Wess

ILCA gives LPE the boot... seeking new Laser builder

Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Sailboat Racing is such a fabulously fantastic game it ought to be super simple to keep the games vibrant. 

Ah... we share the same myopia!    you say... take a friend sailing.... when you actually MEAN take a friend RACING.

I think the responsibility for the sailing part of the equation belongs to learn to sail/ charter/rental business.    Racing is a social organization  where sailors organize for the purpose of racing... and most of my efforts focused on this aspect (fleet building, race management, etc).   I really don't care if the docks are filled with family rec day sailors.... that is J Boats job!

So... the fatal flaw in either mode  (sailing or racing) is the meaning of the word.... TAKE.....     The agency  is with the sailor and the crew are taken out to sail the boat...  so   Crew are well ..... crew.

So the  pitfall of the "take a friend sailing/racing"  becomes  how to transfer agency....      Consider the comments in your parallel thread of many cruising one design racer sailors who  see a recruit  work their way through the boat yet would never step up and charter or purchase their own boat and then eventually move on to other activities......   They don't become sailors... they remain crew.

We don't have a culture where we expect crew to move up and run their own program.... (even a laser or sea snark (ha ha)   I am not sure the structures we have do the job we need to grow the sport..   Bottom line... we need to know how to  transition somebody from going sailing with a sailor... to BEING a sailor!

Moreover,   what is a sailors responsibility here?    do you kick someone off your boat if they can't prove they can sail a laser or "the boat" up wind and down in a range of conditions?      (crazy thought right!!)    I have often wondered if the missing cohort of second and third generation hobie sailors is based in the practice of TAKING the kids sailing. or racing at the Hobie regatta. Sure these kids sailed and raced.... but clearly they are not sailors when they are off on their own.    Some one in the thread pointed out the centrality of single handed sailing....   we start kids out in optis and kids work their issues out if they continue sailing....   I don't know about how well single handed training works for adults.... I kind of think a capsize on a laser is perceived as a game over catastrophe!  I  think adult learn to sail programs use safe multiperson boats so i think it undermines the centrality of single handed sailing producing sailors.     Well  YMMV....     (And I am certain LPE has a solution to this problem)

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think new boat sales is the best barometer at all for measuring new racers. For the most part, new boats are for the established racer looking for that edge. Their old boats are picked up by someone down the food chain a bit, or by a new sailor. Newbies to racing are going to want to get started in a used boat. Gouv - you have commented on the success you have had reconditioning older boats and getting people in the fleet. When was the last time a newbie racer showed up at a club with a brand new boat? It's great when someone in a fleet sells his/her boat to a new member. The new member has a friend/mentor right off the bat and the chances of them sticking around is much greater. 

There are hundreds of sailing schools teaching adults how to sail. Many are club-run, many are not. The instructors should be encouraged to chat their students up about continuing on in the sport. Clubs, dealers and manufacturers should show there faces at schools from time to time. We always used to have a couple Club members at the muni-run schools final night to tell the students about the Club and Club racing. And a smart dealer would have a sales person and a couple demo boats kicking around. (And pay instructors for referrals...). Charter firms would do well to have someone there, as not everyone wants to race dinghies. I taught more people that were learning how to sail as part of a plan to charter a boat on the west coast than those interested in racing. But some did both!

Anyway, you can grind through industry stats until you are blue in the face, and develop whatever conclusion you like. Every region, club and class has a story to tell that belie stats. And every region and club will have a unique set of circumstances. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

Sex does not matter nearly as much in sailing as most other sports. 

 

Finally an Anarchist who is not here for the sex! :wub:

 

 

More seriously Fred....  I sometimes think that sailing is a sport that offers a special experience for women that almost no other sport can offer. Women sailors can and should do more to spread the message.

It's a great athletic activity, out in fresh air and on the water where finesse is as important as brute strength.

Although, a while back, it was a "boys" sport, it was always a sport where women could participate without the image associated with female football/rugby players.  More recently the sport has lots more women participating and they are having fun.

For younger women, it was (when I was young) and still is a great social activity. Many of the  women I have met through sailing have become friends for life. And honestly, although you might not think it from the participants on this forum :rolleyes:, the men are generally not bad.  I met my one and only through sailing and life has been good to us.

We have a "women in sailing" club within a club at our yacht club, and it really is fun.  We organize a little racing and some social activity. Its a bond.  Its a hobby for life. I am a busy working professional but even so,  when my kids went off to college I feared there might be a gap in my life....but sailing and my sailing friends give me a social life outside of work and outside of being a Mom......and my sons come home to sail with me (and even bring their gfs with them) .  

For every woman you introduce to sailing, she will introduce another three. 

Build a vibrant women sailing community at your club and I guarantee that you will have a strong fleet.  I read a lot recently about the distraction of other activities, such as online gaming etc.......but gaming appeals less to young women that it does to young men.  I read about career and college debt priorities  (although college graduates have much higher incomes now than ever) but I find my sons GFs have a more balanced out look on material priorities than some of the young men and do not want to waste their youth on all work no play. (and they are right! You never get it back).   Most of all, if you want to attract women into your fleet, you need to create the social aspects ...because that is what creates a lifetime in the sport...and it cannot be all about drinking and falling over. Although we can do that just as well as men, we look for more.

But what has all of this got to do with the ILCA terminating Laser Performance?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????           

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

But what has all of this got to do with the ILCA terminating Laser Performance?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????          

Intermission until we get some actual news...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2019 at 1:12 PM, Mambo Kings said:
  Quote

 

Objectives

 The objectives of the Class Association are:

3.1 To facilitate Viper 640 owners and crew having fun sailing and racing their boats (The fundamental objective).

3.2 To maintain the Viper 640 as a strict one-design class of sailboat, where owners can maintain competitive boats at a reasonable cost.

 

This!  

Again ,not sure what it has to do with terminating Laser Performance, but you guys do a great job in community and keeping it fun.  I was really impressed by the vibe at your Fall regatta on LIS.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2019 at 10:03 AM, Tcatman said:

Its good for competitors purchasing new boats.     You could argue that everyone else's boat gets devalued a bit.   

What is good for the fleet is maintaining demand for racing  opportunities at all levels.   So what is it about the laser experience that gets a racer to travel to the weekend regatta..   What is it that gets the laser racer to the NA's.  Worlds, and ultimately the Olympics.  Whatever that is...that is the source of the demand that drives the purchase of new boats.     In the 21st century... racing classes succeed on their ability to match the competition level to the demands of their owners.   The boats pass through the fleet until they are used up.   As Gouv noted somewhere in the threads... the club sailor is happily saving bucks finding underused old lasers and happily saying...good enough boat  for  competing at the level they want...  So... is laser class success simply about the numbers of boats on the starting line... Or is it about the quality of the competition, or is it the social atmosphere or ??? ..What ever the mix of factors... better boats does not seem to be a huge factor in laser world over the years.

 The ILCA believes that remaining Olympic is extremely valuable.    Obviously, they feel that the ultimate in competition drives the health of the class.  

I started reading this thread and decided this is the place to jump in.

I used to race (first El Toro, then FJ, then Fireball and Tornado Catamaran in San Francisco Bay, starting in the 70s.  I seemed to me that a 'class' was a boat that fit a set of rules.  Anyone could (if they had the skills) build a boat: (my grandfather built my mother's El Toro) my father built my El Toro).  I worked for a builder.  We built boats that qualified to be in classes (El Toro, FJ, Fireball). 

Then came mass production (think Hobie, which appealed to sailors (beach cat types), and at the beginning, some racers ), I remember when the Laser (another mass production class) came out.  This changed things.  To race a Laser, you bought a Laser.  If there was only one builder, you bought it from them.

A small proportion of Sailors become Racers.  The Racers are the ones who are vested in there being a strong class association that publishes the design specifications that defines the class.  Racers support the class association.  Buyers (whether they race or not) support the builders.

Seems to me the wheels came off when a builder was able to trademark a class.  So perhaps a Class Association should publish a set of specs, and trademark the class emblem and we get back to letting sailors be sailors (who buy whatever) and racers be racers (who race one design, i.e. a class).  If you want to race and don't own a boat that conforms to a class rule . . . then you aren't racing one design.

The issue is those that want to compete on a very strict one design rule.  They've boxed themselves into a single builder.  'ILCA' can recognize the Laser Logo, and can recognize another logo (the ILCA logo?) and let the racers sort it out on the racecourse.  How about an ILCA logo for a development class.  That would take the wind out of the LP sails.

 

FYI,  the El Toro is gone, but I still have a Fireball and a Tornado.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JaySea said:

I started reading this thread and decided this is the place to jump in.

I used to race (first El Toro, then FJ, then Fireball and Tornado Catamaran in San Francisco Bay, starting in the 70s.  I seemed to me that a 'class' was a boat that fit a set of rules.  Anyone could (if they had the skills) build a boat: (my grandfather built my mother's El Toro) my father built my El Toro).  I worked for a builder.  We built boats that qualified to be in classes (El Toro, FJ, Fireball). 

Then came mass production (think Hobie, which appealed to sailors (beach cat types), and at the beginning, some racers ), I remember when the Laser (another mass production class) came out.  This changed things.  To race a Laser, you bought a Laser.  If there was only one builder, you bought it from them.

A small proportion of Sailors become Racers.  The Racers are the ones who are vested in there being a strong class association that publishes the design specifications that defines the class.  Racers support the class association.  Buyers (whether they race or not) support the builders.

Seems to me the wheels came off when a builder was able to trademark a class.  So perhaps a Class Association should publish a set of specs, and trademark the class emblem and we get back to letting sailors be sailors (who buy whatever) and racers be racers (who race one design, i.e. a class).  If you want to race and don't own a boat that conforms to a class rule . . . then you aren't racing one design.

The issue is those that want to compete on a very strict one design rule.  They've boxed themselves into a single builder.  'ILCA' can recognize the Laser Logo, and can recognize another logo (the ILCA logo?) and let the racers sort it out on the racecourse.  How about an ILCA logo for a development class.  That would take the wind out of the LP sails.

 

FYI,  the El Toro is gone, but I still have a Fireball and a Tornado.

I don't think a builder will be motivated to invest in mass production unless they are the only builder and control the trademark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, torrid said:

I don't think a builder will be motivated to invest in mass production unless they are the only builder and control the trademark.

with the the way you must build a laser there is no mass production, its 70's technology

Saying that there is more labour in an opti, how come the price difference?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Just posted by LaserPerformance on Facebook...

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 12.01.17 PM.png

 

 

Kinkos can do anything!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, torrid said:

I don't think a builder will be motivated to invest in mass production unless they are the only builder and control the trademark.

I've been away from things a while-

Is RS Sailing a sole manufacturer of a line of boats?  Is there a separate class organization?

I'm not living in the past, but I remember it.

Perhaps we've moved past the paradigm where a class is defined by a set of rules, and anyone can build a class boat.

Is the current paradigm having a collection of builders all competing against each other with different offerings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, JaySea said:

Perhaps we've moved past the paradigm where a class is defined by a set of rules, and anyone can build a class boat.

Yes we have moved past this period.  I can't think of a new class rule set that has multiple builders signing on.  We do have legacy classes who follow this model, although you often have /had a dominant builder... eg Tornado class had  Marstrom as the dominant builder until they bailed.  They distributed world wide.  The Laser is one of those legacy classes.... however they managed the competition with exclusive marketing regions... thus LPE owning the euro and NA market.  Hobie has had a variety of corporate organizations/owners but they also had exclusive marketing areas.

