then naturally the racers will source those parts elsewhere. The class rules previously prohibited that, so it sounds like the rule change was intended to allow it. Mentioned above is WS approval...yes, it's correct that WS would have to approve that change to class rules. IDK if that has been done yet, but the class leadership doesn't act in a vacuum from WS, so before ISCA World Council voted on the change they probably did get a backdoor nod of unofficial approval from WS to proceed. 

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Once again the SMOD shows how stupid it is in the long run.
Short run it makes sense. Someone comes up with the idea. Someone takes capital risk to build.
Long run sailors need value.
I look at the Thistle as an example. The class and the premier builder have a good relationship. But this is in an open competitive environment. Builder always trying to do best value solutions because they are not protected.

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54 minutes ago, torrid said:

Listened to most the morning web presentation.  Mostly the same excuses, but some highlights:

1. Early on, he identified two different class groups as the International Sunfish Class ORganziation and the International Sunfish Class ASSociation.  Nice one Bill.

2.  He spent some time talking about national associations that appear to feel under-represented.  He seemed to promise financial support and more slots at the Worlds as enticement to go along with ISCO instead of the ISCA.

3. He kept talking about how LP "does not intend to be a class association", but that is exactly what they are doing.

4. He kept stressing this was about "intellectual property", which as pointed out above only consists of the Sunfish name and the sail logo.  I guess I owe LP a couple bucks there for using the word "Sunfish"?

5. He claims any agreements that the ISCA had to use the Sunfish name have long expired since those companies are long gone.  Yet in buying those companies, that is what gives LP the rights to the "Sunfish" trademark.  You can't have it both ways.

6. It seems the whole scheme is dependent on World Sailing recognizing the ISCO over the ISCA.

Thanks for the update.

It does sound like a lot of BS from LP. 

A bit of background on ISCA World Council. Every country that has a national class has a representative on the World Council. There are also officers that can come from any membership country.  The amount of votes they have depends on the membership in that country. Since about 80% of ISCA members are from the U.S., the U.S. members are in a position to ram through votes, but to my knowledge they've been careful not to do so. The South American and Carribbean countries almost always have the same position as the U.S.. In my time on the Rules Committee (one meeting I chaired as the chairman was absent) and the World Council, there was only one time that a country (Netherlands) held an inflexible  solo Minority position. The rules change could have been voted through easily (Netherlands had like 5 Sunfish members in their country at the time), but I was able to broker a compromise that left everyone leaving the table satisfied, including the builder rep. 

The number of spots available to World Championship regattas is based on the number of registered members in each country. A country with 5 members gets one spot (20% of members). US has (or at least had) 500+ members, and has about 40 spots for the Worlds, less than 10% of membership. The host country gets extra spots. 

I have no idea what country is claiming they are underrepresented on the World Council or at the World Championship. I suspect it's more LP bullshit. Any ISCA member can be chosen by their national class to be their ISCA representative on the World Council. No World Council member is forbidden from speaking up at meetings. Although ISCA officers are generally chosen from people who have some Class organization experience, it is not a requirement. 

i agree it will probably have to be settled by WS. ISCA has a good relationship with US Sailing and WS. That is how the class has managed to become a recognized International Class, and be selected as a PanAm Games Class. In the past, WS officials have occasionally shown up at a major regatta like the Worlds Championship of PanAm Games, and come away pretty impressed.  The builder-owned class doesn't have that history of good relations with WS, and given the upheaval in the Laser Class, I suspect WS will be more than a little leery of recognizing them and booting out ISCA. 

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13 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Thanks for the update.

It does sound like a lot of BS from LP. 

A bit of background on ISCA World Council. Every country that has a national class has a representative on the World Council. There are also officers that can come from any membership country.  The amount of votes they have depends on the membership in that country. Since about 80% of ISCA members are from the U.S., the U.S. members are in a position to ram through votes, but to my knowledge they've been careful not to do so. The South American and Carribbean countries almost always have the same position as the U.S.. In my time on the Rules Committee (one meeting I chaired as the chairman was absent) and the World Council, there was only one time that a country (Netherlands) held an inflexible  solo Minority position. The rules change could have been voted through easily (Netherlands had like 5 Sunfish members in their country at the time), but I was able to broker a compromise that left everyone leaving the table satisfied, including the builder rep. 

