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Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch


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#1 Otterbox

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:01 AM

It seems that Bruce Kirby has at last applied a blow torch

Having been through the almost 150 pages of documents presented to the US Federal Court, over a long wet weekend here in the UK, I will not be the least surprised if ISAF decides its needs to back away from its previous position. The 1992 ISAF plaque agreement is so simple even this non-lawyer can understand it. And the 1983 original agreement with the IYRU is too.

It would not be hard to imagine in the next week a direction from ISAF to the ILCA to stop issuing plaques to LP.

If that happens then we are in a new world.

Its been proven many times over that One Design racing does not have to be in the fastest boat, it has to be in a uniform boat, so that the very best sailor emerges from the pack.

We have 200k+ of a 1969 design, so it has critical mass. I sat on Nothe Hill in Weymouth and I saw young Australian Tom Slingsby win Gold.

The best sailor emerged from the pack.

As a Laser sailor I was in awe.

Right now the class needs to move forward, I don't care if its called a Laser or a Torch, if the class insignia is upside down (thanks Torrid)

I just want to go sailing, I want to be able to buy a new boat, buy parts and I want to know that the class is run by honourable people and by builders who pay their design royalties to the guy who designed it.. And yes I want a cheaper legal sail

Am I alone??

#2 redstar

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:10 AM

Or, ISAF could approve the fundamental class rule change so ILCA can continue issuing plaques to LP, but with the 'Bruce Kirby' trademark removed.

Then the contract/royalties issue could be resolved between LP and Kirby without the sailors being affected (other than by the continuing poor customer service of LP, but that's a different matter).

That was ILCA's intent until ISAF canned the change. Did they can it because it would violate ISAF's contract with Kirby?

#3 Otterbox

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

Then both ISAF and ILCA would have admitted what seems pretty damm obvious, they used the Bruce Kirby trademark illegally and we as sailors will eventually have to pay the legal bills and the damages.

The world does not operate by SA rules, there are actually legal consequences if you break legal agreements and the 1992 agreement spells it all out. The idea that you can say to a judge or jury, ohh.. yes we broke the agreement but it was for the greater good does not wash. Succeed with that any every dinghy designer in the world is screwed and how does that help us??

#4 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:29 AM

What a mess!!!

www.shaw4.org/blog.aspx

#5 dogwatch

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:35 AM

Do we really need a 3rd thread in this forum to discuss the same thing?

"Then both ISAF and ILCA would have admitted what seems pretty damm obvious, they used the Bruce Kirby trademark illegally and we as sailors will eventually have to pay the legal bills and the damages."

The lattter seems a pretty likely outcome whatever happens.

" just want to go sailing,"

Fine. You could choose another class.

Posted Image

#6 FishAintBiting

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:05 AM

What a mess!!!

...


Why are you doing this?

Pushing your own boat at the demise of another is not constructive to the sport. I see it as a selfish act.

#7 Cheap Jibes

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:53 AM


What a mess!!!

...


Why are you doing this?

Pushing your own boat at the demise of another is not constructive to the sport. I see it as a selfish act.


Couldn't agree more. Find another way to promote your new boat and come back here when you've sold 200,000 of them

#8 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

The Shaw 4 in no way threatens the Laser (there is only one of them), but it is my opinion that the Laser world is in a mess. Do you think is it not a mess, do you think it is "business as usual"?

It cannot remember the last time I heard someone say something positive about the Laser, other than there are lots (200,000) of them.

Comments about its designer like "It seems that Bruce Kirby has at last applied a blow torch" refering to the builder does not sound like a happy working relationship dedicate to the future of the class to me.

#9 FishAintBiting

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

The Shaw 4 in no way threatens the Laser (there is only one of them), but it is my opinion that the Laser world is in a mess. Do you think is it not a mess, do you think it is "business as usual"?

It cannot remember the last time I heard someone say something positive about the Laser, other than there are lots of them.


There have been a number of comments about the excellent racing with the laser, this is perhaps why it has been at the forefront of numbers sailing for so many years. They are seeing some challenges ahead of them but there are greater ones for sailing as a whole.

Placing links to your boat, or making negative comments, is not going to help the situation.

It is easy to criticize and it is really hard to do.

#10 RobG

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:32 AM


" just want to go sailing,"

Fine. You could choose another class.

Posted Image


The Shaw 4 in no way threatens the Laser (there is only one of them), but it is my opinion that the Laser world is in a mess. Do you think is it not a mess, do you think it is "business as usual"?

It cannot remember the last time I heard someone say something positive about the Laser, other than there are lots of them.


There have been a number of comments about the excellent racing with the laser, this is perhaps why it has been at the forefront of numbers sailing for so many years. They are seeing some challenges ahead of them but there are greater ones for sailing as a whole.

Placing links to your boat, or making negative comments, is not going to help the situation.

It is easy to criticize and it is really hard to do.

Apparently even handedness is difficult too.

#11 JimC

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:24 AM

The 1992 ISAF plaque agreement is so simple even this non-lawyer can understand it. And the 1983 original agreement with the IYRU is too.

Mind you this stuff always looks simple and obvious until the other side presents their argument. That's how lawyers justify their ridiculous fees. Hard to believe that LPE would have gone this route if it were completely cut and dried. I predict that if/when you see what the others side's lawyers come up wth there will be some very plausible stuff about how the contracts are invalid, maybe to do with the transfer of rights to Global Sailing that have since been transferred back. Was there much about that in the documents you read? If not then that may be significant.

Don't get me wrong, I think LPE are 100% morally in the wrong, and appear to be doing much damage to the Laser Class and the sport in general, and I think ILCA were complete mugs to stick their soft parts in the middle of something they didn't understand, but I don't think moral considerations or damage to the sport or anything else we care about will have the slightest effect on the outcome of lawsuits. Oh, and, the US legal system having the reputation it does, I bet it drags on for *years*.

#12 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:37 AM

Otterbox - do you have a link to the actual exhibits, or can you post the documents via Dropbox or Wetransfer or Mega.co.nz or whatever? If you want private, you can email to clean at sailinganarchy dot com

#13 RobG

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

A link to the court documents was posted on the Laser lawsuit thread: http://dockets.justi...3cv00297/99988/

Dogwatch also posted this link: http://sailingforums...e-3#post-131302

#14 Speng

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:21 PM

So what does this mean about new Lasers? US judges like to slap injunctions on stuff and given what's going on it might have force outside the US... could this put a strangle on new Laser supply?

#15 RMK

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 05:10 PM

The 1992 ISAF plaque agreement is so simple even this non-lawyer can understand it. And the 1983 original agreement with the IYRU is too.