What you might have missed seeing is the role that World Sailing ex ISAF has for the Olympic boats.  They HATE those owner managed class rules..... from their point of view... it creates too many opportunities to game the system.  The Tornado drove them to distraction (see Code 0 spin on the USA boat in China going up wind with the code 0 up while the rest of the fleet used standard asym spins just for down wind)    So, while they LIKE the politics of multiple builders for their Olympic class... they can't always get that or change legacy classes... So, with the new Nacra 17 they play an enormous role in control of the class rules and along with  Nacra ... not an independent class association owns the rule set for the 17. (You can't move a block on the boat.... against the rule set)   Obviously, they are playing a bigger role in the Laser Class now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tillerman said:

Just posted by LaserPerformance on Facebook...

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 12.01.17 PM.png

is it just me or does LP have some really petty people working their social media and PR? it could just be my interpretation i guess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tornado was a class rule set, and in the beginning, anyone could build a stressed ply Tornado (if they had the skill-set).  As an Engineering student, I built a scale model of the hulls using balsa wood . . . just to understand how a stressed plywood construction created that amazing hull shape.  At that time, there was an owner in the San Francisco Bay Area who had a natural wood finished Tornado and it was an amazing object.  There were several builders (Panther Craft, Sail Craft) putting out fiberglass boats.  As I understand it (while I stepped away to raise a family) the professional builders became . . . just Marstrom?  Who went on to create the Tornado made of 'exotic' materials around the end of the 90s, with the new rig (?).

Was it at that point the Tornado Class became a class with a single builder?

The relevance here is that I think the Laser started as a PRODUCT (like Hobie) of a builder, who encouraged racing.  How did the International Laser Class Association come into being?

Other dinghies before the Laser started as a design that anyone (including individuals) could build.  The Designers were famous sailors/racers.

 

Tcatman, do you still own a Tornado?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, JaySea said:

Was it at that point the Tornado Class became a class with a single builder?

Don't think it has. This is the latest rule for the T (2016):

Quote

BUILDERS

(a) Professional builders of the Tornado shall be only those recognised and registered by World Sailing; and hulls, or hull kits shall only be built for sale by these builders.

(b) Recognition shall be subject to review and withdrawal by the World Sailing. Professional builders shall be required to satisfy World Sailing through the ITA and the relevant National Authority of their competence to build the Tornado.

(c) Additional professional builders may be recognised by World Sailing at the recommendation of the ITA and the relevant National Authority, provided that a requirement can be shown for an additional source.

(d) Bona fide amateur builders shall be permitted to build not more than one boat a year, and this boat shall be for their own use.

The Laser was and continues to be a game changer for many reasons. Not just because of the boat design (the Contender was in my view 'better') - more to do with the class rules having one supplier - and because of all of the early work of Ian Bruce, Bruce Kirby and a fairly small group of enthusiastic sailors who made it all happen.

18 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

I sometimes think that sailing is a sport that offers a special experience for women that almost no other sport can offer.

Agreed!! The Laser radial is one of the few single handed classes in the world where there are good numbers of women sailing. Mostly, the gender diversity does not carry through from the single handed junior classes.

And all Laser sailors know the thrill of broad reaching in strong breeze, spray flying and running the risk of capsizing to windward.

---

 

 

On 6/9/2019 at 12:40 PM, Sailabout said:

there are more boats carving up a smaller pool of people that want to sail, there are just too many other activities for young people.
If it was related to the population all clubs would be bursting at the seems and or new ones being built, it that happening anywhere?

Japan has had enormous growth with ILCA membership over the last decade. I think I heard someone say the association numbers have increased by 50%, though was unsure for what period. Be really good to see the number of ILCA members by country over the last 10 of 15 years. That may help identify what is working where.

Speaking of what is works - or rather what doesn't:

17 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

I have never worked so hard nor had do much help to build our local fleet and it is barely holding even. The fact is, it will continue to get worse until the supply situation is resolved.

So in the case of the Laser, governance - specifically implementing the World Sailing proposed change is critical.

We have heard this from multiple sources (dealers and sailors), and EurILCA are saying that we should not change the current system. That is no longer an option. Their position is misinformed.

17 hours ago, bill4 said:

Intermission until we get some actual news...

The ILCA/WS/LP(Rastegar)/PSA/PSJ is scheduled for 12 June. EurILCA nominated committee member Beat Hienz to 'mediate' between ILCA and LP. Beat had promoted the petition calling for the resignation of the ILCA president and exec. secretary on his Facebook page twice:

image.png.645c558cd919c4932899a222a50db453.png

Beat Heinz sits on the EurILCA exec committee. (Maybe someone is misinforming Beat?) I'm not even confident that Beat will attend, especially if his attendance is not supported by ILCA - and frankly - how can Beat mediate if he has already taken a position?

I anticipate that over the last week there has been much to be said between EurILCA and ILCA.

Again, and I want to be very clear on this; the EurILCA's position on the changes are misinformed. Their letter shows the gulf between what is happening, and their position. There is a lot of chatter which there for anyone bothered to listen or look on social media which confirms that. Questions of "democracy" within the ILCA, while the vote of the ILCA World Council was made with two EurILCA partaking in the vote. All ILCA World Council members know why the vote was taken, know that it is to comply with the World Sailing directive. 

What is disturbing, is that EurILCA have done nothing to undo the misinformation, in fact at least two members of the EurILCA executive have supported/promoted the petition calling for the resignation of the ILCA president and exec secretary - so it appears the opposite is true!

The decision to appoint many builders has been made by World Sailing; it will take a considerable amount of backtracking to undo those decisions by World Sailing, and I'd even question if it is possible.

The most important two people at the June 12 meeting are:

  • Kim Andersen (World Sailing president)
  • Farzad Rastegar (who owns the Laser trademark for most of the world - and needs to give permission for the Laser trademark to be used as it has been).

If Rastegar does not come to some arrangement with the trademark he holds with World Sailing, then few options remain to move forward with the class continuing to use the Laser brand and be an international or Olympic class. This is driven by the World Sailing decisions in 2018. ILCA have accepted the changes, the ILCA World Council voted to make the necessary changes. All except the two EU reps were in favor to make the change.

While of course the EurILCA and ILCA disagreements are important, their disagreement stems from EurILCA holding a position which in my view is misinformed. That is far clearer than I am able to share here on this forum - though I can say that those who need to know, know. Their dissent does not favor the Laser sailors of the world, it favors LPE/Farzad Rastegar.

PSJ and PSA have already given their support to World Sailing's new way forward.

---

I now have multiple sources who heard Farzad Rastegar say that he paid Alexandra Behrens and Jeff Martin at the last meeting. I briefly communicated with Beat Heinz who says Alex is aware of what Farzad allegedly said. To date, Alex has remained silent which in my view is damaging to Alex. (Please Alex, just deny what Farzad said if you can - ASAP).

This in my view is one of the most disturbing developments of the last few weeks, as it implies impropriety. It does not mean that impropriety by class officials has occurred, though it does in the very least raise questions of conflicts of interest which in my view need to be dealt with publicly. 

---

Maybe Laser freestyle should be added to the Olympics. Here is a forward roll being attempted, difficulty is 9.7 out of 10. I've tried it a few times myself, though have never succeeded. Those who have seen my attempts have made pirate sounds, and spoken about me unsuccessfully trying to visit Davy Jones' locker.

 

Image may contain: outdoor

(The above image was taken from one of the many European facebook accounts I have been looking at.)

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gouvernail said:

who changed our international class standing and under what authority was that action taken?? 

The International Class standing has not been changed. In fact what ILCA are doing is to ensure that the class remains International (and Olympic).

The equipment policy is here. The important bit is this:

Quote

If World Sailing follows the above roadmap, it will yield an Olympic Equipment slate ahead of Paris 2024 in which all the equipment is accessible to any qualified interested party in FRAND terms from 2022.
From a technical point of view, once the FRAND terms are available, it will require a new interested party approximately one year for the least complex manufacturing classes and potentially up to 2 years for the complex manufacturing classes to be able to manufacture the equipment. This means that between 2023 and 2024 all Olympic Classes could have multiple competing manufacturers.

World Sailing approved the above here.

Quote

Paris 2024 Equipment

Before Council made its decisions on the Paris 2024 Equipment, the Board of Directors updated Council on its current plans for the Olympic Classes Contract. This included the position on implementing World Sailing's Olympic Equipment Strategy (FRAND) agreed by Council in November 2018. In order to provide certainty for MNAs, sailors and teams, the Board will engage in contractual discussions only until 1 August 2019. If by that time no agreement is reached, the Board will report to Council that no agreement has been concluded and Council will then have to select new Equipment for the relevant Event.

And because the ILCA constitution says the ILCA must comply with the World Sailing (ISAF) rules.

Also relevant is because LPE did not comply with the inspection procedure when the vote was taken regarding equipment, LPE was terminated. Subsequently, plaques have been issued to allow LPE continue production of officially recognized boats. Final appointment of new builders is not just a ILCA approval process, it includes World Sailing to give their approval as per the contracts which World Sailing requires.

---

Interpretation in plain language:

World Sailing has an Olympic Classes Agreement which requires all parties to comply with the Olympic Equipment Policy.

The policy clearly says that all Olympic Classes must  allow any interested and qualified builder to access the market under the FRAND terms.

I am confident that is ILCA's interpretation, and I am also confident that EurILCA know that it is ILCA's interpretation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JaySea said:

just to understand how a stressed plywood construction created that amazing hull shape.  At that time, there was an owner in the San Francisco Bay Area who had a natural wood finished Tornado and it was an amazing object.  There were several builders (Panther Craft, Sail Craft) putting out fiberglass boats.  As I understand it (while I stepped away to raise a family) the professional builders became . . . just Marstrom?  Who went on to create the Tornado made of 'exotic' materials around the end of the 90s, with the new rig (?).

That is not true. Anybody can still build a Tornado. Marstrom just made the best boats for a fair price. Durable, longliving, fast. So most of the top teams bought their boats. They invested in some aeroplane technology like autoclavs to be able to build superior boats, that were good for 10-15 years of competitive life in the top of the sport. As only 30 to 50 boats were build per year - mainly for olympic campaigns - it made no sense for other builders to invest into the same tools and processes. But if Marstrom would have stopped for any reason, some other builders would have been ready to start production in no time, so there was never a danger that olympic equipment would not have been availible, like it is with Lasers now. 

The members of the Tornado class voted to modify the rig to stay the "Formula 1" on the water, as there came up some competition from F18 Cats with fat top Mainsails and gennackers. The right decision for an olympic class that marks the top of our sport in my opinion. Today this  is replaced by a SMOD class, where I hear many complains cause of quality problems, maybe due to production in asia, and the bancrupty of the producer in asia and building up a new production facility. I think most of the competitors would love to have the Tornado back in the games...

The difference in building quality between a Marstom Tornado and a Laser is quite big. That´s trying to find nice words for what is delivered by LPE. I can explain that better if somebody really want´s to know...

Edited by jgh66
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, jgh66 said:

so there was never a danger that olympic equipment would not have been availible, like it is with Lasers now. 