The number of spots available to World Championship regattas is based on the number of registered members in each country. A country with 5 members gets one spot (20% of members). US has (or at least had) 500+ members, and has about 40 spots for the Worlds, less than 10% of membership. The host country gets extra spots. 

I have no idea what country is claiming they are underrepresented on the World Council or at the World Championship. I suspect it's more LP bullshit. Any ISCA member can be chosen by their national class to be their ISCA representative on the World Council. No World Council member is forbidden from speaking up at meetings. Although ISCA officers are generally chosen from people who have some Class organization experience, it is not a requirement. 

He specifically mentioned France and the USVI.  I believe it was in response to a question from someone in the USVI.

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5 minutes ago, torrid said:

He specifically mentioned France and the USVI.  I believe it was in response to a question from someone in the USVI.

Huh. France is a new country from my time. Back then only Netherlands and Italy had National organizations in Europe. . USVI was active then, as they had a strong youth sailing program using Sunfish. They (and Puerto Rico) have their own organizations, separate from USSCA. In my time in the class, I don't recall any beefs from them. That was 20+ years ago though. 

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2 hours ago, Wess said:

You kinda lost me on this. Could you explain your thinking a bit more? 

I assume you agree that the class's obligation is to its members.... who are sailors... and so who need boats and parts.  So if a builder (or whom or whatever) is purposefully putting the class and its members into a situation where they can't get boats and parts then the class's obligation to its members is to find some other way to support its members.  The class does not exist to support the builder... the class exists to support its members.  No?

This is why I think you will find most folks support the class's move to secure boats and parts for its members through reasonable legal means.  The fact is ILCA and ISCA both reacted to a similar threat (no boats for class members) in a similar way... namely to protect the interests of the class members.  Think we should take our hat off to them (ISCA and ILCA) for standing up to bullies and defending their members and hope that World Sailing does the same (I have yet to see and will only believe when they do... I have doubts... curious to see if @MR.CLEAN gets a response from them).

Yes, what you have noted, that the class is working to protect the class and its members. If the members, and others that are looking at the boat, cannot get boats, parts, & pieces for the class to survive then this is why it has been approved to allow non-builder supplied parts. I am sure that LP did not take a liking to their actions.

My other point is that this appears to have been going-on for quite a while and the class was getting pretty fed-up with it, so maybe a threat was made during the negotiations that they would let other suppliers into the fold if LP did not get this corrected. My guess is based on LP's actions they are taking the steps to create their 'own' class to keep this under control. It may look pretty and official but it is chained-down to the wants and needs of the manufacturer, I will take my ball and bat and go home...

Hopefully the WS can see through this and support ISCA in this battle. If WS buckles, then ISCA is in trouble.

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In my time in the class, parts problems were short-lived. There was problems supplying enough racing sails and new daggerboards when they were first introduced, but supply caught up with demand in a few months. There also were some reliability problems with spars, spar endcaps, and rudder heads when they were changed and switched to new suppliers, but Sunfish-Laser (Peter Johnstone) was very good about warrantees and getting the problems corrected. That was a case where the Class identified a problem, and brought it to the builders attention which nipped it in the bud and saved the builder from a much bigger problem. 

I'll add my hopes that WS doesn't approve the new class. I don't think they can even call it the International Sunfish Class Organization without WS approval. They seem to have jumped the gun.

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15 minutes ago, ~HHN92~ said:

If WS buckles, then ISCA is in trouble.

Trouble is if ISCO can demonstrate more signed up members than ISCA it will be hard for WS to resist the proposition. Which of course is why LP are offering free membership. Ultimately its going to be down to the sailors. 

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Its an interesting webinar and worth a listen.  As for WS, its been a while since I looked at this but I think (?) they receive a significant sum of $s (like 7 figures) in a marketing agreement (?) with an LP related company.  Sailors be damned?

In the webinar Crane starts with and frequently references them (LP) working with WS.  There are elements of the LP argument I can almost agree.  What I can't agree is Crane's statement in the webinar that ISCA "can't" (I believe is the word he used) hold or run their events.  Unless and until WS ditches ISCA in favor of ISCO I think they can.  Just one opinion and worth what you paid...

There are a number of other interesting points and statements made in that webinar but I don't have time to deal with it presently as "real" life is calling.

