Wess

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

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I do not believe the VWAP / Clean communication difficulty is anything caused by MR Clean or anything Clean can solve with logic

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33 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

I do not believe the VWAP / Clean communication difficulty is anything caused by MR Clean or anything Clean can solve with logic

Open your mind and you might find you have more in common with VWAP and Emilio than you realize.  You talk of playing Switzerland but for that you have to see both sides.  Can you?  You fixate on supply that is simply and honestly not the problem it was.  You want a local dealer model that business has passed by.  Consider its maybe like buggy whips and they just ain't comin back.  Or continue to tilt at windmills... whatever.

But instead say to heck with distractions.  The class as we know it is clearly at risk.  From the "Laser" Olympic sailor to the "Laser" club level sailor - in every region - what is happening now and the next few weeks and months is going to have impact.  And with the exception of a minor troll or two its actually been an interesting and informative discussion of relevant stuff.  Maybe we can get back to that?

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You are correct. I should not respond to Personal attacks in kind. 

Whoever is the person called VWap has been making personal remarks about me in these forums for quite some time and some days I find it easier to respond than to try to ignore what he has written. 

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'Cause it's a cold and windless morning I thought I'd see if there was any strong evidence of these "fast Aussie hulls" at the Santander worlds. So just for the hell of it, over coffee I looked up major results from top class racing in recent times. I assume that if there are "FABs" then the Kiwis would be using them since Australia is their local supplier.

2010 worlds - 1 (Slingsby), 3 (Murdoch, NZ), other Aussies too far back to see.

2011 worlds - 1st (Slingsby), 3 (Murdoch, NZ) 9th (Burton)

2012 -1st (Slingsby), 3 (Murdoch NZ) 5 (Burton), 13 (Brunning), 

2012 Olympics - 1 (Slingsby), 5 (Murdoch)

2013 - 9 (Burton) 10 (Wearn) 13 (Meech, NZ), 30 (Brunning)

2014 - 2 (Burton) 9 (Meech, NZ) 17 (Brunning) 19 (Palk). The top Australian woman was 39th.

2015 - 3 (Burton) 5 (Wearn) 7 (Meech, NZ) 11 (Palk)

2016 - 4 (Wearn) 6 (Burton) 15 (Meech) 40 (Kennedy)

2016 Olympics - 1 (Burton), 3 (Meech)

2017 - 2 (Burton) 3 (Wearn) 12 (Meech) 14 (Elliott)

2018 - 2 (Wearn) 4 (Meech) 7 (Burton) 15 (Elliott)

So Tom Burton did better on the (LPE supplied) Lasers in the Olympics than he did on the "fast Aussie boats" at Santander or any world titles. Slingsby did as well at the Olympics on supplied gear as he did in the worlds. Of the Kiwis, Murdoch finished worse on supplied gear but Meech improved a lot. The Australian Radial sailors don't do particularly well.

Of note, LPE made a big deal that they supplied the 2016 Youth Worlds Lasers. Australia won the boys and was 7th in the girls.  I assume they also supplied 2018 (NZ 1, Aust 3 in boys, nowhere in girls). 

The Aussies are doing as well or better with LPE boats at supplied-equipment events as they are using FABs. The Australian women use the same boats but don't perform as well.  Hard to see any evidence of faster boats in that lot. 

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Uh?? @Curious?? Did you post all that as a joke??  Each of the events was one where the entire fleet was  supplied by a single source. 

Oops.

 

i just ruined the joke didn’t I??

sorry

You can chew me out next Saturday at the dinner. 

 

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Not all of them; at the Santander worlds, for example it was said that " ILCA has partnered with several Laser dealers to provide a limited number of charter boats for this event."  http://events.laserinternational.org/en/events/overview/100z91.   This was where PSA said the "FABs" were supplied.

A while back, the word going around from Tracy Usher was that the worlds weren't always going to be in supplied boats   - to quote "LaserPerformance will no longer be supplying charter boats for World Championships in its territory. This has had immediate impact on both the 4.7 and Standard Youth Worlds in Argentina and the Men’s and Women’s Worlds in Germany.....In this case it was possible to work with the German Laser dealers to supply 40 charter boats for those sailors who would require one. But, importantly, the Men’s and Women’s Worlds will break with tradition and NOT be a supplied boat event this year.." See http://www.laser.org/pdfs/LaserSailorSpring2012-web.pdf.  I haven't done a championship from 2014 until recently so wasn't aware that LPE has changed that policy.

The point remains - at Santander and in Germany those who could have used FABs did no better than they did when LPE or others supplied all the boats.

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In LP's statement about the boats, the quote talks about "LCM option differences adopted" in Clive's spreadsheet, does anyone here have insight as to what that means?  sounds like there are options the builders can take within the realm of the LCM.  The quote doesn't actually state that the boats being built were outside the specs of the LCM, just that they were different between builders.  The "Option" piece is most interesting to me

“The meeting reviewed CH spread sheet on LCM option differences adopted by the 3 builders, the results from sample plaques received from the builders and an LP teardown report comparing a PSA to an LP boat.

The major differences in construction were agreed as a. An extra layer of CSM in the bow area of the PSA boats, b. The use of foam blocks that are glued in with expanding foam on PSA boats (alternate to Cubitainers), c. Use of Plywood ilo grommets to fasten the grab rails. d. Some oversize CSM patches on PSA boats. “

 

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20 minutes ago, Curious said:

Not all of them; at the Santander worlds, for example it was said that " ILCA has partnered with several Laser dealers to provide a limited number of charter boats for this event."  http://events.laserinternational.org/en/events/overview/100z91.   This was where PSA said the "FABs" were supplied.

A while back, the word going around from Tracy Usher was that the worlds weren't always going to be in supplied boats   - to quote "LaserPerformance will no longer be supplying charter boats for World Championships in its territory. This has had immediate impact on both the 4.7 and Standard Youth Worlds in Argentina and the Men’s and Women’s Worlds in Germany.....In this case it was possible to work with the German Laser dealers to supply 40 charter boats for those sailors who would require one. But, importantly, the Men’s and Women’s Worlds will break with tradition and NOT be a supplied boat event this year.." See http://www.laser.org/pdfs/LaserSailorSpring2012-web.pdf.  I haven't done a championship from 2014 until recently so wasn't aware that LPE has changed that policy.

The point remains - at Santander and in Germany those who could have used FABs did no better than they did when LPE or others supplied all the boats.

Can you prove who sailed what kind of boat? Just because you don't live in Australia doesn't mean you can't own an Australian boat. If there was a demonstrable advantage for one manufacturer, everyone would own that boat, even if they didn't live in that region. I don't feel like proof is going to be in results. It'll be in some kind of memo from ILCA that they acknowledge and agree with LP's claims, as LP says they did.

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Wow!! I had sorta kinda heard but never really registered the “no more supplied boats at worlds” was happening. 

Let’s see if I can pose this question neutrally:

What happened such that those in the business of building Lasers no longer see providing a fleet of charter boats for the world Championships as sufficiently important to their  business to make those boats available? 

********

I think it is important to approach this question looking for reasons rather than in an effort to assign fault. 

Example: I have repeatedly asked why LP fails to IMMEDIATELY fill orders for sails. I have a pretty good idea about the builder mark up. If I had the right to sit in the Builder position in the sail sales game I would NEVER let an order for sails wait to be filled. 

If my entire financiaL world crumbled around me, I would pay pawn shop loan prices to purchase sails and I would fill the orders. 

Selling sails and replacement parts is SO PROFITABLE i might shut down my boat building line but I would NEVER fail to fill. The pawn shop annual interest rate is not high enough for stocking an entire  year ahead to totally kill the profits. 

*****

Back to supplying boats for world’s and masters worlds. The charter fees combinedcwith the sales prices of the event boats is about as much as the usual list price. YES!!! It takes a huge line of credit to build that fleet, but the money all comes in very rapidly  after the events as people jump on the less expensive two week old boats.

The new worlds boats spread all over the region and the new owners raise the excitement level and more new boats sell generally.  

Supplying boats for big events is quite simply a nice boost to the annual total sales. “In years we host world’s we sell.a couple hundred more new boats than usual.”

Certainly our  builders love making a little extra money. 

Packing up 150 identical boats is the sort of exercise that makes  boat shop run as its most profitable entity. 

LP’s owners certainly Love making a profit and the ILCA loves to see new boats get sold. 

So I  ask:  

Why the heck  is this not happening. ??

 

i simply cannot believe I can’t sit in a room with the warring factions and cause them to come out loving each other. They each want the exact same thing. They each want lots of Lasers to go out to play every day

 

 

 

 . 

 

 

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JMP, I haven't got the faintest idea who bought those boats. As I noted in the original post, it was just something I wondered about over coffee and looked for any strong indication that those who would obviously have easy access to Aussie boats performed better than when on supplied boats. As you say, if there was a demonstrable advantage, lots of people would have gone to the hassle of importing Aussie boats. That seems rare.

Whether ILCA actually agreed with the PSE claims doesn't seem clear. There could be some very selective editing going on. PSE's press release doesn't quote any ILCA conclusions over the allegations about the weight or the ability to specify mast rake or boat weight, for example. The note about the use of foam rather than Cubitainers is odd since as far as I know Aussie boats have always been that way. We don't know how "oversize" the CSM patches were and if it was within tolerance or usual. Even if the boats that LPE bought were light, of course, it could be because someone chose to take a light boat to the worlds and then sold it - not that all or most Aussie boats are light.

Gouv, it appears that most worlds in recent years have been on supplied boats, in the classic fashion. The notes on the ILCA website are unclear and often it only becomes apparent if you look at the NoRs.

 

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5 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Why the heck  is this not happening. ??

Apathy on the part of LPE. In fact, I think LPE's actions so far have demonstrated nothing by apathy.

However poorly the concern may be performing, the owner might still not give a damn. Surely, they haven't demonstrated any passion for the game that provides them a reason to exist.

I think assuming intense apathy also goes a long way to explaining their reaction to PSA's alleged stiffer front-sections and extra layers. The ILCA have demonstrated their approbation, tacitly or otherwise, and that suggests that there exists some demand for better, stiffer, longer-lasting boats -- probably driven by serious competitors and the Olympic Committee since the masses of club sailors are mostly in "used toys", as you said in the other thread, and won't give a damn until the better boats start to trickle down to the second-hand market.

We've learned that this saga was precipitated by either LPE's refusal to allow an ILCA inspection or by ILCA's refusal to renew the 1998 agreement but I'm pretty sure it stems from an earlier date. I'd guess that the ILCA have been coming under pressure from top competitors, professionals and almost certainly the Olympic Committee, themselves, to improve the Laser. The ILCA, PSA and PSJ are all content to push the line, perhaps even amend the LCM, and surely must have at least tried to get LPE on board with the idea. Apathetic LPE spurned the chance and that triggered the avalanche: ILCA began to implement their strategy to oust them. (A strategy that is clearly in evidence if one looks at the changes in design and branding of the plaques over the years, as shown in pictures on the ILCA site, itself.)

One might attribute LPE's stubbornness to a zealous loyalty to one-design principles, a business decision inspired by costs of improving their manufacturing processes or fear of hurting their sales figures by making boats that last longer. Personally, I think apathy is a more reasonable assumption than any of those.

We're witnessing the end-game being played by ILCA, PSA and PSJ on one side vs. LPE. I think that the Olympic Committee (and World Sailing) back the ILCA team but have no evidence as to why.

Its LPE's fight to lose, however, because they have an out: they *could* kick their game into gear and compete by producing a new, improved Laser™ that's cheaper and stiffer and better in every way, reform the class around that and stage a coup of their own.

Unlikely, though. Should it come to blows, PSA might very well beat them at that game. Furthermore, such a strategy is inconsistent with their apparent apathy.

I think the ILCA are hoping (and extremely likely) to win this battle simply by relying on LPE's apathy or lack of agility or capital to react. I just hope that they don't fracture the class in the process because, that way, the sailors will be the biggest losers.

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It may be complacency, rather than apathy... I think there's a tendency on this site to underestimate LPE because they don't appear to care very much about some overseas markets.

 Bear in mind that they are (or have been) shipping lots of boats and lots of spares through a comprehensive dealer network in Europe... they were the title sponsors of the UK Nationals last year (and are currently still listed for this year's event). There are hundreds of entries for Europa cup events, European Championships in each of the rigs, Nationals etc. as well as plenty at other big open events- Kieler Woche, Medemblik, Nieuwpoortweek ...

 New and used boats, spares etc are readily available, either from Laser, their dealers or off-brand (Rooster etc). The prices are competitive, with LP offering training sails as well as other suppliers. It's a pretty competitive market, and I would imagine that they are stretched quite thin to keep the business going well; it's not easy running a manufacturing company in the UK at the moment, boatbuilding isn't generally a cash cow and IIUC, they've had issues with quality control & outsourcing which will have needed a fair amount of expensive attention to resolve.

 Is there enough demand from US dealers for them to be prioritised over all this?

Cheers,

              W.

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I think the demand in the US would have died right off compared to the EU market, when people can't get the items they're after they typically move on to something else.  It's quite difficult to regain momentum if participation in the game has died off over a number of years of turmoil with no real local support.

When there's only a couple of thousand new boats sold each year I'd expect the vast majority are going to the EU given their regatta participation numbers.

Maybe the likes of West Coat could chime in with how many new lasers they sold in the last 12 months, they're one of the main US dealers right?

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On 4/7/2019 at 9:37 PM, Wavedancer II said:

In the intergalactic *ASER championship a few years from now, we will have:

  • Pre (April) 2019 Lasers from LP (with the ILCA/WS sticker); still Class-legal
  • Class-legal Lasers built by the Japanese and Australian manufacturers, unless LP stops licensing the Laser trademark
  • Non Class-legal Lasers made by LP after mid April 2019 (no ILCA/World Sailing sticker)
  • Legal *ASERs (or Gammas or Torches) made by, as yet to be appointed, ILCA approved manufacturers

I would hate to write the NOR or SIs for this regatta!

PS: The idea of having a Prism Class covering all Laser-like boats doesn't sound so alien anymore...

Nenhuma descrição de foto disponível.

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I get that LPE has not done much in recent years to win the hearts and minds of its customers, suppliers, nor partners.  However, this move by ILCA troubles me for a number of reasons.

1.      LP claim they did not refuse an inspection.  They refused the inspector.  Presumably on the grounds that the inspector, as an ILCA representative, would be privy to sensitive information, was unwilling to renew a soon-to-expire contract and appeared to be colluding with another builder on new rig projects.

2.      The FRAND arrangement being pushed by WS is not a legal requirement and is clearly not to LPEs benefit.  If ILCA wish their class to remain in the Olympics they may have to sign up to FRAND, but LPE paid good money to purchase exclusive regional rights and will understandably not want to just give that away.

3.      Many Laser sailors (and ILCA?) want to have their cake and eat it.  Cheaper, higher quality, longer lasting boats, with a choice of mast rake and stiffness, supplied by the builder at major events.  If the supply of new boats is to be sustainable, the business needs to be profitable.  Reducing market share and after sale services whilst increasing build costs does not seem the way to a more sustainable future.

4.      If Laser sailors want a free choice of builder there are plenty of classes that already cater for that – the OK, Finn, etc.  The success of the Laser has been built on low cost, identikit boats where economies of scale, commercial incentivisation and strong brand identity have led to it being the runaway leader.  The ILCA boat is in danger of losing the very things that made it popular and becoming just another class.

5.      What incentive is there for a designer/builder to develop a new class if the class association (which has no legal rights over the design, trademarks or build) can just appoint another builder at will. 

I think ILCA need to be careful what they wish for.  If this case involved the Aero, would there be so little support for RS?

 

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1- Where does it say LPE refused an inspector? They say "* LP has refused access to ILCA for inspection". By "inspector" do you mean an organisation instead of a person?

What right does LPE have to refuse an inspection? Where in the agreements is the motive of the inspector covered?

2- Surely it IS to LPE's benefit for the class to stay Olympic?  And if LPE don't want to give anything away for the good of the class, then the volunteers who run the class and the owners who pay for it all can tell LPE to get fucked. Sailing is NOT a business - it is sportspeople and volunteers with a very thin skin of people making a living off the volunteers and sailors. If any trademark owner wants people to run their class from world to fleet level, they can either pay everyone involved commercial rates OR realise that this is not just a business and that their decisions must reflect that.

3- Why will anyone's market share be reduced if LPE allows inspections? Why would it be reduced if LPJ's territory was opened up to LPE and vice versa? What sailors are demanding "choice of mast rake and stiffness"?

3b- Where are the alleged ads offering this choice of mast rake?

4 - Fair point, but few Laser sailors are calling for multi builders. WS and the EU may be, but not many sailors.

5- What incentive is there for people to buy into a new class if the owner of the trademarks can just go "fuck you all"?

What incentive is there for volunteers at all levels to spend countless hours running a class if the owner of the trademarks can just go "fuck you all"?

 

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3 hours ago, Xharlie said:

 

I think the ILCA are hoping (and extremely likely) to win this battle simply by relying on LPE's apathy or lack of agility or capital to react. I just hope that they don't fracture the class in the process because, that way, the sailors will be the biggest losers.

There already appears to be a fracture in the class. See this document with responses to ILCA's recent actions from the European, German, Swiss and Italian Laser classes.

http://doryventures.scene7.com/s7viewers/html5/eCatalogViewer.html?emailurl=http://doryventures.scene7.com/s7/emailFriend&serverUrl=http://doryventures.scene7.com/is/image/&config=Scene7SharedAssets/Universal_HTML5_eCatalog&contenturl=http://doryventures.scene7.com/skins/&asset=DoryVentures/Comments about ILCA action against LaserPerformance PDF&lang=en

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14 hours ago, Wess said:

Maybe you don’t?  If you been around VWAP is a long time Laser sailor who gives a shit and seems to like to call out BS. Of which there is much re things Laser. And if you want it to be about you and some irrelevant BS  you of course can continue to post about your threats and potential SA litigation re so called copyrighted SA posts. I can even pretend I care. But like VWAP you strike me as an intelligent guy who maybe has some intelligent and useful thoughts re the Laser mess. And please spare me the baby buggy jokes. If I had to question the ethics of everyone involved in every piece of boat gear I have purchased I suspect none of us would ever be able to buy anything. 

 So maybe back to the topic.... ILCA has been up to some interesting things with rigs and builders and these things both seem to have supporters and doubters in the class including well known sailors and class members. Seems not so black and white anymore.

 

Hi Wess.  I don't care who anyone is here or what they sail, and other than dicking around in a masters event every now and again or blasting around charleston harbor, I will likely never touch a Laser.   But I do enjoy legal controversy, and Farzar Rastegar has been a gold mine for a sailor who enjoys legal battles.

Your vague charges of 'BS' fit the way you write, which is poorly.  Feel free to point out anything incorrect in my writing, or better yet, just keep saying BS.

For the rest of you, I'm just analyzing the law and applying it to a situation that I have done some research on.  If you don't want to read legal analysis, scroll down.  If VWAP wants to invent his own legal definitions, he's welcome to.  I'll point out what the law actually is.

Is this a new beginning, or the beginning of the end and why?

That's a stupid question with vague parameters.  Just more rhetoric.  What happening isn't a beginning or an end, it's yet another chapter in the lifetime of a brand/boat/community/club.   

 

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15 hours ago, Wess said:

 If I had to question the ethics of everyone involved in every piece of boat gear I have purchased I suspect none of us would ever be able to buy anything. 



This is one of the most intellectually dishonest arguments about purchasing power that anyone could make.  I'm not saying anything Rastegar has done should make people not buy a boat, but to make a blanket statement like this means you are not a good person.  Would you buy some rope from a guy who just used it to kill your friend? 

 

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1 hour ago, Curious said:

Surely it IS to LPE's benefit for the class to stay Olympic? 

I wonder about that. 

  * Do we really think there are that many more boats sold simply because its an Olympic class?

  * And to be Olympic they need to be FRAND and to be FRAND they have to give up rights and volume they paid for when buying SMOD rights.

There are lots of things that seem to be conspiring to cripple this class but I do wonder if losing the Olympics is one of them.  Maybe it would even be a good thing if it forced ILCA to have to focus on attracting and retaining club level sailors.

Clean - I am not going to waste my time responding to you further but will gladly stipulate that you think Rasty is a bad man and I am bad man because I don't care that you think Rasty is a bad man and I wont even check to see if all my suppliers are led by people you think are bad and oh and I am a bad writer and probibly cant even spel puntuate or nuthing or anything but somehow I will get over this crushing blow and get on with life and awaiting your copyright victory over the bad man.  Don't worry it will stop snowing up there soon.  Oh and it would depend which friend and how badly I needed the rope.

 

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2 minutes ago, Wess said:

I wonder about that. 

  * Do we really think there are more boats sold simply because its an Olympic class?

  * And to be Olympic they need to be FRAND and to be FRAND they have to give up rights and volume they paid for when buying SMOD rights.

There are lots of things that seem to be conspiring to cripple this class but I do wonder if losing the Olympics is one of them.  Maybe it would even be a good thing if it forced ILCA to have to focus on attracting and retaining club level sailors.  ...

I do. Or maybe more specifically, that it's also a Youth feeder to an Olympic class, so the kids that bubble up from the bottom of the learn-to-sail/learn-to-race pyramid will acquire a new (brand-new or ex-charter) boat as they move up from Junior boats, still have parents to shop for them and want to join the fun with the hotshots, many of whom will go on to great things (usually in other boats but with friends they made sailing Lasers..)...

 Just look at the sail numbers vs ages on the entry lists to the big regattas.

 If the Laser wasn't the Olympic boat, that market would be stretched wider. Say the Aero was selected: some would buy Aeros, some would stick with the Laser on grounds of affordability until they had to have a newish boat to join the right flotillas and some would bail from fleet racing earlier because the entry cost would be a bit too high.

 I know several sailors who transitioned into Lasers using dad's boat or a club one, only trading up when their results and enthusiasm encouraged parents to front up. This accessibility is a Laser strength and can probably be sustained if the class retains it's slot in one form or another.

 Switching Classes would (IMHO) be more disruptive than switching suppliers but sosoomii is right that ILCA, and its members, should be careful what they wish for. 

Cheers,

             W.

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26 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

I do. Or maybe more specifically, that it's also a Youth feeder to an Olympic class, so the kids that bubble up from the bottom of the learn-to-sail/learn-to-race pyramid will acquire a new (brand-new or ex-charter) boat as they move up from Junior boats, still have parents to shop for them and want to join the fun with the hotshots, many of whom will go on to great things (usually in other boats but with friends they made sailing Lasers..)...

 Just look at the sail numbers vs ages on the entry lists to the big regattas.

 If the Laser wasn't the Olympic boat, that market would be stretched wider. Say the Aero was selected: some would buy Aeros, some would stick with the Laser on grounds of affordability until they had to have a newish boat to join the right flotillas and some would bail from fleet racing earlier because the entry cost would be a bit too high.

 I know several sailors who transitioned into Lasers using dad's boat or a club one, only trading up when their results and enthusiasm encouraged parents to front up. This accessibility is a Laser strength and can probably be sustained if the class retains it's slot in one form or another.

 Switching Classes would (IMHO) be more disruptive than switching suppliers but sosoomii is right that ILCA, and its members, should be careful what they wish for. 

Cheers,

             W.

You gotta explain that a bit more.  Was with you right up to your last line.

I do wonder about the value of the Olympic slot given all the baggage it comes with and upheaval its causing  (assuming you buy the EurILCA position which seems reasonable... that the FRAND requirement is really the issue here) but if we accept that your are right and it must be retained at all costs, then the steps ILCA is taking are the right ones.  LPE will not accept a FRAND agreement (or at least the one the WS and ILCA are insisting on) and given WS and the Olympics are requiring it (cough cough) then ILCA had to ditch LPE no?

ILCA wishes the Olympics, WS and the Olympics wishes FRAND and LPE says no to FRAND.  Maybe rightly says no to FRAND having paid for SMOD but if they were dumb enough to play into ILCA's goading and triggered their right to terminate, then ILCA played it perfectly as its the only way for them to have a shot at retaining the Olympics, no?

Now if for whatever reason the Olympics were not critical to class success or worse yet the class was not going to retain the slot anyway, this move to FRAND and all the associated upheaval is really going to hurt... for zero gain for the bulk of the current ILCA membership.

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3 hours ago, Curious said:

1- Where does it say LPE refused an inspector? They say "* LP has refused access to ILCA for inspection". By "inspector" do you mean an organisation instead of a person?

What right does LPE have to refuse an inspection? Where in the agreements is the motive of the inspector covered?

2- Surely it IS to LPE's benefit for the class to stay Olympic?  And if LPE don't want to give anything away for the good of the class, then the volunteers who run the class and the owners who pay for it all can tell LPE to get fucked. Sailing is NOT a business - it is sportspeople and volunteers with a very thin skin of people making a living off the volunteers and sailors. If any trademark owner wants people to run their class from world to fleet level, they can either pay everyone involved commercial rates OR realise that this is not just a business and that their decisions must reflect that.

3- Why will anyone's market share be reduced if LPE allows inspections? Why would it be reduced if LPJ's territory was opened up to LPE and vice versa? What sailors are demanding "choice of mast rake and stiffness"?

3b- Where are the alleged ads offering this choice of mast rake?

4 - Fair point, but few Laser sailors are calling for multi builders. WS and the EU may be, but not many sailors.

5- What incentive is there for people to buy into a new class if the owner of the trademarks can just go "fuck you all"?

What incentive is there for volunteers at all levels to spend countless hours running a class if the owner of the trademarks can just go "fuck you all"?

 

1.      "LP does not and has not refused inspection of its manufacturing facility by other legitimate regulatory bodies.  Indeed, LP has formally requested World Sailing to inspect LP's facility given that they ate the ultimate authority for compliance and the issuance of the boats' plaques".

World Sailing obviously appoint the class association (ILCA in this instance) to act as an inspecting agent.  However if that agent is refusing to renew the contract that essentially permits them to be the class association (and hence agent) then it is understandable that LP may not want them to undertake the inspection.  I do not know whether that is a legally defendable gripe, but it is understandable from a human emotion perspective.

2.      In many respects I agree with you and it appears LP do too.  There are many builders using the CA as an unpaid workforce to promote the class.  But LP have recommended a "professional executive team to run class operations paid for by increased plaque fees charged to the builders".

Clearly LP is a business, and it is reasonable that they do not want to give their rights away for free.  Even World Sailing is a business and their CEO certainly doesn't volunteer for free – he was paid £200k according to the last set of accounts.

3.      I never said that allowing an inspection would lead to a reduced market share.  But a FRAND arrangement would.  If we bake a cake and I own 70% of it and you the other 30%, your offer of "I'll share my half if you share yours" is not a great deal unless I want to diet.

3b. I never made that claim, but we have to believe that neither side are making up stories.

4.      ILCA want multiple builders.  So do WS.  Obviously LP don't – they believe they have paid for the right to be the only builder in Europe and North America. There is nothing to suggest the EU do – that is a misrepresentation of FRAND.  Heck, they won't even let you call fizzy white wine Champagne unless it comes from the region.

5.      Surely a business is entitled to defend its IP and make a profit?  What chance of that if the owners club can splash the design and get it made more cheaply in China?

 

Incidentally, the ILCA Constitution states:

NAME
1. The name of the Association shall be the INTERNATIONAL LASER CLASS ASSOCIATION, with Head Office
at PO Box 49250, Austin, Texas 78765, USA.

INSIGNIA
2. The emblem of the Class shall be the recognised Laser symbol, and the insignia of the officers shall be those prescribed by By-Law.

AMENDMENTS

17. Amendments to this Constitution shall be approved by each of:

(a) the World Council
(b) the Advisory Council
(c) at least two thirds of the membership replying in writing to the International Office of the Class in response to a postal ballot published by the International Office. Only those postal votes returned to the International Office within 6 months from the date of publication of the proposed change shall be valid.

So, constitutionally ILCA cannot change their name or insignia two thirds of the membership agreeing in writing – they do not have that yet.  It also needs Advisory Council approval although it isn't clear whether that approval needs to be majority or unanimous, but builders with trademark rights (i.e. LP) sit on the AC.

 

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28 minutes ago, Wess said:

You gotta explain that a bit more.  Was with you right up to your last line.

I do wonder about the value of the Olympic slot given all the baggage it comes with and upheaval its causing  (assuming you buy the EurILCA position which seems reasonable... that the FRAND requirement is really the issue here) but if we accept that your are right and it must be retained at all costs, then the steps ILCA is taking are the right ones.  LPE will not accept a FRAND agreement (or at least the one the WS and ILCA are insisting on) and given WS and the Olympics are requiring it (cough cough) then ILCA had to ditch LPE no?

ILCA wishes the Olympics, WS and the Olympics wishes FRAND and LPE says no to FRAND.  Maybe rightly says no to FRAND having paid for SMOD but if they were dumb enough to play into ILCA's goading and triggered their right to terminate, then ILCA played it perfectly as its the only way for them to have a shot at retaining the Olympics, no?

Now if for whatever reason the Olympics were not critical to class success or worse yet the class was not going to retain the slot anyway, this move to FRAND and all the associated upheaval is really going to hurt... for zero gain for the bulk of the current ILCA membership.

 Switching Classes would (IMHO) be more disruptive than switching suppliers but sosoomii is right that ILCA, and its members, should be careful what they wish for. 

My thinking is that accessibility is crucial. It's the Laser's big edge over the other singlehanders and the fundamental one-design concept of the boat, protected for decades, plays into the Olympic ideal of the sailor being the athlete that wins the race, not the tech-team that spends thousands optimising the rig, aligning the foils, distributing the weight optimally...

 The fact that there are Lasers everywhere, that a kid can get into a club or used boat, show promise and move into the big leagues without having to jump over a ten of thousands of dollars high paywall is a big selling point. I'm not saying it's open to all, or that a genuinely poor kid can make it but there's a big difference for a teenager with dreams between hopping into a Laser to find out what they are capable of and having a go in a Nacra-15 or 29er.. let alone a 17/49er... and that's just in the West.

 Adopting another class loses that. If the kid needs to have an Aero (let alone a Melges or D-zero) then they have to buy it new, or nearly new. Dad doesn't have one. The club doesn't have one. You can't get them from ebay, Apollo duck or the club noticeboard for whatever you can stretch to... and that's just in the first world...

 The supply problem scales- you stretch to a decent boat for races... maybe get it onto a friend's multi-trailer or leave it at the race venue... what do you train in? Sail at your club?   Most clubs will have a few old Lasers kicking about- you borrow one for racing and training, using your XD bits & decent sail... maybe pick up an older boat cheap if you have to... Can't do that with the new guys (yet)...

 It's the universality of the Laser that heightens it's appeal... now if your club/training boat is still legal because it's been grandfathered in... or doesn't need to be because you don't have to use Approved parts for club racing/training then that's cool... again, that won't be an option for the new classes for quite a while... so the supplier swap would be less disruptive. 

 ...and be careful what you wish for?  If ILCA drops the supplier for 85%(?) of their boats in the area that has most of their sailors.... can the really be sure that their existing, or newly appointed, builders can fill that gap? Especially with the risk of litigation in the wings? If the Laser currently holds a nice high-ranking "we can do consistent, international volume supply" card that the Other Builders don't, should they risk discarding it before the hand has played out?

7 minutes ago, sosoomii said:

....

Incidentally, the ILCA Constitution states:

NAME
1. The name of the Association shall be the INTERNATIONAL LASER CLASS ASSOCIATION, with Head Office
at PO Box 49250, Austin, Texas 78765, USA.

INSIGNIA
2. The emblem of the Class shall be the recognised Laser symbol, and the insignia of the officers shall be those prescribed by By-Law.

AMENDMENTS

17. Amendments to this Constitution shall be approved by each of:

(a) the World Council
(b) the Advisory Council
(c) at least two thirds of the membership replying in writing to the International Office of the Class in response to a postal ballot published by the International Office. Only those postal votes returned to the International Office within 6 months from the date of publication of the proposed change shall be valid.

So, constitutionally ILCA cannot change their name or insignia two thirds of the membership agreeing in writing – they do not have that yet.  It also needs Advisory Council approval although it isn't clear whether that approval needs to be majority or unanimous, but builders with trademark rights (i.e. LP) sit on the AC.

 

..and many of their members are in Europe, and maybe not on board with the Master Plan, yet?

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How long has the International Laser Class Assocation been using that name?  40+ years?

If the Class contains Lasers and ILCA Torches (or equivalent ) why would they have to change its name?  

Does anyone know of an agreement or a law that might give LPE rights to the Class Association name?

 It seems all the builders tightened their manufacturing tolerances, as a result of ILCA doing a lot of measuring in Santander.  

I've been told by a High-Performance Sailing Squad member that the PSA boats used to last longer but recent British built boats are a lot better.  So good for ILCA!!

I also remember hearing here in Britain in 2016, over a pint from someone who had been working with them that LPE had to improve their build methods and materials as a result of ILCA checking. I don't know if it’s true but apparently, they had been cutting corners.

I guess having ILCA inspectors going into the factories, as the LCMA agreement that LPE, PSA and PSJ all had signed would be a sensible part of that ongoing quality checking?  

Surely that is good for our fleets?
 

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56 minutes ago, Otterbox said:

How long has the International Laser Class Assocation been using that name?  40+ years?

If the Class contains Lasers and ILCA Torches (or equivalent ) why would they have to change its name?  

Does anyone know of an agreement or a law that might give LPE rights to the Class Association name?

 It seems all the builders tightened their manufacturing tolerances, as a result of ILCA doing a lot of measuring in Santander.  

I've been told by a High-Performance Sailing Squad member that the PSA boats used to last longer but recent British built boats are a lot better.  So good for ILCA!!

I also remember hearing here in Britain in 2016, over a pint from someone who had been working with them that LPE had to improve their build methods and materials as a result of ILCA checking. I don't know if it’s true but apparently, they had been cutting corners.

I guess having ILCA inspectors going into the factories, as the LCMA agreement that LPE, PSA and PSJ all had signed would be a sensible part of that ongoing quality checking?  

Surely that is good for our fleets?
 

Check out ILCA FAQS which are public (https://www.laserinternational.org/blog/2019/04/06/faq-6-april-2019/ ).  They explain they are opting to not use the Laser name and are rebranding the boat and class in all regions.  That may be because they feel they have a weak legal position to use the name.  From ILCA:

Q: Will boats from the newly-named builders be sold under the LASER brand?

A:  No.  In order to avoid trade mark issues and to comply with the requirements of European competition law, all current and future ILCA-approved builders will sell boats under a new brand name. ILCA and the current approved builders are finalizing the intellectual property details for the new brand, including fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing rules.  ILCA expects to announce the new brand name in the next four weeks.

All  - There are new posting by LPE at the end of the link here:  https://www.laserperformance.us/ilca-news?lang=en_US

The LPE view and information re FRAND is here:  http://doryventures.scene7.com/s7viewers/html5/eCatalogViewer.html?emailurl=http://doryventures.scene7.com/s7/emailFriend&serverUrl=http://doryventures.scene7.com/is/image/&config=Scene7SharedAssets/Universal_HTML5_eCatalog&contenturl=http://doryventures.scene7.com/skins/&asset=DoryVentures/Laser AntiTrust Doc Final PDF&lang=en_US

More wowza stuff as @Gouvernailsaid when he first found this.

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Surely that is good for our fleets?

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.  

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My understanding is that LPE first refused to allow Class inspectors/measurers into the UK factory, some years ago, not just this year. So this is not a new problem.

In the long term, if you've signed an agreement that says you will allow your processes and materials checked to retain a license to built a product, and then you say you won't, what would you expect to happen?  

If its true that the ILCA inspectors presented information after Santander that caused all the builders to tighten their tolerances, then all Laser sailors benefit, 

But from what we've heard from North America, the other problem has been a need for better distribution and it sounds like it can't get any worse if there are more, enthusiastic suppliers. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Otterbox said:

My understanding is<snip>

In the long term, if you've signed an agreement that says you will allow your processes and materials checked to retain a license to built a product, and then you say you won't, what would you expect to happen?  

<snip>

 

 

I didn’t snip your comments for any reason except I only want to address that one little part. 

LP can build anything they damn well please and call it a Laser. Whatever agreement they have with the ILCA has to do with ILCA’s racing game.

the ILCA  has said, “ LP’s  boats are no longer automatically certified for use in our game.”

 

ILCA has no building license to remove. LP doesn’t decide who races their toys or how. 

 

Let  me put what I am trying to explain in words that might express something like the deal that I don’t even know exists. 

”we are the ILCA and we like to hold races using virtually Identical Sailboats. We don’t want to measure each boat at each regatta so we have decided to use only Laser Brand boats and laser brand parts. We understand that all manufacturers encounter pressures that demand their product evolve. 

  In order to continue promising to use only Laser brand products we want the Laser builders to give us some things in  return. Here is a list:

1. We have an entire building manual that memorializes what previous Laser builders have done. We would like you to stick with the processes and materials as described in that manual.

2. We want The builder to inform us before making any changes. Ideally, we would like to let our members approve those changes or we will ask you not to make those changes. 

3. As we are going to tell our members the boats are just like the old ones” we would like to visit the factory once in a while to see  if that claim is an honest claim.

4. We sure wouid like it if  you Builder guys would create enough brand new boats so we can have our world championships in identical brand new toys. 

*******+

I am certain there are a whole lot of other “back scratching” deals involved. The relationship, WHEN HEALTHY, is absolutely beneficial to both the sailors and the builders. 

———

so.... For some reason there is a big assed battle.  I have been spending a considerable amount of effort trying to comprehend  the motivations of the LP and the ILCA.   

So far I fully understand neither. 

 

I do know enough at this point to say, “Nobody else  who is posting here has sufficient knowledge either.”

my request:

Would some of you work to actually get information directly from the disputing parties? 

What do I want to know?? 

I want to know exactly what  is  more important to any of the disputing parties than resolution? 

I want to know what goes in the blank below: 

“We would rather  destroy everything that took fifty years to create than ______.”

**********

Let’s  get everyone involved to fill in that  blank. 

In fact, when confronted with the necessity of filling in that blank, I hope each side and everyone involved decides filling in that  blank is the absolute worst  thing anyone could ever do. 

 

With respect to teaming up, There should be absolutely no downside for either party.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, sosoomii said:

There is nothing to suggest the EU do – that is a misrepresentation of FRAND.  

 

If this is the case, it would change the planning for about a dozen major classes right now.  Did you pull this entirely out of your ass, or do you have some nonpublic knowledge about the EU's Commission on Competition's investigation into World Sailing's equipment selection process?  Or maybe you have found some of the documents from ongoing antitrust litigation with our old Italian friend?  

 

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46 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

I didn’t snip your comments for any reason except I only want to address that one little part. 

LP can build anything they damn well please and call it a Laser. Whatever agreement they have with the ILCA has to do with ILCA’s racing game

 

Unless they want to be known as an International Class by the state-sanctioned governing bodies of the sport of sailing or unless they want to use the Racing Rules of Sailing, in which case they need to fulfill the requirements of World Sailing's application for international class status, and then execute a Class Association agreement with World Sailing.

 

It's never as easy as people think it is

 

 

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3 hours ago, Wess said:

This doc says "there is nothing in the European regulations or law that would classify the Laser arrangements as monopolistic so far as it pertains to the builders and IP owners". I don't know how the FRAND criteria is being applied in this field of IP. In others I'm familiar with, you are required to grant license to anyone who meets your rules and pays a fair royalty. You can't restrict the number of licensees.

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Fair comment, but taking small steps, does anyone know of any law or agreement that would prevent the ILCA from being called the Internationa Laser Class Association.?

I followed the LPE FAQ link to the old agreement, which is silent on the issue of the Class Association, so if the boats sailing are grandfathered Lasers and ICLA Torches or what ever and the event is an ILCA UK National World Championship seeing as it seems WS is cool with this,  does anyone, other than LPE understand a problem? 

Be interested to see that in the ILCA and LPE FAQs

 

 

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

If this is the case, it would change the planning for about a dozen major classes right now.  Did you pull this entirely out of your ass, or do you have some nonpublic knowledge about the EU's Commission on Competition's investigation into World Sailing's equipment selection process?  Or maybe you have found some of the documents from ongoing antitrust litigation with our old Italian friend?  

 

1.) By when does WS in theory require FRAND agreements in place?

2.) Per your understanding of them (the WS FRAND requirements, and current class structures) how many of the prior Olympic cycle classes met/meet that requirement a.) last Olympics, b.) currently, c.) by the next Olympics (best guess), d.) by the 2024 Olympics (best guess)?

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5 minutes ago, Otterbox said:

Fair comment, but taking small steps, does anyone know of any law or agreement that would prevent the ILCA from being called the Internationa Laser Class Association.?

 

 

 

See IPL's prior posts on this but not understanding why you are asking since ILCA already said they are rebranding and not calling it a Laser.  That ships seems to have sailed no?

ILCA says they ain't racing Lasers and LPE says they are going to keep building and selling Lasers and this is one of the few things that they ain't fighting about!

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14 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

This doc says "there is nothing in the European regulations or law that would classify the Laser arrangements as monopolistic so far as it pertains to the builders and IP owners". I don't know how the FRAND criteria is being applied in this field of IP. In others I'm familiar with, you are required to grant license to anyone who meets your rules and pays a fair royalty. You can't restrict the number of licensees.

You answered a question about the European Commission on Competition by citing a blurred photo of a photocopied word document?

 

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8 minutes ago, Wess said:

1.) By when does WS in theory require FRAND agreements in place?

 2.) Per your understanding of them (the WS FRAND requirements, and current class structures) how many of the prior Olympic cycle classes met/meet that requirement a.) last Olympics, b.) currently, c.) by the next Olympics (best guess), d.) by the 2024 Olympics (best guess)?

1) WS has included FRAND as part of their requirements for most every equipment decision on any olympic-associated class going forward, but many SMOD classes have realized that the EU's reasoning in the ISA case and others is likely to effect their own builder situation.    Unfortunately the Commission is a big unwieldy thing, so there is plenty of uncertainty on the timing of applying such prohibitions and figuring out penalties and fines and such, but if a Class hasn't had a discussion about it already, they're behind the ball.

2)  Don't know, and not doing reseach on it.  What do you think?

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4 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

You answered a question about the European Commission on Competition by citing a blurred photo of a photocopied word document?

The opposite. I cast doubt on the thinking behind the blurred document.

This thread has devolved into a Rorschach.

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Where does the ILCA say its not going to organise races for Laser?  Its plainly going to organise events for the existing boats and new ones

The point being that Sosoomi's concern about the Class not having permission to change name etc, I believe is not actually a problem, I don't think the ILCA needs to change its name 

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11 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

1) WS has included FRAND as part of their requirements for most every equipment decision on any olympic-associated class going forward, but many SMOD classes have realized that the EU's reasoning in the ISA case and others is likely to effect their own builder situation.    Unfortunately the Commission is a big unwieldy thing, so there is plenty of uncertainty on the timing of applying such prohibitions and figuring out penalties and fines and such, but if a Class hasn't had a discussion about it already, they're behind the ball.

2)  Don't know, and not doing reseach on it.  What do you think?

Not sure its presently knowable and is possibly being selectively applied.  ILCA seems to say in some of their writings that LPE will not do what WS requires be done while LPE seems to try to claim or imply that the existing structure may meet the test and also vaguely make reference to WS.  Hell I am not even sure who ultimately decides if it is or is not FRAND compliant if there was a dispute on the matter.  Way above my pay grade.

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19 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

The opposite. I cast doubt on the thinking behind the blurred document.

 This thread has devolved into a Rorschach.

Ah ok, I misread your comment.   My apologies.  As an aside, why is it that everything from LPE seems to be a blurred photo, copyright infringement, or typo and grammatic error-filled piece of shit?   Do they just not pay people a living wage, or do they just not have any competent office employees?

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12 minutes ago, Wess said:

Not sure its presently knowable and is possibly being selectively applied.  ILCA seems to say in some of their writings that LPE will not do what WS requires be done while LPE seems to try to claim or imply that the existing structure may meet the test and also vaguely make reference to WS.  Hell I am not even sure who ultimately decides if it is or is not FRAND compliant if there was a dispute on the matter.  Way above my pay grade.

understand, and I am trying to stay on top of the legal shenanigans as best as I can, but as you say there is a lot of uncertainty in the application of existing standards to an entirely new sector of activity. The one company that seems to be ignoring it is LPE.

 

Interesting times indeed.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

If this is the case, it would change the planning for about a dozen major classes right now.  Did you pull this entirely out of your ass, or do you have some nonpublic knowledge about the EU's Commission on Competition's investigation into World Sailing's equipment selection process?  Or maybe you have found some of the documents from ongoing antitrust litigation with our old Italian friend?  

 

No, I pulled it from my ass as you so eloquently put it. But really, EU anti-trust  laws are about ensuring competition - nowhere do they mandate that FRAND is the solution to that. WS have chosen that route. 

From the EU’s own website:

European antitrust policy is developed from two central rules set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

  • First, Article 101 of the Treaty prohibits agreements between two or more independent market operators which restrict competition. This provision covers both horizontal agreements (between actual or potential competitors operating at the same level of the supply chain) and vertical agreements (between firms operating at different levels, i.e. agreement between a manufacturer and its distributor). Only limited exceptions are provided for in the general prohibition. The most flagrant example of illegal conduct infringing Article 101 is the creation of a cartel between competitors, which may involve price-fixing and/or market sharing.
  • Second, Article 102 of the Treaty prohibits firms that hold a dominant position on a given market to abuse that position, for example by charging unfair prices, by limiting production, or by refusing to innovate to the prejudice of consumers.

LP/ILCA/Laser-in-general may or may not be in breach of this, but FRAND is just one way out and not necessarily the best. 

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47 minutes ago, Wess said:

1.) By when does WS in theory require FRAND agreements in place?

2.) Per your understanding of them (the WS FRAND requirements, and current class structures) how many of the prior Olympic cycle classes met/meet that requirement a.) last Olympics, b.) currently, c.) by the next Olympics (best guess), d.) by the 2024 Olympics (best guess)?

Does anybody know what plans the Laser's competitors for Olympic slots - the D-Zero, the Melges 14 and the RS Aero - have to meet the requirement to have FRAND agreements in place? 

And if only some of the four contenders for the 2024 Singlehander Events will be compliant by 2024, will that be a critical factor in the selection?

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13 minutes ago, lemonpepper said:

Please fellas why all the conjecture. Here is the link to WS's FRAND requirement approved by WS council at their meeting last November. 
http://sailing.org/tools/documents/OlympicEquipmentStrategyFinal-[24561].pdf

See #4. FRAND is definitely required for one person dinghy bids by May 2019 meeting or you will not be in the olympics -- full stop. ILCA seem to know what they are doing and are right on track to meet this timeline.

 

Nice; thank you.

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29 minutes ago, lemonpepper said:

See #4. FRAND is definitely required for one person dinghy bids by May 2019 meeting or you will not be in the olympics -- full stop. ILCA seem to know what they are doing and are right on track to meet this timeline.

Given high likelihood of legal proceedings I'd say they've left it far too late.

This stuff gives truthiness to LPE claim that ILCA is trumping up a pre-meditated & hypocritical split.

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35 minutes ago, lemonpepper said:

Please fellas why all the conjecture. Here is the link to WS's FRAND requirement approved by WS council at their meeting last November. 
http://sailing.org/tools/documents/OlympicEquipmentStrategyFinal-[24561].pdf

See #4. FRAND is definitely required for one person dinghy bids by May 2019 meeting or you will not be in the olympics -- full stop. ILCA seem to know what they are doing and are right on track to meet this timeline.

 

Yes, I said in post 367 that WS require FRAND. But EU competition laws do not. WS have chosen this route, they weren’t forced down it by the EU. 

Makes you wonder if WS nomwhat they are doing. They effectively replaced three FRAND compliant classes (Finn, Flying Dutchman and Tornado) with three non-compliant classes (Laser, 49er and Nacra), only to now insist they comply.  And all four of the singlehanders selected for trial are currently non-compliant when there are plenty of compliant options. 

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Just a thought, presumably FRAND essentially means open sailmakers for the Laser (and any future Olympic singlehander)?  Under the terms of FRAND anyone should be able to obtain a sailmaking license and pay a royalty. History doesn’t suggest that will result in lower prices.

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2 hours ago, sosoomii said:

Yes, I said in post 367 that WS require FRAND. But EU competition laws do not. WS have chosen this route, they weren’t forced down it by the EU. 

Makes you wonder if WS nomwhat they are doing. They effectively replaced three FRAND compliant classes (Finn, Flying Dutchman and Tornado) with three non-compliant classes (Laser, 49er and Nacra), only to now insist they comply.  And all four of the singlehanders selected for trial are currently non-compliant when there are plenty of compliant options. 

But presumably all four of the singlehanders selected for trial will have submitted some proposals to WS by now on how they would plan to become compliant if selected?

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Presumably, yes. But, if it’s so important, why not de-risk the process by at least trialling one class which is already compliant?

Anyhow, this is a side issue. I’m more intrigued by what happens if ILCA can’t change their name because their membership don’t vote for it, which looks quite likely. Either they have to form a new class, which isn’t International, isn’t Olympic and starts with no members, or they pay LP a fee to use the Laser trademark?

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2 hours ago, sosoomii said:

Yes, I said in post 367 that WS require FRAND. But EU competition laws do not. WS have chosen this route, they weren’t forced down it by the EU. 

Makes you wonder if WS nomwhat they are doing. They effectively replaced three FRAND compliant classes (Finn, Flying Dutchman and Tornado) with three non-compliant classes (Laser, 49er and Nacra), only to now insist they comply.  And all four of the singlehanders selected for trial are currently non-compliant when there are plenty of compliant options. 

I believe RS (Aero) have written compliance into their class rules without the need to actually execute. ie: its alright to say that others can build, we just cant't find any others willing to build? --- never actually looked myself though.

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I had a long talk with Chip today.

We agree, it’s a total fucking mess.

SHC

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4 hours ago, sosoomii said:

Makes you wonder if WS nomwhat they are doing. They effectively replaced three FRAND compliant classes (Finn, Flying Dutchman and Tornado) with three non-compliant classes (Laser, 49er and Nacra), only to now insist they comply.  And all four of the singlehanders selected for trial are currently non-compliant when there are plenty of compliant options. 

Indeed.

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Not what I want, but this is what I think will happen.

There is nothing acceptable that doesn’t include a favorable European solution.  ICLA DOES NOT HAVE A EUROPEAN SOLUTION, and so cannot win.  LP’s Service is least bad in Europe, so they do not see a reason to rock the boat.

The America’s don’t matter to World Sailing, as such ILCA’s actions will be dismissed as another American foolish overreach.  LPE will fund a sock puppet Laser World Association with the language they wanted ILCA to accept, but wouldn’t.  This will be headquartered in Europe and will be underwritten  and controlled by  Rastegar.  One may be forgiven if one believes the Laser sailors will have less influence under this regime.  All input will come from National Olympic Committees and their coaches.

Further, Rastegar will offer World Sailing unrestricted financial sponsorship which will cover some of World Sailing’s administrative budget, and World Sailing will fall in line and recognize the new Class organization.  They will justify this by the “Majority is in Europe,  so it can’t be properly run from Texas” arguement.  PSA and PSJ will accept status quo ante. 

The days of 1000 boat a year sales, regatta support and provided boats for major championships that volume made possible are over for the US.  

SHC

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Is it foolish to think that a FRAND Gamma/Laser/Torch made in China or elsewhere with low labour costs would have a very attractive price?

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2 hours ago, Flags said:

I believe RS (Aero) have written compliance into their class rules without the need to actually execute. ie: its alright to say that others can build, we just cant't find any others willing to build? --- never actually looked myself though.

The RS Aero Class Rules are indeed structured on the assumption that there could be multiple Licensed Manufacturers.

http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RSAeroCR180510-[24113].pdf

 

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1 hour ago, spankoka said:

Is it foolish to think that a FRAND Gamma/Laser/Torch made in China or elsewhere with low labour costs would have a very attractive price?

Ali Baba offers them for $4000-4200, which seems surprisingly high. Even assuming the product is fine, is it actually going to be that cheap once freight and margins are added on?

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3 hours ago, tillerman said:

The RS Aero Class Rules are indeed structured on the assumption that there could be multiple Licensed Manufacturers.

http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RSAeroCR180510-[24113].pdf

 

The Aero class rules cunningly include:

A.4.1 World Sailing has delegated administration of the Class to the ICA which shall co-operate in all respects with the LIC and not act contrary to LIC’s interests. 

Which prevents the CA biting the hand that feeds them.

On the other hand it is hard to see how A.11.1 is FRAND compliant.  This rule seems aimed at improving supply chain rather than increasing competition.

A.11.1 All hulls, mast sections, boom, sails, hull appendages, tillers and rudder stocks shall only be manufactured by a LM (and only to the extent permitted by the licence) and only supplied by RS, or an RS licensed distributor for the class and shall carry a LIC equipment label certifying it as Originally Supplied.

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10 minutes ago, sosoomii said:

The Aero class rules cunningly include:

...................................A.11.1 All hulls, mast sections, boom, sails, hull appendages, tillers and rudder stocks shall only be manufactured by a LM (and only to the extent permitted by the licence) and only supplied by RS, or an RS licensed distributor for the class and shall carry a LIC equipment label certifying it as Originally Supplied.

Clever :) All that ILCA need to do is add this line to their class rules... 

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8 hours ago, Steve Clark said:

Not what I want, but this is what I think will happen.

There is nothing acceptable that doesn’t include a favorable European solution.  ICLA DOES NOT HAVE A EUROPEAN SOLUTION, and so cannot win.  LP’s Service is least bad in Europe, so they do not see a reason to rock the boat.

The America’s don’t matter to World Sailing, as such ILCA’s actions will be dismissed as another American foolish overreach.  LPE will fund a sock puppet Laser World Association with the language they wanted ILCA to accept, but wouldn’t.  This will be headquartered in Europe and will be underwritten  and controlled by  Rastegar.  One may be forgiven if one believes the Laser sailors will have less influence under this regime.  All input will come from National Olympic Committees and their coaches.

Further, Rastegar will offer World Sailing unrestricted financial sponsorship which will cover some of World Sailing’s administrative budget, and World Sailing will fall in line and recognize the new Class organization.  They will justify this by the “Majority is in Europe,  so it can’t be properly run from Texas” arguement.  PSA and PSJ will accept status quo ante. 

The days of 1000 boat a year sales, regatta support and provided boats for major championships that volume made possible are over for the US.  

SHC

Well that is depressing. Lose lose. Only winner is LPE. Could ILCA really have gotten it that wrong? I sure hope not.  

Steve - certainly understand and agree the Europe thing. And how it could drive the outcome. But what you describe is the death of ILCA and birth of a some new EU led class association. How does all that happen in time to keep Laser in the Olympics given equipment selection timelines. Is it not easier - and better - for WS to pick something else, make money off something else, and just walk away from the mess and let it sort itself out?

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7 hours ago, tillerman said:

The RS Aero Class Rules are indeed structured on the assumption that there could be multiple Licensed Manufacturers.

http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RSAeroCR180510-[24113].pdf

 

If THAT is accepted by WS as FRAND compliant then LPE perhaps has a point that the Laser class as it stands today (with some lipstick on the regional SMOD model but no new builders) is too.

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.. and with FRAND comes measurement.. Lots of it. Sails, hull, rigging -  everything. Not like now where they basically put on stickers and check that you got your sailnumbers lined up correctly.

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5 minutes ago, sprayblond said:

.. and with FRAND comes measurement.. Lots of it. Sails, hull, rigging -  everything. Not like now where they basically put on stickers and check that you got your sailnumbers lined up correctly.

I am beginning to dislike this FRAND thing the more I hear about it. 

I want to stick with the stickers.

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18 minutes ago, tillerman said:

I am beginning to dislike this FRAND thing the more I hear about it. 

I want to stick with the stickers.

For sure. But it kinda depends if FRAND is just some whitewalls on the same old  SMOD car or regional SMOD car then it could be a non event. But a full blown FRAND with multiple builders in the same region, evolved out of a SMOD is going to have higher prices and make it far less likely there could be supplied boats at events. You can still have your stickers though... just use construction manual model.

This is what I don’t understand about ILCAs action. If the Olympics drop Laser and ILCA has ditched LPE and gone FRAND then boat prices are way up, supplied boats at events are a rare thing, and everybody - literally everybody lost. Olympic Laser sailors lost and ILCA sailors - especially EU ones - who love supplied boats lost. With the EU sailors in revolt ILCA lost too. There are literally no winners. Last time in the barrel I fully understood and supported ILCA actions. This time I can’t understand how they help anybody.  Unless they are in bed with WS and know this was the only way and for SURE will keep the class in the Olympics. But even this outcome likely results in a splintered class and competing Laser and Laser like boats and classes.

Hell with the current path ILCA is on I can’t imagine how another builder could be enticed to build for EU and America’s. They wound have to compete with another class FRAND builder and compete with LPE who clearly says they will keep making and selling Lasers and clearly they can do that. 

I wish ILCA would describe how this ends. Give us some kind of a vision of the future we can get behind and support. 

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31 minutes ago, sprayblond said:

.. and with FRAND comes measurement..

Does it? Why?

We already have SMOD classes with multiple builders that seem to operate perfectly well without it. FRAND does not automatically turn it into a measurement class. 

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2 hours ago, sprayblond said:

.. and with FRAND comes measurement.

Yes, but not at the regatta- at the factory under inspection.

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Gouv: 

Two problems.

Laser Performance often fails to ship because vendors have placed them on credit hold.  Laser Performance has a poor record of paying vendors, they treat them just about as well as them that their customers.  Which is to say they press the limit of patience beyond what is tolerable.  I would not do business with them.

The Laser market is smaller and more fragile than you think.  It took a great deal of effort to keep it at the 1000 boat a year level, but as our bread and butter product, we would have sold our souls.  It was the cookoo that laid golden eggs. The Olympic status will support volume in Europe,  where National Teams are a big deal, but in North America, it is a Masters and Youth class, and that is shrinking at the same rate as middle class prosperity.  Maybe 200-300 boats a year.

Not much sunshine and bird song in Mudville these days.

SHC

 

 

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11 minutes ago, lemonpepper said:

Free markets self correct to equilibrium.

Where "equilibrium" is a monopoly, which stifles competition and innovation. That is why prudent regulation is a necessary part of a free market model.

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24 minutes ago, Steve Clark said:

 but in North America, it is a Masters and Youth class, and that is shrinking at the same rate as middle class prosperity.

SHC

 

 

 

http://cgra.org/Results/2002 results/2002finnlaserresults.htm

http://cbyc.org/race/results/2012/LaserPCC12.htm

http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/16482#_newsroom

 

http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/15349#_newsroom

http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/5249#_newsroom

 

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51 minutes ago, Steve Clark said:

Maybe 200-300 boats a year.

Not much sunshine and bird song in Mudville these days.

SHC

 

 

Does that 200-300 in US include supplied boats and how does the builder make out on those?

I am trying hard to think of anyone I know in the fleet that bought a new Laser direct from the builder or dealer.  We have a decent size club fleet of Lasers and some folks that travel to go to ILCA regattas quite often, but the "new" boat sales model seems to be: 1.) the club folks go  to events with supplied boats and buy one at a discount (or don't go but still buy the supplied boats at discount) so they have new boats fairly often; 2.) they sell their existing club boats to club members with older boats, and 3.) and so on and so on.  If this is typical I wonder how any builder can survive. 

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2 minutes ago, Wess said:

Does that 200-300 in US include supplied boats and how does the builder make out on those?

I am trying hard to think of anyone I know in the fleet that bought a new Laser direct from the builder or dealer.  We have a decent size club fleet of Lasers and some folks that travel to go to ILCA regattas quite often, but the "new" boat sales model seems to be: 1.) the club folks go  to events with supplied boats and buy one at a discount (or don't go but still buy the supplied boats at discount) so they have new boats fairly often; 2.) they sell their existing club boats to club members with older boats, and 3.) and so on and so on.  If this is typical I wonder how any builder can survive. 

You are correct. Most dealers can get you a new boat. Same with most of the replacement parts though some are not on the self. Contact the dealers for replacement parts, rudders, centerboards, all mast sections etc of some of the competing boats  and see if those parts are on the self ready to ship. The days of going down to the dealer and picking up parts, boats for any brand  are long gone. 

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15 minutes ago, VWAP said:

You are correct. Most dealers can get you a new boat. Same with most of the replacement parts though some are not on the self. Contact the dealers for replacement parts, rudders, centerboards, all mast sections etc of some of the competing boats  and see if those parts are on the self ready to ship. The days of going down to the dealer and picking up parts, boats for any brand  are long gone. 

I completely agree with you.  Heck, just look at how Steve and Dave are selling the UFO.  But for Laser what I am interested to better understand is if the supplied boats at events model that has been so critical to the class is also what is hurting the class in the sense that its hurting the builders.  If the new boat sales model is not ONLY 1.) not dealer stocking (I agree w you its not) but its also 2.) become buy the discounted supplied boats (to the point that there are very few actual NEW boat sales by any model)... then it would seem we maybe have a long term problem no?  In short hand... are supplied boats and their associated discounted sales into the class fleets a help or hindrance for the builder?  So its clear I ain't wondering that out of any love for LPE.  I am interested because if it is a problem, its going to be an even bigger problem for ICLA on the path they have gone down and would impact on if they can even get a new builder for EU/Americas/etc.., and what that new builder would actually be willing and able to do in terms of supplied boats so near and dear to ILCA's heart and long standing model.

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48 minutes ago, Wess said:

I completely agree with you.  Heck, just look at how Steve and Dave are selling the UFO.  But for Laser what I am interested to better understand is if the supplied boats at events model that has been so critical to the class is also what is hurting the class in the sense that its hurting the builders.  If the new boat sales model is not ONLY 1.) not dealer stocking (I agree w you its not) but its also 2.) become buy the discounted supplied boats (to the point that there are very few actual NEW boat sales by any model)... then it would seem we maybe have a long term problem no?  In short hand... are supplied boats and their associated discounted sales into the class fleets a help or hindrance for the builder?  So its clear I ain't wondering that out of any love for LPE.  I am interested because if it is a problem, its going to be an even bigger problem for ICLA on the path they have gone down and would impact on if they can even get a new builder for EU/Americas/etc.., and what that new builder would actually be willing and able to do in terms of supplied boats so near and dear to ILCA's heart and long standing model.

Sorry. I am struggling to understand why you think supplying boats to major regattas that are then sold on to local sailors is a problem for the builders.

Don't forget the boats "supplied" to the regattas bring in hefty charter fees before they are sold off at a discount. Sometimes these boats are used at more than one regatta (e.g. Laser Worlds and Laser Masters Worlds) so then they bring in multiple charter fees.

My impression is that the combination of the charter fees and the the discounted prices for these boats adds up to much the same revenue that a new boat sold to a sailor would generate.

Of course I could be wrong.

Am I missing something?

 

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2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Yes, but not at the regatta- at the factory under inspection.

..oh.. so how does measurement of Finn at events compare to that of the laser?

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11 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Sorry. I am struggling to understand why you think supplying boats to major regattas that are then sold on to local sailors is a problem for the builders.

Don't forget the boats "supplied" to the regattas bring in hefty charter fees before they are sold off at a discount. Sometimes these boats are used at more than one regatta (e.g. Laser Worlds and Laser Masters Worlds) so then they bring in multiple charter fees.

My impression is that the combination of the charter fees and the the discounted prices for these boats adds up to much the same revenue that a new boat sold to a sailor would generate.

Of course I could be wrong.

Am I missing something?

 

I don't know that it is or isn't a problem Tiller.  Not sure where those charter fees go and who takes what cut.  Same story on the eventual sale.  Maybe the builder does make money hand over fist supplying boats... but their behavior and reluctance (and that ain't just LPE) doesn't seem to suggest that, no?  Likely the only person on this forum posting that knows if a builder comes out ahead or behind on supplying boats (vs selling them to customers at retail) is @Steve Clark.  The rest of us are just guessing.  My guess was solely based on the builders reluctance to offer up boats for these events or to put increasingly more limits on that when they do.  Of course I am assuming they are rationale folks... and nobody in this mess seems to be acting rationally anymore.  Well other than the aforementioned dude who got out of building and selling them.

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34 minutes ago, sprayblond said:

..oh.. so how does measurement of Finn at events compare to that of the laser?

Completely different. Typically there are few or no published measurements for a SMOD. Instead the boat is warranted correct at the factory: often there is a standard plug that all factories use.

If there is a query of a boat at an event the normal procedure is to measure a reasonable selection of other boats and get a range of measurements. If the questioned boat is outside that basket of measurements then it fails. And the measurer can pick any measurement they like, they aren't restricted to published ones. 

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