...actually there is little or no danger of a lack of supply getting worse than it is. There are two current builders, and LPE which although terminated, may still continue. (12 June meeting). PSJ and PSA could ship to Europe, but the plan is to have new builders in Europe and in other regions, particularly North America. Surely that will improve supply!

There are contingency plans if no agreement is reached, with the ILCA World Council approving the pathway forward with the "ILCA dinghy". 

I think there is a lot of misinformation going around in Europe about problems that don't exist. (Frankly, some I have heard is BS). I am confident that boats and parts will continue to be available. (My self bailer came with documentation including 'made in Brazil', but that was 2012). The boat does not entirely depend on LPE to exist.

I see you are in Germany. What is supply like there? Are you aware of any issues with build quality (like with the mast step and centrecases leaking)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, JaySea said:

FYI,  the El Toro is gone, but I still have a Fireball and a Tornado.

Fireballs rule. My grandfather built a couple of them but they fell into disrepair with negligent owners. the advent of unbeatable glass boats destroyed the competitive potential of home built wooden boats, which is a shame. I'm sure that's not the only factor contributing to their slow decline but it certainly didn't help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gantt,

we´ve got one new Laser in our club, have not seen any problems on this one. It was a charter boat from last worlds. Supply seems good in germany and netherlands. The dutch dealer had a service team and spare parts availible at the last dutch youth regatta. LPE has altered the distribution system in germany some years ago so that´s only one dealer is left over, but that´s a good one. I´m only racing Lasers on club level today, international racing was some time ago and in other classes. I´m mainly interested in Lasers as my sons want´s to step in. I don´t know any of the current german laser class officials, but as I pointed out earlier, I think the legal problems don´t seem to be clear to all of them. On the other hand I can understand that many european sailers don´t want to have any change, as they are afraid  that this will lead to supply problems in europe. There was an attempt to sell australian Lasers here, but LPE acted against that, so they had to stop by court decision due to trademark infringement. So if this happens again - JPN and AUS Lasers are impossible to import into europe, and european Lasers are not class legal in europe there is a real big problem here. Think this is the big fear of the europeans.

As for general building quality:  I have been racing in many classes, and have some boat building experience. Let´s say it like this: Lasers are made like a bathtub, Tornados like an aeroplane. In case of Lasers this leads o a very short competetive live under extreme racing conditions. I was working for a sailing school once, where we bought 6 new Lasers. Two of them we reserved for us instructors for racing, and only used them for the school if absolutely needed. After half a seanson ( 4 month) we checked hull stiffness between the boats. The 4 school Lasers were already soft like a rubber dinghy, compared to our not that often used racing boats. Add to this that top sailors seem to need up to 10 sails per season Laser sailing on top level is not cheap at all.

The problematic areas on the boat like mast step and tube etc are well known for decades. If a yard fails to reinforce the known areas one could think that they just do it intentionally hoping to sell more boats....

Lasers are also known as the only class here, where you should not buy a secondhand boat from the top guys.....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have to add that during my boatbuilding times I was also responsible for the contracts with designers... So I maybe know a little bit more of the legal stuff than others. When lawyers are called to come to boatshows to make competitors remove boats from the show things get ugly. For US the situation seems clear. There may not be any design rights, so there´s "only" contract stuff...

In europe things are different in every of the 50 countries, and are not even harmonized in the 27/28 EU countries like other laws. So a boat might be protected under copyright in some countries. This means until 70 years after death of the inventor like a picture or photo. So: no contract with Kirby, no right to sell a boat.

If LPE claims that design rights might be expired this might only be true for some countries. If they claim that the boat itself is the trademark or trade dress maybe in some countries the sale of copies of Lasers is a trademark infringement.... So all copies have to be destroyed......

in the end neither ILCA nor LPE, LPJ and LPA may be able to sell anything.....

If you are interested:

https://www.bardehle.com/uploads/files/Trademark_Protection.pdf

That said I´m not a lawyer specialized in these things, but I could tell some stories..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Gantt said:

 

Japan has had enormous growth with ILCA membership over the last decade. I think I heard someone say the association numbers have increased by 50%, though was unsure for what period. Be really good to see the number of ILCA members by country over the last 10 of 15 years. That may help identify what is working where.

Speaking of what is works - or rather what doesn't:

 

I have a buddy working in Japan in the boat industry he tells me sailing is dead, no young people interested so would surprise me to hear lasers are growing??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Dear ILCA District Members

 

As you will know, recently World Sailing voted to retain the Laser and Laser Radial Class boats as equipment for the Men’s and Women’s One-Person Dinghy events for the 2024 Olympics, subject to certain conditions. Full approval for the 2024 Games is now contingent on ILCA, the Builders and trademark holders agreeing to the terms of World Sailing’s new Olympic Classes Contract by August 1, 2019. Unlike past agreements, the new Olympic Classes Contract requires that ANY interested party who meets the necessary technical qualifications will be able to manufacture and sell Olympic equipment, including boats and sails. In addition, if the boat or equipment is protected by trademarks or other intellectual property, the owner of the IP rights is required to grant a license to any qualified new manufacturer on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (known as ‘FRAND’). These two requirements are applicable to all Olympic Classes and represent a major change from past practice. World Sailing has made it absolutely clear that without agreement to these policies our class will be out of the Olympics. Because we see the Olympics as critical to maintaining the global reach and growth potential for our class, ILCA is fully committed to ensuring that we are retained in the Olympic program and our strongly desired outcome is to see this happen under the Laser brand. To achieve this goal, the Laser builders and Laser trademark holders must reach agreement on signing the new Olympic Classes Contract before World Sailing’s August 1 deadline. Please be assured that ILCA is actively working with World Sailing and making all efforts to engage with the Builders and trademark holders (including LaserPerformance) to come to an agreement. Again, World Sailing’s Olympic Classes Agreement requires all parties to comply with the Olympic Equipment Policy, which states quite clearly that all Olympic Classes MUST allow “any interested and qualified builder” to access the market under FRAND terms. We recognize this is a big change for the current trademark holders who have enjoyed exclusive trademark territories in the past, and that there might be resistance to licensing their trademarks to new builders on FRAND terms. ILCA understands that, as private companies, the trademark holders have the right to do as they wish and they may or may not agree to license their trademarks to new manufacturers. However, we believe emphatically that it is in the best interest of the class, the sailors and the sport of sailing for our class remain Olympic, even if doing so might involve using an alternative brand name for class legal equipment in order to comply with trademark law and World Sailing’s policies.  World Sailing’s antitrust policy has been under development since 2017, but the requirement that all Olympic Classes must be open to any qualified manufacturer was made absolutely clear in November 2018 when the World Sailing Council approved its Olympic Equipment Strategy by unanimous vote at its annual conference in Sarasota, Florida.  

 

(See this link: http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OlympicEquipmentStrategyFinal-[24561].pdf). 

 

Since November 2018, ILCA has worked tirelessly towards engaging with the various Laser Builders and trademark holders towards a FRAND compliant solution that would allow our class to remain in the Olympics. To that end, we have developed a proposed policy that is not only compliant with World Sailing requirements but also allows for proper, and appropriate, compensation to the trademark owners. To date we have had engagement from two of the three Laser builders and trademark holders, PSA and PSJ, who are currently in agreement with the provisions of this policy. LaserPerformance has, of late, expressed interest in keeping the Laser in the Olympics. However, in spite of numerous attempts, neither ILCA nor World Sailing have yet to see serious engagement from LaserPerformance on the proposed FRAND compliant policy, nor are we aware of any alternative FRAND policy proposal from LaserPerformance. Time is not on our side here.  We need LaserPerformance to become involved now in order to work with them to finalize a FRAND compliant policy that is agreeable to everyone – World Sailing, ILCA, the builders and their trademark owners. If LaserPerformance and their trademark holder agree to sign on before the World Sailing August 1 deadline we will certainly be able to achieve World Sailing’s requirements and therefore be confirmed for the 2024 Olympics.In this regard, it is entirely the decision of LaserPerformance and their trademark holder to participate in this process or not.  In the event that LaserPerformance decides to forgo the Olympics by not participating in a policy that will satisfy World Sailing’s FRAND licensing requirements, ILCA and the remaining builders are still committed to retaining our class in the Olympics. In this circumstance, it will be necessary for us to go to the membership to approve necessary changes to the ILCA Class Rules before 1 August that would allow our class to remain in the Olympics. Specifically, the rule change would be to remove the requirement in the ILCA Class Rules that a builder must have rights to use a Laser trademark. This rule change has been drafted and approved by an 11 to 2 vote of the ILCA World Council. World Sailing has also reviewed the proposal for compliance with its regulations. Removing the trademark requirement in the ILCA Class Rules would effectively give control of our class to the members, allow us to determine our own future, and guarantee a path forward for Olympic compliance in spite of what the commercial parties might decide.  It is important to note that voting for this rule change does not require the class to sail in alternative branded equipment, it only makes the option available if it is needed. If, by August 1, all the existing commercial parties agree to the terms of the Olympic Classes Contract, our class could continue in the Olympics using equipment sold under the Laser brand name. However, if there is no agreement among the commercial parties, under the proposed rule change we would have the option to compete in class legal equipment that is sold under an alternative brand in order to comply with World Sailing’s FRAND policy. To be clear, regardless of such a rule change, all boats and equipment that are currently class legal would remain class legal. Laser brand class legal boats and equipment would be able to race alongside any alternative brand boats in all class-sanctioned events. If members collectively vote against the proposed rule change, we cannot guarantee that our Class will be able to meet the requirements necessary for maintaining Olympic status. In this case we would be entirely dependent on the commercial parties and trademark holders coming to an agreement to license their intellectual property. If any one of the builders or trademark holders decided not to agree to the terms of the Olympic Contract and the FRAND policy, the Laser and Laser Radial would be out of the Olympics as of 1 August. We believe that losing Olympic status would be devastating to our class and we would expect to quickly see the erosion of youth sailing as the Olympic pathway switches to different equipment. Given the extremely short timeline and the lack of engagement to date from all parties, we believe it is wise to have a contingency plan ready. Just as we wouldn't go out to sea without a life vest, as sailors we understand the importance of being prepared for any situation and to have a back-up plan in case things do not go as we would like. The proposed rule change, if adopted, would allow us to have an alternative path forward in case any builder decides to reject World Sailing's FRAND policy, or simply fails to come to a decision in time to meet the deadline.