 

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IIRC, WS receives a per boat royalty from builders of Internationally recognized classes.  Ordinarily this would be a big hammer for the builder to swing, but I suspect that LP's reputation may negate that.

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

Trouble is if ISCO can demonstrate more signed up members than ISCA it will be hard for WS to resist the proposition. Which of course is why LP are offering free membership. Ultimately its going to be down to the sailors. 

I don't think you give WS enough credit (sometimes it is hard to do!). I believe they can see through the numbers argument based on free membership. 

59 minutes ago, Wess said:

Its an interesting webinar and worth a listen.  As for WS, its been a while since I looked at this but I think (?) they receive a significant sum of $s (like 7 figures) in a marketing agreement (?) with an LP related company.  Sailors be damned?

This. I was never happy about the way that another of FR's companies became a major sponsor of WS immediately after WS sided with LP in the Laser fight and now we have that same conflict of interest again. I struggle to see why under any circumstances, a pram company would see sponsoring World Sailing as being a core marketing opportunity. I would have loved to be in the meeting where one of Maclaren's marketing team stood up and stated " I have examined the opportunities and sponsoring World Sailing is the best spend of our marketing dollars I can find".:unsure:

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15 minutes ago, Team_GBR said:

I don't think you give WS enough credit (sometimes it is hard to do!). I believe they can see through the numbers argument based on free membership. 

This. I was never happy about the way that another of FR's companies became a major sponsor of WS immediately after WS sided with LP in the Laser fight and now we have that same conflict of interest again. I struggle to see why under any circumstances, a pram company would see sponsoring World Sailing as being a core marketing opportunity. I would have loved to be in the meeting where one of Maclaren's marketing team stood up and stated " I have examined the opportunities and sponsoring World Sailing is the best spend of our marketing dollars I can find".:unsure:

Maybe the pram builder thought the Optimist was a pram. Oh wait...

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I think FR is just shuffling money between companies. I don't think any Laser or Sunfish sailor is a potential McLaren customer, nor is a McLaren customer the least bit interested in low-tech entry level recreational sailboats.

Even with free membership, I don't see the builder class maintaining a level of interest that would support the Sunfish as an International Class. The strength of ISCA is in the volunteers that put together national championships, regional championships, Midwinters, masters, women's, and even local fleet racing. LP can't possibly replace them. And if all they offer is a World Championship, I think interest in that will plummet.

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Listening to the second call now.  Much more organized and professional.

He's talking more about expanding to other countries, and I think I understand more fully what is happening.  They obviously want to expand their markets in Asia and Europe.  They want to use the class to do that, but not enable the class to license builders in different regions like you see with the Laser class.

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12 minutes ago, torrid said:

Listening to the second call now.  Much more organized and professional.

He's talking more about expanding to other countries, and I think I understand more fully what is happening.  They obviously want to expand their markets in Asia and Europe.  They want to use the class to do that, but not enable the class to license builders in different regions like you see with the Laser class.

Well now, that's an absolute lie. I hope ISCA calls them on it before WS. ISCA has never attempted to license builders, nor desired to do so. ISCA has only stepped in when parts supplied by builder from outside sources have proved unreliable or unobtainable. An example would be long ago when Sunfish were supplied with Fico mainsheet blocks attached to the boom with a lightweight eye-strap attached with 2 small rivets. The class approved reinforcing or replacing them, the then builder had no objection. Later builder improved them somewhat.

Im not positive, but pretty sure that the Laser builder licensed the foreign builders, not the Laser Class. That might have even been done at behest of ISAF and IOC, to ensure a world-wide supply of an Olympic Class. I am positive ISCA would like to see growth in Asia and Europe, has no objection to the builder marketing boats there, and would welcome new countries in to the class. ISCA is absolutely not obstructing the builder in that regard, and LP is absolutely lying through their teeth.

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4 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Well now, that's an absolute lie. I hope ISCA calls them on it before WS. ISCA has never attempted to license builders, nor desired to do so. ISCA has only stepped in when parts supplied by builder from outside sources have proved unreliable or unobtainable. An example would be long ago when Sunfish were supplied with Fico mainsheet blocks attached to the boom with a lightweight eye-strap attached with 2 small rivets. The class approved reinforcing or replacing them, the then builder had no objection. Later builder improved them somewhat.