Mind you this stuff always looks simple and obvious until the other side presents their argument. That's how lawyers justify their ridiculous fees. Hard to believe that LPE would have gone this route if it were completely cut and dried. I predict that if/when you see what the others side's lawyers come up wth there will be some very plausible stuff about how the contracts are invalid, maybe to do with the transfer of rights to Global Sailing that have since been transferred back. Was there much about that in the documents you read? If not then that may be significant.

Don't get me wrong, I think LPE are 100% morally in the wrong, and appear to be doing much damage to the Laser Class and the sport in general, and I think ILCA were complete mugs to stick their soft parts in the middle of something they didn't understand, but I don't think moral considerations or damage to the sport or anything else we care about will have the slightest effect on the outcome of lawsuits. Oh, and, the US legal system having the reputation it does, I bet it drags on for *years*.


Agree with the first paragraph, well put. We haven't heard the whole story. Interesting how you then ignore the first paragraph completely in your second paragraph, "I think LPE are 100% morally in the wrong"??

#16 Wildwavedesign

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 06:12 AM

Fraser I have said it before " don't undermine the opposition"
Again, BK is as I have said before a friend of mine. Look at the body of work he has done.
And reasons as to why the Laser is a success ~ there is about 210,000 reasons.
I think you are feeling the effects of the "blow torch" in this thread.

#17 Phil S

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

Legal cases are sometimes determined by things other than facts, justice, truth and honesty, but rather by the depth of pockets as to who can afford the most expensive lawyers for the longest. If it goes this way the money will be on LP and ISAF.

#18 Gray Ghost

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

It cannot remember the last time I heard someone say something positive about the Laser, other than there are lots (200,000) of them.


Here, let me help you: The Laser is common, relatively inexpensive, light, simple, cartoppable, relatively durable, relatively fast, fun, can be sailed by a wide range of sailors in terms of age and weight, distributed worldwide, and has had consistent class rules since its inception meaning older boats in good condition are still usable.

And the fact that there are 200,000+ of them is not to be ignored. It means they are readily available used, at attractive price points.

That's why our club has chosen to purchase Lasers for a club-owned singlehanded fleet. There are compromises involved in the choice of a singlehanded boat, just as there are in the design of a singlehanded boat. The Laser remains the single best choice for a lot of reasons.

There is enough money at stake that the various parties will iron out their differences. This litigation should be a step in the right direction towards a resolution. In the meantime, except at the highest levels, we can run regattas at which unlicensed sails and parts are permitted, and 99% of the sailors can't tell the difference.

#19 Phil S

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:47 PM

The strength of the Laser is the 200,000 boat owners. If all the legal conflict goes too long or sends any of the players out of the game, there will still be all those Laser owners who want to keep sailing their boats. The class will survive because all the sailors want it to. They may need a new type of class organisation with different builder rules but its up to them to decide. The sport needs groups like this, popular classes like this and simple boats like this, The Laser just happens to be the most successful and should continue to be so no matter what the courts decide.
Its hard to see anything new competing with this part of the market even if there is a temporary interuption to supply.

#20 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:40 PM

The overwhelming impression I get is that, especially young people, feel stuck with the Laser because there is not an alternative.

In a generation used to ever changing improvement young people almost apologies for sailing such an old boat and lament the fact that no viable alternative exists.

The truth is that the Laser is not cool – like say Kites or Surfing, and this is resulting in the young leaving the sport after Opti's and in most cases never returning.

This happened with both of my sons - one is a top skateboarder now

#21 fastyacht

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:41 PM

The overwhelming impression I get is that, especially young people, feel stuck with the Laser because there is not an alternative.

In a generation used to ever changing improvement young people almost apologies for sailing such an old boat and lament the fact that no viable alternative exists.

The truth is that the Laser is not cool – like say Kites or Surfing, and this is resulting in the young leaving the sport after Opti's and in most cases never returning.

This happened with both of my sons - one is a top skateboarder now


LOL I guess we need to redesign the football too.

#22 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:56 PM

My skateboarding son was a top footballer (great balance and speed) and he dropped that also. The young must have cool in my experience.

This discussion should be about "how do we use the web to promote sailing". We need to stop posting crash scene videos (Cat and Moth) attract women to the sport and look at what the surf cothing companies have done.

Companies like Zhik are trying hard - I support them, but we need to do more.

We need a World Series supported by a major company and get into the mainstream media and web. Inject cool at every opportunity and stop looking backwards.

#23 Scarecrow

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:10 PM

Fraser what have you done to stop this happening with your boat? Contractually who owns the design rights you or Shaw? What about the mast and sails, have you signed anything saying you'll use CST and North for ever or a certain amount of time or have you just bought a sail and mast off them. What about Craig does he have contractural assurance of future involvement or has he been paid to provide one boat only. What terms do you have in place to change any of these relationships? If you own the design is there anything stopping Shaw from designing another 4m for himself or someone else?

#24 KiwiJoker

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:39 PM


The 1992 ISAF plaque agreement is so simple even this non-lawyer can understand it. And the 1983 original agreement with the IYRU is too.

Mind you this stuff always looks simple and obvious until the other side presents their argument. That's how lawyers justify their ridiculous fees. Hard to believe that LPE would have gone this route if it were completely cut and dried. I predict that if/when you see what the others side's lawyers come up wth there will be some very plausible stuff about how the contracts are invalid, maybe to do with the transfer of rights to Global Sailing that have since been transferred back. Was there much about that in the documents you read? If not then that may be significant.

Don't get me wrong, I think LPE are 100% morally in the wrong, and appear to be doing much damage to the Laser Class and the sport in general, and I think ILCA were complete mugs to stick their soft parts in the middle of something they didn't understand, but I don't think moral considerations or damage to the sport or anything else we care about will have the slightest effect on the outcome of lawsuits. Oh, and, the US legal system having the reputation it does, I bet it drags on for *years*.


Agree with the first paragraph, well put. We haven't heard the whole story. Interesting how you then ignore the first paragraph completely in your second paragraph, "I think LPE are 100% morally in the wrong"??


Try reading the post again. Thoroughly consistent in its point of view. I agree. Kirby may be morally correct in his stance but runs the risk of being chewed up in the legal shitfight.

The defendant and his team appear to have little regard for legal niceties. Google Farzad Rastegar for a better understanding of his business dealings.

After years of butting his head against the wall and with settlement unlikely, Kirby appears to have few options. Basically he could abandon his claim for royalties or bring suit.

#25 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:43 PM

These issues are in hand and have been carefully worked through.

One interesting point is because I commissioned Rob to design the boat we share the copyright and IP under law. Not that it makes any real difference in practical terms.

I am fully commited to my team and I am delighted with the way they worked together on this project. They have been professional in every respect.