 

 We have recently become aware of a letter related to some of these issues that is being circulated by a small but vocal group of Europeans to many ILCA Districts (attached is a copy of this form letter sent to the ILCA office by the French Laser association president). This letter not only contains many inaccuracies, but is also destructive to our shared objective of growing our sport and remaining in the Olympics. We consider it important to address some of the inaccurate and unsupported statements raised in that letter so that more informed debate on the issues is possible.  - 

 

The letter states: “1. Let the boat builders build boats and the class do the business they are elected for i.e. organize regattas, promote Laser sailing in all regions, control the quality of the boats, ensure the one-design etc.” The ILCA World Council is composed, first and foremost, of sailors and is dedicated to supporting the members and the sport of sailing in all parts of the world. We would like nothing more than to have dedicated and cooperative builders focussed on supplying their markets instead of engaging in disputes over intellectual property that do nothing to support our sport and our sailors. The form letter does not provide any examples of what the class is doing that is not aimed at meeting the objective of promoting our class. However we believe that working to maintain Olympic status is currently THE highest priority function of the class association, particularly as it, more than anything, promotes Laser sailing in all regions of the world. It should be noted that it was the class association that submitted the Olympic reselection bid, not the builders, and we believe it is critically important to see that process through to a successful conclusion. - 

 

The letter states: “2. Spend our budget on projects that are important for the sailors and not on legal fights.” To be clear, ILCA has never initiated legal action against any party. In 2012 ILCA was forced to defend itself, along with World Sailing and LaserPerformance, when Bruce Kirby, Inc. sued us in U.S. Court.  The class was later dismissed from the case along with World Sailing. As for ongoing legal fees, over the past years ILCA has been forced to obtain legal advice aimed at preserving our independence from commercial interests aiming to gain control over our organization. To this end, we have so far been successful thanks to the our extensive network of members and friends, many of whom are in the legal profession around the world and have provided extensive expert legal advice on a pro bono basis or at significantly reduced rates. ILCA represents the sailors in all parts of the world and it is important to stress that our goal is to remain a strong, independent organization, which we believe is the cornerstone of making the class to what it is today, and will keep us strong for the next 50. As sailors, our primary goal is to serve the sailors, our members and the sport, not commercial interests. - 

 

The letter states: “3. Achieve a better representation of the Laser population in the ILCA World Council.” The ILCA constitution (see link http://www.laserinternational.org/rules-and-regulations/ilca-constitution/) defines the World Council to have regional representation rather than being a representational democracy. Generally, it is the job of the international association to handle issues facing the entire world while the regional associations address issues specific to their regions. As such, the regional model has served the class well through its nearly 50 years of history. Further, as the future growth of the class will be primarily from emerging economies, this model allows those regions to have a voice at the international level. With sailors in over 120 countries worldwide, the ILCA World Council is responsible for representing sailors from all parts of the world not just the large countries. In particular, the current effort to retain Olympic status for our class is in the best interest of all our members.  It should be noted that the ILCA Constitution provides a method for submitting proposals for change. Any member with a proposal for an improvement is encouraged to follow the outline so that it can be properly considered for adoption. - 

 

The letter states: “4. Ensure true universality of the boat and assist the boat builders in resolving the supply issues in the undersupplied regions.” ILCA is fully aware of the significant supply issues affecting many parts of the world. In fact, when it recommended the RS Aero to replace the Laser for the 2024 Olympics, the World Sailing equipment evaluation report noted multiple times that the lack of supply in a number of regions was a major factor in its evaluation and the low ratings given to the Laser in some categories. (See link http://sailing.org/tools/documents/EQCSP4biiiMenWomenOnePersonDinghy-[24944].pdf) To be clear, ILCA is not a builder or supplier of equipment. Under the builder system, which is currently controlled by the Laser trademark holders, ILCA has no power to influence supply issues. ILCA has continually encouraged the builders to improve supply and reduce prices, but ultimately this is something for the commercial parties to address, not the class association. Having said that, we note that adopting World Sailing’s FRAND licensing policy, as required for the new Olympic contract, would allow any interested and qualified manufacturer of boats, sails or equipment to enter the market This will do more to improve supply worldwide than anything the class could achieve under the current trademark controlled builder model. - 

 

The letter states: “5. Help to introduce the 4.7 rig in regions where it is not so popular instead of trying to replace it by new equipment.”This statement is completely inaccurate and baffling. ILCA has no plan to replace the 4.7 rig. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed, or worse, is purposefully spreading misinformation. It is well known that the 4.7 struggles to see significant levels of participation outside Europe, in spite of programs in place to promote the rig. However, it is clear that the 4.7 rig remains important in all parts of the world and provides a valuable and cost-effective entry point into our class. As sailors acting in the best interest of our sport, it is critically important to stress that ILCA has no plans to replace the 4.7 with anything. Any statement to the contrary is simply false. Further, the World Council has certainly NOT promoted any plan that would aim to replace the 4.7 in the future. In saying that, the class has succeeded over the last 50 years by steady, planned evolution. This has included introduction of new rigs, including the Radial and 4.7, and may involve the introduction of additional changes in the future, such as the new rigs being investigated by LaserPerformance or PSJ. Again, and for the avoidance of doubt, the class has made no commitment to adopt any additional rigs, nor will the class make such a commitment until it is clear that adoption of any new components is in the clear interests of the future of the sailors and the sport and until our members support this. - 

 

The letter states: “6. Start a solidarity program like we did in Europe for 4.7 sailors and others. We fully agree. We would like to point out that ILCA has devoted enormous resources towards developing sailing in all our classes in all parts of the world and will continue to do so with a variety of programs and initiatives. - 

 

The letter states: “7. Build a strong sustainability program for the Laser class.”  We fully agree.  A sustainability program is required of all Olympic equipment suppliers under the terms of the IOC Supplier Code and we will work to assure that our class is fully compliant with this requirement. In conclusion, probably what is most apparent is that lines of communication have become twisted recently with the result that a number of people may have unanswered questions, or worse, are operating based on false information. We will continue to work towards timely, clear and informative communication but as always, we are happy to entertain questions either by email (reply to this email) or by phone call (reply to this email and suggest day/time and number to be reached at), whichever is preferred. In addition, it is also possible to organize a group conference call if a number of you would like to discuss issues together rather than singly. 

 

Finally, we would like to thank each of you for your time and dedication to supporting this great class and our great sport and we look forward to a long and prosperous future. 

 

Sincerely,Tracy Usher

President

International Laser Class Association 

The latest letter from ILCA 'busting' some of the false news being put out there by EURILCA and other European Laser class representatives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting your comments, excellent to read and hear your perspectives.

8 hours ago, jgh66 said:

LPE has altered the distribution system in germany some years ago so that´s only one dealer is left over, but that´s a good one

It surprises me to hear that there is only one dealer left, even if it is good one. Germany is a big country. I wish I had insights into what the EurILCA/ILCA membership for Germany has doing over time.

8 hours ago, jgh66 said:

There was an attempt to sell australian Lasers here, but LPE acted against that, so they had to stop by court decision due to trademark infringement. So if this happens again - JPN and AUS Lasers are impossible to import into europe, and european Lasers are not class legal in europe there is a real big problem here. Think this is the big fear of the europeans.

When you say the big fear of the Europeans, are you referring to the sailors? Are you saying that there are already boats that are not class legal?

I think what World Sailing / ILCA are saying that they will step in here to make improvements if needed during the transition to FRAND. Also, my reading of it is that there will be more competition, though I am unclear exactly how that will work. ILCA is run by Laser sailors, and the last thing they want is to upset other Laser sailors. It is a different matter with the builders, because that is the case with other markets - they can't get the boats they need to support a thriving Laser scene. 

6 hours ago, Sailabout said:

I have a buddy working in Japan in the boat industry he tells me sailing is dead, no young people interested so would surprise me to hear lasers are growing??

What I hears was the numbers of ILCA members in Japan has increased. It would be easy to check the numbers. :) If it has increased, I wonder if it is something to do with the Olympics? Also, it may give an indication. I saw there are about 71 entries for the All Japan champs coming up in July.

6 hours ago, greenwhiteblack said:

The latest letter from ILCA 'busting' some of the false news being put out there by EURILCA and other European Laser class representatives. 

This is big deal and show some big differences between EurILCA and ILCA. (The letter above says it is from the French Laser Assn, not EurILCA.) It certainly makes public a lot of information that was not public before. (Jean Luc Michon is the President of the French Laser Assn, the Chairman of EurILCA and sits on the World Council).

What is Jean-Luc thinking? There seem to be some very big mistakes made, and wasn't Jean Luc in attendance with World Council meetings?!

Jean-Luc must realise that he sits on the ILCA World Council and is therefore is responsible for the all of Laser racing in the world - as well as EurILCA and the French Laser Association. If Jean Luc had any ambitions to become president of the ILCA, then this would have killed any chance with the other regions wanting to support him. In my view the ILCA has reacted strongly to this letter, there seems to be a gulf between positions. Both can't be right, and ILCA's seem consistent with what is already public. Not many French have signed the petition calling for ILCA President and Exec Secretary resignations, so I wonder if they are aware of Jean Luc's position? I also question whether or not French (or EU) Laser sailors are in support of his positions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, 

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2013/10/02/laserperformance-wins-trademark-infringement-lawsuit/

they tried to import australian Lasers and lost in court. This was about trademarks. So if there is no class insignia or the word Laser on a boat it might be o.k. to import into the EU. But you never know what happens in a courtroom beforehand. Especially cause we all do not know all facts, contracts, agreements etc. 

I agree with ILCA that a name change could solve the trademark problems. I also believe that there are still design rights belonging to Kirby in some important countries like France and Germany. But I can't believe that Alex B is acting like she is doing cause she gets paid by Rastegar. Many european Laser sailers are afraid on what is happening right now. There is no other builder ready to deliver boats right now, until everything is sorted out in court and other builders can sell boats it may take a while. As said: there is no common law in europe. I have also read that Rastegar has said, that dinghy racers are not important to him, as the main market are sailing schools and the like. The Laser Trademark is the core of his business, so I believe he prefers to get thrown out of the olympics and keep the trademark, and tries to sue anybody who is trying to sell Laser copies.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Presumably there is nothing to stop a personal import from Australia into Europe... I understand that there are a few “personalised” Lasers on the European circuits

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hallo,

well, if you buy a fake Rolex watch during your holidays in a Turkey, that costs more than 430 euros it is illegal. If you bring goods with you that have ( in total) costed more than 700€ you have to pay 19% Tax plus a percentage depending on the goods, and your goods are confiscated and have to be destroyed by the governement. It might only be legal to privately import a Laser from AUS when you have been living there for a while. Taxes and import fee also have to be paid. If you import goods that infringe trademarks or design rights commercially you might even go to jail for up to 5 years at least in germany.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This requirement "that ANY interested party who meets the necessary technical qualifications will be able to manufacture and sell Olympic equipment, including boats and sails" sounds like it will be a huge task to manage and, however much the class tries to maintain uniformity, a recipe for all sorts of variations in the boats available. (Yes, I know there are minor differences today between Australian Lasers and UK Lasers but I fear the variations will be much bigger and more widespread if this FRAND policy is adopted.)

Is it really worth being in the Olympics if the implication is that it will be an end to true one design sailing for the class?


Good luck to ILCA in getting this mess resolved.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are less variations between Optimists from different yards than between GBR and AUS Lasers....or even between Lasers of the same manufacturer if you look at weight differences.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, jgh66 said:

I think there are less variations between Optimists from different yards than between GBR and AUS Lasers....or even between Lasers of the same manufacturer if you look at weight differences.

 

Really? Even one Optimist manufacturer like Winner sells various models of class legal Optimists with claims that they are different in flexibility, stiffness and various other characteristics (and of course - price.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, jgh66 said:

I think there are less variations between Optimists from different yards than between GBR and AUS Lasers....or even between Lasers of the same manufacturer if you look at weight differences.

 

I think this is incorrect.  Does the opti class inspect builders and check boats at the manufacturer to insure tolerances?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jgh66 said:

Well, 

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2013/10/02/laserperformance-wins-trademark-infringement-lawsuit/

they tried to import australian Lasers and lost in court. This was about trademarks. So if there is no class insignia or the word Laser on a boat it might be o.k. to import into the EU. But you never know what happens in a courtroom beforehand. Especially cause we all do not know all facts, contracts, agreements etc. 