Im not positive, but pretty sure that the Laser builder licensed the foreign builders, not the Laser Class. That might have even been done at behest of ISAF and IOC, to ensure a world-wide supply of an Olympic Class. I am positive ISCA would like to see growth in Asia and Europe, has no objection to the builder marketing boats there, and would welcome new countries in to the class. ISCA is absolutely not obstructing the builder in that regard, and LP is absolutely lying through their teeth.

That was my supposition  I've followed closely what has happened with the Laser class the last few years, and I'm just thinking would could happen as the Sunfish class grows globally.

As far as the Laser, neither the class nor LP licensed other builders.  It was Bruce Kirby personally.  That was one major difference in the classes, as there was a neutral "rights holder" to negotiate between the class and the builders.

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5 minutes ago, torrid said:

That was my supposition  I've followed closely what has happened with the Laser class the last few years, and I'm just thinking would could happen as the Sunfish class grows globally.

As far as the Laser, neither the class nor LP licensed other builders.  It was Bruce Kirby personally.  That was one major difference in the classes, as there was a neutral "rights holder" to negotiate between the class and the builders.

That clarifies the Laser issue. It doesn't apply to Sunfish Class. ISCA has never considered allowing 'bootleg' boats, and has always tried to ensure a healthy builder, so members have a continued source of boats and replacement parts. ISCA has no legal authority to even license boats, and has only permitted outside parts when the builder is unable to supply reliable ones. I'd also point out that ISCAs Class rules only apply to ISCA sanctioned races. Recreational sailors are under no obligation to purchase builder or Class approved parts, and frequently don't do so. Recreational sailors vastly outnumber Class members.

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2 hours ago, RKoch said:

IIRC, WS receives a per boat royalty from builders of Internationally recognized classes.  Ordinarily this would be a big hammer for the builder to swing, but I suspect that LP's reputation may negate that.

Its unlikely to be a big hammer or even a small hammer. The typical contract with World Sailing specifies a plaque fee (not royalty) per boat based on wholesale price of the boat and with built in inflation clauses.

If the builder fails to pay the plaque fee then they would be in breach of contract, which eventually in some circumstances could allow WS to enable ISCA to appoint another builder.

If there is a hammer, the handle is in the hands of WS and ISCA.

I will try and listen to the webcast but I cannot imagine what LP hopes to achieve here ...In my experience it never makes sense to sue your customer. 

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15 minutes ago, IPLore said:

Its unlikely to be a big hammer or even a small hammer. The typical contract with World Sailing specifies a plaque fee (not royalty) per boat based on wholesale price of the boat and with built in inflation clauses.

If the builder fails to pay the plaque fee then they would be in breach of contract, which eventually in some circumstances could allow WS to enable ISCA to appoint another builder.

If there is a hammer, the handle is in the hands of WS and ISCA.

I will try and listen to the webcast but I cannot imagine what LP hopes to achieve here ...In my experience it never makes sense to sue your customer. 

Neither ISCA or WS holds the rights to build the boat, nor can they license another builder.   If LP refuses to pay the fees to WS, the WS can drop the boat as an International Class, which means no "World Campionship" (have to be called something else) and no PanAm Games. WS holds that cards. ISCA holds the cards of current WS approval, a long history of being a well-run class, and that there's a large supply of old Sunfish (at least in the US). They could continue on for years by outsourcing their own parts (as it appears they are doing), and only lose access to events with builder-supplied boats, which is the Worlds and PanAm Games.

The Class members are generally repeat customers, and the only customers required to purchase builder/class approved parts. Makes absolutely no sense to piss off your best customers. Kind of looks like LP is trying to bullshit and confuse the public (and WS). Some ISCA members may not be fully informed and buy into it. IMO, the new class will be primarily recreational sailors, and probably first time customers, who hadn't participated in racing Sunfish previously. I doubt their interest level will be sustained.

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This entire discussion seems off the rails.

let me try to confuse  this a bit further: 

*Why do we have sailing associations?*

Didnt the classes all start for the same reason?

The people playing decided it would help the game to have some organization.

"Let's  all meet Tuesday evening at Grog's  Cave and decide who is going to be responsible for each of the tasks. "

 

 Clubs, Fleet's, state associations, national associations, world associations and eventually intergalactic associations are only in existence to be used as tools to make the game work better.

