Wess

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

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5 minutes ago, tillerman said:

I think you mean the Siebel Sailors Program. 

https://www.ussailing.org/education/youth/siebel-sailors-program/

Yeah! That!  Here's the problem, (my perceived problem with it).  How does this do anything to help the SUSTAINABILITY of our sport?  While it's great to try and expand the world of low income/at risk youth the reality is our sports biggest problem is retaining sailors past Highschool.  This does not address that.

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

And yea, I agree that. But there are many - a majority even - of folks that don't venture and don't want to venture beyond club level sailing.  Alas, they are forced to pay for the minority that do.  That is what I am disagreeing with.

Also agree with others who are pointing out that the majority of money goes to support that minority of sailors, and that instead, if that money was spent at the club level where the majority of sailing happens, and where growth happens, it would be a good thing.

 For those, such as Wess, that want to buy a Laser without all the frictional costs of sailing an Olympic dinghy, LPE have reminded us they have the solution.

"Meanwhile, LP continues to offer to the many Laser lovers who do not race in ILCA-sponsored races, the Laser Club Edition – the same iconic Laser sailboat that LP has always been selling, minus the ILCA-issued plaque and button on the sail. Your price:  €4,514 in Europe, £3,995 in the UK and $5,399 for North America and the rest of the world. "

So there we have it! A brand spanking new Laser for $5,399. With the money going solely to the builder - a pillar of society and strong supporter of sailing. This has grassroots/club/local/beginner/hate WS and ILCA written all over it!! All clubs would welcome these boats in with the ILCA fleets. And, there could be mixed-breed events set up everywhere. You could organize unsanctioned warm up regattas the weekend before big ILCA events allowing all Laser-spawn craft. Race 'em all together - 4.7, Radial, Standard - pursuit style. Have prizes for both rig size and overall. Get a brewery to toss in a few kegs, have a couple BBQ's and let 'er rip! 

I think you should get a bunch of your grassroots buddies together and buy a container of these from LPE, Wess.  Probably some clubs and resorts would get in on it too. Hell - you can even offer those batten-less sails that Neil Pryde are punching out for $155 for the grassiest of the grassroots (grass stains?). 

But you better jump on it before ILCA and LPE figure shit out!

 

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And there you go again Bill telling everyone else what they should do.  You would be perfect for the ILCA or WS  BODs.  Why is it so hard to just let folks do what they want with their money and to support yourself and your club with your own money?

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14 minutes ago, bill4 said:

And, there could be mixed-breed events set up everywhere. You could organize unsanctioned warm up regattas the weekend before big ILCA events allowing all Laser-spawn craft. Race 'em all together - 4.7, Radial, Standard - pursuit style. Have prizes for both rig size and overall. Get a brewery to toss in a few kegs, have a couple BBQ's and let 'er rip! 

We actually do an event like this in Charleston.  It's called the Fort to Battery race.  One way, point to point race for anything that foils and/or is fast like cats.  Followed up with a big'ole redneck bar-b-que.  It's really cool.  Should be some YouTube footage and other info out there.  Typically held in April

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7 minutes ago, Wess said:

And there you go again Bill telling everyone else what they should do.  You would be perfect for the ILCA or WS  BODs.  Why is it so hard to just let folks do what they want with their money and to support yourself and your club with your own money?

Just suggesting. How does this suggestion not meet your sailing needs?

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13 minutes ago, bill4 said:

Just suggesting. How does this suggestion not meet your sailing needs?

Ah, well thank you for your suggestion then. I will take it under advisement!  B)

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16 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

We actually do an event like this in Charleston.  It's called the Fort to Battery race.  One way, point to point race for anything that foils and/or is fast like cats.  Followed up with a big'ole redneck bar-b-que.  It's really cool.  Should be some YouTube footage and other info out there.  Typically held in April

Yea, Dave and a bunch of the UFO folks do that.  Looks to be a fun "burn."  That kinda thing is good... no GREAT... for grass roots sailing.  Kudos to the organizers.  I think (?) its open to all.  Even a Laser would be fun in big breeze from the right direction.

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3 minutes ago, Wess said:

Ah, well thank you for your suggestion then. I will take it under advisement!  B)

Pleasure. I am here to help. 

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Just now, bill4 said:

Pleasure. I am here to help. 

LOL.  Yea, me too.

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4 minutes ago, Wess said:

Yea, Dave and a bunch of the UFO folks do that.  Looks to be a fun "burn."  That kinda thing is good... no GREAT... for grass roots sailing.  Kudos to the organizers.  I think (?) its open to all.  Even a Laser would be fun in big breeze from the right direction.

Might be. I'm doing RC this year just to be close to the action and watch.  Couple of years ago the kites put on a jumping expedition over our huge concrete/raised dock.  Typically we have a big SW thermal breeze going and the foilers just truck down the course.  The wipe outs are epic!

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6 minutes ago, Wess said:

Yea, Dave and a bunch of the UFO folks do that.  Looks to be a fun "burn."  That kinda thing is good... no GREAT... for grass roots sailing.  Kudos to the organizers.  I think (?) its open to all.  Even a Laser would be fun in big breeze from the right direction.

I think it's mainly for kites and cats and foilers. Some kid sailed it in an RS Aero in 2016 and won the award for "first boat" - which I think meant first monohull without foils. Actually I think he was the only "boat."

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So the class is trying to force an agreement down LP's throat and LP is balking at the wording.

193m8hjihc3y6jpg.jpg

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15 minutes ago, tillerman said:

I think it's mainly for kites and cats and foilers. Some kid sailed it in an RS Aero in 2016 and won the award for "first boat" - which I think meant first monohull without foils. Actually I think he was the only "boat."

You should bring a bunch of Aeros.  Lasers too.  I mean come on, who hasn't had one of those long broad reach sails back into the club from the race course when its blowing and the waves are up.  You think you are exhausted and then the sailing is just so much fun that adrenaline kicks in and you start hiking off the back corner, pumping the main like crazy and catching wave after wave for endless surfs.  Big smile and you end up thinking that sail back in was as much fun or even more fun than the racing.  Just the joy of a pure "burner!" 

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1 minute ago, sosoomii said:

Some details of the Laser League, from the RayA Dinghy Show guide/Yachts & Yachting

DFE0526D-6C28-4551-B096-114238267B77.jpeg

OMG that is dumber than dumb.  Epic fail.  LPE's LL, not you Sosoo

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9 minutes ago, sosoomii said:

Some details of the Laser League, from the RayA Dinghy Show guide/Yachts & Yachting

DFE0526D-6C28-4551-B096-114238267B77.jpeg

This is brilliant. If Laser sailors - indeed all sailors - stopped traveling to regattas all over the world, think of the reduction that would mean in greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks and ships and planes.

Join the Laser League. Save the Planet!

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Revisionist history.   This mess got started across all sports with a government sanctioned monopoly because of the EU committee's speed skating decision.

 

3 hours ago, JimC said:

 We might note that all this FRAND mess started because a certain other boat builder got the bureaucrats on his side.

 

 

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1 hour ago, sosoomii said:

Some details of the Laser League, from the RayA Dinghy Show guide/Yachts & Yachting

DFE0526D-6C28-4551-B096-114238267B77.jpeg

I don't get it.....

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I think there will be radically different competition formats in the future. More radical than that actually. I was involved in a blue sky discussion recently. Think Strava against formal cycle races. But whether the above has been properly planned and thought through is another matter.

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

I think there will be radically different competition formats in the future. More radical than that actually. I was involved in a blue sky discussion recently. Think Strava against formal cycle races. But whether the above has been properly planned and thought through is another matter.

As a cyclist, I understand the logic and the reasoning Strava or Zwift either as a training aid or in the case of Zwift the joy of racing other people over the same course at the same time.  
But for the life of me I cannot see what the attraction is for the average club sailor of this . I know it can be done like Barts Bash but no one treats the results seriously. In a seriousness rating this makes normal py racing seem like the laser worlds. 

Plus who runs the races and uploads them ? Are the special races or normal club ? And many more questions I cannot be bothered to ask . Not sure at any level that this has been thought through properly.

It might just work if LPE puts up loads of cash as prizes for the sailors and supports the organising clubs. Cannot see this happening anytime soon.:rolleyes:
 

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No, I don't suppose it has been thought through properly. But we are now in a world where the vast majority of club sailors never actually get enough races in to discard any in a club series. A different entry level format could help the sport. A format that doesn't involve line starts and mark rounding rules and is app timed could be enormously popular with the sorts of folk who find the racing rules too complicated. The average club sailor - probably not. But what about the beginners, the bucket listers, the people who find club racing too intimidating? The ones who can't get to the start line on time every weekend? 