I agree with ILCA that a name change could solve the trademark problems. I also believe that there are still design rights belonging to Kirby in some important countries like France and Germany. But I can't believe that Alex B is acting like she is doing cause she gets paid by Rastegar. Many european Laser sailers are afraid on what is happening right now. There is no other builder ready to deliver boats right now, until everything is sorted out in court and other builders can sell boats it may take a while. As said: there is no common law in europe. I have also read that Rastegar has said, that dinghy racers are not important to him, as the main market are sailing schools and the like. The Laser Trademark is the core of his business, so I believe he prefers to get thrown out of the olympics and keep the trademark, and tries to sue anybody who is trying to sell Laser copies.

 

There's a top master sailor in the US who is also a high end coach.  I'm pretty sure he managed to get his hands on a new aussie boat a couple of years ago.  

He tried to cross me at a masters event on port tack after a bad start, (he was waaaay short of making it) and had a fit when I almost hit him.  He also had a fit when I protested him!

Anyway, at the bar after he thanked me for not hitting his new boat.  I'm pretty sure he said it was a aussie boat. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

There's a top master sailor in the US who is also a high end coach.  I'm pretty sure he managed to get his hands on a new aussie boat a couple of years ago.  

He tried to cross me at a masters event on port tack after a bad start, (he was waaaay short of making it) and had a fit when I almost hit him.  He also had a fit when I protested him!

Anyway, at the bar after he thanked me for not hitting his new boat.  I'm pretty sure he said it was a aussie boat. 

You can buy foreign and import for personal use without issue.  That is different than the court case which LPE easily won.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Really? Even one Optimist manufacturer like Winner sells various models of class legal Optimists with claims that they are different in flexibility, stiffness and various other characteristics (and of course - price.)

Quite correct you are as usual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

There's a top master sailor in the US who is also a high end coach.  I'm pretty sure he managed to get his hands on a new aussie boat a couple of years ago.  

He tried to cross me at a masters event on port tack after a bad start, (he was waaaay short of making it) and had a fit when I almost hit him.  He also had a fit when I protested him!

Anyway, at the bar after he thanked me for not hitting his new boat.  I'm pretty sure he said it was a aussie boat. 


Doug at the Improper Course blog wrote a post a few years ago about the "tricked out"  Centerboards that some Laser sailors use to gain an advantage.
 

Quote

 

Fast forward to another national championship, where a good US sailor and I went out to practice. This fellow had the most amazing trick - going upwind in waves he would sail with his bow one foot behind my rudder... and stay there. Like, I could not shake him loose. It was like he was drafting behind me upwind. I thought, that's a trick I have to learn because it would be like a get-out-of-jail-free card off the starting line if I was pinched off by the boat below me - I'd just slip behind and then draft. But when we switched places, I could not and have never been able to make this drafting work.
 
On shore, I asked this fellow how he did it. He just smiled and said, "it's the centerboard." He explained that he had borrowed this tricked-out CB from a very well-known NA sailor and it made all the difference. This was my first exposure to altered CB's. All I know is there appears to be more than one way to make them faster and it costs at least $500. I have since seen them used at national and Worlds events, but people don't like to talk about it. The closest explanation I ever got was "if you want to win, you have to have one."

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, greenwhiteblack said:

Dear ILCA District Members

 

As you will know, recently World Sailing voted to retain the Laser and Laser Radial Class boats as equipment for the Men’s and Women’s One-Person Dinghy events for the 2024 Olympics, subject to certain conditions. Full approval for the 2024 Games is now contingent on ILCA, the Builders and trademark holders agreeing to the terms of World Sailing’s new Olympic Classes Contract by August 1, 2019. Unlike past agreements, the new Olympic Classes Contract requires that ANY interested party who meets the necessary technical qualifications will be able to manufacture and sell Olympic equipment, including boats and sails. In addition, if the boat or equipment is protected by trademarks or other intellectual property, the owner of the IP rights is required to grant a license to any qualified new manufacturer on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (known as ‘FRAND’). These two requirements are applicable to all Olympic Classes and represent a major change from past practice. World Sailing has made it absolutely clear that without agreement to these policies our class will be out of the Olympics. Because we see the Olympics as critical to maintaining the global reach and growth potential for our class, ILCA is fully committed to ensuring that we are retained in the Olympic program and our strongly desired outcome is to see this happen under the Laser brand. To achieve this goal, the Laser builders and Laser trademark holders must reach agreement on signing the new Olympic Classes Contract before World Sailing’s August 1 deadline. Please be assured that ILCA is actively working with World Sailing and making all efforts to engage with the Builders and trademark holders (including LaserPerformance) to come to an agreement. Again, World Sailing’s Olympic Classes Agreement requires all parties to comply with the Olympic Equipment Policy, which states quite clearly that all Olympic Classes MUST allow “any interested and qualified builder” to access the market under FRAND terms. We recognize this is a big change for the current trademark holders who have enjoyed exclusive trademark territories in the past, and that there might be resistance to licensing their trademarks to new builders on FRAND terms. ILCA understands that, as private companies, the trademark holders have the right to do as they wish and they may or may not agree to license their trademarks to new manufacturers. However, we believe emphatically that it is in the best interest of the class, the sailors and the sport of sailing for our class remain Olympic, even if doing so might involve using an alternative brand name for class legal equipment in order to comply with trademark law and World Sailing’s policies.  World Sailing’s antitrust policy has been under development since 2017, but the requirement that all Olympic Classes must be open to any qualified manufacturer was made absolutely clear in November 2018 when the World Sailing Council approved its Olympic Equipment Strategy by unanimous vote at its annual conference in Sarasota, Florida.  

 

(See this link: http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OlympicEquipmentStrategyFinal-[24561].pdf). 

 

Since November 2018, ILCA has worked tirelessly towards engaging with the various Laser Builders and trademark holders towards a FRAND compliant solution that would allow our class to remain in the Olympics. To that end, we have developed a proposed policy that is not only compliant with World Sailing requirements but also allows for proper, and appropriate, compensation to the trademark owners. To date we have had engagement from two of the three Laser builders and trademark holders, PSA and PSJ, who are currently in agreement with the provisions of this policy. LaserPerformance has, of late, expressed interest in keeping the Laser in the Olympics. However, in spite of numerous attempts, neither ILCA nor World Sailing have yet to see serious engagement from LaserPerformance on the proposed FRAND compliant policy, nor are we aware of any alternative FRAND policy proposal from LaserPerformance. Time is not on our side here.  We need LaserPerformance to become involved now in order to work with them to finalize a FRAND compliant policy that is agreeable to everyone – World Sailing, ILCA, the builders and their trademark owners. If LaserPerformance and their trademark holder agree to sign on before the World Sailing August 1 deadline we will certainly be able to achieve World Sailing’s requirements and therefore be confirmed for the 2024 Olympics.In this regard, it is entirely the decision of LaserPerformance and their trademark holder to participate in this process or not.  In the event that LaserPerformance decides to forgo the Olympics by not participating in a policy that will satisfy World Sailing’s FRAND licensing requirements, ILCA and the remaining builders are still committed to retaining our class in the Olympics. In this circumstance, it will be necessary for us to go to the membership to approve necessary changes to the ILCA Class Rules before 1 August that would allow our class to remain in the Olympics. Specifically, the rule change would be to remove the requirement in the ILCA Class Rules that a builder must have rights to use a Laser trademark. This rule change has been drafted and approved by an 11 to 2 vote of the ILCA World Council. World Sailing has also reviewed the proposal for compliance with its regulations. Removing the trademark requirement in the ILCA Class Rules would effectively give control of our class to the members, allow us to determine our own future, and guarantee a path forward for Olympic compliance in spite of what the commercial parties might decide.  It is important to note that voting for this rule change does not require the class to sail in alternative branded equipment, it only makes the option available if it is needed. If, by August 1, all the existing commercial parties agree to the terms of the Olympic Classes Contract, our class could continue in the Olympics using equipment sold under the Laser brand name. However, if there is no agreement among the commercial parties, under the proposed rule change we would have the option to compete in class legal equipment that is sold under an alternative brand in order to comply with World Sailing’s FRAND policy. To be clear, regardless of such a rule change, all boats and equipment that are currently class legal would remain class legal. Laser brand class legal boats and equipment would be able to race alongside any alternative brand boats in all class-sanctioned events. If members collectively vote against the proposed rule change, we cannot guarantee that our Class will be able to meet the requirements necessary for maintaining Olympic status. In this case we would be entirely dependent on the commercial parties and trademark holders coming to an agreement to license their intellectual property. If any one of the builders or trademark holders decided not to agree to the terms of the Olympic Contract and the FRAND policy, the Laser and Laser Radial would be out of the Olympics as of 1 August. We believe that losing Olympic status would be devastating to our class and we would expect to quickly see the erosion of youth sailing as the Olympic pathway switches to different equipment. Given the extremely short timeline and the lack of engagement to date from all parties, we believe it is wise to have a contingency plan ready. Just as we wouldn't go out to sea without a life vest, as sailors we understand the importance of being prepared for any situation and to have a back-up plan in case things do not go as we would like. The proposed rule change, if adopted, would allow us to have an alternative path forward in case any builder decides to reject World Sailing's FRAND policy, or simply fails to come to a decision in time to meet the deadline.

 

 We have recently become aware of a letter related to some of these issues that is being circulated by a small but vocal group of Europeans to many ILCA Districts (attached is a copy of this form letter sent to the ILCA office by the French Laser association president). This letter not only contains many inaccuracies, but is also destructive to our shared objective of growing our sport and remaining in the Olympics. We consider it important to address some of the inaccurate and unsupported statements raised in that letter so that more informed debate on the issues is possible.  - 

 

The letter states: “1. Let the boat builders build boats and the class do the business they are elected for i.e. organize regattas, promote Laser sailing in all regions, control the quality of the boats, ensure the one-design etc.” The ILCA World Council is composed, first and foremost, of sailors and is dedicated to supporting the members and the sport of sailing in all parts of the world. We would like nothing more than to have dedicated and cooperative builders focussed on supplying their markets instead of engaging in disputes over intellectual property that do nothing to support our sport and our sailors. The form letter does not provide any examples of what the class is doing that is not aimed at meeting the objective of promoting our class. However we believe that working to maintain Olympic status is currently THE highest priority function of the class association, particularly as it, more than anything, promotes Laser sailing in all regions of the world. It should be noted that it was the class association that submitted the Olympic reselection bid, not the builders, and we believe it is critically important to see that process through to a successful conclusion. - 

 

The letter states: “2. Spend our budget on projects that are important for the sailors and not on legal fights.” To be clear, ILCA has never initiated legal action against any party. In 2012 ILCA was forced to defend itself, along with World Sailing and LaserPerformance, when Bruce Kirby, Inc. sued us in U.S. Court.  The class was later dismissed from the case along with World Sailing. As for ongoing legal fees, over the past years ILCA has been forced to obtain legal advice aimed at preserving our independence from commercial interests aiming to gain control over our organization. To this end, we have so far been successful thanks to the our extensive network of members and friends, many of whom are in the legal profession around the world and have provided extensive expert legal advice on a pro bono basis or at significantly reduced rates. ILCA represents the sailors in all parts of the world and it is important to stress that our goal is to remain a strong, independent organization, which we believe is the cornerstone of making the class to what it is today, and will keep us strong for the next 50. As sailors, our primary goal is to serve the sailors, our members and the sport, not commercial interests. - 