By the same token, builders make boats because they believe they can sell those boats and use the profit to feed themselves.

We buy toys because we want them.

We give the association money to fund the services the association's provide to the game 

World  Sailing ( IYRU) was established to serve the game. We told World Sailing what we wanted them to do. 

LP, by funding World Sailing may be able to re-direct the organization into one that serves builders of our toys. 

My guess is World Sailing wants to try to  be both. 

So.... does WS serve the builder's puppet organization or the sailor's organization? 

Why? 

$$$$ will be a huge influence 

 

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21 minutes ago, torrid said:

 

As far as the Laser, neither the class nor LP licensed other builders.  It was Bruce Kirby personally.  That was one major difference in the classes, as there was a neutral "rights holder" to negotiate between the class and the builders.

BK didnt own the right to appoint and fire builders.

GS (The Australian builder) bought BK's rights and tried to dismiss LP as European builder without the Class Association's permission. It did not work out well for them.

The customer speaks softly but wields a big stick.

 

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59 minutes ago, torrid said:

That was my supposition  I've followed closely what has happened with the Laser class the last few years, and I'm just thinking would could happen as the Sunfish class grows globally.

As far as the Laser, neither the class nor LP licensed other builders.  It was Bruce Kirby personally.  That was one major difference in the classes, as there was a neutral "rights holder" to negotiate between the class and the builders.

 

6 minutes ago, IPLore said:

BK didnt own the right to appoint and fire builders.

GS (The Australian builder) bought BK's rights and tried to dismiss LP as European builder without the Class Association's permission. It did not work out well for them.

The customer speaks softly but wields a big stick.

 

I think you guys are talking across purposes. BK and Ian Bruce between them set up the current structure of builders and trademark owners. That is a fact. 

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4 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Neither ISCA or WS holds the rights to build the boat, nor can they license another builder.   If LP refuses to pay the fees to WS, the WS can drop the boat as an International Class, which means no "World Campionship" (have to be called something else) and no PanAm Games. WS holds that cards. ISCA holds the cards of current WS approval, a long history of being a well-run class, and that there's a large supply of old Sunfish (at least in the US). They could continue on for years by outsourcing their own parts (as it appears they are doing), and only lose access to events with builder-supplied boats, which is the Worlds and PanAm Games.

The Class members are generally repeat customers, and the only customers required to purchase builder/class approved parts. Makes absolutely no sense to piss off your best customers. Kind of looks like LP is trying to bullshit and confuse the public (and WS). Some ISCA members may not be fully informed and buy into it. IMO, the new class will be primarily recreational sailors, and probably first time customers, who hadn't participated in racing Sunfish previously. I doubt their interest level will be sustained.

I think we are agreeing.

Nobody owns the rights to build a Sunfish. Gouv can build Sunfish. He probably cant call them Sunfish.

World Sailing , ISCA and LP probably (we cannot be certain) have an agreement which specify that only sunfish built by LP can be used in Worlds etc.  If LP breaches that contract, then WS and ISCA can sign another contract without LP.  It is unlikely they want to go down this nuclear option.

But what are LP's bargaining counters here;

LP "If you dont agree to all of our demands......well, we will......we will just form our own class and terminate the existing agreement with y'all"

WS and ISCA " Are you sure you want to do that? Think carefully"

LP "What can you do about that?"

WS ISCA" Well if you breach the terms of the contract and release us from our obligations to you. We can sign a different contract between WS and ISCA that establishes a multi builder class"

LP "You can do that?"

WS/ISCA " Why dont you take some time to think about it some more? and by the way we have a class email list with the email address of every Sunfish owner in the world, and an army of volunteers that would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to replicate. We can host World Championships. you cannot etc etc. We would love to work with you towards a solution but your demands are unrealistic"

 

One last thought..without the inside scoop, we dont know who is being unreasonable.If it is the Class being unreasonable (for example expecting support at Worlds etc but not granting LP exclusive build rights) then they will not get WS support.

However...it seems such a confrontational move to launch a competing class association that LP do not strike me as smart negotiators who know how to build consensus.

 

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2 minutes ago, torrid said:

He did own the rights before his retirement.  Or appeared to own.  I think it worked because everyone made a reasonable effort to get along.