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On 1/30/2020 at 9:06 PM, VWAP said:

Do you have parking spots for  RV campers?

Please send your schedule

 

41451d7ed67a7e6ab680a46f8976d125.jpg

@VWAP we race Lasers every Tuesday evening all Summer and on July 11th we'll race that Saturday as well.  We generally stay away from the weekends due to the powerboats and PWCs but we are branching out to try a few Saturdays this season to mix it up a little.

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10 hours ago, Wess said:

Oh please.  The rules don't magically disappear should we be so lucky that WS does.  Nor do the club's RC or PROs.  And judges!  That is funny.  Judges at a local club regatta.  I guess I should clarify that I don't mean NYYC when I say local clubs. 

Oh and finally, 505s seem to have long enjoyed rabbit starts.  And to imply that conventional starts and that local clubs RCs and PROs go away is... false.

Sailing doesn't need ILCA or WS.  It would do fine without them.  Not at the Olympic level but at the club level.  Fine if you disagree.  Fine if you want to pay them.  I did too at one time.  But why can't you agree that ILCA should be funded by those who wish to be members and attend ILCA events and that they should not be collecting fees from sailors that don't want to join and don't sail in ILCA events?  Why are those people forced to pay for your club?  Why don't YOU fully fund it?  The fact is that you keep paying less while asking non-members to pay more to fund your club.  That is wrong.

 

 

Okay Wess,

I will take the bait.  I have stayed away from this thread for a while.

Forget all your prejudices about WS. I bet that you and I would agree on much of what is wrong with the organization.  I see it first hand because I am the chairperson of the international board of a WS recognized international class.  I authorize the check that pays our annual fee to WS. I review our plaque fee. I correspond with WS and I am copied on  all class correspondence with WS. Most of the heavy lifting is done by our long suffering and very efficient professional class administrator.

I was also the point person in negotiating our 3 party(Class, Builder and WS)  class contract with WS when we became a WS class.

Wipe the slate clean, and remove all of the functions of the existing WS.....and you would very quickly discover that you need an organization to support the sport. This is how the IYRU started in the first place because there was a grass roots need for an international organization to provide certain functions that we enjoy.

Unless, you have been involved in the rules process, you have little idea of how much work goes into producing the rules that we all use to enjoy racing.  The rules were massively simplified in a large revision a couple of decades ago and every 4 years they need tweaking as we discover loopholes that need adjusting.  Furthermore we need a body of cases and experienced judges to ensure that those rules are enforced in a consistent way. This is done so well, that most of us sail blissfully unaware of the work that goes into maintaining and enforce the RRS that we all get to enjoy.

The training of judges, at club and international level is a huge asset. The judge training is not merely about rules. It is about how to conduct a protest and how to have the right temperament to run a protest. If you want to leave a protest room, confused, enraged and unhappy....sure an untrained judge can provide that experience. If you go out with a learning experience and with a common bond of sportsmanship with the other party.....then you have probably had a tarined judge in the room.

Race Management?  I assume you have experienced the joys of a poorly run racecourse? Most of us have.  I am forever grateful to the hundreds of volunteers that make our sport possible. But it is not only the hours that they spend on the committee boat or windswept mark boats that we should be grateful for.....it is the equal number of hours that they spend at training courses. The iceberg under the water that most competitors dont see is the dozens of days of training and planning that goes into a well run regatta.  So while we all have our jolly little sailing clubs to belong to,,,,,,,race management volunteers also have their organization that they belong to.   They initially called it IYRU and its sole mission at first was rules (RRS and measurement rules) and race management. The core mission might have got away from some of the leadership but its still there and it still needs doing.

Measurement rules is a whole 'nother chapter and this post is too long already but in the Viper class we like to ensure that everyone has a consistent set of rules to govern our sails and a choice of sailmakers. The WS template for sails is the best there is because hundreds of sailmaker hours and volunteer hours went into defining how to measure sails.

 

Class membership.   Our class fees are $55 per boat. We think that it is outstanding value for a Viper owner and we encourage (but do not insist) everyone to join.  We are very aware that we provide a service o all Viper owners whether they are members or not. The value of their boast is preserved by the work we do and the many options of fun that are available for Viper owners stem largely from the work of the class association. You could not replicate the work of the Class Association and its volunteers for less than $250,000 per year and obviously it costs us less than that to run it.  

The same applies to the Laser class. I looked at the minutes of the Australian class that were attached earlier in this thread. I was gobsmacked by how much they do for how little. 

 

I used to own a Laser and I was very proud to make my small contribution to the class ....I was funding the good work of volunteers.   

When I go out for beers with sailors and friends, sometimes there are those who never chip into buy a round. Fortunately we dont run into them very often  B)

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Mambo Kings said:

  

When I go out for beers with sailors and friends, sometimes there are those who never chip into buy a round. Fortunately we dont run into them very often  B)

 

I think it is pretty obvious that Wess has not put together many big regattas

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So much to do about nothing. You believe in a top down (money grabbing) process. I would just as soon see how we do without you. Wound prefer the same money go directly to the club level. I prefer a bottom up process. Think club level sailing  would survive just fine absent a WS or ILCA. But we will never know because you folks have rigged a system to pick pockets and print as much money as you want.

A pointless argument. The majority don’t join your little scam but yet it can’t be proven we could survive without you until you leave which you never will. 
 

So blather on...

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3 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

used to own a Laser and I was very proud to make my small contribution to the class ....I was funding the good work of volunteers.   

Nicely done Mambo.  A very good traditional reply.   However,  this question still begs an explicit answer  in follow up  "What is the value to the club viper owner?"   What should the club sailor expect from their class dues.  What gets them to say...   . Yeah... I find XXXX of value to me when your answer above is not compelling?

Your bar tab analogy works both ways....   Why would they not look at the national dues as just a subsidy for those racers who want to go off and spend a week racing....   eg... why are they pitching in 55 bucks for the bar round at the NA's that they have no interest in attending and certainly won't be drinking at?   No offense... but they don't want to pay for your bar tab... WHEN THEY ARE NOT THERE!    as a matter of fact... they resent being thought of as free loaders when they simply don't want the class offer and think the 55 bucks is better served on their own sailing.  Pay for your own entertainment thank you!  

The usual comeback is... HEY.... we are only talking about 55 bucks... you will spend more on gas to the event....  come on pay up.... ....again it  begs the point.... It could be 1 dollar in fees.    What is the commitment?  The psychology of sorting sailors into members and non members has a cost..... (something your viper class does seem to manage by not requiring membership and NOT tagging them as free loaders) 

The alternative model would be a simple fee for service model.  Why would they not pay for all of that service above  when they DO decide to attend the NA's when they are so inclined.  Do away with the notion of membership and simply call it the Class Administrative fee.  (pro tip.... when the sailing class collects the majority of their membership dues at the NAs.....its a membership in name only.... it really is an administrative fee  for the regatta and people don't call out the naked emperor). 

  IMO you need a much better reason then you  or  any one on the forums has offered so far.

Next point concerns the notion of volunteers in the sport and all that they do and juxtaposing this idea with dues/membership.     Your words... . you are" funding the good work of volunteers:..... translation... you are paying below market for a service that you want?  Now this is actually insulting.   Volunteers for running sailboat racing are not duty bound to serve.... We have to assume they enjoy the activity and service and do so.... voluntarily   (see how that works) because they enjoy doing it ....   In my experience NOTHING crushes volunteers more then placing a value on their contribution.... Volunteers are PRICELESS     Sailors simply could not afford the PRICE of their sport any other way.  Putting any value on volunteer service with a membership fee is the road to getting the finger and a final  see ya!  because the pay simply sucks.    When the class attempts to leverage tthe value added by their volunteers as a reason for membership... ie what they sell.. ... I think of the numerous bs scams we see every day.   I will say it again... volunteers are priceless... don't leverage them and don't screw them over be seeing them as anything other then PRICELESS.

Now class volunteers screw up too.... they can half ass it just as well as the pros.  I lost it with my class association after they spent money on something extremely stupid and  it spiraled  into an absolute embarrassment.   Ok... a mistake was made... BUT after two years of asking for the class accounting statements be published.... I had it. so...  So not a nickle more based on my standard.  (And they also could not find a compelling  answer for what value they delivered to the club sailor)

Final thought... most racers also take a turn at volunteering to keep the sport going and I don't see much value in comparing volunteer service as a club sailor cleaning out the junior's sail bin and chairing a jury..  The value of both efforts is priceless and there for cannot be compared.  yeah I know that is human nature to compare and evaluate but I don't get how  the idea that we have Lots of volunteer hours in service of the class can be used to argue or be a reason  why I should join the class as a club sailor when I do the bit I can it my club level.

Thanks for your thoughts

 

 

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Has Wess got himself a sock puppet? Lol :rolleyes::lol::D

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8 minutes ago, Xeon said:

Has Wess got himself a sock puppet? Lol :rolleyes::lol::D

Good for him. How do I get some sock puppets?

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18 minutes ago, Xeon said:

Has Wess got himself a sock puppet? Lol :rolleyes::lol::D

Tis not I.  But I seriously would love to go through both threads and count the number of other people posting here (or not) I have been accused (wrongly) of being.  In most cases it was actually believed by the person saying it.  My two favs are Clean joking (I think) that I was also Canntt and Cannt repeatedly saying I was Bill Crane.  Good, and funny, times.  Signed, Tiller

 

PS - Whoops.

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14 hours ago, Wess said:

So much to do about nothing.

what's that mean?

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14 hours ago, Wess said:

So much to do about nothing. You believe in a top down (money grabbing) process. I would just as soon see how we do without you. Wound prefer the same money go directly to the club level. I prefer a bottom up process. Think club level sailing  would survive just fine absent a WS or ILCA. But we will never know because you folks have rigged a system to pick pockets and print as much money as you want.

A pointless argument. The majority don’t join your little scam but yet it can’t be proven we could survive without you until you leave which you never will. 
 

So blather on...

one poster has spent more than a decade volunteering to help the sport, spending hundreds of his own hours and tens of thousands of his own money in the process because of his passion.  Another poster who has never done a fucking thing for the sport says he the first is a money grabbing scammer.  

that sure is confusing

 

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8 hours ago, Tcatman said:

 

Final thought... most racers also take a turn at volunteering 

 

 

no, they don't.  If they did, dues wouldn't be what they are.

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I'm happy to share thoughts.....and real life examples based on experience, both as a local club spark plug and at the class association level..The caveat is that this experience is based on the Viper class. I cant answer for other classes. I am sure there are similarities and differences .

#1   The Viper class is bottom up.  It was founded by 5 Viper owners in the upstairs bar at Maddie's sail loft in Marblehead in 2003. There was a lot of alcohol involved and honestly it was a bit of a blur. I woke up the following morning with a hell of a hangover and Kay Van Valkenburgh called congratulating me on being elected the first class president...which I had no recollection of.  

We drafted a one page mission statement the following week.

Our goals were:

1. Put the fun and energy back into one-design keelboat racing in the NE by providing a boat that :

  • Fast, Fun and Exhilarating to sail.  
  • Simple and Easy to sail.  We wanted to change the metric that high performance boats could only be sailed by high performance sailors.
  • Strict one design from a class appointed builder......with simple rules .
  • No paid pros.
  • Affordable

2.  Create a class controlled by the owners, run by the owners on behalf of the owners

3. We wrote the first line of our future class constitution which simply said (and still says to this day) : "The Fundamental Objective is to facilitate Viper 640 owners and crew having fun sailing and racing their boats "  . We have never lost that sense of the importance of fun.    A few weeks later, we wrote the second line " To maintain the Viper 640 as a strict one-design class of sailboat, where owners can maintain competitive boats at a reasonable cost."

350 boats later, the class has never lost that sense of ownership by the members. 

#2  The members of the Class Association truly own and control the direction of the class. We own the IP, we own and register the trade mark. We appoint the class builder and we supervise (in a partnership with the builder) construction standards.  We negotiated our World Sailing contract. There are a couple of interesting features of our class rules, including the "nobody paid to sail" rule which WS queried and were told that it was non-negotiable  . Then before we became a WS class, we discussed all the pros and cons with ourselves as owners, online and in a meeting and then held an open and transparent vote.  Our members required and obtained an opt-out clause .

#3 Tcat ...there is nothing traditional about the Viper class.   This is a grass roots organization with a an egalitarian and innovative streak.  Nobody is allowed to say "because it has always been done this way" . Interestingly we have talked about a $1 membership fee that you suggested.  Our funding model is not hugely dependent on membership fees (sponsorship revenues + pay as you go services are far greater than membership fees) , we would like every Viper owner to feel part of the tribe and we dont want a financial hurdle. But ultimately we felt that certain expenses should be covered by membership dues and a voting owner should have a little skin in the game.  We talk to the members and they tell us that they are happy that membership dues cover things like - insurance, so that the volunteers are covered from liability, IP registration, so that the owners never face the shitfights that we see in other classes,  and the infrastructure that we provide to support local club and fleet level activity. More on that in my next post

 

 

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16 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

Okay Wess,

I will take the bait.  I have stayed away from this thread for a while.

Forget all your prejudices about WS. I bet that you and I would agree on much of what is wrong with the organization.  I see it first hand because I am the chairperson of the international board of a WS recognized international class.  I authorize the check that pays our annual fee to WS. I review our plaque fee. I correspond with WS and I am copied on  all class correspondence with WS. Most of the heavy lifting is done by our long suffering and very efficient professional class administrator.

I was also the point person in negotiating our 3 party(Class, Builder and WS)  class contract with WS when we became a WS class.

Wipe the slate clean, and remove all of the functions of the existing WS.....and you would very quickly discover that you need an organization to support the sport. This is how the IYRU started in the first place because there was a grass roots need for an international organization to provide certain functions that we enjoy.

Unless, you have been involved in the rules process, you have little idea of how much work goes into producing the rules that we all use to enjoy racing.  The rules were massively simplified in a large revision a couple of decades ago and every 4 years they need tweaking as we discover loopholes that need adjusting.  Furthermore we need a body of cases and experienced judges to ensure that those rules are enforced in a consistent way. This is done so well, that most of us sail blissfully unaware of the work that goes into maintaining and enforce the RRS that we all get to enjoy.

The training of judges, at club and international level is a huge asset. The judge training is not merely about rules. It is about how to conduct a protest and how to have the right temperament to run a protest. If you want to leave a protest room, confused, enraged and unhappy....sure an untrained judge can provide that experience. If you go out with a learning experience and with a common bond of sportsmanship with the other party.....then you have probably had a tarined judge in the room.

Race Management?  I assume you have experienced the joys of a poorly run racecourse? Most of us have.  I am forever grateful to the hundreds of volunteers that make our sport possible. But it is not only the hours that they spend on the committee boat or windswept mark boats that we should be grateful for.....it is the equal number of hours that they spend at training courses. The iceberg under the water that most competitors dont see is the dozens of days of training and planning that goes into a well run regatta.  So while we all have our jolly little sailing clubs to belong to,,,,,,,race management volunteers also have their organization that they belong to.   They initially called it IYRU and its sole mission at first was rules (RRS and measurement rules) and race management. The core mission might have got away from some of the leadership but its still there and it still needs doing.

Measurement rules is a whole 'nother chapter and this post is too long already but in the Viper class we like to ensure that everyone has a consistent set of rules to govern our sails and a choice of sailmakers. The WS template for sails is the best there is because hundreds of sailmaker hours and volunteer hours went into defining how to measure sails.

 

Class membership.   Our class fees are $55 per boat. We think that it is outstanding value for a Viper owner and we encourage (but do not insist) everyone to join.  We are very aware that we provide a service o all Viper owners whether they are members or not. The value of their boast is preserved by the work we do and the many options of fun that are available for Viper owners stem largely from the work of the class association. You could not replicate the work of the Class Association and its volunteers for less than $250,000 per year and obviously it costs us less than that to run it.  

The same applies to the Laser class. I looked at the minutes of the Australian class that were attached earlier in this thread. I was gobsmacked by how much they do for how little. 

 

I used to own a Laser and I was very proud to make my small contribution to the class ....I was funding the good work of volunteers.   

When I go out for beers with sailors and friends, sometimes there are those who never chip into buy a round. Fortunately we dont run into them very often  B)

 

 

 

Great post. You and the others in the Viper class have done a great job. It is a fun fleet to race in. Being a member to support everyones effort has never been an issue. Most people think that way whether they travel to events or just race locally. 

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18 hours ago, WCB said:

@VWAP we race Lasers every Tuesday evening all Summer and on July 11th we'll race that Saturday as well.  We generally stay away from the weekends due to the powerboats and PWCs but we are branching out to try a few Saturdays this season to mix it up a little.

thanks will look into it and pass to others 

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TCat..........I think you would fit right in with the Viper Class. We strongly believe that sailing starts at the local level and we passionately look for way to encourage that bottom up mentality.    AND you are in luck....there is a vibrant growing Viper fleet on the Chesapeake.  Please reach out to Geoff and Mary, they will get you out on a boat. Viper venom is addictive , you will never look back.  :).    After your first ride, we like to ask "So what color hull would you like?" :rolleyes:

More seriously.  Let me show by example how a well run class association can support local fleets.  I recently moved to Darien and joined Noroton Yacht club. It is a great spot and if you live in Fairfield county CT, Westchester county NY or New York City, I can honestly tell you that it is a fantastic sailing club centered around the sport of racing sailboats.  We have a fledgling fleet of 4 Vipers. This fall we set ourselves the goal of doubling our fleet size to 8 boats by next season. We are now (January 31) 6 boats and we are confident that we will get to 8 by the beginning of the season and will hit double digits by next season.  These are folks who currently dont own boats...so we are out there putting bums on boats and growing the sport.

Here are some of the ways the class is helping us :

1. A picture is worth a thousand words.  I like to include images in my emails and send around flyers with exciting pictures of Viper sailing.  The Class provides me and other local class spark plugs with access to a cloud based image library. There are hundreds of images to choose from and they are curated by subject. If I want to send an appealing image to a mother of 2 sailors, I can search for images of women sailing Vipers and images of kids sailing Vipers. All rights are handled and taken care of by the class, we (local spatk plugs) just follow the credit instructions. There is no way as a local fleet we would have the time or money to put this together. Its a great resource.

2.  The class gives me access to its Wild Apricot CRM database and software. With a few clicks I can search for anyone within a 100 mile radius of my club who has ever expressed any interest in sailing a Viper and (subject to permission for the class administrator who safeguards privacy issues) I can send a blast email telling them about what we are doing at our club.

3. We hosted a local invitational regatta at our club last fall and we will be doing another in June.  With some help from the class administrator and the Wild Apricot database, I can send emails to owners inviting them to the regatta. I can invite everyone on the eastern seaboard or I can just invite owners on Long Island Sound. It goes out with a nice logo on the email, accompanied by some fun images. This is something we could not do at the club level without help from the class.

4.  New owners are keen to learn how to set up their boats and often have technical questions. I can refer them to the class forums. Not only is there a whole section of technical tips to answer questions but if they post a question on the forums  they will get a stream of helpful replies accompanied by welcomes to the class.   This weekend, I will be sailing with a new Viper owner from lake Dillon Colorado.  He posted some questions on the forum and a few weeks later he was making plans to come down to sarasota and crew with existing owners.  I can make a new Viper owner welcome to my little fleet but there is something specail about a class wide welcome that invites you to sail anywhere in the US  (and further afield.....one of my fledgling fleet is off to sail Vipers with the Spanish fleet in may).  It is an irreplaceable asset to helping local fleet growth, this feeling of camaraderie with other Viper owners  that the class creates.

5. Facebook, Instagram and  other promotion.  There is no doubt that boosting a local fleet requires a social media presence.  Our small group of 4 initial owners has access to a class facebook page that gets 30,000+ engagements in a week . It would take us a decade to build a FB page with 2,000 engagements if we tried to do it ourselves.  When we post news about our club fleet on the class FB page, we get dozens of likes which then lead to contacts and a crew pool, Finding crew is the #1 task of an active fleet spark plug. 

6. The Bucket List Regatta aspiration thing!  We will get to be a 15 boat Viper fleet. Many of those sailors and owners will only sail locally on LIS for most seasons.  But every Viper owner I know is partially drawn to the class because they like the idea that one day, they could sail on Biscayne Bay, or do the winter series in sarasota, or Charleston Race Week , or the Palma Vela in Majorca, etc. Maybe one day they will be on a startline with 70 Vipers at Gulfport? That aspirational option is an important draw that helps me grow my local fleet. the class provides that .

 

I could probably think of many other but right now I have to pack and head to the airport.  Tomorrow morning I am meeting Joe from Colorado for the first time and we will be sailing Vipers in sarasota.

 

Here is another reason to join a class association. you will make friends from all around the country that share a common interest (passion?) for sailing. Some of these become friends for life.  Life is good! Live it to the full.

 

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14 minutes ago, Mambo Kings said:

TCat..........I think you would fit right in with the Viper Class. We strongly believe that sailing starts at the local level and we passionately look for way to encourage that bottom up mentality.    AND you are in luck....there is a vibrant growing Viper fleet on the Chesapeake.  Please reach out to Geoff and Mary, they will get you out on a boat. Viper venom is addictive , you will never look back.  :).    After your first ride, we like to ask "So what color hull would you like?" :rolleyes:

 

 

I confess that I capitalized "And" and started a sentence with  a conjunction. I realize it will try the patience of my good friend Clean.

1293239415_Sayitaintso.png.efcd328de2d620548c5072e62875bffc.png

Who knew that capitalizing words WAS such an effective trigger ?  ;)

 

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1 hour ago, VWAP said:

thanks will look into it and pass to others 

Sounds good. We welcome visitors to race with us anytime...we have loaner Lasers too.

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

Tis not I.  But I seriously would love to go through both threads and count the number of other people posting here (or not) I have been accused (wrongly) of being.  In most cases it was actually believed by the person saying it.  My two favs are Clean joking (I think) that I was also Canntt and Cannt repeatedly saying I was Bill Crane.  Good, and funny, times.  Signed, Tiller

 

PS - Whoops.

According to Gantt, (thus it must be true), Wess is variously (i) Bill Crane (ii) Tillerman (iii) A paid sock puppet of the ILCA (obviously they must have missed the last paycheck?).   I have a different theory.

 

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40 minutes ago, Mambo Kings said:

TCat..........I think you would fit right in with the Viper Class. We strongly believe that sailing starts at the local level and we passionately look for way to encourage that bottom up mentality.    AND you are in luck....there is a vibrant growing Viper fleet on the Chesapeake.  Please reach out to Geoff and Mary, they will get you out on a boat. Viper venom is addictive , you will never look back.  :).    After your first ride, we like to ask "So what color hull would you like?" :rolleyes:

More seriously.  Let me show by example how a well run class association can support local fleets.  I recently moved to Darien and joined Noroton Yacht club. It is a great spot and if you live in Fairfield county CT, Westchester county NY or New York City, I can honestly tell you that it is a fantastic sailing club centered around the sport of racing sailboats.  We have a fledgling fleet of 4 Vipers. This fall we set ourselves the goal of doubling our fleet size to 8 boats by next season. We are now (January 31) 6 boats and we are confident that we will get to 8 by the beginning of the season and will hit double digits by next season.  These are folks who currently dont own boats...so we are out there putting bums on boats and growing the sport.

Here are some of the ways the class is helping us :

1. A picture is worth a thousand words.  I like to include images in my emails and send around flyers with exciting pictures of Viper sailing.  The Class provides me and other local class spark plugs with access to a cloud based image library. There are hundreds of images to choose from and they are curated by subject. If I want to send an appealing image to a mother of 2 sailors, I can search for images of women sailing Vipers and images of kids sailing Vipers. All rights are handled and taken care of by the class, we (local spatk plugs) just follow the credit instructions. There is no way as a local fleet we would have the time or money to put this together. Its a great resource.

2.  The class gives me access to its Wild Apricot CRM database and software. With a few clicks I can search for anyone within a 100 mile radius of my club who has ever expressed any interest in sailing a Viper and (subject to permission for the class administrator who safeguards privacy issues) I can send a blast email telling them about what we are doing at our club.

3. We hosted a local invitational regatta at our club last fall and we will be doing another in June.  With some help from the class administrator and the Wild Apricot database, I can send emails to owners inviting them to the regatta. I can invite everyone on the eastern seaboard or I can just invite owners on Long Island Sound. It goes out with a nice logo on the email, accompanied by some fun images. This is something we could not do at the club level without help from the class.

4.  New owners are keen to learn how to set up their boats and often have technical questions. I can refer them to the class forums. Not only is there a whole section of technical tips to answer questions but if they post a question on the forums  they will get a stream of helpful replies accompanied by welcomes to the class.   This weekend, I will be sailing with a new Viper owner from lake Dillon Colorado.  He posted some questions on the forum and a few weeks later he was making plans to come down to sarasota and crew with existing owners.  I can make a new Viper owner welcome to my little fleet but there is something specail about a class wide welcome that invites you to sail anywhere in the US  (and further afield.....one of my fledgling fleet is off to sail Vipers with the Spanish fleet in may).  It is an irreplaceable asset to helping local fleet growth, this feeling of camaraderie with other Viper owners  that the class creates.

5. Facebook, Instagram and  other promotion.  There is no doubt that boosting a local fleet requires a social media presence.  Our small group of 4 initial owners has access to a class facebook page that gets 30,000+ engagements in a week . It would take us a decade to build a FB page with 2,000 engagements if we tried to do it ourselves.  When we post news about our club fleet on the class FB page, we get dozens of likes which then lead to contacts and a crew pool, Finding crew is the #1 task of an active fleet spark plug. 

6. The Bucket List Regatta aspiration thing!  We will get to be a 15 boat Viper fleet. Many of those sailors and owners will only sail locally on LIS for most seasons.  But every Viper owner I know is partially drawn to the class because they like the idea that one day, they could sail on Biscayne Bay, or do the winter series in sarasota, or Charleston Race Week , or the Palma Vela in Majorca, etc. Maybe one day they will be on a startline with 70 Vipers at Gulfport? That aspirational option is an important draw that helps me grow my local fleet. the class provides that .

 

I could probably think of many other but right now I have to pack and head to the airport.  Tomorrow morning I am meeting Joe from Colorado for the first time and we will be sailing Vipers in sarasota.

 

Here is another reason to join a class association. you will make friends from all around the country that share a common interest (passion?) for sailing. Some of these become friends for life.  Life is good! Live it to the full.

 

All that and what you didn't list for only $55.00!!!!!!

Most classes give and members receive  way more benefits than the  cost of yearly dues.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, VWAP said:

All that and what you didn't list for only $55.00!!!!!!

Most classes give and members receive  way more benefits than the  cost of yearly dues.

 

 

And here is a fun snippet.

Every two years I submit a proposal to reduce membership fees to $40. It is well known in the class.  Each time it gets rejected.

Its become a tradition. I argue for lower fees. The owner members currently think that the dues are good value and reject my proposal. I guess that if the class ever stops doing a great job, my proposal will get passed. Its a healthy check.

FWIW, another thing that we do a bit differently is we use "Zero Based Budgeting".  Each year we move our expense budget to zero. No prior expense is sacred. Then  we prioritize what we are trying to do and budget accordingly. So each year, the starting point for our budget for our WS fee is zero. The budget for  the class website is zero.  Then we decide what we think is most important to do. we encourage new ideas and we think it is healthy to cut stuff that we were doing the prior year to do something new this year.  I guess its no secret that WS is never in the top ten but it scrapes in.  They really need to think carefully about  the value that they offer classes and sailors.We are much closer to the sailors than they are.

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2 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

I'm happy to share thoughts.....and real life examples based on experience, both as a local club spark plug and at the class association level..The caveat is that this experience is based on the Viper class. I cant answer for other classes. I am sure there are similarities and differences .

#1   The Viper class is bottom up.  It was founded by 5 Viper owners in the upstairs bar at Maddie's sail loft in Marblehead in 2003. There was a lot of alcohol involved and honestly it was a bit of a blur. I woke up the following morning with a hell of a hangover and Kay Van Valkenburgh called congratulating me on being elected the first class president...which I had no recollection of.  

We drafted a one page mission statement the following week.

Our goals were:

1. Put the fun and energy back into one-design keelboat racing in the NE by providing a boat that :

  • Fast, Fun and Exhilarating to sail.  
  • Simple and Easy to sail.  We wanted to change the metric that high performance boats could only be sailed by high performance sailors.
  • Strict one design from a class appointed builder......with simple rules .
  • No paid pros.
  • Affordable

2.  Create a class controlled by the owners, run by the owners on behalf of the owners

3. We wrote the first line of our future class constitution which simply said (and still says to this day) : "The Fundamental Objective is to facilitate Viper 640 owners and crew having fun sailing and racing their boats "  . We have never lost that sense of the importance of fun.    A few weeks later, we wrote the second line " To maintain the Viper 640 as a strict one-design class of sailboat, where owners can maintain competitive boats at a reasonable cost."

350 boats later, the class has never lost that sense of ownership by the members. 

#2  The members of the Class Association truly own and control the direction of the class. We own the IP, we own and register the trade mark. We appoint the class builder and we supervise (in a partnership with the builder) construction standards.  We negotiated our World Sailing contract. There are a couple of interesting features of our class rules, including the "nobody paid to sail" rule which WS queried and were told that it was non-negotiable  . Then before we became a WS class, we discussed all the pros and cons with ourselves as owners, online and in a meeting and then held an open and transparent vote.  Our members required and obtained an opt-out clause .

#3 Tcat ...there is nothing traditional about the Viper class.   This is a grass roots organization with a an egalitarian and innovative streak.  Nobody is allowed to say "because it has always been done this way" . Interestingly we have talked about a $1 membership fee that you suggested.  Our funding model is not hugely dependent on membership fees (sponsorship revenues + pay as you go services are far greater than membership fees) , we would like every Viper owner to feel part of the tribe and we dont want a financial hurdle. But ultimately we felt that certain expenses should be covered by membership dues and a voting owner should have a little skin in the game.  We talk to the members and they tell us that they are happy that membership dues cover things like - insurance, so that the volunteers are covered from liability, IP registration, so that the owners never face the shitfights that we see in other classes,  and the infrastructure that we provide to support local club and fleet level activity. More on that in my next post

 

 

Work is calling and given you are being serious that deserves a serious response. Will have to be later though. I will say I do think what you folks are and have been doing is pretty cool.

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1 hour ago, Mambo Kings said:

According to Gantt, (thus it must be true), Wess is variously (i) Bill Crane (ii) Tillerman (iii) A paid sock puppet of the ILCA (obviously they must have missed the last paycheck?).   I have a different theory.

 

Wess and I have had our fair share of back and fourth on this forum and some communications outside of the forum.  Wess is a lot of things, (including a rum hound!) but I don't believe he does any of this "sock puppet" foolishness. 

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13 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

 Wess is a lot of things

Agreed

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13 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Wess and I have had our fair share of back and fourth on this forum and some communications outside of the forum.  Wess is a lot of things, (including a rum hound!) but I don't believe he does any of this "sock puppet" foolishness. 

Neither do I.

 

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Ok.... you crushed that answer.... .   Providing the tools to grow the fleet at the local level is THE compelling reason a club sailor would join.

The second element that came though and I want to comment on is that your viper notion of CLASS is expansive and treats the dues paying member as a valued member of the Viper club.    (small c.... in the sense of a a club of viper lovers)  The bottom up nature that you reinvent each year adds incredible value to the notion of Membership.   Class membership is not a duty that you are fulfilling because you have to...    Class /club membership in Viper is something that you truly belong to.... not just a  member  with the card in your pocket..

Final point....I get a strong sense of how your rule set was designed to honor the integrity of the competition.  Somehow... I don't think your racers worry about any issues in this area...    The laser experience is a real warning for what happens when the rank and file begin to worry.  Blah Blah stating... I believe all the boats are the same won't cut it now.     I noted Gouv's post referencing a very talented engineer and experienced builder as being on the team and  important to their next step....   Indeed.... that is what it takes to restore confidence in the integrity of the laser rule set and build..   You have to tip your hat to the rule writers who gave you such a good foundation.

I was beyond impressed.... thanks for your serious reply!!!   Indeed... you are NOT a typical class....and it is fantastic to know this!!!

SOCK PUPPET!  ... Wess's libertarian instincts would never generate this thread.... He will just bang on about the cash the elites are snatching from his wallet! for the sail.   (grin)

 

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11 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

Who knew that capitalizing words WAS such an effective trigger ?  ;)

Was that sentence intended for me? (You should try word salad! ;))

---

I have enjoyed reading your last few posts VMK. The Viper class sounds great and you sound like a pretty good class president.

Many of the values @Mambo Kings mentions above are consistent with my experience with the Laser class. In my view one design racing is inherently egalitarian - which is more the case when boat ownership is cheaper!

---

The best prize is won by every sailor who returns to shore after a race with a grin, having escaped real world pressures for a time. And they're the ones who keep turning up again and again, year after year. These same winners aren't always the ones who cross the finish line first.

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6 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

 

The best prize is won by every sailor who returns to shore after a race with a grin, having escaped real world pressures for a time. And they're the ones who keep turning up again and again, year after year. These same winners aren't always the ones who cross the finish line first.

Well said!

I race predominantly in a handicap fleet. There are fast & slow boats plus good & not so good sailors. We all have individual battles within the main race, sometimes against boats that should be a lot faster & others who are really on form & a slower class. I don't really care where I come overall in the race, (although winning on handicap is always nice!) as long as I'm enjoying myself & the people around me are too. It's all about the craic at the end of the day!

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18 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Wess and I have had our fair share of back and fourth on this forum and some communications outside of the forum.  Wess is a lot of things, (including a rum hound!) but I don't believe he does any of this "sock puppet" foolishness. 

I am Spartacus!

18 hours ago, bill4 said:

Agreed

You are an angry Canadian who needs an ice boat or a ticket south out of the frozen tundra.  I am sailing later today; how about you?  :P

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OK @Mambo Kings - I promised a serious response.  Think you have a nice boat there and a great class.  Think it is as different from ILCA as day is from night.  If I owned a Viper I would want to join the class.  But we are not talking Viper.  We are talking ILCA.

To begin at the end I am pro-choice. People should be allowed to choose where they spend their money.  What club they join or not.  What class they join or not.  And no, that does not mean I am in favor of freeloading.  I will argue here it is ILCA and WS doing the freeloading.

Lets start with the club. There was talk up thread about racers not giving back or doing RC for example.  When I stopped racing and shifted back to cruising with the wife, I was a member of 2 clubs; one paper and one brick and mortar.  At both those clubs you could not race unless you volunteered.  You and your crew had to do RC, serve as PRO etc...  I love that model.  I had been a member of a 3rd club as well but it was paper and took much from the sport and gave nothing back. I left that club as soon as I could (needed it for some big boat racing the kids wanted to do).  My favorite club was the one with the infrastructure and work requirement.  When medical issues prompted me to stop racing I though about continuing that membership even when I didn't need it for anything simply because I loved it (and the people) so much.  But end of day my wife and I thought we needed to focus and were doing more  to give back by supporting and/or running a variety of 501C3 NFPs that focus on community out-reach sailing and skill building for inner city youth.  Spend way more time and money (easily 100X) than ILCA and WS would cost me but that is my choice.

Now lets continue that thought and extend it to a class.  We are now talking ILCA and WS.  I am still pro-choice.  Lets say I want to buy a few Lasers and put them on a beach for me and kids or grand kids or friends to muck around in.  Lets say I want to put them into the NFP.   Lets even say that we might informally race those boat around the moorings with those family members or inner city youth.  The boats are not being raced in any ILCA event.  But yet ILCA and WS still take a bite.  And its not a small bite.  Even the ILCA supporters admit this is not $10 or even $100.  Its not even $200 by their own admission.  Its more.  Some here up thread suggest it may even be multiple $1000s.  Despite indications they would, ILCA has never come clean and actually listed ALL the fees (fixed and variable) that go to or are mandated by themselves or WS and go to other 3rd parties.  Further ILCA has made clear that they have reduced membership fees while increasing (at a significant %) these other fees which impact non-members. All this while the class has abandoned the bedrock principles upon which it was founded (FRAND vs SMOD) and taken other actions I strongly disagree with.  I believe that current class leadership has acted in bad faith to be as polite as I can.  Further, ILCA has clearly stated their focus is on the Olympics and growth in Asia/China.  I have zero interest in that.  My interest is more local.  I take nothing and want nothing from WS or ILCA in pursuing these local interests.  But yet they feel they have the right to force me to pay to support their interests; why?  Because they are incapable of doing what you did.  Offer something of value that people want to join.

Do not misunderstand.  If I choose to sail in an ILCA event then regardless of how much I disagree with the actions and morals of class leadership I should join and would.  But I am not and should be free to choose to not financially support an organizations I disagree with and take nothing from.  Because they can't stand on their own two feet, or live within their means, ILCA and WS are freeloading off people like me; not the other way around.

Sorry for the delay to respond; I am off sailing from here.

Cheers.

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On 2/6/2020 at 11:21 AM, sosoomii said:

Some details of the Laser League, from the RayA Dinghy Show guide/Yachts & Yachting

DFE0526D-6C28-4551-B096-114238267B77.jpeg

So, vapourware then.

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43 minutes ago, Dex Sawash said:

So, vapourware then.

It's sounds a bit like how Bart's Bash is run but restricted to one class and extended into an ongoing league rather than just a once-a-year charity event. I can see that it would be technically feasible but whether it would be attractive to Laser sailors is another matter. 

https://www.bartsbash.com

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2 hours ago, Wess said:

I am Spartacus!

You are an angry Canadian who needs an ice boat or a ticket south out of the frozen tundra.  I am sailing later today; how about you?  :P

1) Canadians are too nice to be angry.

2) I used to have an iceboat - but that game is just sooooo condition-sensitive. Plus there is only one decent venue within a few hundred miles.

3) Later today, like all Canadians, I will hope here is something decent on the trapline we can have for dinner, huddle in our igloo and listen to hockey on the crystal radio.

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Anybody know where Laser Masters worlds are in 2021?

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On 2/8/2020 at 8:20 AM, Wess said:

 

To begin at the end I am pro-choice. People should be allowed to choose where they spend their money. Agreed

 ILCA has made clear that they have reduced membership fees while increasing (at a significant %) these other fees which impact non-members. This might be a good thing. So for example are those "other fees" more closely related to the service that ILCA is providing?  Sail royalties for class legal sails which folks buy to use in class regattas might be a fairer way of collecting revenue than membership fees????

All this while the class has abandoned the bedrock principles upon which it was founded (FRAND vs SMOD) and taken other actions I strongly disagree with.  I believe that current class leadership has acted in bad faith to be as polite as I can.   Hey Wess......we can disagree with the policy decisions of the elected class officers but I dont think there is any "bad faith"  in those people or their decisions.  You have argued cogently for the advantages of regional SMOD structure.  Others have argued for the open competition model. I dont think either side is arguing on bad faith. Both sides are arguing for what they think is best for the class.  

I have a bias towards SMOD but I certainly respect the "good faith" of those who argue the other case.

Further, ILCA has clearly stated their focus is on the Olympics and growth in Asia/China.  I have zero interest in that.  My interest is more local.  I take nothing and want nothing from WS or ILCA in pursuing these local interests.  I havent seen or followed those statements about Asia so I cant comment.  I will say that it is often healthy for a class to initially support and subsidize growth in new regions.

Do not misunderstand.  If I choose to sail in an ILCA event then regardless of how much I disagree with the actions and morals of class leadership I should join and would.  But I am not and should be free to choose to not financially support an organizations I disagree with and take nothing from.  Because they can't stand on their own two feet, or live within their means, ILCA and WS are freeloading off people like me; not the other way around.

Sorry for the delay to respond; I am off sailing from here.

 

I am sympathetic to your frustration Wess.  So I will just make a couple of comments in passing.

  • To some extent, the folks running a class association cannot distinguish between members and non-members, their work provides a service to everyone who owns and sails in that class.
    • The oversight of the construction manual and building standards means your boat is a of the same standard and quality as a class member's boat. I have seen a bit of this because, even though we have a builder who we trust and who cares about the class, we have to create something that survives for posterity.  So when a new set of molds is built to replace molds as they wear out, we have a boat hung in the air and laser scanned to compare hull shape etc to prior  boats and a report written by Jim Taylor. We have a builders committee and technical committee who work with Paul Young to review all updates and possible modifications. This is a periodic expense on the class budget. We even invest in some tooling which is uneconomic from a commercial perspective for a boat of this size but we think improves owners' enjoyment of the boat because the precision and quality is better. I suspect this is a bigger task for the Laser class where the builders have less of a partner relationship than we do.
    • The one design nature of the Laser and the Viper and the one design racing preserves the values of everyone's boats.  The Lasers you run on the beach for your grandchildren will have a much better resale value than a boat with no after market. Active one design classes hold their value much better than dead classes. It is the class associations that keep classes active. Your cost of ownership of a beach boat is likely lower in a Laser than a Humphrey 14.
  • Providing great regatta circuits and fun events is a very important function of a class association......but it is rarely a large budget item for the class associations.  Some classes (eg. The sunfish class) actually earn revenue from NAs etc.  I dont know about the Laser class. If someone chooses not to belong to a class association because they dont sail in class association major regattas, then I would say that the class association might need to do a better job explaining what they do.

I regret that I dont have a lot of push back about your complaints about WS. It is an unbelievably inefficient organization which needs to refocus its mission and get closer to its audience.

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What happened to the United States Yacht Racing Union and the International Yacht Racing Union? The names sound much more civilized. US Sailing and World Sailing sound like government agencies.

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32 minutes ago, Old Yeller said:

What happened to the United States Yacht Racing Union and the International Yacht Racing Union? The names sound much more civilized. US Sailing and World Sailing sound like government agencies.

1. Americans decided it was silly to refer to Lasers and Sunfish as "yachts."

2. When some people see the word "Union" they think of an organization formed to protect the rights of workers, rather than a faceless bureaucracy that takes money from people like @Wess so they can have fun meetings in places like Bermuda and San Diego


3. Meanwhile, sailors in Britain seem quite happy sticking with the name Royal Yachting Association (which has a princess married to an admiral as its patron.) And the RYA even seems to be able to win a few Olympic sailing medals from time to time - not to mention running an amazing dinghy show every year.

https://www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/rya-dinghy-show-2020/

 

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1 hour ago, tillerman said:

not to mention running an amazing dinghy show every year.

Dinghy sailing is relevant in the UK. Sadly, not so much this side of the pond.

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3 minutes ago, bill4 said:

Dinghy sailing is relevant in the UK. Sadly, not so much this side of the pond.

I hear that said occasionally, but looking at regatta network And other calendars it sure looks like plenty of people are on the water.

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57 minutes ago, bill4 said:

Dinghy sailing is relevant in the UK. Sadly, not so much this side of the pond.

Bullsh*t

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2 hours ago, tillerman said:

1. Americans decided it was silly to refer to Lasers and Sunfish as "yachts."

2. When some people see the word "Union" they think of an organization formed to protect the rights of workers, rather than a faceless bureaucracy that takes money from people like @Wess so they can have fun meetings in places like Bermuda and San Diego


3. Meanwhile, sailors in Britain seem quite happy sticking with the name Royal Yachting Association (which has a princess married to an admiral as its patron.) And the RYA even seems to be able to win a few Olympic sailing medals from time to time - not to mention running an amazing dinghy show every year.

https://www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/rya-dinghy-show-2020/

 

and they hold their annual dinghy show in a palace!

Gawd bless 'em.

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5 hours ago, Old Yeller said:

What happened to the United States Yacht Racing Union and the International Yacht Racing Union? The names sound much more civilized. US Sailing and World Sailing sound like government agencies.

Don't forget the international Laser Union, part of Laser Performance United.

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6 hours ago, Old Yeller said:

What happened to the United States Yacht Racing Union and the International Yacht Racing Union? The names sound much more civilized. US Sailing and World Sailing sound like government agencies.

Same as the Canadian Yachting Association; now Sail Canada

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14 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

ILCA has made clear that they have reduced membership fees while increasing (at a significant %) these other fees which impact non-members. This might be a good thing. So for example are those "other fees" more closely related to the service that ILCA is providing?  Sail royalties for class legal sails which folks buy to use in class regattas might be a fairer way of collecting revenue than membership fees????

umm ... This point is the deal breaker for Wess.....  Yes... the class charges a class fee for the class legal equipment like the sail because this is the class membership approved mechanism to fund and ensure integrity in the competition.   For the elite sailors and all full out competitors competitive integrity  IS the most important function of the class association.  Either you manage the integrity of the competition OR the cheaters will find an angle and undermine the game.  The class long ago approved the Olympic status and so rigor of managing the integrity of the competition went through the roof. (The cheaters don't go away when the prize is now priceless) The costs to ensure the level playing field beyond the handwave  called SMOD were measurable.  The fact that this cost is forced on a user/non class member is the Choice issue for Wes.

Wes argues in true libertarian fashion that NO>>>>  he does not have choice.  In his view... choice should be  BOTH  low membership fees...and NO surcharges on the spare parts sold.   In his view, He is being forced by outside forces  to pay a surcharge AND were it left to the marketplace of old... the SMOD business, aka a privately owned monopoly,  would not buckle under the domination  of the World Sailing Organization/IOC.  The rules, regulations and FRAND rules that manage the integrity of the competition steal value from the business owner and the consumer.   The good ol days of Laser Class standards and builder good will were good enough for the level of competition and he opposes the changes..  This POV is fair enough BUT the class members continually choose to upgrade the laser game and choose to REMAIN Olympic. Wes's charge of bad faith actors and big goverment like strong arm bs is not accurate or a fair description.

When libertarians are confronted with the actual real world...  the unbridaled choice of the  individual usually gives way to the collective action of the class towards a shared objective..   The fact is that people "most invested" in the class voted to pursue the shared objective of the highest level of integrity in competition. They voted on the best way to fund the equipment integrity of competition. The costs were put on the business owner and the consumer BY THE RACING SAILOR GROUP.  In the good ol days, the bits supplied by the dealer were by definition class legal and then class membership was nominal and likely repurposed into the keg of beer that season.   Today.   you have a problem when the club sailor shows up at his club and the standard entry form you sign declares that you will certify that your boat is class legal and that you are a class member.    NOW the club sailor with non approved bits and no current class membership is going to sign off on a white lie and in order to play a game.... he drops a bit of his  integrity in the process.   In a sport that depends on self policing...the structure the laser class has built has a cost.

 Mambo noted how the Viper class manages this...  They DON"T require class membership to play.  They don't divide the sailors into class/non class...or. us/them ....or the kiss of death... Legal vs Illegal racers. .   they don't create second class sailors.  They don't label sailors as using ILLEGAL stuff....  (no matter the definition and language used.... the sailor hears "cheater").   They managed the integrity of their competition by other mechanisms.  Wes would be better off arguing  the class rules should be officially suspended for club level racing and  non championship level weekend regattas world wide.  The old wink wink  ah....look the other way treatment has a cost.    Half assed is not a winning strategy.

If you get the structure of the game clearly spelled out then you actually create a free choice for the club laser sailor that he can make with complete integrity for himself and the larger community in the game of laser racing.   If they come to share the value of rigorous equipment control then they will purchase the legal stuff and join the class and comply with the entry requirement that they are in good faith... class legal for the higher level regatta..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Its quite clear that a good class association is worth its weight in gold, and that even non-members benefit by strong resale values associated with a strong class.  In nearly all cases it is the class association more than the actual dinghy that determines whether a boat will be a success.  To my mind the Laser is an exception.  It is/was a manufacturer led class that sold by the bucket load for various reasons and whilst the CA has performed a necessary job organising events and managing class rules it has not been central to the run away success of the class.

Regarding IYRU/ISAF/WS.  It is more than just a change of name.  With the switch from IYRU to ISAF it went from being bottom up to top down - from a confederation of states united by a common interest to a federation of subordinate member states headed by a central government.  The switch to WS further cemented and commercialised that change.  Maybe in the 21st century these changes are necessary to conform to governance requirements but, much like ILCA, it sure smacks of sleight of hand to take control of something that was not yours. 

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anyone spoken to a potential builder to see how onerous the financial commitment is to ILCA?

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14 hours ago, bill4 said:

Dinghy sailing is relevant in the UK. Sadly, not so much this side of the pond.

We're hanging in there and it's definitely a core group that does best as long as it stays "in the family" with offspring getting into the sport.  However, just a few trips to area boat shows in the US, (outside of the big ones like Annapolis and maybe Miami) shows sailing in general has lost it's "relevance" in the US.  

Why? I go back to my standard argument.  Ease of access and general sustainability.  Every year we loose more access to launch points due to development.  That relegates many to joining,(mostly) expensive YC's.  Some of these YC's in the US are men only organizations, (typically white men only).  I can speak to this because just last night my current club voted down allowing women members, (my home club has allowed them for many years).  The opposing arguments centered around, "If it's ain't broke don't fix it." and "It's tradition.  This is a men's club."  So eloquent....Yes.  I'm in the deep south.

Makes me sick to my stomach, but it's indicative of just some of the serious obstacles and challenges our sport faces.  Finally, sailing is hard.  If someone isn't brought in properly, (with good instruction) they won't last long.  It's way more difficult than grabbing a beer and turning an ignition key, but again, I've said all this before.

The best thing we can do is drive this grass roots in our independent areas and classes that we support. Our national and international governing bodies have lost touch and their top down direction proof of that. 

Sorry if I'm a bit down today.....

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10 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Some of these YC's in the US are men only organizations, (typically white men only).  I can speak to this because just last night my current club voted down allowing women members,

Seriously?

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17 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

 Some of these YC's in the US are men only organizations, (typically white men only).  I can speak to this because just last night my current club voted down allowing women members, (my home club has allowed them for many years).  The opposing arguments centered around, "If it's ain't broke don't fix it." and "It's tradition.  This is a men's club."  So eloquent....Yes.  I'm in the deep south.

Makes me sick to my stomach, but it's indicative of just some of the serious obstacles and challenges our sport faces.

Sorry if I'm a bit down today.....

Holy crap.  Not throwing stones here but having two daughters (or even if I didn't) I could not be a member of that club.  That kinda crap should be outted.

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5 hours ago, Tcatman said:

 

 Mambo noted how the Viper class manages this...  They DON"T require class membership to play.  They don't divide the sailors into class/non class...or. us/them ....or the kiss of death... Legal vs Illegal racers. .   they don't create second class sailors.  They don't label sailors as using ILLEGAL stuff....  (no matter the definition and language used.... the sailor hears "cheater").   They managed the integrity of their competition by other mechanisms.  Wes would be better off arguing  the class rules should be officially suspended for club level racing and  non championship level weekend regattas world wide.  The old wink wink  ah....look the other way treatment has a cost.    Half assed is not a winning strategy.

 

If you get the structure of the game clearly spelled out then you actually create a free choice for the club laser sailor that he can make with complete integrity for himself and the larger community in the game of laser racing.   If they come to share the value of rigorous equipment control then they will purchase the legal stuff and join the class and comply with the entry requirement that they are in good faith... class legal for the higher level regatta..

 

I want to be accurate in my comments. The Viper Class does not require owners to be class members (although we actively encourage membership). However for class sanctioned championships we require that either the owner or skipper is a member.  If a Viper owned by a non-member shows up for our Long Island Sound championship series it would be warmly welcomed (class membership not required for that series) and by the end of the series I can almost guarantee that they would be a member. If a boat owned and helmed by a non-member showed up for our North American Championship, we would ask for that $55 membership fee , which seems fair to the sailors because a lot of class work went into raising the sponsorship etc for that event.   

The bottom line IMHO, is that it is a lot easier to levy a membership fee if your boat owners want to be members and want to pool some money to pay for class activities. So although I think it is perfectly reasonable to require membership for major championship events hosted by a class association, it is a so much better vibe if the sailors are already members because they want to be members.

There are, of course, "beach Vipers" (to borrow a phrase) from Wess, who are never going to race one design.  We also want them to feel they can have access to the class and be part of the tribe. The "fundamental objective" first written on the back of a paper napkin upstairs in Maddie's and subsequently encoded as paragraph 3.1 of the constitution of the CT non-stock corporation that is the class association  is " To facilitate Viper 640 owners and crew having fun sailing and racing their boats"    We deliberately chose the phrase "owners AND crew"   and we deliberately chose the phrase "sailing AND racing".  As a founding group we agreed to set ourselves responsibilities that extended beyond just taking care of the interests of the racing owner members. If you join the Viper class Association, you are signing up for a "club" that believes we also run the class on behalf of the crew (mostly non-members) and viper owners who sail but do not race.   We make sure that we send our Viper news letter (Snake Bytes ) to every Viper owner that we can find (including Doug's red boat with an aluminum mast on lake George....70 years young and tearing down the lake in a Viper) and every crew. 

Also, to be clear, we also have strict equipment control for one design racing.  We are passionate about a level playing field that is affordable for everyone. We transparently borrowed some of our wording from the Laser class. Ian Bruce and the founders of the Laser class really got that right.    Rule 1.1 of the Viper Class Association rules will sound awfully familiar to a lot of Laser sailors:

1.1 The Viper 640 is a strict one-design keelboat where the true test, when raced, is between helmspersons and crews, and not boats and equipment

In our case, as a SMOD (where the class appoints the single manufacturer), we have the luxury of a simple rule that you can only race the boat as supplied by the builder . You cannot change anything unless it is specifically listed in Part B of the rules. Part B allows a choice of mainsheet layouts, specifies a min and max gnav purchase and a few other tweaks .    

Oh.....and in my opinion we chose our single builder in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner.  

Well, thus far we have not been sued in the European Court of Justice. :wacko:

 

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23 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

I am sympathetic to your frustration Wess.  So I will just make a couple of comments in passing.

  • To some extent, the folks running a class association cannot distinguish between members and non-members, their work provides a service to everyone who owns and sails in that class.
    • The oversight of the construction manual and building standards means your boat is a of the same standard and quality as a class member's boat. I have seen a bit of this because, even though we have a builder who we trust and who cares about the class, we have to create something that survives for posterity.  So when a new set of molds is built to replace molds as they wear out, we have a boat hung in the air and laser scanned to compare hull shape etc to prior  boats and a report written by Jim Taylor. We have a builders committee and technical committee who work with Paul Young to review all updates and possible modifications. This is a periodic expense on the class budget. We even invest in some tooling which is uneconomic from a commercial perspective for a boat of this size but we think improves owners' enjoyment of the boat because the precision and quality is better. I suspect this is a bigger task for the Laser class where the builders have less of a partner relationship than we do.
    • The one design nature of the Laser and the Viper and the one design racing preserves the values of everyone's boats.  The Lasers you run on the beach for your grandchildren will have a much better resale value than a boat with no after market. Active one design classes hold their value much better than dead classes. It is the class associations that keep classes active. Your cost of ownership of a beach boat is likely lower in a Laser than a Humphrey 14.
  • Providing great regatta circuits and fun events is a very important function of a class association......but it is rarely a large budget item for the class associations.  Some classes (eg. The sunfish class) actually earn revenue from NAs etc.  I dont know about the Laser class. If someone chooses not to belong to a class association because they dont sail in class association major regattas, then I would say that the class association might need to do a better job explaining what they do.

I regret that I dont have a lot of push back about your complaints about WS. It is an unbelievably inefficient organization which needs to refocus its mission and get closer to its audience.

Hey am buried in work but wanted to at least respond briefly.  You had suggested that I think the class decision to switch to FRAND is an example of them acting  in "bad faith."  That is not so.  While I disagree the decision to move to FRAND, and its one of the reasons I would struggle to support the current class leadership, I do not think that an example of them acting in bad faith.  There was a vote. The vote said yes to go FRAND.  While I may disagree going FRAND, I have no problem in that if I want to race in an ILCA sanctioned event I gotta accept current class rules including FRAND as a fact of life, join the class and pay membership.  Fair enough.  When I am referring to current ILCA class leaders acting in bad faith IMHO, I am taking issue with other of their actions. 

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14 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

We're hanging in there and it's definitely a core group that does best as long as it stays "in the family" with offspring getting into the sport.  However, just a few trips to area boat shows in the US, (outside of the big ones like Annapolis and maybe Miami) shows sailing in general has lost it's "relevance" in the US.  

Why? I go back to my standard argument.  Ease of access and general sustainability.  Every year we loose more access to launch points due to development.  That relegates many to joining,(mostly) expensive YC's.  Some of these YC's in the US are men only organizations, (typically white men only).  I can speak to this because just last night my current club voted down allowing women members, (my home club has allowed them for many years).  The opposing arguments centered around, "If it's ain't broke don't fix it." and "It's tradition.  This is a men's club."  So eloquent....Yes.  I'm in the deep south.

Makes me sick to my stomach, but it's indicative of just some of the serious obstacles and challenges our sport faces.  Finally, sailing is hard.  If someone isn't brought in properly, (with good instruction) they won't last long.  It's way more difficult than grabbing a beer and turning an ignition key, but again, I've said all this before.

The best thing we can do is drive this grass roots in our independent areas and classes that we support. Our national and international governing bodies have lost touch and their top down direction proof of that. 

Sorry if I'm a bit down today.....


Men only sailing clubs? Jeeze. I can't believe we are living in the same century, let alone the same country.

My club is 100% sailing and 100% dinghies with a membership of 70 families. It's on a small lake that has several access points for boating including two community beaches and a public launch ramp. As well as the club sailing there is a community sailing program that teaches kids to sail using RS Zests, a high school sailing program, and a private summer camp with many (un-motorized) water activities on the same lake. Women and girls are active in the sailing club which is 100% volunteer run. As well as our club racing program we run two open regattas a year which attract entries so high they max out the land we have available for boat and car parking.

The club welcomed RS Aeros when they were launched five years ago and we are proud to have held the first, the largest and the most fun RS Aero regattas in the north-east. The RS Aero class, builder and dealer have been very supportive of our efforts

Dinghy sailing is alive and well and "relevant" (whatever that means) in New England.

And yes, we are in the same country as @RobbieB

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One final comment bringing my comments about the Viper back in line with the Laser topic.

It is not a coincidence that so many Viper sailors raced Lasers at one time in their lives, and that many still do.  (Our Technical Committee chair has two Lasers!). At a guess I think that over 90% of Viper sailors have raced or race Lasers.

The reality is that the Laser class fundamentally changed the sport of sailing for the better. It made racing sailboats, simpler, more accessible and more fun for tens of thousands of people. Its influence went beyond the class itself.

For example, it established a model of simplicity at the time that hugely influenced the way we thought about the Viper. I remember at that first meeting we were talking about how expensive keel boat racing had become.....all the work that had to be done to a J24 to make it competitive.....we were even spending $15,000 to trick out used Rhodes 19s ....and the Etchell was becoming unaffordable for all but the grand prix racer. The remark was made "Would it not be great if we could bring the simplicity of the Laser to a keel boat class?" 

We are inviting Bruce Kirby to our awards ceremony at the 2020 North American Championship so that we can say "Thank you"

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