 

The letter states: “3. Achieve a better representation of the Laser population in the ILCA World Council.” The ILCA constitution (see link http://www.laserinternational.org/rules-and-regulations/ilca-constitution/) defines the World Council to have regional representation rather than being a representational democracy. Generally, it is the job of the international association to handle issues facing the entire world while the regional associations address issues specific to their regions. As such, the regional model has served the class well through its nearly 50 years of history. Further, as the future growth of the class will be primarily from emerging economies, this model allows those regions to have a voice at the international level. With sailors in over 120 countries worldwide, the ILCA World Council is responsible for representing sailors from all parts of the world not just the large countries. In particular, the current effort to retain Olympic status for our class is in the best interest of all our members.  It should be noted that the ILCA Constitution provides a method for submitting proposals for change. Any member with a proposal for an improvement is encouraged to follow the outline so that it can be properly considered for adoption. - 

 

The letter states: “4. Ensure true universality of the boat and assist the boat builders in resolving the supply issues in the undersupplied regions.” ILCA is fully aware of the significant supply issues affecting many parts of the world. In fact, when it recommended the RS Aero to replace the Laser for the 2024 Olympics, the World Sailing equipment evaluation report noted multiple times that the lack of supply in a number of regions was a major factor in its evaluation and the low ratings given to the Laser in some categories. (See link http://sailing.org/tools/documents/EQCSP4biiiMenWomenOnePersonDinghy-[24944].pdf) To be clear, ILCA is not a builder or supplier of equipment. Under the builder system, which is currently controlled by the Laser trademark holders, ILCA has no power to influence supply issues. ILCA has continually encouraged the builders to improve supply and reduce prices, but ultimately this is something for the commercial parties to address, not the class association. Having said that, we note that adopting World Sailing’s FRAND licensing policy, as required for the new Olympic contract, would allow any interested and qualified manufacturer of boats, sails or equipment to enter the market This will do more to improve supply worldwide than anything the class could achieve under the current trademark controlled builder model. - 

 

The letter states: “5. Help to introduce the 4.7 rig in regions where it is not so popular instead of trying to replace it by new equipment.”This statement is completely inaccurate and baffling. ILCA has no plan to replace the 4.7 rig. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed, or worse, is purposefully spreading misinformation. It is well known that the 4.7 struggles to see significant levels of participation outside Europe, in spite of programs in place to promote the rig. However, it is clear that the 4.7 rig remains important in all parts of the world and provides a valuable and cost-effective entry point into our class. As sailors acting in the best interest of our sport, it is critically important to stress that ILCA has no plans to replace the 4.7 with anything. Any statement to the contrary is simply false. Further, the World Council has certainly NOT promoted any plan that would aim to replace the 4.7 in the future. In saying that, the class has succeeded over the last 50 years by steady, planned evolution. This has included introduction of new rigs, including the Radial and 4.7, and may involve the introduction of additional changes in the future, such as the new rigs being investigated by LaserPerformance or PSJ. Again, and for the avoidance of doubt, the class has made no commitment to adopt any additional rigs, nor will the class make such a commitment until it is clear that adoption of any new components is in the clear interests of the future of the sailors and the sport and until our members support this. - 

 

The letter states: “6. Start a solidarity program like we did in Europe for 4.7 sailors and others. We fully agree. We would like to point out that ILCA has devoted enormous resources towards developing sailing in all our classes in all parts of the world and will continue to do so with a variety of programs and initiatives. - 

 

The letter states: “7. Build a strong sustainability program for the Laser class.”  We fully agree.  A sustainability program is required of all Olympic equipment suppliers under the terms of the IOC Supplier Code and we will work to assure that our class is fully compliant with this requirement. In conclusion, probably what is most apparent is that lines of communication have become twisted recently with the result that a number of people may have unanswered questions, or worse, are operating based on false information. We will continue to work towards timely, clear and informative communication but as always, we are happy to entertain questions either by email (reply to this email) or by phone call (reply to this email and suggest day/time and number to be reached at), whichever is preferred. In addition, it is also possible to organize a group conference call if a number of you would like to discuss issues together rather than singly. 

 

Finally, we would like to thank each of you for your time and dedication to supporting this great class and our great sport and we look forward to a long and prosperous future. 

 

Sincerely,Tracy Usher

President

International Laser Class Association 

That letter makes me so sad.  Not that it matters but this is the first time I have ever disagreed the direction of the class.

I am all for replacing LPE if it can be done legally and with assurance it does not further disrupt supply for any region.  And so long as we continue in a SMOD model that is the bedrock of the class.

I emphatically do not agree that keeping the Olympics is the highest priority the class should have or that it should even be a priority at all.  It makes virtually no difference for any existing or future member.  Nevermind that to keep the Olympics requires the abandoning of a bedrock principle the class was founded on and succeeded on for so long.  Not to mention that this will also implode and fracture the class as well as insure we are dragged into court and have dues used to fight legal battles.

My opinion is that FRAND as its described in this letter and the prior ILCA to WS letter will greatly damage the class for anyone and everyone who is not an aspiring Olympic Laser sailor.  All for one more Olympic cycle.  Wow.  WTF happened to LPE violated the terms of the contract and we are replacing them plain and simple.  Do that in a way that ensure European sailors of the same level of supply and service and respects the model the class has always stood on and this would have been a slam dunk.  But the true colors are clear to see.  All for the Olympics.  All this disruption and fight and upheaval just retain the Olympics.  :(

Replace LPE?  Hell yes!

Surrender our principals for Olympic status?  Hell no!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.int505.org/about-the-505/resources-for-organisers/regatta-measurement/

A good example for fair championship measurement controls. All boats weighted, all sails, spars and foils measured. I believe weight on nearly all of the fleet is between min weight and min weight plus 300g. Top boats will be 50g over minimum. 

 

Optimists (IOD 95) have a very strict measurement. All molds get measured before they may be used. Tolerance on all measurement points is +- 2mm. Laminate schedule is exactly defined. Boats get measured and weighted. Too light=add correctors until o.k, too heavy=nobody buys.

Marketing stuff that this or this Opti is stiffer or better is mostly bullshit. What counts is proper workmanship as laminating each layer of glass with exactly predefined amount of resin, instead of just throwing buckets full of undefined amount of resin into the mold.

 

What are the weight differences on Lasers?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Wess said:

That letter makes me so sad.  Not that it matters but this is the first time I have ever disagreed the direction of the class.

I am all for replacing LPE if it can be done legally and with assurance it does not further disrupt supply for any region.  And so long as we continue in a SMOD model that is the bedrock of the class.

I emphatically do not agree that keeping the Olympics is the highest priority the class should have or that it should even be a priority at all.  It makes virtually no difference for any existing or future member.  Nevermind that to keep the Olympics requires the abandoning of a bedrock principle the class was founded on and succeeded on for so long.  Not to mention that this will also implode and fracture the class as well as insure we are dragged into court and have dues used to fight legal battles.

My opinion is that FRAND as its described in this letter and the prior ILCA to WS letter will greatly damage the class for anyone and everyone who is not an aspiring Olympic Laser sailor.  All for one more Olympic cycle.  Wow.  WTF happened to LPE violated the terms of the contract and we are replacing them plain and simple.  Do that in a way that ensure European sailors of the same level of supply and service and respects the model the class has always stood on and this would have been a slam dunk.  But the true colors are clear to see.  All for the Olympics.  All this disruption and fight and upheaval just retain the Olympics.  :(

Replace LPE?  Hell yes!

Surrender our principals for Olympic status?  Hell no!

Personally, much as I respect Tracy and Andy and Eric,  I would surrender our "principals" if I thought that doing so was necessary to preserve the Laser class, but I would never surrender my principles.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Personally, much as I respect Tracy and Andy and Eric,  I would surrender our "principals" if I thought doing so was necessary to preserve the Laser class, but I would never surrender my principles. ;-)

Yea yea yea.  Got me there LOL.  Typing too fast as usual with finger too fat and a brain distracted by office matters.  We would disagree on this one thing maybe??  I don't see how replacing LPE with a new builder with same territories and same SMOD model (with assurances of supply and service for our European sailors) does anything other than preserve the class.  What they are doing for FRAND does not preserve; it destroys IMHO. 

All that said, at a grass roots level, assuming LPE keeps going and offers affordable practice boats... this could be a good thing.  But if I was a traveling Masters sailor I would be pissed and voting no.

The interesting thing about the ILCA letter is that its truth not marketing.  Taking them at their word its Olympics first, last and only. Nothing else matters.  They give up anything and everything to keep that status.  :(

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Wess said:

Yea yea yea.  Got me there LOL.  Typing too fast as usual with finger too fat and a brain distracted by office matters.  We would disagree on this one thing maybe??  I don't see how replacing LPE with a new builder with same territories and same SMOD model (with assurances of supply and service for our European sailors) does anything other than preserve the class.  What they are doing for FRAND does not preserve; it destroys IMHO. 

All that said, at a grass roots level, assuming LPE keeps going and offers affordable practice boats... this could be a good thing.  But if I was a traveling Masters sailor I would be pissed and voting no.

The interesting thing about the ILCA letter is that its truth not marketing.  Taking them at their word its Olympics first, last and only. Nothing else matters.  :(

Totally agree. And I don't really understand why RS Sailing would agree to these terms either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can they not set up a new class, the 'Olympic ICLA' with very similar class rules to the Laser, which is used as the Olympic boat at the Olympic regatta every 4 years? 

The opportunity to build these Olympic ILCA's, built to the Laser build manual, can be put out to competitive tender (FRAND compliant). 

The laser class can continue as is with no name or supply change. Nations will select their representatives at the Olympics from Laser call events, still held in Lasers. 

The Laser trademark owners get to compete for the Olympic ICLA tender, but even if they lose they keep their territory for the Laser. 

The boats used at the games can be given to sailing schools as legacy boats, who don't care that they're not class legal for Laser events. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Totally agree. And I don't really understand why RS Sailing would agree to these terms either.

Yes; agree.  Under FRAND as described they give up what they created (or bought in case of Laser).  From a business perspective I get why PSA and PSJ would agree.  They give up rights that have little value because of their limited territories and in return get access to a WW market that LPE used to own.  FRAND is a win for them especially as they have already made the capital investment necessary to build and have all the learnings that any new builder has to acquire.  So they have a huge step up on anyone new and old!!  I don't know the law... we need @IPLore for that but I am stunned that this is even legal what WS is forcing.  Obviously it must be but it feels like legal blackmail.  Purely from a business standpoint I can see how LPE would view this as a "taking" and fight it tooth and nail (the FRAND thing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, jgh66 said:

What are the weight differences on Lasers?

NONE????   because  it is faith..... based on the construction manual.... Lasers... they are all the same.... nothing to see here...   Easily solved by providing boats for Worlds and  ... the horror... "the Olympics".

So... My point of view is strictly from the bleachers and  having survived the propaganda onslaught year after year......   bemused... because of the Olympics... the ultimate one design regatta.... some fear the abandonment of their principles and the sacking of the principals!

Personally, I can't understand why a measurement protocol violates the class principles.....  Sort of falls under the"trust but verify" mantra!  QED!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2019 at 1:57 PM, Gantt said:

World population in 1983 = 4.7 billion - number in poverty approx 50% = 2.35 Billion people in world market.