The Laser situation was complicated by the fact that BK owned the design rights (or thought he did) by virtue of contracts with the builders, but the builders owned the Laser trademark for their geographical areas. And the class owned the rules which defined what is a class legal Laser. So when BK (or GS) terminated his contracts with LP it really meant that nobody could build class legal Lasers for Europe and North America.  BK could authorize builders to build boats that looked like Lasers, but they couldn't be called Lasers. And LP could build boats that looked like Lasers and were called Lasers but they wouldn't be class legal Lasers because there was a class rule that said you could only build class Legal Lasers if you had a contract with BK.

As torrid said, it worked as along as everyone made an effort to get along.

The problem was solved by the ILCA Class members voting to change the class rule so that LP could make class legal Lasers without having a contract with BK.

BK then sued ILCA and LP but lost his case because the judge said he didn't have any standing in the case because he had sold his rights to GS.

So the Laser and Sunfish situations are very different. There isn't a third party designer of the Sunfish in the mix to complicate matters. And, having listened to the webinar today, it sounds as if the Sunfish class issue is all about who owns the right to use the name Sunfish. Bill Crane says LP (or Vellum) own that property and that ISCA are welcome to a free license to use the name Sunfish as long as they accept that fact. ISCA apparently don't agree.

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There has to be something that is going-on beyond what has been made public, by LP's actions it appears that ISCA is not willing to play the game the way LP wants them to. ISCA appears to be trying to keep things status-quo with LP providing boats and support as the builders have over the years. LP must not be making the profits they expected so are working to do something about it and taking over the captive audience is one way to make it happen.

Its all money and power. LP thinks they have the clout to lead everyone by the nose and ISCA is attempting to let them know that is not the case. Whichever way WS goes is the way it will end. If they side with LP then 3 of my Sunfish and gear are going on the market. (I'll keep the old one for sentimental reasons)

With how money sways things these days I do not feel too confident on how this is going to work-out for ISCA. It was fun while it lasted.

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On 11/11/2017 at 9:36 AM, IPLore said:

The problem is plastic.

maybe we should turn the tide on it

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1 hour ago, tillerman said:

The Laser situation was complicated by the fact that BK owned the design rights (or thought he did) by virtue of contracts with the builders, but the builders owned the Laser trademark for their geographical areas. And the class owned the rules which defined what is a class legal Laser. So when BK (or GS) terminated his contracts with LP it really meant that nobody could build class legal Lasers for Europe and North America.  BK could authorize builders to build boats that looked like Lasers, but they couldn't be called Lasers. And LP could build boats that looked like Lasers and were called Lasers but they wouldn't be class legal Lasers because there was a class rule that said you could only build class Legal Lasers if you had a contract with BK.

As torrid said, it worked as along as everyone made an effort to get along.

The problem was solved by the ILCA Class members voting to change the class rule so that LP could make class legal Lasers without having a contract with BK.

BK then sued ILCA and LP but lost his case because the judge said he didn't have any standing in the case because he had sold his rights to GS.

So the Laser and Sunfish situations are very different. There isn't a third party designer of the Sunfish in the mix to complicate matters. And, having listened to the webinar today, it sounds as if the Sunfish class issue is all about who owns the right to use the name Sunfish. Bill Crane says LP (or Vellum) own that property and that ISCA are welcome to a free license to use the name Sunfish as long as they accept that fact. ISCA apparently don't agree.

I'm sure LP owns the Sunfish name and logo. I'm sure there was some kind of agreement between previous builders and USSCA/ISCA to use the name and logo to promote the class, and thus the boat. I do not know if that agreement is on a written contract, but it has existed from the mid-60s until now. I think a 50-year agreement, even if it's verbal, can be legally upheld. LP can probably cancel the agreement, but I think they'd have to compensate ISCA which would be considerable. 

ISCA can certainly license an alternate builder of some kind of boardboat. Can't call it a Sunfish. I'm not convinced it can even be identical to a Sunfish. Perhaps they can authorize the building of the 'old' Sunfish with the hated aluminum rail (pre-'88). Since it would be supplying only the serious class racers, we're talking a pretty low volume, and I don't think an alternate builder would survive. To use an example, the Windmill Class has struggled to find a builder willing to tackle their low volume. Certainly the builder couldn't supply boats for World Championships. 

LP's new class organization is going to flop. They'll have to hire people to replace those who are currently experienced volunteers. At some point FR is going to cut off McLaren's funding, and the builder class will fizzle out. LP can't afford to pay all the current national organizations and regional reps that organize regattas and clinics, promote the class, and do all that pretty smoothly. At the same time, although ISCA can survive, it won't do so at current level if WS dumps them. 

It'll be interesting to see WS's response.

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Not digging back to find it but, the promises of ongoing $$$$ from LP and The MCBuggy company to support racing/class set off my BS detector. Put the $$$$ in escrow or gtfo.

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2 hours ago, RKoch said:

I'm sure LP owns the Sunfish name and logo. I'm sure there was some kind of agreement between previous builders and USSCA/ISCA to use the name and logo to promote the class, and thus the boat. I do not know if that agreement is on a written contract, but it has existed from the mid-60s until now. I think a 50-year agreement, even if it's verbal, can be legally upheld. LP can probably cancel the agreement, but I think they'd have to compensate ISCA which would be considerable. 

ISCA can certainly license an alternate builder of some kind of boardboat. Can't call it a Sunfish. I'm not convinced it can even be identical to a Sunfish. Perhaps they can authorize the building of the 'old' Sunfish with the hated aluminum rail (pre-'88). Since it would be supplying only the serious class racers, we're talking a pretty low volume, and I don't think an alternate builder would survive. To use an example, the Windmill Class has struggled to find a builder willing to tackle their low volume. Certainly the builder couldn't supply boats for World Championships. 

LP's new class organization is going to flop. They'll have to hire people to replace those who are currently experienced volunteers. At some point FR is going to cut off McLaren's funding, and the builder class will fizzle out. LP can't afford to pay all the current national organizations and regional reps that organize regattas and clinics, promote the class, and do all that pretty smoothly. At the same time, although ISCA can survive, it won't do so at current level if WS dumps them. 

It'll be interesting to see WS's response.

I do not think ISCA can 'license' anybody as a builder but could accept another builder's boat as 'class legal'.

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Certainly an American based builder could do a steady business building generic "compare to Sunfish" boats. Camps and other institutions do not need Class legal royalty paid equipment. 

Certainly it would be nice if the Sunfish class would approve such a builder's product for use on its games. 

In fact, a US builder whose ownership supports the one design concept is EXACTLY that which would be the very best thing for US Sunfish one design style racing. 

I know if I were that company owner, my boats performance could  be relied upon to be indistinguishable from the performance of other brand new Sunfish built at some landmark date . ( example: Just like a 2001 Vanguard or Just like a 1972 Alcort)

Of course, a likely future issue would braise if the builder of the Sunfish brand boat decided to market a boat under that name whose performance was NOT equal to the old standards.

 

I can see it now:

The Sunfish class has decided to ban Sunfish boats built after may 6, 2019 under the Sunfish trademark because those do not meet the Sunfish Class specifications. 

The US built FYLPWBOO is the only currently approved and approved new racing equipment  

 

i hope, for the sake of the prosperity of our sailing games, the sailors can find a builder who wants to do business with them and who enthusiastically supports the Sunfish racing game 

 

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1 hour ago, ~HHN92~ said:

I do not think ISCA can 'license' anybody as a builder but could accept another builder's boat as 'class legal'.

I think ISCA could license a builder to build a boat to their specs. Couldn't call it a Sunfish, and it might have to be slightly different. Certainly they also could allow other boats to compete. That does kind of upset the OD aspect. When I was a kid in the mid-sixties, that's how the local all class regattas did it. All the boardboats were thrown in one free-for-all class...Sunfish, Sailfish, Phantoms, etc. 

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9 hours ago, RKoch said:

 I'd also point out that ISCAs Class rules only apply to ISCA sanctioned races. 

Not true. They apply to all races under World sailing rules. However if you break the class rules all that happens is that the boat ceases to be a Sunfish, which is no problem if the NOR has no problem with accepting entries from "not-quite-sunfish". However if you claim the boat is a Sunfish when its not, in any race, then technically we are into RRS69 territory.

Ultimately I still think its down to the sailors.

If they sign up to the ILCO in such numbers that the ILCO represents more sailors than the ILCA then I think WS/ISAF will have little choice but to change which class association they recognise. There is a para or two in the regs about responsibilities of the CA which may give some kind of justification for saying the ILCA had not met their responsibilities.

If the ILCA continues to represent the vast majority of Sunfish sailors, and together with WS/ISAF alter class rules to remove all use of genuine LP trademarks, then I would think the ILCA/WS would be at liberty to introduce new builders for the newly renamed class.

 

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We can do anything we damned well please. The questions are about who will actually perform the necessary tasks. 

The LP folks seem willing to spend a considerable  amount of money to reach their goal of controlling the Sunfish Racing game. 

Is there anyone, singular or as a group, with the funding and desire to fight for control?? 

 

If you think so please describe who and Why. 

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On 11/10/2017 at 12:00 PM, MR.CLEAN said:

I've asked World Sailing Prez and Comms officer to respond to some questions on this issue BTW.  They have received my email and usually will respond within a day or two.  My email said:
 

 

So I am guessing they didn't respond Clean?

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7 hours ago, JimC said:

Not true. They apply to all races under World sailing rules. However if you break the class rules all that happens is that the boat ceases to be a Sunfish, which is no problem if the NOR has no problem with accepting entries from "not-quite-sunfish". However if you claim the boat is a Sunfish when its not, in any race, then technically we are into RRS69 territory.

Ultimately I still think its down to the sailors.

If they sign up to the ILCO in such numbers that the ILCO represents more sailors than the ILCA then I think WS/ISAF will have little choice but to change which class association they recognise. There is a para or two in the regs about responsibilities of the CA which may give some kind of justification for saying the ILCA had not met their responsibilities.

If the ILCA continues to represent the vast majority of Sunfish sailors, and together with WS/ISAF alter class rules to remove all use of genuine LP trademarks, then I would think the ILCA/WS would be at liberty to introduce new builders for the newly renamed class.

 

Wait. Did I miss something?  I though this thread was about ISCO.  Is there even such a thing as ILCO? And since when did ILCA represent Sunfish sailors? I'm confused.

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7 hours ago, JimC said:

Not true. They apply to all races under World sailing rules. However if you break the class rules all that happens is that the boat ceases to be a Sunfish, which is no problem if the NOR has no problem with accepting entries from "not-quite-sunfish". However if you claim the boat is a Sunfish when its not, in any race, then technically we are into RRS69 territory.

Ultimately I still think its down to the sailors.

If they sign up to the ILCO in such numbers that the ILCO represents more sailors than the ILCA then I think WS/ISAF will have little choice but to change which class association they recognise. There is a para or two in the regs about responsibilities of the CA which may give some kind of justification for saying the ILCA had not met their responsibilities.

If the ILCA continues to represent the vast majority of Sunfish sailors, and together with WS/ISAF alter class rules to remove all use of genuine LP trademarks, then I would think the ILCA/WS would be at liberty to introduce new builders for the newly renamed class.

 

Not true. Most Sunfish are sailed recreationally, not subject to any racing or class rules. And most Sunfish racing is done casually in the lake behind the trailer park. I've sold bootleg racing sails to guys like that. They have no intention of organized class racing, dynamite can't even get them to show up at a YC for a Sunday fleet race. They don't give a flying fuck about ISCA, ISAF, or LP.

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45 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Wait. Did I miss something?  I though this thread was about ISCO.  Is there even such a thing as ILCO? And since when did ILCA represent Sunfish sailors? I'm confused.

So am I. Bloody near identical acronyms. Especially with LP involved as well. Replace Ls with Ss. Except where you shouldn't.

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As a lifelong sailor, but never a racer here are some thoughts.

I have considered picking up a sunfish for the sole purpose of racing several times. One of the reasons is a fair number of events here in southern New England. The other bigger reason is low cost of entry.

One the reasons I never pulled the trigger was the cost of builder parts vs the aftermarket. When your on a tight budget with kids etc, saving a couple hundred bucks on a new sail so you can be competitive is a big deal. I feel that having the class approve a design spec for parts and letting any builder who wants to come in and pay to have class inspect and approve parts should be allowed. I would include hulls in that. Being able to save $150.00 on a sail and $200 bucks on a dagger board can be the difference between participation and not.

Just my thoughts from a guy who lounges in the cockpit with cheap beer and a Farley Mowat novel half the time.

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