As for anyone else embarking on a dinghy development - I would say there is a lot more to it than you think!! if you start today you can expect to be in production in 2 years time (ask Hoot about it).

#26 SimonN

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:46 PM

Fraser
You need to get out into the world and take off your miopic glasses. There are lots of alternatives to the Laser. Nobody is forcing anybody to sail Lasers. You should know this if you have been doing your market research properly. The question you need to ask yourself is why, despite the alternatives, the Laser continues to sell in large numbers and get big turnouts, be it at club, regatta or championship level.

And comparing kites and surfing to sailing is like comparing golf to soccer. They are both played on grass. The bottom line is that they are so different that they will compete against the most exciting sailing. There are enough classes around that produce real excitement, if that's the route you want to go, but all the data says that most sailors, even young ones, do not want to go down that route. High performance sailing is a fairly limited market. If you look at turnouts at UK Nationals, none of the "high perfirmance" single handers got into the top 10 turnouts last year (your new boat would be in that "high performance" catagory). In 2 man boats, the first high performance boat came in 10th, and that was the Fireball which is an even older design than the Laser. The largest turnout for a 2 person class was for a boat that was designed in 1949. And yes, there are plenty of alternatives to that boat!

You also don't seem to have much of a handle on what happens with youngsters in sport in general and the patterns seen across most sports in when kids give the sport up. The pattern is different between team and individual sports, but the simplke fact is that by the age of 16, over 66% of kids have given up competitive sport of all sorts, with individual sports normally being given up before team sports. With those that change sport, the trend is for kids to move from competitive sports (sailing, tennis, Rugby, Soccer etc) to non competitive sports, which is why you identify the shift towards kites and surfing. Girls have a higher drop out rate and it usually happens at a younger age. I have now been actively involved in 2 different sports looking at this and IMO, the issue is nothing to do with equipment or even image of the sport.

Finally, don't get sucked into the hype developed by forums such as this. The Laser world is not in a mess. The vast majority will have no idea what is going on with this court case and it has zero impact on them. They can still buy boats and equipment, racing is still goping ahead at club, regatta and championship level and that is highly unlikely to be effected by this court case.

Instead of being so negative about the Laser, you would probably be better off trying to understand why it is such a success, and it certainly isn't because there vare no alternatives.

#27 Doug Lord

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:29 PM

Simon, anyone that has done what Fraser has done and is about to do sure as hell doesn't have a miopic view of the world. You seize on one minor comment and blow it completely out of proportion.

#28 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:57 PM

I am amazed at how sensitive the Laser community is to anyone who does not go “hail to the mighty Laser”.

All right, defense of their boat and the sport is great but they seem to see any new boat as a threat – why when they are so dominant.

We all know that the Laser is here to stay – for now – but eventually a new class will supersede it. When that will happen nobody knows, but it will happen.

#29 couchsurfer

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

I am amazed at how sensitive the Laser community is to anyone who does not go “hail to the mighty Laser”.

All right, defense of their boat and the sport is great but they seem to see any new boat as a threat – why when they are so dominant.

We all know that the Laser is here to stay – for now – but eventually a new class will supersede it. When that will happen nobody knows, but it will happen.


.....yes it seems there's a lot of laser sailors who are VERY faithful to their boat/fleet/class.
..........locally ,,I've offered HOOT! rides to laser buddies I've known for years,,,,they,in particular seem to be the most resistant to trying 'something new' than others.

#30 fastyacht

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:51 AM

I don't think Simon is part of the "laser community" any more than I am. I raced them heavily for 10 years--and the last time that I raced one was in 1991. I don't own a functioning laser. I sail one every summer but far less than I sail my own boats. It isn't that I am being defensive, and I don't sense that in Simon either. Rather, being realistic.My point about "inventing a new football" and Simons' point about the number 1 boat by turnout in GB being from 1949 (a Jack Holt design perchance?) is the same point: that no, there isn't anywhere near the market for new as you think there is. "If you build it they will come" may be true, but this isn't 1949, when there really was rapid development in the sailboat world.

For whatever reason, the place where "build it and they will come" is happening in small keelboats. Basically, bringing back the "rater" boats of the 19th century but with better planing hulls and lighter better rigs. (Viper, K6, VXone, Melges 20 etc).

#31 SimonN

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:55 AM

To suggest I am a Laser sailor is pretty funny. At 72kgs I am far too light. I think I have done 3 or 4 races in a Laser and that is it. I have messed around in them for fun on holiday. There is no way I am defending the Laser, but simply stating facts and countering what I believe are incorrect assumptions that Fraser is making. Th eonly good thing about those assumptions is that they have allowed him to do something I very much admire. Instead of spending endless time on forums telling everybody they are wrong, Fraser has gone out and put his money where his mouth is and built something. There is at least one person on this forum that would do well to learn from that ;)

#32 dogwatch

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 06:16 AM

the Laser continues to sell in large numbers and get big turnouts, be it at club, regatta or championship level.


The Laser Standard is a declining class in the UK. The venerable Solo has overtaken it as the dominant single-hander for adult males, perhaps because the available choice for masts and sails accommodates a wide weight range, which the Laser does not. The Finn is also making something of a come-back. UK Nationals attendances can be see at http://www.yachtsand...attendance.aspx (was hoping to paste figures here but can't retain the table format). The situation at club level obviously varies by area but in my observation matches the nationals trends.

#33 Wildwavedesign

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 06:50 AM

Dogwatch :
How many Solos are in the UK ? find it hard to believe the Solo would displace the Laser by any comparison.
Secondly : as far as what Fraser is promoting, how would a RS 100 go as a comparison .... throwing the A sail out of the equation ? in terms of performance, be worth the test. Perhaps what Fraser is promoting is already there ! The RS 100 has more the "cool factor" to my artistic eye compared to the rather" box like" Shaw design, the Laser is far better looking !

#34 dogwatch

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:51 AM

^

Whether you find it hard to believe or not, Solo attendances at UK Nationals have been higher than Laser Standards for the last 4 years in a row. Comparison of how many boats there are is pretty irrelevant as most Lasers and Solos built are by now landfill or decaying in dinghy parks, gardens and garages. Talk of 200,000 Laser owners today is a fantasy as related to the number of boats racing. What matters are the numbers actively sailing. At my club, for example, Solos are by far the largest and most active club fleet. At the next nearest club, they sail Finns. I barely ever see a Laser unless we are hosting an Open or Championship. Btw I don't personally find either the Laser or the Solo very attractive. I'm just telling it the way it is.

#35 JimC

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

Taking the RYA PY returns as a guide, which give the number of boats of each class starting races over the last three years in their sample and which is certainly the best sample we are going to get, the full rig lasers are by far the most actively raced class in the UK, with the Solo a very distant second (almost half) and the Laser Radial 3rd. Finns aren't even in the top 30. Oh and no keelboat knocks up enough races to even make it in the top ten. The Laser guys have a real problem with the popularity of their Nationals, but for these big classes that's only a miniscule percentage of the number of active boats.

I'm just telling the way it really is...

#36 dogwatch

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:16 PM

Taking the RYA PY returns as a guide, which give the number of boats of each class starting races over the last three years in their sample and which is certainly the best sample we are going to get


Don't agree. Notoriously, many clubs make no PY entries. Plus, of course, successful classes that sustain class racing won't appear in PY returns. There aren't many Solo PY returns from my club because, outside pursuit events, they are class racing. Pretty soon they may be the only non-handicap class we can sustain. Nationals attendances are the best indications we've got.


. Oh and no keelboat knocks up enough races to even make it in the top ten.


Another classic misinterpretation of partial data. This might just have something to do with the fact that the vast majority of keelboat racing is not in PY.

#37 fastyacht

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

On our side of the Atlantic (the left side) PY racing is far less common than class racing. PY numbers wouldn't mean anything as far as class health goes.

#38 bluelaser2

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:32 PM

I am amazed at how sensitive the Laser community is to anyone who does not go “hail to the mighty Laser”.

All right, defense of their boat and the sport is great but they seem to see any new boat as a threat – why when they are so dominant.

We all know that the Laser is here to stay – for now – but eventually a new class will supersede it. When that will happen nobody knows, but it will happen.

Who says it will happen? We could have global pandemic or asteroid or who knows what, and the Laser will be it... back in the '30's you could have said hell, the giant J class yachts will eventually NOT be the biggest, most expensive, most glam racing boats in the world...and here we are 80 years later and the J's are right at the pinnacle...Lasers could be still be the shit in 100 years....things tend to accelerate to a certain level and then hold a level....

#39 fastyacht

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:32 PM


I am amazed at how sensitive the Laser community is to anyone who does not go “hail to the mighty Laser”.

All right, defense of their boat and the sport is great but they seem to see any new boat as a threat – why when they are so dominant.

We all know that the Laser is here to stay – for now – but eventually a new class will supersede it. When that will happen nobody knows, but it will happen.

Who says it will happen? We could have global pandemic or asteroid or who knows what, and the Laser will be it... back in the '30's you could have said hell, the giant J class yachts will eventually NOT be the biggest, most expensive, most glam racing boats in the world...and here we are 80 years later and the J's are right at the pinnacle...Lasers could be still be the shit in 100 years....things tend to accelerate to a certain level and then hold a level....


Town class--> Still sailing
North Haven Dinghy-->Still sailing
Winter Harbor Knockabout-->Still sailing
Thames A raters--> Still sailing
Wianno Senior-->Still sailing
Dutch barges (or whatever they are called)-->Still sailing
Lighting--> Still sailing
Snipe-->Still sailing
Even the Comet seems to be Not Completely Dead afterall! http://www.cometclass.com/
Star-->very much Still sailing!

I'm sure I left out a bunch but all of these are before WWII...and some before WWI...or even way way back!

#40 SimonN

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:16 PM

The Solo vs Laser debate just proves what Winston Churchill said "there are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics". Bottom line is, you can usually find some figures somewhere to support any point of view.

To suggest the Laser is in decline because of poor turnouts at Nationals is a case in point. For a start, it conviniently misses the fact that there were actually 200 boats at the 2012 Laser Nationals, all using identical hulls. However, they were divided into 3 fleets, because of different rigs. Or am I using statistics to distort the picture? However, what cannot be disputed is that Laser sales are still strong and the demise of the Laser is being overstated.

The other thing this discussion shows is that there are alternatives to the Laser. You do not have to sail a Laser in teh UK if you want good, single handed racing. For me, it's interesting that if you take the Laser as the benchmark, slower, older alternatives are prefered to faster, newer ones. The thing it shows me is that performance and modernity aren't a factor.

#41 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:35 PM

Having read a little more on the subject I support Bruce Kirby’s position. I am not sure of the legal process but I fail to see at what point the design passed from Mr. Kirby’s hands and into the public domain or the single ownership of one party. It is clear that parties lost the rights through bankruptcy but that does not mean others gained those right.

You can be completely sure that if you buy a Shaw you are not getting the design rights, so I do not see how the act of buying a Laser has design rights attached to it. Therefore I do not see how the Class Association can claim anything by virtue of sailing the design and organizing racing.

While there have been a number of tricky deals done by tricky people I believe the Spencer’s have behaved honorably as has Mr. Kirby.

I believe the grass roots Laser sailors should be supporting Mr. Kirby by sending a clear message to the builders that they expect a boat free of legal disputes.

#42 fastyacht

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:51 PM

Years ago, I think it was S and S that refused to do any further designs for Henry Hinckley because he'd come out with a new model 1' longer a year later so that he didn't have to pay royalties.

#43 RMK

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:45 AM

... so I do not see how the act of buying a Laser has design rights attached to it. Therefore I do not see how the Class Association can claim anything by virtue of sailing the design and organizing racing...


I have not heard the class claim anything but it is the class rule that generates the "royalty" that Kirby collects. If the rule change which was approved by the class goes in to affect then Kirby is out of the loop completely.

#44 KiwiJoker

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:29 AM


... so I do not see how the act of buying a Laser has design rights attached to it. Therefore I do not see how the Class Association can claim anything by virtue of sailing the design and organizing racing...


I have not heard the class claim anything but it is the class rule that generates the "royalty" that Kirby collects. If the rule change which was approved by the class goes in to affect then Kirby is out of the loop completely.


Seems to me you're both on thin ice. Unless negotiation is successful, the court will rule on the legitimacy of Kirby's claim. If the Court validates the original license and find that it survives subsequent ownership changes, then Kirby will prevail.

#45 fraser@guthries.co.nz

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:31 AM

Is it true the the class has effective tried to get rid of Kirby by changing the design sufficently to claim it is no longer Mr. Kirby's design. If that is so, it would not be an honourable course of action in my opinion.

#46 fastyacht

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:00 AM

Well, it is worth noting that patents last 19 years, while copyright on print is now virtually forever (something like 130 years with extensions). If Kirby has been collecting royalties all these years, I'd have to say that he is, by far, the most clever business-oriented yacht designer, *everrrrr*.

#47 Phil S

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:21 AM

The court case is about business, contracts, royalties etc not about the Laser class. If Kirby wins the Nth Hemi will have to find a new builder, but also the ILCA may go under financially, they being the smallest party financially. If LP win then it will mean anyone can build lasers and you will all end up with Chinese Lasers. Either way the class will have to change the way its managed and the class rules defining just what a Laser is.

If the court sends the ILCA broke or if the relationship between ILCA and Kirby becomes intractible, then the Laser sailors who want to keep the class alive will have the opportunity to form a new association where they can decide who become members and who runs the class they enjoy, idependant of the builders and their agreement with Kirby. They only need to agree what they want a Laser (or other name if necessary) to be, how its to be built and who should build it. Whether the class requires a builder fee to Kirby may be included but not necessarily.
The Laser class will survive because it is the Laser sailors not the builders or designer, no matter who wins. And ISAF will have to go with the sailors or lose their most successful class.

When is the case to begin, must be time to see how it plays out soon?

#48 Scarecrow

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:38 AM

I'm forecasting that Kirby will win, force the issue with LP but let ILCA off the hook financially but will use the opportunity to tighten his control over the future direction.

#49 Phil S

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:21 AM

ILCA do not need Kirby to send them broke, their own lawyers can do that easilly if the case drags on.

#50 Otterbox

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

I suspect ISAF is smart enough, now they have seen the full list of Kirby vs. LP court exhibits including the agreements the IYRU and ILCA signed back in the 1980´s and 1990´s to conclude that they ISAF and ILCA have been wrong in their actions.

It seems quite possible at least one person, whose initials JM are on lots of contract documents, had either forgotten that he had signed them or had his head buried in the sand. (Remember we ILCA members were told of the opinion formed that the `patents' had expired by the ILCA`s Lawyers who breathtakingly admitted they had not seen all the contracts, when providing the ILCA that advice.) Note too that JM had a role both in the ILCA and ISAF - some might see that as an interesting conflict too.

In my opinion ISAF saved the ILCA from itself when it refused to allow the ILCA´s attempt to cut Kirby out of the Laser class and the full contract documents reveal had that misguided attempt come to pass, the ILCA would have been bankrupted by now.

I think ISAF is likely to tell ILCA to stop issuing plaques to the ex-builders LP, as they very clearly have no rights to continue to do that, given Kirby´s correspondence with the ILCA and ISAF.

Then my friends it’s a new ball game.

I imagine ISAF and ILCA could be excused further involvement in the Kirby vs. LP legal battle, as Kirby has maintained he is not after the sailors’ organisations, while some new North American and European builders along with the existing Japanese and Australian builders get on with the main game. Building the Kirby dinghy that we are still causing the Laser.

Time will tell if I am right or wrong, but if ISAF´s legal team reaches the conclusion that Kirby is right after all, then the stroller builders might yet be in a world of hurt.

And it would fun to be a fly in the wall at the next ILCA executive meeting too

#51 Scarecrow

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:12 AM

You're in Australia, Swarbrick discovered the hard way you don't even need to add 1mm.

#52 Wildwavedesign

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:42 AM

Scarecrow you are probably right with respect Kirby, at least I hope so.

#53 KiwiJoker

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:48 AM

I suspect ISAF is smart enough, now they have seen the full list of Kirby vs. LP court exhibits including the agreements the IYRU and ILCA signed back in the 1980´s and 1990´s to conclude that they ISAF and ILCA have been wrong in their actions.

It seems quite possible at least one person, whose initials JM are on lots of contract documents, had either forgotten that he had signed them or had his head buried in the sand. (Remember we ILCA members were told of the opinion formed that the `patents' had expired by the ILCA`s Lawyers who breathtakingly admitted they had not seen all the contracts, when providing the ILCA that advice.) Note too that JM had a role both in the ILCA and ISAF - some might see that as an interesting conflict too.

In my opinion ISAF saved the ILCA from itself when it refused to allow the ILCA´s attempt to cut Kirby out of the Laser class and the full contract documents reveal had that misguided attempt come to pass, the ILCA would have been bankrupted by now.

I think ISAF is likely to tell ILCA to stop issuing plaques to the ex-builders LP, as they very clearly have no rights to continue to do that, given Kirby´s correspondence with the ILCA and ISAF.

Then my friends it’s a new ball game.

I imagine ISAF and ILCA could be excused further involvement in the Kirby vs. LP legal battle, as Kirby has maintained he is not after the sailors’ organisations, while some new North American and European builders along with the existing Japanese and Australian builders get on with the main game. Building the Kirby dinghy that we are still causing the Laser.

Time will tell if I am right or wrong, but if ISAF´s legal team reaches the conclusion that Kirby is right after all, then the stroller builders might yet be in a world of hurt.

And it would fun to be a fly in the wall at the next ILCA executive meeting too


Good to see someone is doing their homework and making a lot of sense.

Of course much of what you say is predicated on the court validating the original agreements. It seems the waters have grown a little murky since Kirby made that first freehand sketch.

It's obvious that LP and its stroller owner are Kirby's primary concern. He had no option but to join ISAF and ILCA as defendants. And presumably they'll be treated leniently if they prove compliant to Kirby's POV. Based on what we know so far, they don't have much option.

#54 dogwatch

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 06:56 AM

To suggest the Laser is in decline because of poor turnouts at Nationals is a case in point. For a start, it conviniently misses the fact that there were actually 200 boats at the 2012 Laser Nationals, all using identical hulls. However, they were divided into 3 fleets, because of different rigs.


It would be nice if you paid attention to what I actually wrote. I explicitly said the figures were for the Standard class and the argument I was making related to the Standard class. I'm well aware the Radials get better nationals turn-outs. The reason being, I'd suggest, that there are alternatives that average weight males are in general finding more attractive than the Laser Standard, whereas there isn't much in the way of alternatives for a simple single-hander class for (mostly) youth and women at Radial weights.

#55 facthunt

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:51 AM

whats to stop you lifting the identity from a $50.00 fucked out surfmat laser and pasting it onto a new fake.

#56 facthunt

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:54 AM

the knockoffs are already out there, you dont have to diy.
i really dont think your game is under threat, just too many fat pigs in the troff fighting over the scraps, so long as you are prepared to tow your boat to the water and race it with other like minded your game will go on

#57 fastyacht

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:55 AM

I wish I knew how to make a durable toy that sails exactly as teh pieces of crap we all use now but I have tried five times andbuilt something way too damn fast each time.


sandpaper.

#58 Mud sailor

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:00 AM

Not sure if anyone posted this yet

http://m.youtube.com...p&v=wNR4O5YxKUY

I see building the boats has not changed in 40 years either......easy to see some real efficiencies could be made...



#59 DA-WOODY

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    COUGARS COUGARS & More COUGARS

Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:36 AM

The overwhelming impression I get is that, especially young people, feel stuck with the Laser because there is not an alternative.

In a generation used to ever changing improvement young people almost apologies for sailing such an old boat and lament the fact that no viable alternative exists.

The truth is that the Laser is not cool – like say Kites or Surfing, and this is resulting in the young leaving the sport after Opti's and in most cases never returning.

This happened with both of my sons - one is a top skateboarder now


had two friends in Jr College

one had their dads '65 Cobra the other their dad's '60 vett

OH Ya - Way Kool Now / Butt just older kars then (to them)

I swapped my 1961 Ford van for each, from time to time

each excelled at what they had to offer and could Not be beat for "That"

Jus Sayin ;)

#60 RobG

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:52 AM

…Winston Churchill said "there are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics".


Perhaps he did, but while the origin of that sentiment seems unknown, it was possibly first expressed by Mark Twain.

#61 facthunt

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:35 PM

You're in Australia, Swarbrick discovered the hard way you don't even need to add 1mm.


scarecrow, a bit more info on this please.

#62 Otterbox

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:40 PM

Have heard today from some pretty sensible Laser sailors in Palma by text, that ILCA has been told by ISAF to stop issuing plaques to LPE & their builders (Quarter Moon) and have agreed.

That is a bit faster than we might have expected.

Not sure of their sources but this is an ISAF Sailing World Cup event, so there might be a clue in that event name.

#63 bruno

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:40 PM


…Winston Churchill said "there are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics".


Perhaps he did, but while the origin of that sentiment seems unknown, it was possibly first expressed by Mark Twain.


by attrib., earl of beaconsfield, a.k.a.....

#64 couchsurfer

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:11 PM

Have heard today from some pretty sensible Laser sailors in Palma by text, that ILCA has been told by ISAF to stop issuing plaques to LPE & their builders (Quarter Moon) and have agreed.

That is a bit faster than we might have expected.

Not sure of their sources but this is an ISAF Sailing World Cup event, so there might be a clue in that event name.


.....I guess only the parties involved & their lawyers and hairdressers know for sure :huh:

#65 Jethrow

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:41 PM


You're in Australia, Swarbrick discovered the hard way you don't even need to add 1mm.


scarecrow, a bit more info on this please.


I reckon he's probably talking about the JS-9000. I seem to remember hearing that the design was taken overseas, changed in some slight way, then imported back into Oz in direct competition to the Swarbrick model.

I'll bet that others have a better angle on the story...

#66 torrid

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:39 PM

Not sure if anyone posted this yet

http://m.youtube.com...p&v=wNR4O5YxKUY

I see building the boats has not changed in 40 years either......easy to see some real efficiencies could be made...


That's a tad like filming a video of yourself robbing a bank and posting it online.

#67 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:16 PM


Not sure if anyone posted this yet

http://m.youtube.com...p&v=wNR4O5YxKUY

I see building the boats has not changed in 40 years either......easy to see some real efficiencies could be made...


That's a tad like filming a video of yourself robbing a bank and posting it online.


I think that video is part of the PR stunts we are likely to see from LPE as they get ready to defend themselves. Of course, none of us can surely feel anything but empathy for the production staff at Long Buckby, it's not their call to not pay the royalties... but don't forget who the owner is, and if you did forget, please notice the subliminal messaging for Maclaren in the sponsored sail featured in the sailing cuts.

I also like the 'Made in the UK' sticker... that'll resonate with us limeys very nicely. I also liked the shot of the Laser decal going on, remind us of who owns what bit of 'planet Laser'; personally I would also have liked to see them add an ISAF plaque to the montage for slight ironic effect, but I guess that'd be asking too much.

Glad they used rights free music... at least they won't end up in a shit fight with you tube.

As for Laser vs Solo... everyone knows where it is as the top amateur championships; I didn't even realise that proper adults went to the Laser nationals anymore. When it comes to club racing, well there's plenty of room for both. I know I enjoy my Solo far more than I would a Laser, but it'd cost £4k to get a decentish Solo, whereas a club racing grade Laser is a quarter of the price... that's hard to argue with.

#68 redstar

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:18 PM


To suggest the Laser is in decline because of poor turnouts at Nationals is a case in point. For a start, it conviniently misses the fact that there were actually 200 boats at the 2012 Laser Nationals, all using identical hulls. However, they were divided into 3 fleets, because of different rigs.


It would be nice if you paid attention to what I actually wrote. I explicitly said the figures were for the Standard class and the argument I was making related to the Standard class. I'm well aware the Radials get better nationals turn-outs. The reason being, I'd suggest, that there are alternatives that average weight males are in general finding more attractive than the Laser Standard, whereas there isn't much in the way of alternatives for a simple single-hander class for (mostly) youth and women at Radial weights.


One of the main alternatives that average weight males (of a certain age) are finding attractive is the Laser Masters circuit. If you want a true reflection of the popularity of the Laser and insist on using Nationals attendances, you really should include the 90 or so Lasers (including 40 Standards) that sailed in the UK Laser Masters Nationals last year.

Probably close to 300 sailors across all Laser rigs at all UK nationals last year. You can twist the stats any way you like but I bet no other class (except maybe Optis) would come even close to that. The Laser is still very popular.

#69 sandgrounder

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:52 PM

Have heard today from some pretty sensible Laser sailors in Palma by text, that ILCA has been told by ISAF to stop issuing plaques to LPE & their builders (Quarter Moon) and have agreed.

That is a bit faster than we might have expected.

Not sure of their sources but this is an ISAF Sailing World Cup event, so there might be a clue in that event name.



At 12:00 today the manufacturing plant of Laser hulls in the UK was shut down with the gates firmly padlocked.

This is the first time I have observed this.

Could be due to either:-

Court injunction
Lack of licence plaques
Lack of demand (unlikely)
Easter break (very unlikely)

Attached Files



#70 Scarecrow

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:09 PM



You're in Australia, Swarbrick discovered the hard way you don't even need to add 1mm.


scarecrow, a bit more info on this please.


I reckon he's probably talking about the JS-9000. I seem to remember hearing that the design was taken overseas, changed in some slight way, then imported back into Oz in direct competition to the Swarbrick model.

I'll bet that others have a better angle on the story...


Just google news "Swarbrick js9000" and it'll all come clear.

#71 sandgrounder

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:13 PM

Of course, none of us can surely feel anything but empathy for the production staff at Long Buckby, it's not their call to not pay the royalties...


I know the LP promotional video states otherwise, but the Laser hulls are not built at a factory in Long Buckby, but rather in Banbury, approximately 25 miles away.

#72 -Julian-

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:48 PM

Have heard today from some pretty sensible Laser sailors in Palma by text, that ILCA has been told by ISAF to stop issuing plaques to LPE & their builders (Quarter Moon) and have agreed.

That is a bit faster than we might have expected.

Not sure of their sources but this is an ISAF Sailing World Cup event, so there might be a clue in that event name.



At 12:00 today the manufacturing plant of Laser hulls in the UK was shut down with the gates firmly padlocked.

This is the first time I have observed this.

Could be due to either:-

Court injunction
Lack of licence plaques
Lack of demand (unlikely)
Easter break (very unlikely)

 Where can we expect to hear the latest news about this case?



#73 dogwatch

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

At 12:00 today the manufacturing plant of Laser hulls in the UK was shut down with the gates firmly padlocked.

This is the first time I have observed this.

Could be due to either:-

Court injunction
Lack of licence plaques
Lack of demand (unlikely)
Easter break (very unlikely)

Insolvency would be another possible explanation. Not entirely unheard of right now.

Edited by dogwatch, 05 April 2013 - 10:01 AM.


#74 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:21 AM

well if they have gone to the wall it'll be an interesting twist... I wonder who/what will gain/retain the distribution and building rights for EMEA and the US?



#75 JimC

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:40 AM

well if they have gone to the wall it'll be an interesting twist... I wonder who/what will gain/retain the distribution and building rights for EMEA and the US?

Assuming the reports are right then the story is that the trademarks and all the other critical stuff has  been offshored to holding companies in tax havens. So *if* (very big if) LPE has gone toes up then, unlke previous times when the trademark was another asset that the liquidators held, this time its out of sight.

 

It seems to me that in theory there's a set of checks and balances in this in that if you own the trademarks no-one else can produce Lasers in your area, but equally without the contracts with ISAF and Kirby and ILCA you can't produce Lasers either, so given rational management all parties have to work together for common good and no single party can dominate things. However it also seems to leave things vulnerable to one of the parties holding the rest to ransom in a dog-in-the-manger hold out.

 

Interesting times, but not so interesting if you're one of the poor b******s trying to make an honest living in the middle of the mess.



#76 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

Insolvency would be another possible explanation. Not entirely unheard of right now.

 

another Full Moon subsidiary, Laser Sailboats Limited, seems relatively healthy according to Duedil at the moment:

 

https://www.duedil.c...ilboats-limited



#77 dogwatch

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:45 PM

^

You can't tell anything at all from that. Virtually the only thing that matters for small private companies is the current cash position and that isn't going to tell you. For starters, it looks like the last figures were for June 2012 (when the cash position wasn't obviously healthy). Book value means pretty much nothing. It isn't necessarily an asset you can sell. Hey, I don't know their situation but if you see a company with premises unexpectedly shut down, having run out of cash sure is one possibility. Especially in a climate where banks aren't lending. Especially when creditors don't seem to have been too happy, if stories are to be believed.

#78 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

Especially when creditors don't seem to have been too happy, if stories are to be believed.

 

probably not... a sad story from the boating industry, I wonder who the trade debtor was?

 

http://www.boatingbu...e-unsustainable



#79 sandgrounder

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:26 PM

Especially when creditors don't seem to have been too happy, if stories are to be believed.

 

probably not... a sad story from the boating industry, I wonder who the trade debtor was?

 

http://www.boatingbu...e-unsustainable

 

given that 80% of the deck fittings on the world's most numerous single-hander were supplied by Holt, it doesn't exactly require an investigative genius to work this one out. I think Holt displayed admirable restraint in not naming and shaming the culprit who continues to increase the cost of the game for all of us.



#80 Otterbox

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:54 AM

Quite a pattern with the same company slow to pay, wonder if its the same in the stroller industry



#81 SimonN

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:16 AM

 

Especially when creditors don't seem to have been too happy, if stories are to be believed.

 

probably not... a sad story from the boating industry, I wonder who the trade debtor was?

 

http://www.boatingbu...e-unsustainable

 

given that 80% of the deck fittings on the world's most numerous single-hander were supplied by Holt, it doesn't exactly require an investigative genius to work this one out. I think Holt displayed admirable restraint in not naming and shaming the culprit who continues to increase the cost of the game for all of us.

I think you need to be careful spreading false rumoirs, even if it is about a pretty bad company. I think you will find that the problem was caused by an overseas distributor going under.



#82 Otterbox

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:46 AM

Latest news from Banbury is factory is opening today,(according to LPE in Long Buckby, this comes second hand) after a long Easter break, just what boats are being built is unknown.



#83 Al.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:13 PM

 Otterbox, did you have inside knowledge of this (via Mark Jardine at Y&Y) when you started the thread? 



#84 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:51 PM

The torch name was bounced around the Laser Forum several days (weeks) ago....

#85 Otterbox

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:33 PM

Bruce Kirby I14 in the late 1960´s was  a Torch. He registered Kirby Torch name in November 2012. Torrid has been using the logo upside down for ages



#86 Icedtea

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:38 PM

http://www.kirbytorch.com/

 

 

read that



#87 torrid

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:23 PM

Bruce Kirby I14 in the late 1960´s was  a Torch. He registered Kirby Torch name in November 2012. Torrid has been using the logo upside down for ages

 

Actually updated it to a hybrid logo for a "Mushroom" class a few weeks ago.  Note the starburst means they are SPECIAL mushrooms.



#88 brett221

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:39 PM

Assuming that the Torch website is not someone playing games. How quickly will the new carbon top sections and radial cut standard rig sail come through to differentiate the "old" from the "new".  



#89 Haywire

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:13 PM

Way to go Bruce!

 

http://www.nwyachtin...omes-the-torch/

 

Looks like the class can and will continue in spite of Farzad Rastegar whose company LaserPerformance now owns the Laser Trademark!!!



#90 Icedtea

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:19 PM

I'm glad to see he's keeping it going, but will it continue to be an olympic class if ISAF are no longer issuing plaques?



#91 rgscpat

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:47 PM

How long will ISAF have to decide on the name of the equipment it is using for the men's standard singlehand dinghy for Rio?



#92 Reht

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:28 AM

Can they? Isn't the torch technically a "new" class and thus first needs to qualify for some standards or at least pass through a selection event? I can just hear the outrage if they swap the Olympic bill without a full out procedure...



#93 S291sailor

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:44 AM

so what does this mean?  (see link below)  Appears to me that the trademark was somehow denied?

http://trademarks.ju...h-85779037.html



#94 RobG

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:22 AM

Maybe "Magic Mushroom" is still available?



#95 Reht

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:15 AM

Is that trademark universal or only within the US? I thought the whole issue was that LPE owned the rights to use the laser name in Europe and Kirby didn't want them building his lasers... So the euro laser is different from the north american laser is different from...



#96 KiwiJoker

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:55 AM

I'm glad to see he's keeping it going, but will it continue to be an olympic class if ISAF are no longer issuing plaques?

 

 

I'm glad to see he's keeping it going, but will it continue to be an olympic class if ISAF are no longer issuing plaques?

 

That's an interesting question.  Here's another.  Would the IOC continue to honor a supply agreement for boats from a company that is being sued for counterfeiting, especially if the ISAF (named as a defendant in said action) has now changed its tune and wants ILCA to cease issuing ISAF plaques?

 

I'd say that Kirby, after a many attempts to sort this mess out with LP's current owner, has opened up with the big guns on multiple fronts -- court action for "counterfeiting, default of contract, inducement to default contract, trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin and misappropriation of publcity rights." At the same time he has licensed new builders in Europe and North America and endorsed the existing Aussie builder. And he's doing this under a new corporate name and trademark. Looks as if there might be a glitch with his trademark but that's not clear.  

 

Tell me please why there shouldn't be an unholy scramble for ILCA to desert the sinking ship!



#97 JimC

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:43 AM

Tell me please why there shouldn't be an unholy scramble for ILCA to desert the sinking ship!

Well, this is where it all gets (even more) complicated... Although the ILCA gives the external appearance of being a private fiefdom run by its executive, I'm sure its really a class association responsible to its members like any other. Classes have changed their name in the past, although I can't immediately recall an International one doing so, and the Class Association members have voted on the name change and the Association has gone on with a new name.

So initially it seems simple. However, looking at their constitution, changes to the constitution (http://www.laserinte...onstitution.pdf) require approval by the advisory council:
"The President and Vice President of the World Council and two persons nominated by those builders who are also Trademark owners shall constitute the Advisory Council and shall assist and co-operate with the World Council in the carrying out of their responsibilities, and shall have the responsibilities as set forth in paragraph 17 hereof and the paragraph entitled “Amendments” of the Rules. "

Now who are the builders representatives? Clearly only representatives from existing builders can be trademark holders of Laser. However one argument may be that LPE is no longer a current builder since it is argued they no longer have a contract to do so, and for that matter I suppose it could also be argued that they do not own the trademark as its with another part of the Rastregar empire.
At this point having a non lawyer like me speculating starts getting increasingly pointless, but I strongly suspect at the very least nothing can change unless both President and Vice President of the world council are on the Kirby side, and for the last fundamental rule change to have been approved to go to a vote they must recently have been on the Rastregar side...

We should also not forget that the LPE/MacLaren side has lawyers too, and they will have been busy filling up those expense forms over the last year or two. Since its rather unlikely that LPE/Quarter Moon/whatever are going to say "So it goes" and dismantle their businesses in an orderly manner I think we can be pretty confident that they have had contingency plans ready for all this for ages, since its all totally predictable. So I think it entirely likely that ILCA and ISAF will be in receipt of replies to letters about the supply of placques ceasing, and they will not say "OK, goodbye, its been nice doing business with you". I bet, too, that there are various other letters heading to various courts and to Bruce Kirby if they haven't already arrived.

I see none of this being over quickly, reckon we'll need a few years supply of popcorn.

Interesting times folks, interesting times!

#98 SimonN

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:57 AM

I really do think that some of you are trying to make it a bit more compliacted than it is. For instance, the Advisory Council is 4 people. It is safe to assume that if the class wants the name change, then the 2 class association people will vote in favour. Next, there si more than one builder and LPE/Maclaren/Rastregar will only have one vote. The other builder is siding with BK. That seem to me to remove that hurdle.

 

The boats and spares being built from now by LPE are not class legal to race in any event under the umbrella of the ILCA and ISAF, since ISAF issued the instruction to ILCA to stop issuing plaques. If the class wants to have new boats and spares, they seem to have little choice but to go with this move. There will need to be some I's dotted and T's crossed, but ig the Laser community don't go along with this move, they simply won't have any boats or spares, or, at very least, be risking that anything bought from here forward runs a significant risk of being deemed illegal equipment.

 

As for the Olympics, nothing has changed. If a class changes it's name, that wouldn't effect the selection of the boat. As for any contracts to supply, a few things spring to mind. First, and most relevent, somebody would have been pretty quick and rather stupid to have entered into a contract for the supply of Lasers so soon after the last Olympics and when it has been known for some time that there is a major dispute between BK and LPE. Next, is Brazil in the LPE area. Do we know that a cntract to supply to the Rio games would go to LPE, or might it go to the other builder?

 

All told, I actually see this as very positive for the class. BK is back taking more than just a casual interest. There is to be a new builder, which I am sure cannot do worse than LPE when it comes to customer service and over pricing. The name change should produce a lot of press and free publicity for the class and I would expect people to be prepared to give a new builder the benefit of the doubt to start with. In one fell swoop, it is possible that some of the negativity about the class will be, at very least, suspended.

 

Some might argue that in terms of the class association, it will be the same old faces and therefore nothing will change. But things are unlikely to get worse, while some new energy and re-engagement is the more likely outcome.

 

The interesting thing is going to be Rastregar's response.I imagine that this would be totally unexpected. I think they are stuffed. Even if the win in court, all that gives them is the right to build a boat that they call a Laser. But a Laser will not be legal to sail in Torch events. It's spares won't be legal.There won't be a base of boats for the "Laser" to race against because all the boats built to that design that have a plaque will become Torches. I am not sure there is anything that LPE can do. Maybe they can sell their Lasers at a huge discount to the Torch in the hope of killing off the new builder and forcing the class's hand, but I am not sure I would buy a Laser today in the hope that the Laser and Torch become one again sometime. I am not sure that the fat lady is in full voice yet, but I think I heard her warming up........



#99 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:05 PM

Sums it up well Simon- Rastegar's defence will be interesting, but like you, I see this as a good move for the class- if they've got the balls to back the right horse this time.

 

I'd imagine the crucial decision lies with ISAF- if they back the name change/Kirby, then I can imagine the rest of the stakeholders will rally around.  And why would ISAF NOT back Kirby- they've already suspended plaques, blocked the ILCA rule change and are probably squirming on the hook as a named collateral damage on the Kirby vs Rastegar law suit.... wouldn't it be nice for that to just 'go away', simply by agreeing to a new class name synonymous with the Olympics.



#100 JimC

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:17 PM

It is safe to assume that if the class wants the name change, then the 2 class association people will vote in favour.

 

Hmm, big assumption I think Simon. Looking at recent history it appears to me that they have felt their duty is to lead rather than follow their membership. In any case how would they know "what the class wants".

 

 

The interesting thing is going to be Rastregar's response.I imagine that this would be totally unexpected. I think they are stuffed.

 

Again, I dunno Simon, the possibility of the name change thing has been bandied since the fundamental rule change thing was first mooted. If Rastregar's lawyers haven't had some kind of strategy prepared then they weren't worth paying.

 

What on earth that strategy might be I haven't a clue, but its hard to believe LPE went ahead with stopping royalty payments without some kind of plan for what to do when the inevitable termination notices came through the letterbox.






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