World population in 2020 = 8 billion - number in poverty approx 10% = 7.2 Billion people in world  market.

The numbers above are vaguely correct, wish I had easy access to the IBI market intelligence that would give more relevant figures.

Bottom line is that the world has changed, and market size and sales potential have increased at a far higher rate than population growth.

Never before have their being as many people in as many countries who can afford boats.

 

Maybe but they are not buying sailing boats are they?
I'll bet 99% of countries in the world still have the same sailing clubs the same membership numbers as the 70's

I visit clubs I knew in the 70's they have a new dining room and a paved carpark and thats it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Sailabout said:

Maybe but they are not buying sailing boats are they?
I'll bet 99% of countries in the world still have the same sailing clubs the same membership numbers as the 70's

I visit clubs I knew in the 70's they have a new dining room and a paved carpark and thats it.

Here's a bit of info

https://www.boatus.com/magazine/2017/october/why-arent-millennials-buying-boats.asp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, bill4 said:

"We're seeing a culture shift. There seems to be a nexus between sharing economy, tiny homes, hipsters, location-independent income, minimalism."

If they like tiny homes and want to "share" things rather than buy them, then perhaps the answer on how to get millennials to sail more is to provide a fleet of small boats that they can use whenever or however they want?

 

Viridian 30 Aeros.jpg
 

https://www.viridiandfw.com/sailing-center

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Wess said:

Yes; agree.  Under FRAND as described they give up what they created (or bought in case of Laser).  From a business perspective I get why PSA and PSJ would agree.  They give up rights that have little value because of their limited territories and in return get access to a WW market that LPE used to own.  FRAND is a win for them especially as they have already made the capital investment necessary to build and have all the learnings that any new builder has to acquire.  

Japan's new immigration program might be great for PSJ if they want to ramp up production. They can bring in apprentices from the rest of Asia and put them to work and learning in a nice clean climate controlled Japanese shop. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, tillerman said:

"We're seeing a culture shift. There seems to be a nexus between sharing economy, tiny homes, hipsters, location-independent income, minimalism."

If they like tiny homes and want to "share" things rather than buy them, then perhaps the answer on how to get millennials to sail more is to provide a fleet of small boats that they can use whenever or however they want?

 

Viridian 30 Aeros.jpg
 

https://www.viridiandfw.com/sailing-center

 

Clublocarno.com

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Sailabout said:

Maybe but they are not buying sailing boats are they?
I'll bet 99% of countries in the world still have the same sailing clubs the same membership numbers as the 70's

I visit clubs I knew in the 70's they have a new dining room and a paved carpark and thats it.

Um. I think you have missed the point here, also, you quoted an older post. Subsequent to it, I already made the point that growth does not translate into sales. Also that the old rules don't always apply.

I am 100% sure your perspectives are valid, and I'd be interested in hearing which countries you have visited - though I am not so sure about the conclusions you have reached. For example, I'd say that 99% of countries in the world have built new yacht clubs since the 1970s.

The most dramatic growth has been outside of the traditionally strong sailing nations. Even the Cook Island, a tiny pacific nation, has a Laser fleet. Their top sailors are attending some international events. On Lake Victoria (Africa), there are several clubs that are growing in three or four countries and their is a regional champs which is now firmly established as an annual event - the sailing madness is growing!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Sailabout said:

I have a buddy working in Japan in the boat industry he tells me sailing is dead, no young people interested so would surprise me to hear lasers are growing??

High School sailing in Japan is a thing, so there will always be at least some new sailors. For depopulating coastal communities sailing still works as a sport because you don't need big numbers of people. However, yeah-the "Sun Tribe" generation of sailors like Shintaro Ishihara who popularized sailing in Japan in the sixties are aging out of the sport. Unfortunately, Tokyo will not be getting the new marina that was originally proposed for 2020 due to airspace restrictions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jgh66 said:

Well, 

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2013/10/02/laserperformance-wins-trademark-infringement-lawsuit/

they tried to import australian Lasers and lost in court. This was about trademarks. So if there is no class insignia or the word Laser on a boat it might be o.k. to import into the EU. But you never know what happens in a courtroom beforehand. Especially cause we all do not know all facts, contracts, agreements etc. 

I agree with ILCA that a name change could solve the trademark problems. I also believe that there are still design rights belonging to Kirby in some important countries like France and Germany. But I can't believe that Alex B is acting like she is doing cause she gets paid by Rastegar. Many european Laser sailers are afraid on what is happening right now. There is no other builder ready to deliver boats right now, until everything is sorted out in court and other builders can sell boats it may take a while. As said: there is no common law in europe. I have also read that Rastegar has said, that dinghy racers are not important to him, as the main market are sailing schools and the like. The Laser Trademark is the core of his business, so I believe he prefers to get thrown out of the olympics and keep the trademark, and tries to sue anybody who is trying to sell Laser copies.

 

As someone who has been closely involved with Australian Lasers in Europe, I can tell you that there are definitely ways to import non-LP manufactured boats in to Europe. The entire French National Team are using Japanese boats in Europe in preparation for the Olympics. Further, if you were to survey the sailors in the Olympic circuit, my guess would be that up to 20% of the sailors are using Australian boats. Although, this number has decreased over the years as the differences (perceived or actual) between the LPE Ice Blue boats and the Aussie ones have decreased, and the shift in the EUR/AUD exchange rate have made Aussie boats more expensive in the EU. 

One also hears that there are already a number of non-LPE boats ready for distribution in Europe, in the case that the class name changes and LPE remain unlicensed.

9 hours ago, Wess said:

Yea yea yea.  Got me there LOL.  Typing too fast as usual with finger too fat and a brain distracted by office matters.  We would disagree on this one thing maybe??  I don't see how replacing LPE with a new builder with same territories and same SMOD model (with assurances of supply and service for our European sailors) does anything other than preserve the class.  What they are doing for FRAND does not preserve; it destroys IMHO. 

All that said, at a grass roots level, assuming LPE keeps going and offers affordable practice boats... this could be a good thing.  But if I was a traveling Masters sailor I would be pissed and voting no.

The interesting thing about the ILCA letter is that its truth not marketing.  Taking them at their word its Olympics first, last and only. Nothing else matters.  They give up anything and everything to keep that status.  :(

I think that ILCA's reasoning for giving up everything for the Olympics is that Olympic status drives youth participation. The WS Youth Worlds are billed as the "stepping stone to the Olympics", and as such, the majority of competitive youth sailors are driven by qualifying for the Youth Worlds in their pursuit of the 'Olympic Dream'. In the ILCA's view, supply issues will never be a problem because either a. the Laser remains in the Olympics under the WS FRAND terms which will mean taking on more builders and solving supply issues both in Europe and the rest of LPE's former territories or b. LP won't be agree to the WS terms and the Laser gets kicked from the Olympics but LPE can still supply their aforementioned regions. 

With those two options in mind, ILCA would much rather go down route a. to maintain youth participation. 

 

15 hours ago, Gantt said:

Jean-Luc must realise that he sits on the ILCA World Council and is therefore is responsible for the all of Laser racing in the world - as well as EurILCA and the French Laser Association. If Jean Luc had any ambitions to become president of the ILCA, then this would have killed any chance with the other regions wanting to support him. In my view the ILCA has reacted strongly to this letter, there seems to be a gulf between positions. Both can't be right, and ILCA's seem consistent with what is already public. Not many French have signed the petition calling for ILCA President and Exec Secretary resignations, so I wonder if they are aware of Jean Luc's position? I also question whether or not French (or EU) Laser sailors are in support of his positions.

I've heard through another World Council member that the majority would like to get rid of Jean-Luc because of the in-fighting he is causing within the class. Further, I'm told that Alexandra Behrens has not attended any of the World Council meetings since her appointment as the 'Member-at-large' but is happy to push the anti-ILCA sentiment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2019 at 12:03 PM, tillerman said:

Just posted by LaserPerformance on Facebook...

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 12.01.17 PM.png

The story I heard from a well connected source (Genuine , not the Gantt sort).

WS :  "Are the boats going to be ready for the Youth Worlds?"

LP : "They are built but dont have plaques".

WS:  "When were they built?"

LP : "When do you want them to have been built?"

WS   "Ermm, before the ILCA termination notice would be better"

LP : " Well that's when they were built then"

WS : "Great. Here are your plaques"

LP : We are supplying boats for 2020 Europeans as well, okay if we build them before that same date?"

WS "Of course........oh and by the way, it is World Sailing now not ISAF,  try and get that right on your FaceBook page"

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, EYESAILOR said:

The story I heard from a well connected source (Genuine , not the Gantt sort).

WS :  "Are the boats going to be ready for the Youth Worlds?"

LP : "They are built but dont have plaques".

WS:  "When were they built?"

LP : "When do you want them to have been built?"

WS   "Ermm, before the ILCA termination notice would be better"

LP : " Well that's when they were built then"

WS : "Great. Here are your plaques"

LP : We are supplying boats for 2020 Europeans as well, okay if we build them before that same date?"

WS "Of course........oh and by the way, it is World Sailing now not ISAF,  try and get that right on your FaceBook page"

hahaha love it. i'd believe it, too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, dgmckim said:

hahaha love it. i'd believe it, too. 

Believe it. I added the last two lines but the rest of it from someone who was there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the subject of the ILCA, they had a nice awards night recently:

https://www.ilca.net/awards-night/

How many of these good folks do you recognize?  Dont cheat by going to the link.  Its good to see smiles, a good evening had by all and no acrimony.

Awards_Night_at_ILCA.thumb.jpg.e0dc8c21acf20ca225b5530a0c84ccc3.jpg

 

Gouv is fairly obvious.

Unfortunately Wess and Tiller had their backs turned to the camera.

Gantt got thrown out because it turned out he wasnt a member .

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, tillerman said:

"We're seeing a culture shift. There seems to be a nexus between sharing economy, tiny homes, hipsters, location-independent income, minimalism."

If they like tiny homes and want to "share" things rather than buy them, then perhaps the answer on how to get millennials to sail more is to provide a fleet of small boats that they can use whenever or however they want?

 


 

https://www.viridiandfw.com/sailing-center

 

Agreeing with the above this is the way many people are and will be boating in the USA

https://freedomboatclub.com/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Wess said:

And so long as we continue in a SMOD model that is the bedrock of the class.

FFS! The Laser class is not a SMOD. You have rocks in your head and have it buried in sand if you think that. There are 3 different manufacturers and most agree that the product varies a bit between those manufacturers, even if it is very subtle and most cannot spot or benefit from the differences. 

IIRC, there was a time when 5 different factories produced Lasers at the same time. All the proposed FRAND rule would do is return to a similar situation. There is not going to be a large number of new builders starting to make Lasers with no way of controlling the quality. Any new builder will have to prove they have the capability and systems in place to ensure the boats are built to the manual. I know of at least 2 companies that have the systems in place and the experience that would probably exceed the current builders and would lead to calls for the existing builders to be brought up to that standard.

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, A Class Sailor said:

FFS! The Laser class is not a SMOD. You have rocks in your head and have it buried in sand if you think that. There are 3 different manufacturers and most agree that the product varies a bit between those manufacturers, even if it is very subtle and most cannot spot or benefit from the differences. 

IIRC, there was a time when 5 different factories produced Lasers at the same time. All the proposed FRAND rule would do is return to a similar situation. There is not going to be a large number of new builders starting to make Lasers with no way of controlling the quality. Any new builder will have to prove they have the capability and systems in place to ensure the boats are built to the manual. I know of at least 2 companies that have the systems in place and the experience that would probably exceed the current builders and would lead to calls for the existing builders to be brought up to that standard.

 

SMODish

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, A Class Sailor said:

FFS! The Laser class is not a SMOD. You have rocks in your head and have it buried in sand if you think that. There are 3 different manufacturers and most agree that the product varies a bit between those manufacturers, even if it is very subtle and most cannot spot or benefit from the differences. 

IIRC, there was a time when 5 different factories produced Lasers at the same time. All the proposed FRAND rule would do is return to a similar situation. There is not going to be a large number of new builders starting to make Lasers with no way of controlling the quality. Any new builder will have to prove they have the capability and systems in place to ensure the boats are built to the manual. I know of at least 2 companies that have the systems in place and the experience that would probably exceed the current builders and would lead to calls for the existing builders to be brought up to that standard.

 

Since the three builders each have exclusive territory and you have no choice to buy from the builder for your country, I think that qualifies as SMOD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, greenwhiteblack said:

As someone who has been closely involved with Australian Lasers in Europe, I can tell you that there are definitely ways to import non-LP manufactured boats in to Europe. The entire French National Team are using Japanese boats in Europe in preparation for the Olympics. Further, if you were to survey the sailors in the Olympic circuit, my guess would be that up to 20% of the sailors are using Australian boats. Although, this number has decreased over the years as the differences (perceived or actual) between the LPE Ice Blue boats and the Aussie ones have decreased, and the shift in the EUR/AUD exchange rate have made Aussie boats more expensive in the EU. 

One also hears that there are already a number of non-LPE boats ready for distribution in Europe, in the case that the class name changes and LPE remain unlicensed.

I

Hallo,

maybe that´s an misunderstanding. I believe that AUS or JPN Lasers were imported to europe.

But that does not mean that this is legal. As long as LPE is not acting against this, nothing happens. In the belgium case they were acting against trademark infrigements, so that has stopped. One thing that nobody seems to take into consideration is, that LPE has the rights to the trademark Laser, so they can stop any imports of Products that infringe these, as long as the Name "Laser" is on the boat. But Kirby has the copyright on the boat, so he could even stop the import from GBR to GER and all other countries where boats are protected under copyright, since LPE is not paying royalties and has no contract anymore with the inventor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jgh66 said:

But Kirby has the copyright on the boat, so he could even stop

No. There isn't copyright on a hull design. Kirby's rights were/are based on a mesh of contracts which are still being argued over in court, and so far seem ineffective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That might be true for the USA, but surely not for France or Germany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happened at yesterday's ILCA/WS/LP/PSA/PSJ meeting?

What are all of @Gantt's spies saying?

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EYESAILOR said:

Smods vs Rockers?

2120144956_smodsvsrockers.jpg.92266c4e004162341c127283265ac8ba.jpg

Aaaah. Mods vs Rockers. How nostalgic.

What young British men did for fun at the shore in the 1960s... before Lasers were invented!
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, tillerman said:

What happened at yesterday's ILCA/WS/LP/PSA/PSJ meeting?

What are all of @Gantt's spies saying?

 

No agreement yet reached between World Sailing and Rastegar regarding use of the Laser brand.

Still, we all wait.

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

Shouldn’t World sailing be working on managing snd growing the sport rather than stealing IP to share with their friends?? 

You've frequently said that the appalling supply of Lasers in the US is a major problem with growing the sport. It seems quite possible that if Velum can be 'persuaded' to license their trademark to companies other than Laser Performance, and one of those was to market and distribute in the US much more effectively than LPE currently are, wouldn't that be exactly what you are asking them to do?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JimC said:

You've frequently said that the appalling supply of Lasers in the US is a major problem with growing the sport. It seems quite possible that if Velum can be 'persuaded' to license their trademark to companies other than Laser Performance, and one of those was to market and distribute in the US much more effectively than LPE currently are, wouldn't that be exactly what you are asking them to do?

I doubt Gouv is serious but I will be and use the same word.  Steal.  I had posted earlier I am stunned that what is proposed is legal.

Look; you would have to search long and far and still likely to fail to find anyone in the US that is a fan of LPE.  But put that aside for a minute and just look at it from a business perspective... what ILCA and WS are doing to LPE and I can understand how LPE would feel its stealing and fight it tooth and nail.

LPE paid for (I think those familiar with the business and transaction would say overpaid) virtual WW right to the Laser trademark and to build these boats.  PSA and PSJ paid far less and have rights in relatively extremely small territories.  Now along comes WS and ILCA and they say to all of LPE, PSA and PSJ, that you must give up your territories and license your trademarks to anyone who wants to build a Laser for "fair and reasonable terms"... FRAND.  PSA and PSJ must have been doing backflips of joy.  For them fair might be to receive little or nothing.  Heck they may well have been willing to pay for such a deal.  They now have access to the WW market 100X larger than their original territory and so they have a leg up on any old builders (LPE), and they have a leg up on any new builders because they have already sunk the capital investment necessary to build and have the learnings of how to do it well also.  So of course like any smart business while they would ask for whatever licensing fee under FRAND they could get away with... but even if getting little or nothing they still come out wayyyy ahead of where they are now.  LPE on the other hand goes from virtually WW rights to having no WW rights and instead many competitors and worse yet they sell more than the Laser dinghy that ILCA members race on under that same trademarked Laser name so they are doubly screwed.  Worst yet their sunk investment does them no good... in fact it become idle capacity and overhead they now have to spread over fewer boats.  Triple screwed.  So for them, if they were ever willing to license under FRAND "fair and reasonable" is going to be way more than what PSA or PSJ would want.  I am not at all stunned to see them fighting this.  Nor am I surprised the PSA and PSJ would jump at it.  But honestly what I am most surprised at is that its legal.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry when I"m once again coming up with my european and boat designer view on the legal situation. I can understand that LPE has paid something to somebody for the trademark Laser and the molds etc. But did they pay for the right to build the boat? How did they do that?

Imagine you are a designer. You have designed a special lamp, car, bathtub or even a singlehanded dinghy. As you don't have the money and facilities to produce your design you're looking around for a company that want's to produce and sell your design. They want to use their own company name to sell your design. You agree on that. You sign a contract, which specifies that you will get a small percentage - let's say 2% of what the producer charges to his clients. 

Now that producer sells his company, and the new owner does not agree on paying your 2% anymore. Is that fair? Does he have any rights to sell your design without paying you? Why ? Only cause he used his companys name on your design?

 

Think about it. Who is stealing what?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it is all about choices and consequences.

The originators of the Laser made a series of choices that lead to the system of contracts; and the Laser class being set up in a particular way. since the 1970s, World sailing (then IYRU) had been involved with manufacturers of International classes, including the Laser.

From the 1970s, the Laser brand was trademarked, I think the last few markets had trademark registrations around 2006. Registering the Laser trademark was a shrewd choice and in my view a commercially sound choice to make.

World Sailing made the choice to have policies that looked after Olympic and International classes, including on dealing with classes if some things go wrong.

Some key people chose to say regrettable things, and as a consequence relationship were fractured.

Around 2009, Farzad Rastegar chose to buy Laser Performance etc, including the Laser Trademark for most of the world's market.

A series of commercial decisions (choices) were made by Rastegar/Laser performance, and as a consequence some markets including North America were not serviced properly.

A further consequence may have been the 2018 new policy for Olympic equipment selection - though regardless any part the Laser class had, World Sailing chose to implement that policy in March 2019.

The consequence of the World sailing policies was that the ILCA World Council chose to put in place a way forward that guaranteed or improved the supply of boats. That way forward included a pathway which no longer uses the Laser brand. That is a legitimate choice, and a sign of good contingency planning.

So now, Farzad Rastegar has a choice to make which will hopefully result in him reaching an agreement with World Sailing to use the Laser brand. If there is no agreement, then there is another way forward.

Either the class moves forward with or without using the Laser brand, but either way the class moves forward.

There will be improved supply for some markets. That I predict will be a consequence of the choices which have already been made.

The consequences everyone who is mad keen about racing Lasers are hoping for are that more people will race, and more fun will be had. 

There is no theft here. Just choices and consequences.

  • Like 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2019 at 4:17 PM, Gantt said:

I now have multiple sources who heard Farzad Rastegar say that he paid XXXXX and XXXXX at the last meeting.

An imaginary friend is not a source you pathetic forever lying piece of shit.

  • Like 2
  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original is here.

Quote

Gantt Unable to Give Honest Answer to Drive-Thru Window at Arby’s

BETHESDA, Maryland (The Borowitz Report)—Sailing Anarchy commentator Gantt on Thursday proved unable to give honest answers to a drive-thru window at a Bethesda, Maryland, Arby’s restaurant.

Gantt, who drove up to the window just after noon, appeared evasive and halting after the drive-thru attendant asked to take his order.

“I cannot recall what I would like to order at this time,” Gantt said, according to the attendant.

When pressed repeatedly to name a sandwich, drink, or side order that he preferred, Gantt stonewalled, the attendant said.

“The questions I was asking him couldn’t have been clearer,” the attendant told reporters. “I asked him if he wanted to order a Smokehouse Brisket sandwich. He refused to give me a yes-or-no answer.”

“I came away feeling that he had been less than candid,” the attendant said.

Speaking through an official spokesperson later in the day, Gantt said that he would never appear at Arby’s again.

(The above seemed an appropriate response to LPI's statement about me lying.)

Otherwise I would be poo pooing his/her poo pooing.

 

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

There is no news from the rumored  June 12 meeting. 

Yes, there is:

On 6/14/2019 at 9:00 AM, Gantt said:

No agreement yet reached between World Sailing and Rastegar regarding use of the Laser brand.

Also, LP said that they agreed to the WS Olympic Equipment Policy which is an appendix of the Olympic contract though also LP wants it as a "stand alone document". 

Comments were due back Friday.

There is movement, however if there has been a formal agreement reached to use the Laser brand between Rastegar and WS, then I have not heard.

It is my view that the class will survive this, and that the ILCA Dinghy / Laser will become available again in North America - and my expectation is that there will be announcements regarding the builders stemming from new contracts before August 1. For now, it is starting to look like Rastegar will reach an agreement.

I also have high hopes that the differences between EurILCA and ILCA will be resolved.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

There is no news from the rumored  June 12 meeting. 

This has pretty much secured another full year of no new Laser toys for North American Sailboat dealerships. 

I think it is time for us to consider disbanding the NA Laser Class and focus our resources  on a new singlehanded sailing game. 

Maybe one of the other builders of singlehanded boats could get this all rolling by setting up local dealers and offering various fleet purchase deals. 

Certainly it is the first time since the seventies when another singlehanded sailboat manufacturer might have a window of opportunity. 

As for me?? I don’t much care what toys we use. I just want to have great one design Sailboat races and, currently,  we know can’t do that in Lasers for at least another couple years. 

RS Sailing dealers in North America were offering fleet purchase deals last fall based on four or more RS Aeros purchased together.

I am pretty sure they would be glad to give you a quote for 30 RS Aeros if that's how many you usually buy at a time in Texas.

1731097548_Viridian30Aeros.thumb.jpg.72977f1fb688335a7fdcecd72415d65d.jpg
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites