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Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch


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As Kant pointed out "belief" is irrational unless you can back it up with VALID reasoning and independently verifiable facts. Neither of which you have presented. If a new CM came out, it would change the value of ALL Lasers. Whether 70%-90% could continue to sail in local regattaes does not change that and you have yet to address how people would feel if their boat was suddenly 30% less valuable because some knockoff bottom-feeding asset stripper like Rastegar simply wanted to make more profit.

 

As for the 420 or the Snipe - both are crewed boats. So they are a very different class (setting aside that the 420 sucks in terms of build quality)

 

Now as to "paying Kirby a Huge Markup"... what "huge markup" is this that you are talking about? Kirby's license is no more than 3% of the cost of the boat. That's $18 on the sail and $120 on the hull. Hardly "huge" and hardly the source of what you are whinging about.

 

As for "robber barons" - well the bottom-feeding asset strippers that you are siding with are way more "robber baron" since not only are they the ones charging you $600 for a sail and $5k for a hull that they are now doing a shitty job of building, but they are the ones who are POCKETING the $140 in licensing fees that they stopped paying to BK.

 

 

You really seem rather innumerate

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When are they going to make a decision? I need to know whether I should be training in my RS Aero or my Laser for Paris 2024.     

@WCB  i seriously doubt there is a soul contributing to this thread who honestly disagrees with my perceptions or the reasoning behind my effort to establish an AERO fleet in Texas and at my home

Plus one more. Its about time ILCA and ISAF took this step. Frankly surprised it took ISAF this long but in my opinion its the right thing to do and am glad they did it.

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Except Gouv you know that's a pipe dream. Because in any interview where the person being interviewed is competent, you won't get anything that will give you insight into their full negotiating position nor their legal strategy lest the show their hand to the other side. Basically until this gets settled, you won't have any of the interested parties giving interviews unless they are chosing to back off and back either Kirby or Rastegar.

 

And this is a classic case of Rastegar engaging in bottom-feeding, asset stripping turnaround. So its hardly a "persian" thing as some idiots have posited. its just nasty nasty arbitrage.

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Last night we had a newbie on a Sunfish. He was way behind his fleet sitting too far back sail trimmed wrong looking unhappy... So I dropped out of the laser fleet for a while and followed the newbie and chatted with him so he could join the fun rather than follow the fleet and be frustrated..

I guess I was helping the elite sailors again

 

Shit!! I am so bad!!!

 

Note: it is amazing how easy it is to teach somebody when you can say stuff like, "see where the guy on front is sitting? Do that! And look where the guy in last is sitting, don't do that"

 

 

My conscripted student never managed to beat anybody else last night but he did manage to get close enough to finish a couple races. .

His attitude was preserved though and I believe he is already hooked on the game.

Newbies are the best thing for any fleet.

+ 1,000,000,000,000

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The 2% that BK Inc collects is based on the wholesale price of each new boat built, not retail. A rough guess on wholesale price for a 6K package would be 4K - that's $80. There is no additional BK fee for spares (ie additional sails/spars, other parts)

 

Everyone whinging about the sail price - Again, that is set by the builders, not the sailmakers (And hopefully none of you really think the builders would buy the sails from anyone but the lowest cost supplier, which means they are buying the sails for some number less than what the replica sails sell for retail ) Anyone that races in the class knows the sails are a cash cow for the builder and dealers, it's why the members have been demanding a sail that last longer (because the members know the builders are never going to lower the price) and IMHO exactly why the builders have been dragging their feet approving the new sail design (because for them to realize the same year end $ales totals, they are going to have to raise the price of new boats)

 

Now as to "paying Kirby a Huge Markup"... what "huge markup" is this that you are talking about? Kirby's license is no more than 3% of the cost of the boat. That's $18 on the sail and $120 on the hull. Hardly "huge" and hardly the source of what you are whinging about.

 

As for "robber barons" - well the bottom-feeding asset strippers that you are siding with are way more "robber baron" since not only are they the ones charging you $600 for a sail and $5k for a hull that they are now doing a shitty job of building, but they are the ones who are POCKETING the $140 in licensing fees that they stopped paying to BK.

 

 

You really seem rather innumerate

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From what has been established Kirby was getting 2% on the boat and zero on the sails, so Wess continuing the line about huge mark ups is just deliberate misinformation.

 

Actually I think one of the major issues facing the Laser class is the building of boats in the wrong places. In 1970 building boats in Japan, the UK, North America and Australia was fine but these days they should be being built in China, in one well run factory. I bet if that happened we`d see the same full event and class support around the world AND a 20% reduction in cost and a uniformity of quality, rather than having boats built in Australia obviously superior to those built here in UK.

 

Before every starts going off about British built or Australian being better than Chinese built, if the production processes are set up exactly the same and close supervision say from the PSA guys,, there will be greater uniformity in resins and more labour put into each boat if they are built in China and we´d all see cheaper boats and at this point I don´t care if they are called Lasers or Torches.

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I may be reading the contracts incorrectly, but I read it as the wholesale price that the 2% is based on includes everything needed to go sailing, not just the bare hull. So BK gets a little (very little) slice of the original sail, spars/blades etc.

 

From what has been established Kirby was getting 2% on the boat and zero on the sails, so Wess continuing the line about huge mark ups is just deliberate misinformation.

 

Actually I think one of the major issues facing the Laser class is the building of boats in the wrong places. In 1970 building boats in Japan, the UK, North America and Australia was fine but these days they should be being built in China, in one well run factory. I bet if that happened we`d see the same full event and class support around the world AND a 20% reduction in cost and a uniformity of quality, rather than having boats built in Australia obviously superior to those built here in UK.

 

Before every starts going off about British built or Australian being better than Chinese built, if the production processes are set up exactly the same and close supervision say from the PSA guys,, there will be greater uniformity in resins and more labour put into each boat if they are built in China and we´d all see cheaper boats and at this point I don´t care if they are called Lasers or Torches.

 

I agree that building in one location should in theory ensure a more uniform product, as long as controls/specs are in place to ensure that the "ingredients" don't get "watered" down for inferior substitutes (ie a purchasing manager trying to save money on a "similar" but cheaper resin or a supplier not telling the builder about a change in material composition. Not that that ever happens ;) )

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AND a 20% reduction in cost and a uniformity of quality, rather than having boats built in Australia obviously superior to those built here in UK.

 

Before every starts going off about British built or Australian being better than Chinese built, if the production processes are set up exactly the same and close supervision say from the PSA guys,, there will be greater uniformity in resins and more labour put into each boat if they are built in China and we´d all see cheaper boats and at this point I don´t care if they are called Lasers or Torches.

 

As some one who works in the electronic components industry, your assumption of lower cost because of "Chinese factories" is totally wrong. The truth of the matter, China is actually on the high end of the cost scale for Asian manufactures, but all of them have ridiculously high failure rates. Your GPS or iPod craps out? Return it and get another one. For our Military customers (who grants us double the margins) and some commercial customers, those bits get manufactured in US or EU because the cost of failure is higher than the cost of an annoyed teenager. That cost of re-work/replacement means no lower price per boat.

 

Boat building is a labor intensive venture and I doubt that there is a business plan to justify a single builder. My boat is 149xxx and I beat a guy with a 210xxx hull last week along with other guys who have newer hulls than mine. Your solution would produce consistency alright... consistently bad boat for the same price.

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If one factory, with certified materials built to the Kirby LCM I dont believe there

would be a quality issue. Over the last four decades a lot has changed in manufacturing. McConaghy built boats out of China are considered to be of very very good quality for instance. Dont imagine for a minute that there are not currently problems with resin grade differences. Do you think PSJ building say 100 boats a year has the same resin as Banbury building 1000?

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AND a 20% reduction in cost and a uniformity of quality, rather than having boats built in Australia obviously superior to those built here in UK.

 

Before every starts going off about British built or Australian being better than Chinese built, if the production processes are set up exactly the same and close supervision say from the PSA guys,, there will be greater uniformity in resins and more labour put into each boat if they are built in China and we´d all see cheaper boats and at this point I don´t care if they are called Lasers or Torches.

 

As some one who works in the electronic components industry, your assumption of lower cost because of "Chinese factories" is totally wrong. The truth of the matter, China is actually on the high end of the cost scale for Asian manufactures, but all of them have ridiculously high failure rates. Your GPS or iPod craps out? Return it and get another one. For our Military customers (who grants us double the margins) and some commercial customers, those bits get manufactured in US or EU because the cost of failure is higher than the cost of an annoyed teenager. That cost of re-work/replacement means no lower price per boat.

 

Boat building is a labor intensive venture and I doubt that there is a business plan to justify a single builder. My boat is 149xxx and I beat a guy with a 210xxx hull last week along with other guys who have newer hulls than mine. Your solution would produce consistency alright... consistently bad boat for the same price.

 

Comparing boat-building to manufacturing consumer electronics (my business as well) is apples-to-oranges. For one thing, the fault-tolerances for electronics - consumer or MILSPEC - are much, much tighter than for building something like a Laser. And since the number of electronic devices (and their components) produced is exponentially greater, you're going to get a higher failure rate than you will for something like a 14-foot dinghy.

 

More relevant - and here is where I do have issues - is the comparative labor costs between China and the U.S., Australia, Japan, and EMEA countries. While China is no longer the cheapest place to manufacture, in terms of labor costs - for that you would need to start looking at Vietnam and Indonesia - it remains substantially cheaper than the primary markets for Lasers, and also possesses the infrastructure and relevant skilled labor that cheaper AP labor markets currently lack.

 

My own view is that Lasers could be mass produced in China to the necessary level of quality, and they would be less expensive FOB in the target market. Quality control can be insured by appointing a suitable QA/QC manager onsite at the facility in China (exactly what McConaghy does). Provided the dealer network is strong, for sales and support, the single source business model would probably work well. And you could expect some incentives from the Chinese government to establish a business that employs skilled workers and pays them a decent (by Chinese standards) wage.

 

2 cents.

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My own view is that Lasers could be mass produced in China to the necessary level of quality, and they would be less expensive FOB in the target market.

I don't remember where I got this from ..I wouldn't call it cheap at US$4280 ex-works.

Besides, manufacturing abroad in less developed country brings inflation to that country and creates unemployment in your own. :-(

Laser Standard(One).pdf

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Resins vary country to country, even if they are supposed to be identical, so single factory production will ensure uniformity.

 

When I was a kid, I had a fishing reel Made in USA. It was not made in America but in a town in Japan that changed its name to USA, part of their plan to overcome the stigma of Japanese made product.

 

The law was changed to prevent that but we know Japanese production continued to improve.

 

I am sure that Chinese production strictly to the LCM would give us good boats and bitching about 2% and ignoring 20% potential saving seems pretty daft to me.

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Look at what just popped up

 

http://www.marinebusiness-world.com/Kirby-files-to-cancel-Laser-Trademark-and-Sunburst-Logo-for-Boats/109354

 

Another new development in the widening legal dispute between Bruce Kirby, the designer of the world´s best known sailing boat, the Laser dinghy and one of the Laser builders LaserPerformance (LPE) the builder and supplier of Lasers into UK, Europe and North America, because of non-payment of design royalties.

Bruce Kirby Inc. today filed a petition to cancel US trademark registrations directed to both the word LASER and the Sunburst logo for boats. According to US Trademark Office records, these US registrations are owned by Karaya (Jersey) Limited based in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. Grounds for the petitions are abandonment and failure to exercise control over the goods made and sold under the marks.

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Yes, its interesting, we are a long way away from the US sailing scene here in the UK but has anyone there ever heard of Karaya (Jersy) or Velum active with the Laser brands before this court case.

 

If what Kirby´s attorney alleges is true, (and Pam´s research in the Improper Course blog was already pointing in that direction) , then it would seem pretty open and shut that LPE wont be selling Lasers any more in the USA and where does that leave ISAF and the ILCA?

 

Or will we next hear they are going to be Issuing non Kirby Laser plaques to Laser non trademark owners too. After all only a few small class rules changes again!!

 

Lets face it, both of those groups have the same perfect legal defence, they are happy to break the law if it means that boat supply continues.. That is OK is it not?

 

Surely Jon Napier, the ISAF in-house legal counsel will be able to confirm that ISAF is way way above the law.

 

BTW Does anyone know if the same trademark usage and protection applies in Europe and the UK??

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when i read recommendations (usually from non-builders, i.e. consultants, marketeers, IT guys, financiers, and the like) to just relocate production to china and save money whilst maintaining quality, I have to laugh. easy b-school cliched formulaic answers, its just numbers, never mind the other factors.

 

To me, that is not just quitting, it si selling out. If that makes me a nationalistic, racialistic asshole, ok. I just watched a Chinese crew nail sheer on top of an old corrugated aluminum roof, then add comp. And the ceilings were down. So say what you wil but most of the builders I know would like to have never sent a mold to China. I have lived there and studied the language, culture, and history. I like modern western societies (including Japan), thank you, and I think that we can build better and better value products than in China when we are not stabbed in the back by short sighted financial opportunism.

 

Tell Germany that manufacturing is a dead end. And if you say well thsoe are Germens not Americans, who do you think was the largest white ethnic group in the US? And it isnt a white thing, it is a societal managerial thing, its called leadership and personal accountibilty, and it starts with you and me. The UK used to lead the world in manufacturing and innovation. When a society is vitiated and lazy then they sit around cashing their coupons and engage in financial engineering, spending more time offshoring their brands than building something. Sure, thats arbitrage but it used to be that hedging was a secondary corporate activity.

 

Rant over but give the "offshore our problems" meme a rest and just fix it right, it only takes some balls.

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BTW Does anyone know if the same trademark usage and protection applies in Europe and the UK??

This is from the OHIM ... seems similar to US law, but we should ask Wess since he knows the law better than any one else on this thread.

 

Maintaining your mark

CTMs shall be put to genuine use in the Community within a period of five years following registration (Article 15 CTMR). Genuine use may be found when the mark has been used in only one part of the Community, such as in a single Member State or in a part thereof. Any person (legal or natural) can protect their registered CTM against revocation on the grounds of lack of use – provided it is put to genuine use in the Community after the initial five-year post-registration grace period or if there are proper reasons for such non-use.

 

Thus, the best defence against revocation action is pre-emptive: non-generic, non-misleading, genuine and continuous use of the Community trade mark at all times. Use it or lose it!

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When somebody finds out if this is the same family, it will or will not be appropriate to bring it up here

 

 

 

Or put another way. BK sold his rights to the Spencer family in New Zealand as part of his "estate planning". Does anyone know if this is the family related to John Spencer, wealthiest man in New Zealand and owner of mega yacht and various offshore entities?

 

Global Sailing Ltd includes a Christopher Spencer on the board. For sure, the same Chistopher Spencer was also on the board of a NZ company "Equitable Mortgages" which went belly up with $178 million of depositors. The board of Equity Mortgages had several directors that are also on the board of Global sailing ltd.

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It turns out this is a different family from John Spencer. The owners of Global sailing are the children of Peter Spencer.

 

"A prominent meat industry figure, Spencer was known for some time as the New Zealand’s farmer with the most extensive pastoral holdings – the largest being the 4856ha Erewhon Station near Taihape, which he bought for $6 million in 1992.

His farming interests expanded into the corporate arena when his investment company took a significant interest in meat company Affco, which is now diversifying itself away from a dependence on lamb and beef processing to dairy.

Spencer came from a wealthy family, most notable for establishing the Caxton Printing Works, founded in Auckland in 1890 by Peter’s grandfather Albert.

 

In 1989 Caxton was sold to Carter Holt Harvey for $300 million. Peter Spencer developed a wide range of business interests over a long period including car assembly (Motor Holdings), financial services (Equitable Group), clothing (Alliance Textiles [NZ], meat (Affco Holdings), communications (Cellular-Vision NZ), property and farming."

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It turns out this is a different family from John Spencer. The owners of Global sailing are the children of Peter Spencer.

 

"A prominent meat industry figure, Spencer was known for some time as the New Zealand’s farmer with the most extensive pastoral holdings – the largest being the 4856ha Erewhon Station near Taihape, which he bought for $6 million in 1992.

His farming interests expanded into the corporate arena when his investment company took a significant interest in meat company Affco, which is now diversifying itself away from a dependence on lamb and beef processing to dairy.

Spencer came from a wealthy family, most notable for establishing the Caxton Printing Works, founded in Auckland in 1890 by Peter’s grandfather Albert.

 

In 1989 Caxton was sold to Carter Holt Harvey for $300 million. Peter Spencer developed a wide range of business interests over a long period including car assembly (Motor Holdings), financial services (Equitable Group), clothing (Alliance Textiles [NZ], meat (Affco Holdings), communications (Cellular-Vision NZ), property and farming."

 

IPLore has it right. The Spencer family are known here in NZ as a wealthy family who made their money from Caxton. They are sometimes referred to as 'toilet paper magnates' - because that one of the more famous products that Caxton made. That was more to do with the family that Peter was part of - as I understand it, Peter had "a small shareholding" of Caxton. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-rich-lister-dies-us-34391 though as IPLore said had a number of business interests.

 

Having said that, the Spencers have been involved in Lasers for years and years in NZ and Australia, and from what I can tell, have done a pretty good job of it. My feeling is that they supported Lasers in the earlier days, not so much to make money, but rather because it was a good thing to do. My feeling is that from a stability and 'good people' point of view, the choice for Global Sailing to take over Bruce Kirby Inc was a good one. From a political point of view, (with hindsight) we can all say that maybe the choice was not so good.

 

Here's the official records for Global Sailing

http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/2143989

 

There have been accounts here (and I've heard it elsewhere as well) relating to the drop in quality of boats supplied by LP since 2007 when it got new ownership. It's a fair summation that LP in it's current state is not so good for Laser sailing. It came to a head when they stopped paying royalties to GS / Kirby.

 

The problem got even whole worse when our representatives, the ISAF effectively took sides with LP.

 

I believe that what's at stake is the way we run our sport. My feeling is that best choice for now is to run it based on good will - using the system that has served us well for many years. What that will mean is to identify and replace 'bad apples' and IF NECESSARY - sail the Kirby sailboat named the Torch. Maybe we can figure out an even better way of running our sport - but as a collective - not through dishonouring contracts and using lawyers.

 

I have sent an email to my ISAF representative (Jan Dawson) asking that the ISAF reverse their action.

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Gantt, a couple of questions for you.

 

You (along with plenty of others) insist on regarding any action of the ILCA as taking sides with LPE over BK. However, ILCA's role is to represent the interests of the class members, not any other party.

 

There is little dispute that BK is perceived as having the moral high ground in the affair as borne out by your survey. Whether he has the legal high ground is yet to be determined, and any speculation in this regard is pointless as there are way too many unknowns. It is evident though that he is following a pre-planned and well orchestrated strategy with the timing and content of his various claims - they are far from knee jerk reactions to changes in the situation. His end goal is obviously to own the Laser brand and licensing rights around the world, an outcome which is actually aligned with what the ILCA wants.

 

If you leave aside for a moment the moral consideration, what action do you think the ILCA should be taking to best serve the interests of the class members? Why do you think the ILCA should be putting the interests of Kirby ahead of the interests of the class members? Why do you think it is necessary for the ILCA to automatically fall into line with whatever Kirby proposes, without their own assessment of whether that best suits the interests of the class members?

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Gantt, a couple of questions for you.

 

You (along with plenty of others) insist on regarding any action of the ILCA as taking sides with LPE over BK. However, ILCA's role is to represent the interests of the class members, not any other party.

 

There is little dispute that BK is perceived as having the moral high ground in the affair as borne out by your survey. Whether he has the legal high ground is yet to be determined, and any speculation in this regard is pointless as there are way too many unknowns. It is evident though that he is following a pre-planned and well orchestrated strategy with the timing and content of his various claims - they are far from knee jerk reactions to changes in the situation. His end goal is obviously to own the Laser brand and licensing rights around the world, an outcome which is actually aligned with what the ILCA wants.

 

If you leave aside for a moment the moral consideration, what action do you think the ILCA should be taking to best serve the interests of the class members? Why do you think the ILCA should be putting the interests of Kirby ahead of the interests of the class members? Why do you think it is necessary for the ILCA to automatically fall into line with whatever Kirby proposes, without their own assessment of whether that best suits the interests of the class members?

 

ILCA should be taking the long view regarding the future of the class. That includes carefully assessing the deteriorating business relationship over the last several years between the principal builder and the designer.

 

Did ILCA do that? Based on their own communications to members it's patently obvious (I just couldn't resist!) that the class association was ignorant of the contract situation. They went ahead, misled their membership and shut Kirby out of the deal. Kirby sued the builder and, because it's legal SOP, included ILCA as a defendant. Now they find themselves before da judge. Not in the members' best interests, I would think.

 

With new insights ILCA had the opportunity ... still has the opportunity ... to recant. They could plead no contest. They could negotiate with Kirby and ask to join him as plaintiff, or as Friend of the Court, if he will modify his Complaint. Of course that would need a class vote but given that this little imbroglio has the legs to endure for years that shouldn't be a problem.

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"What ILCA course of action would have best served CLASS MEMBERS???"

 

I find that to be a very interesting and perhaps difficult to answer question.

 

I know I am concerned our class is not doing the best thing for our members when their actions APPEAR to be helping LP to remain the exclusive supplier even though LP is not supporting our game to enjoy the lifestyle our game has grown accustomed to enjoying.

 

 

I have a ton of questions and every day there seem to be more of us with more questions.

 

When the ILCA managemt decided to abandon the Kitby trademark and allow generic boats called Lasers, I thought the best choice would have been to abandon the Laser trademark and allow genericly named boats built to abide by the rules necessary to use the Kirby trademark.

 

I am certain someone has a reason for the decision. I am wary of any decision whose justification is so weak people who made those decisions are afraid to publicly discuss those decisions

 

If you are afraid disclosure of your decision making process will cause you to lose a subsequent lawsuit, red flags instantly surround my view of your actions.

Absolutely agree.

 

If you go back to what BK was saying about the IPR rights, when he was called ILCA fundamental rule briefing notes bullshit, he has been proven right all the way along.

 

How ISAF can possibly explain themselves from this position

 

"On March 25th Legal Counsel for ISAF Jon Napier wrote to Jeff Martin the Executive Secretary of ILCA requesting that ILCA cease to issue ISAF plaques to LaserPerformance (Europe) Limited and Quarter Moon Inc. (the 'Builders') with immediate effect. The reason for this decision is that ISAF has concluded, based on the correspondence and court papers received from Bruce Kirby’s attorneys, that the Builders are no longer licensed by Bruce Kirby and/or Bruce Kirby Inc. to build the Laser class boat (as required by the 1983 ISAF Agreement and the 1992 Plaque Agreement)."

 

To move from that plainly factual conclusion to their very shaky, oh the 1983 agreement was invalidated because of the appointment of Torch builder’s decision, when there is NOT A WORD in that agreement (that anyone can find) which would prevent Kirby from building the boat under another name seems like a step onto the wild side.

 

It looks very much like ISAF is going to realise soon having reached the first conclusion, which was plainly the right one, their sudden reversal is just not going to have legs in court and with big doubts over the Laser Trademarks now, they have plainly backed the wrong horse.

 

At Event level and Race Management level, there is constant talk about Risk Management.

 

Surely Napier, who is now the newly appointed ISAF Competition Manager and ISAF Boss Jerome Pels need to look hard at the risks arising from the ongoing support of LPE, when they are already on record having agreed that Kirby´s position on LPE was right.

 

Neither LPE, ILCA or ISAF have been able to mount any public defence of their positions with any credibility at all. (as Gouvernail details)

 

Right now it looks like ISAF´s bank accounts are on a hiding to nothing and that does not seem like sensible Risk Management.

 

Any PRO of a major regatta who exposed the event to such risks would be rapidly cast loose and surely the ISAF Competition Manager, (and the ISAF in house legal counsel ) knows that.

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Neither LPE, ILCA or ISAF have been able to mount any public defence of their positions with any credibility at all. (as Gouvernail details)

 

Well none of them have actually tried to mount a public defence have they? Doesn't mean they don't have sound arguments. Their legal strategies are obviously about keeping quiet and waiting for the court date, while possibly negotiating behind closed doors.

 

Kirby's strategy is about carefully timed actions and releases of information, intended to put pressure on the other side while locking in support of the sailors. Note that virtually all info from Kirby has been pushed at a time that he chooses - it's not like he's giving interviews and responding to every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants a chat.

 

If ILCA and ISAF go responding to everything Kirby does, all they are doing is letting him set the agenda - they obviously have no interest in a public war of words before the court date. I have no idea why people expect that they should. When you're playing poker, does it help you to show the other players what cards you've been dealt?

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Gantt, a couple of questions for you.

 

You (along with plenty of others) insist on regarding any action of the ILCA as taking sides with LPE over BK. However, ILCA's role is to represent the interests of the class members, not any other party.

 

Kind of. I make a small but important distinction - I believe that the ISAF/ILCA by changing the class rules and removing Kirby's name from the plaque has EFFECTIVELY been the same as taking sides against Bruce Kirby. I'm not convinced that their actions are vindictive - however I am convinced their actions have been short-sighted. Their actions have resulted in legal action by Kirby because it would appear (it's my belief) that the ILCA and the ISAF are in breech of contract. I base this on my understanding of contract law, where a breech by one party (as the ILCA/ISAF say Kirby has done with the Torch) somehow invalidated their agreed obligations to Kirby. It don't believe one party's breech invalidates the other party's obligations.

 

In the same way that doing nothing now EFFECTIVELY means that you are supporting the status quo - with the ISAF effectively supporting LP.

 

There is little dispute that BK is perceived as having the moral high ground in the affair as borne out by your survey. Whether he has the legal high ground is yet to be determined, and any speculation in this regard is pointless as there are way too many unknowns. It is evident though that he is following a pre-planned and well orchestrated strategy with the timing and content of his various claims - they are far from knee jerk reactions to changes in the situation. His end goal is obviously to own the Laser brand and licensing rights around the world, an outcome which is actually aligned with what the ILCA wants.

 

It's important to realize that the rule change was proposed and voted upon prior to legal action that Kirby took. I take issue that it is "well orchestrated". ILCA lacked giving proper consideration to all concerned parties (eg other builders like PSA) - we all know that good communication from ILCA has been sadly lacking. It would seem that ILCA has been acting in the interests of the supply of boats for international regattas; and been focussed on dealing with one party: LP. We all know that Laser sailing is global, and ILCA need to juggle the interests of all builders, sailors at all levels and the interests of 'the system' which includes Kirby.

 

 

Posted here and in other places is about Performance Sailcraft wanting to to take over the world and that Kirby is somehow 'in' on this because he wanted to sell his rights to Global Sailing - a conspiracy theory. If that was so, then surely we would have seen Performance Sailcraft appointed as North American builders for the Torch? We know that Kirby did no such thing - invalidating this conspiracy theory.

 

I disagree that Kirby's intention is to own the Laser brand around the world. I believe his intention is to put and end to the issues that have plagued the European and North American markets through the involvement of LP. If Kirby can secure the Laser brand, I believe that he would reinstate 'the system' - at least that would be consistent with his previous actions. I believe that Kirby's involvement has been one of the key components that has lead to having such a great class. One of the ways he has is by holding us true to the original concept - he has periodically referred to himself as the Laser class 'watchdog'. (Ironically, its now more than ever that we need a watchdog. Sadly, the focus has become about more elite sailing - and selling new boats - this is flawed - true growth will come from more people sailing at club level - as witnessed by the growth with masters.) I believe that Kirby is 'old school' and is doing his best to make sure that the Laser is in good hands - I believe he is acting far more openly than the ILCA (and of course LP), and his actions appear to be consistent with the wishes of Laser sailors. (And no, I am NOT on Kirby's payroll in any way shape or form).

 

If you leave aside for a moment the moral consideration, what action do you think the ILCA should be taking to best serve the interests of the class members? Why do you think the ILCA should be putting the interests of Kirby ahead of the interests of the class members? Why do you think it is necessary for the ILCA to automatically fall into line with whatever Kirby proposes, without their own assessment of whether that best suits the interests of the class members?

 

In short the answer is no, that the ILCA should definitely not be putting Kirby ahead of their members. For me, I happen to be of the belief that the Kirby position is best for the ILCA membership. This includes honouring:

  • A system that is built on goodwill for the benefit of Laser sailors everywhere at all levels
  • Parties that honour their agreements
  • A system that is mutually beneficial for all.

Basically, the system that has served us well for several decades. Maybe there is a better system - but I am sure that the road to getting a better system is talking openly with all parties including ALL of the recognised builders, the sailors and yes, Kirby. The road to a worse system includes deals behind closed doors with a builder seeking to not meet contracted agreements. (What are the real back room deals that are being made with those who are meant to represent us?Why is McLaren advertising on the ISAF website? Do we want to be run by a select few?)

 

Interesting, the ILCA, ISAF and LP seem to be intent of changing 'the system' that for unknown reasons no longer suits them. They have been doing this by using bully tactics that has resulted in them finding Bruce Kirby's backbone. I fully support Bruce Kirby taking the legal action that he has, and refuse to stand by while the ISAF appears to act against the majority viewpoint of whom they are meant to represent. Some of you are saying that I don't know all the facts. While that's correct, I know sufficient facts to have reached my own conclusions - and that if ISAF are acting in some legitimate way - they have failed to put forward their case in a meaningful way.

 

Who's approach do you favour? ILCA (with misinformation and lack of consideration), ISAF (who have communicated poorly - and seem to be acting unilaterally) Laser Performance (with a poor track record, and silence); or Kirby (who hindsight would seem that he made a mistake with Global sailing and so has reversed it - but is holding fast to the very system that has worked well for decades - and being open)? One of Kirby's solution to the issue is to recreate 'the system' using a different name. That seems like a reasonable way forward. Ultimately - we all just want to race Kirby's Sailboat - and for me - that's

 

For my part of world, ILCA's actions for the first time has threatened our supply of Laser - as PSA currently feel they cannot produce the Laser without Kirby on the plaque - in their words it would be against their contracted obligations to Kirby.

 

The actions I believe that would serve the ILCA and their membership include:

  • to honour the agreements made, including those with Kirby, that sees a continuation of the system that has seen the Kirby Sailboat become the world's most popular adult one design sailboat
  • to not fear short term lack of supply of boats for regattas - we (the Laser community) will find a way
  • if Laser Performance continues to act in the way they have - we (the Laser community) will find a way
  • to communicate in and open and honest way with greater detail to it's membership what considerations are being made in relation to the stewardship of our class.

I believe that the ILCA are not acting in the interests of their membership, nor are their actions consistent with what I believe is the majority view. Plus I'm of their belief is that their action are in breach of contract. Their actions seem to be focussed on the short term and about expedient decision based on a relationship with a manufacturer who has not served the Laser class very well.

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I believe that the ILCA are not acting in the interests of their membership, nor are their actions consistent with what I believe is the majority view.

So, Gantt, what is the majority view?

 

There are 95 countries listed in latest Laser class report and, most likely, over 100 districts world wide. Do you have any info on which district holds what position? Mind to share it with us?

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I believe the majority view that the majority of the ILCA membership takes are one of two positions that are inconsistent with ILCA's actions. These are:

1) Not taking sides.

2) Siding with the Kirby position.

 

I predict that if you ask each national association, the majority's official position will not be drawn into supporting either side - in other words the first position. It's striking to me the level of support Kirby has at the sailor level. Maybe those who oppose Kirby are hiding - where are they all?

 

What's clearly the minority view are those who say they support Laser Performance.

 

Even the ILCA themselves claim to have a neutral stance. Here's a statement from ILCA in April 2013: "To be clear, ILCA is not a judge or a court of law and takes no position on the relative merits of the claims made by either of the commercial entities involved in the law suit."

 

Yet the position that the ILCA have taken is clearly a change (the rule change, changes to plaques) that favours LP continuing to supply boats, and does not favour Kirby by removing his name from the rules and the plaque. They may justify it in many ways - but it's hardly a neutral position.

 

And as their actions favour one party over the other - is there any other way to read it?

 

This is my BELIEF, I don't claim to have more information. Are you trying to say that siding with LP is the majority view? Go on, ojfd, convince me!

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I'm thinking ILCA took the position they did for the short term to protect the supply of boats, but for the long term were gambling that LPE would just go away. The class association would emerge as more independent from the builders, which is what I believe the membership wants.

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Maybe torrid. Check this out:

 

The first part of the following is from the North American Laser Assn minutes:

April 16, 2011
1.Laser Performance contract: since notification of our intended deadline of March 31st to have a signed sponsorship contract, there has been some communication with Bill Crane at LP. Due to negotiation on other items with ILCA, our contract with LP is on hold. A decision of some kind is expected within the next couple weeks. Also a past due payment of $3,750 since 10/1/10 has now been paid. It was decided to postpone looking for an alternative sponsor until our next ExCom call.

5.Update on ILCA/GS/LP: A rule change has been proposed by ILCA with voting open until September 2011. Approval will allow ILCA to continue to issue ISAF plaques to all approved builders and will force Global Sailing and Laser Performance to sort out their differences in court without the involvement of ILCA. Several members of the ExCom requested some guidelines about the best way to answer inquiries from ILCA-NA members about the situation. Tracy and Sherri agreed to put something together.

September 13, 2011
2a.Laser Performance contract: no payment has been received. Tracy has spoken with Bill Crane but he indicates that no action will be taken until after the rule change is formalized. Sherri will write to LP to ask them to provide the Grand Prix prizes for 2011.

November 9, 2011
2a.Laser Performance contract: no change. Tracy has spoken with Bill Crane but he indicates that no action will be taken until after the rule change is formalized. Sherri noted that LP has agreed to provide the Grand Prix prizes for 2011. They will ship all items to the class office for distribution.

January 18, 2012
2a. Laser Performance contract: no change. It was decided that this item should be dropped from the Action Items list as no further action is anticipated from LP in the foreseeable future.

March 4, 2013
Bruce Kirby lodges his civil action.

March 4, 2013
ILCA say "The decision to continue ISAF plaque sales (and continue to report them to Kirby, Inc.), taken only after consultation with ILCA's legal advisor and close discussion with ISAF, is seen to be in the best interest of the sailors as it maintains the flow of boats and equipment until such time as a resolution to the dispute is reached."

April 23, 2013
ILCA say "ISAF has confirmed that the Laser brand dinghy remains Olympic equipment and will be used for both the men’s and women’s one-person dinghy events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and remains the core equipment through the 2020 Olympics. ISAF informs us that supply contracts for the provision of the equipment for the 2016 Olympics were signed in 2012.
ISAF has approved two changes to Part One of the ILCA Class Rules. These changes have been approved in accordance with the provisions of the ILCA Constitution and the ILCA Class Rules. All necessary votes and approvals have been conducted and are officially recorded. In the case of the member vote, votes were verified for membership validity by each District or Regional authority. The results were then audited by an independent audit firm, which reported 1017 ‘yes’ votes (89.3%) and 122 ‘no’ votes (10.7%), showing that over two-thirds of the voting members approved the rule change as required by the ILCA Class Rules, Part Five, article 30©.

April 30, 2013
Kirby amends his civil action to include the rule change.

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My name is Bruce Hudson. I started sailing in 1976 and Lasers in 1983 in New Zealand. I've sailed in a few nationals - but most of my sailing has been at club level. I have owned seven Lasers in total, only one of which was brand new. Though I have been a member of the NZLA previously, I am not currently. I intend to sail in the 2014 NZ nationals in Nelson so intend to rejoin the NZLA for next season. I am currently a member of Pupuke Boating Club. The interest I have is protecting the interests of a sport which I am passionate about.

Thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to haul out the 2011 vote explanation, now we have had time to get to grips with what actually happened. This has been done before, there is a little new information, though the intention is to present this information in one place.

In Kirby's civil action (which sadly, I am now familiar with), Kirby alleges "82. On information and belief, in order to gain the required support for the ILCA Rule Change, ILCA mislead its members as to the reasons for and implications of the ILCA Rule Change."

So how true is that? I decided to look at the explanation offered by the ILCA, look at the information that was going around at the time, add what we now know - and make my own conclusions. While the below represents my own opinions, I have attempted to be neutral as I can be.


2011 RULE CHANGES - VOTING ENDED 23RD SEPTEMBER 2011


IMPORTANT Rule change
This rule change is very important for the future of the class. The change and the explanation have been approved by the Laser Class World Council and the Laser Class Advisory Council. Please do not delay your vote.
For 40 years the ILCA Class Rules and associated agreements concerning the management of the class have given the sailing world the most successful youth and adult racing class in history with over 200,000 boats built and racing in over 125 countries.
This success, we believe, is based fundamentally on the ILCA Class Rules, which requires that a builder of class-legal boats must (among other things) (i) manufacture the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails and battens in strict adherence to the Construction Manual and (ii) have the Laser trademark rights.
No real issues worth mentioning above here.
In addition, a builder also needs a building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. This provision is mostly historical. The rule was instituted at a time when Bruce Kirby held certain design rights.
Issue #1 - there are current agreements and are therefore not historical. This fact is verified by Laser builder Performance Sailcraft based in Australia. It is also verified by ISAF, who referred to current agreements as reason not to approve the rule change. The agreements were originally signed in 1984 and 1988, though had several updates over time, the most recent appears to be "on or about June 16, 2005" with PSE.
The ILCA is not a party to any of these “Kirby” agreements.
Issue #2 - there are agreements that specifically name the ILCA as a party. The builder agreements say that changes must be made with the agreement of ILCA. PSA in their recent statement referred to agreements that they have with Kirby, ISAF and ILCA. Put plainly, ILCA was party to agreements with builders. While there were several agreements, and strictly speaking an agreement between the builder and the designer may not have the ILCA as a signatory, I believe that the ILCA to be named in the builder agreement (though as stated, the ILCA may not be a signatory). The big picture is that Kirby, LPE, ILCA and ISAF had a number of agreements are bound to each other by these agreements. Of course whether or not these agreements will be upheld is up to the courts.
Unfortunately, a dispute has arisen between parties who claim to be representing Kirby’s interests: a New Zealand company called Global Sailing; and Laser Performance Europe (LPE), one of the manufacturers, which holds the Laser trademark rights for Europe, South America, Africa and Asia (excluding trademark rights owned by Performance Sailcraft Japan for Japan and South Korea).
Unsure if the ownership of the Laser trademark is quite so extensive - though that has no influence on voting so will not count it as an issue.
The dispute centers on whether a valid “design rights holder” agreement exists with LPE. Under the current ILCA Class Rules, if there is not a valid building agreement, then a manufacturer, even a trademark owner, would not meet the requirements to be an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and International Laser Class Association (ILCA) approved builder.
The issue, at least in part, was that LPE was not paying royalties - not upholding the agreement that it had with Bruce Kirby Inc., though the ILCA conclusion is correct. While I don't agree with this statement, (as a breach of contract does not release the parties obligations) I won't count this as an issue until this becomes clearer.
Each of the parties to the conflict has threatened ILCA in various ways – Global Sailing has said it may form a new class association for a “Kirby Sailboat”. LPE informed the ILCA that it intends to form its own “Laser” class. We may therefore end up with three different classes and may lose the Olympic status. The “one design / out of the box principle” would also be threatened.
Agree with the ILCA's conclusions. This is such a shame, as the class was built on a huge amount of goodwill. Threats like this are sad , and speak about the frustrations the parties were having.
One other possible result of this conflict is that due to uncertainty over ISAF and ILCA approval, there may not be a sufficient quantity of new Laser boats compliant with the ILCA Class Rules available in Europe and other countries in 2011 and beyond to satisfy the demand of its current and future ILCA members.
As it turned out, the Olympics were not compromised. Other major events have not been compromised. Though there is potential disruption in the future, most of parties, if asked, may simply put their differences aside for the good of the sport. Now it has progressed to legal action, the possibility for this may be fading.
The class officers made numerous attempts to get the two conflicting parties to end their dispute: meetings were held in different parts of the world and written compromise proposals were made, unfortunately wth no success. While discussions between the two parties continue we are unsure of the outcome and running out of time.
We can now say with hindsight that time wasn't really running out, though I sympathize with ILCA taking that view at that time (the year before the Olympics).
We also took legal advice. The above rule changes were deemed the only possible solution in order to promote the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser boats and to maintain ILCA in its current set-up.
Issue #3 - That legal position places higher weight on the Trademark than on the signed contracts (or "design rights"), which sounds like the view that the ILCA held at the time of writing. Kirby, in his civil action talks about the contracts and agreements, and does not talk about "design rights" per se. For Kirby it's all about the agreements and signed contracts and now the defendants need to answer that. Of course the position held by the ILCA was disputed by Kirby at the time; and of course the proposed rule change was not the only remedy. It was (and still is), a position that favours LPE.
The lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patents had in fact expired.
Issue #4 - Big issue and a mistruth. I believe that the lawyers may have said something like "any valid patents that Kirby may have had, have expired", so Jeff and Heini may have made a small mistake in their own minds. However the message to the members (voters) is clear - that according to legal advice, Kirby has no design rights. This of course is the position that LPE holds currently holds. In fact, there are contracts - now I'm not about to say whether or not they are binding, or what the legal outcome is. However, voters here were clearly mislead on this point. It's important to note that this position by the ILCA was based on poor information, and I want to believe that it was not malicious in any way.
Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the “building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc” requirement. Manufacturers who have trademark rights and who build in strict adherence to the ILCA Rules and to the Construction Manual, which is controlled by ILCA, will continue to have the right to build Class legal boats. We believe that this change will eliminate uncertainty over ISAF and ILCA approval, give manufacturers continued reasons to support the class and satisfy the demands of current and future class members.
Given the above issues, and in light of the disputes, is this still a valid conclusion?
Why should you vote YES?
  1. To promote the uninterrupted supply of class-legal Laser boats all over the world to meet the demands of current and future sailors.
    It's possible that by eliminating Kirby technically is a solution, however remember that we sailed the Olympics with this dispute carrying on behind behind the scenes. It's difficult to understand that the ILCA was compelled to make this rule change and effectively take sides with LP. This from PSA's General manager Chris Caldecoat: "For ILCA and ISAF to attempt to change the rules regarding the manufacture of the Kirby designed boat (currently called a Laser) without due process and consideration of all stakeholders is contrary to the principles of our Class."
  2. To maintain the International Laser Class Association in its current set-up.
    Issue #5 - (small issue) this rule change makes a change to the set-up, so is not maintaining the current ILCA set-up.
  3. To preserve the “one design / out of the box” principle, which is assured by the mandatory adherence to the Laser Construction Manual by all builders as defined in the fundamental rule.
    All parties want this principle maintained, in spite of any threats made.
  4. To maintain ISAF recognition and Olympic status.
    I struggle to imagine the Olympics without the Laser, or as an ISAF recognized class.
Heini Wellmann,
Laser Class President
Jeff Martin,
Laser Class World Executive Secretary
__________________________________________________________________________
Also, there was advice to wait for more information. The ILCA promised more information (Tillerman posted on this), then did not deliver it.
This cautionary note from the UKLA:
"You may already know of a proposed change to the Fundamental Rule of the ILCA Rules. The change might seem a minor one, but it may have profound implications for the future of our Class. You are being asked by ILCA to vote on this issue as soon as possible. However, you have until 23 September 2011 before you have to make up your mind and vote.
There is a strong case in favour of waiting: information about the background to this Rule change is still emerging, and the argument has a long way to run. In such a fluid situation the advice of the UKLA Committee is to wait before casting your vote. We will remind you to vote on this website, and elsewhere, as the deadline approaches. The UKLA has not been involved in this case, and does not wish to be. At this early stage the UKLA knows as little as anyone not already involved, so we cannot advise you on which way to vote. Also, the prospect of legal action being joined between the disputing parties is high, which is why the UKLA is keeping its counsel: to avoid having to pay for it. If you wish to review the arguments posted so far in discussion forums, the Yachts &Yachting forum and the North-American Laser Association forum are good places to start.
The rule change itself can be viewed at www.laserinternational.org . Read carefully, and only vote if you're certain of your decision.
Unfortunately, while written with the best intentions, some ILCA members concerned with the proposal were put off from voting.
There was a lot of talk of the ILCA keeping out of what was an issue between the commercial parties. The prediction that the UKLA made was correct, that there was legal action, and as a result of this rule change (and the plaque issues) the ILCA and ISAF are now named in the civil action - they (we) have joined the disputing parties.
15 September 2011, Sailworld reported Kirby saying: "I’m expecting too that my resumption of responsibilities to the Class, ISAF and particularly to all Laser sailors, will make it unnecessary for the Class to proceed with the proposed (Fundamental) rule change."
On September 23 at 9 AM, before voting had closed, Sailworld reported "As recent written advice from ISAF to the ILCA had according to informed sources, already rejected the proposed rule changes..."
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
So now, having completed this exercise, what conclusions can be made? Remember, Kirby says in his civil action "82. On information and belief, in order to gain the required support for the ILCA Rule Change, ILCA mislead its members as to the reasons for and implications of the ILCA Rule Change."
Sadly for the ILCA the answer is that yes, the voters were mislead. Not just by the ILCA, but by a variety of sources including Kirby himself.
I maintain that the right thing to do, is repeal this rule change.
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No Problem Otterbox.

 

Some information about the ILCA's legal advice can be found in this rather large thread: http://sailingforums.com/threads/2011-rule-changes-fundamental-rule.21064/

I have read the thread in it's entirety and recommend that anyone wanting to understand the viewpoints the ILCA held in 2011 in more depth do so too. The following excerpts are best read in context, I have selected them to get a flavour of where the ILCA was at. They are best read in context. I have attempted to add my own meaningful opinions at the end of this post.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
March 29, 2011 Tracy says (excerpt):
"I can try to answer questions that I know the answers to. The entire issue is very complex, there are agreements that ILCA is party to, there are agreements between the design rights holder and the builders that ILCA is not party too (and has no detailed knowledge of), etc. And, yes, it has required ILCA to seek legal advice in order to help guide what would be the best path forward for the Laser Class, and all Laser sailors."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
On April 2, 2011 (page-5) in response to "RockHead", Tracy said (excerpt):

"The only thing I can add, or, really, reiterate, is that ILCA is not a part of the agreement between GS and LP and, additionally, is not priviliged to the details of that document. So, ILCA has no knowledge of what GS may or may not require of LP.

Obviously the proposed rule change benefits LP over Global Sailing and certainly gives the appearance that ILCA has "chosen a side." In effect, it has, but I can assure you that it is not out of love for LaserPerformance. As stated above, when push came to shove it was determined, through the best legal advice that ILCA could get, that if the goal was to preserve Laser sailing as we know it then the trademarks trumped all. If we, as sailors, want to continue to sail the same boats we have now, including calling them Lasers with a starburst logo, then the proposed modification of the Fundamental Rule was deemed the best course of action."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
On April 8, 2011, Ottobox wrote (entire post):
"I dont normally care about Laser politics but this seems to be a tipping point. I guess you have the inside track on this whole deal.

What i do not understand is that Bruce Kirby who evidently sold Bruce Kirby Inc to Global Sailing, says there are no copyrights or patents - he seems to think he knows what is in the Kirby Inc agreements (you would figure he would).

But ILCA's case for voting Yes is based on the fact that their attorney's told them that patents have expired.

But the ILCA statements also says that ILCA has not seen the agreement/contracts.

Like I am a six year old, please explain, how do you know what you don't know?

If the guy who drew up the original docs says you are wrong and ILCA says we have not seen the docs, but we are right. - why should we believe you??"
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
On April 10, 2011, Tracy responded (excerpt):
"We could waste endless keyboard strokes debating the minutiae of various hypothetical situations. As I stated before, I am unaware of any contract/agreement between the IP rights holder and ILCA that has bearing on the proposed rule change. Until a convincing argument can be made to me of how ILCA can be subject to a builder's agreement that it is not party to (nor knows the details of) then I don't see the merits in wasting lots of time on irrelevant details."

The questioning by Otterbox in hindsight proved very pertinent. The agreements are outlined in Kirby's civil action.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
On June 2, 2011 (http://sailingforums.com/threads/2011-rule-changes-fundamental-rule.21064/page-9), Tracy said (excerpt):
"I did not know there was a lawsuit either in progress or planned, can you give more details? Also, I have not been told that the legal bill was in the 6 figure range. Admittedly, the last accounting I saw was at the last World Council meeting this past February where it was still in the range of 4 figures, though by now I'm sure its passed into the 5 figure range. From my point of view, given that ILCA's annual budget on the order of $500,000, it would seem to be in line given the seriousness of the situation (and, as well, one of the reasons to have the surplus that ILCA has maintained over the years).

Anyway, having said the above, I am also disappointed that ILCA chose, in the end, to not directly address questions further. I generally believe that more information is always better than less information, when its possible to give accurate information and not just speculate. However, I can't say that if I were in their position, with the advice given them, I might not come to the same conclusion they did."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Whitfit, Jul 6, 2011 said (excerpt):
"I am a lawyer in Canada, so have some knowledge of the issues of commercial agreements and intellectual property rights."

"....The bottom line for me is that I want to know more. I want to know what the actual legal rights are, and what path they have taken from their inception. This is not information that I have been able to learn from reading various articles and discussions on the internet about this issue. And, I think that is the critical issue at play. This is about the use of design rights, and the contracts that have been made about those rights. My view is that the rest is window dressing."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Then September 1, 2011, Tracy wrote: (entire post)

"Apologies for the delay in getting this sorted out, in the midst of a week long series of meetings at work and had to put together a presentation for this morning.

During the recently completed Master Worlds in San Francisco, Heini Wellmann took the opportunity to hold a meeting to discuss class issues with those sailors interested in listening (I understand he has been regularly doing this at events he has been attending). A good fraction of that discussion centered around the proposed change to the Fundamental Rule. As this was a public meeting I assume that what was said can be summarized here, and I'll try to do to the best of my memory (I was plenty tired after racing that day!). This is from memory, its nearly three weeks old, I just sailed my last Masters' regatta in the Standard Masters (meaning I'm getting older and my memory isn't as good as it used to be), etc., etc. Anyway, the meeting was mostly a question and answer session, so here goes:

1) "Can the Laser Class be sued?" Heini's direct answer was no. The longer answer is as has been discussed here, mainly that ILCA is not party to the contracts between the design rights holder and the builders, has no knowledge of what is contained in those contracts and is not bound by them. ILCA, with its membership, has the fundamental right to change its Class Rules subject to the constraints of its constitution and approval by ISAF.

2) "What does ISAF think?"
a) Heini said that he had made a presentation he made to the ISAF Council at the last ISAF meeting. It sounds as if they had concerns over the proposed rule change similar to discussions here but those concerns were assuaged by Heini's presentation. Apparently Heini also made the conclusions of ILCA's attorney known to the ISAF attorney who concurred with them entirely (in fact even pointing out a strengthening of ILCA's position, the details of which are a bit murky in my memory so I don't want to mis-state them, perhaps another TLF'er who was also in attendance can remember?).
b ) Apparently it seems that ISAF must approve of the sale of the design rights to a new owner and it seems that they were not asked and, according to Heini, have not given this approval. Again, details are not clear enough in my memory to feel confident in recounting the exact wording here, but possibly this may be the source of what Fred alluded to in his post, regarding Bruce Kirby possibly being in discussions to regain his rights?

3) "What might happen?" It seems that is not a question of "might" anymore, the statement was that Global Sailing has terminated the contract with LaserPerformance Europe. By our current class rules, very soon LPE will run out of plaques (which are what determine whether a boat satisfies the class rules) and will not be able to produce new Lasers for Europe, Africa, South America and most of Asia. As far as I know, LP in North America still has a contract.

4) "What if the situation changes? (e.g. Bruce Kirby regains his rights)" The World Council could decide to not go forward with the results of the vote, presumably meaning the WC could decide to not adopt the rule.

Those are the main points that I remember (long day of sailing, I was very tired!). Hopefully someone else in attendance can add any missing details."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
There is far more information in the thread - lots of opinion, here say and speculation. It's repetitive, and as I said it's best to read the whole thing in context.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Crucially, the ILCA said that they were not aware of the details in the agreements. It's fair to say that even the best lawyer if given the brief or having reached the conclusion that the ILCA was not party to any of the builders agreement (and that the dispute was limited to the builder's agreement), their conclusion looks a little more reasonable - even though we can now say with hindsight that was an incorrect position to hold - it's clearer from the above that Tracy (current ILCA President) was earnest in his attempts to share information in good faith.

It's my belief that Tracy did an outstanding job of trying to inform people what the situation was based on the information he knew at the time. While it would appear that Tracy had spoken about about the ILCA's legal advice, even seen it, for reasons unknown Tracy did not share information directly from any legal document. Instead we relied on Tracy's best efforts.

May 2013
We now have the benefit of more information, including the civil action lodged by Kirby and Co. Details of agreements that Kirby say that the ILCA are party to have been lodged with the court as part of the civil action. The civil action forms the most complete picture yet about the agreements that exist, though of course there is more detail to come. And the ILCA, now they have been sued, are compelled to answer as defendants a case based on the agreements that Kirby has presented.

Here it is in summary:
"19. On or about November 30, 1983, BKI and Bruce Kirby entered into an Agreement (“ISAF Agreement”) with Performance Sailcraft, Inc., Laser International Holdings Limited, ILCA, and the International Yacht Racing Union (“IYRU”), copy attached as Exhibit 3.

20. The ISAF Agreement governed the production, distribution, and management of Kirby Sailboats approved for officially sanctioned sailboat races worldwide. Section “Agreement 1” specifies that all authorized builders of Kirby Sailboats must have a license from Kirby.

21. Section 5.1 of the ISAF Agreement stipulates that all Kirby Sailboats must be built in accordance with the Construction Manual to receive accreditation from the IYRU. Section 5.1 further stipulates that all parties agree that all Kirby Sailboats shall be manufactured in accordance with the highest possible degree of uniformity in every respect.

22. Upon information and belief, ISAF is the successor in interest to the rights and obligations of the IYRU under the ISAF Agreement."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

I maintain that the right thing for the ILCA to do in light of the above is to repeal the rule change and stop issuing plaques.

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Good work Bruce. My own examination of the situation has been relatively superficial and far more recent. Still your posts have confirmed my understanding of how we got here.

 

For me the good news in this is that ILCA's situation is not dire. They still have an opportunity to recant and join Kirby in his Complaint. Of course that means choosing sides instead of trying to perch on the fence. And if they back Kirby it will be in the knowledge of the defendant's hardline position and deep pockets.

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Gantt/Bruce

 

Thanks for you posting.

 

You´ve reminded me of what I wrote last year and yes its very much the case.. I just don't see evidence of logical thinking in the ILCA. Or alternatively someone who has been a long time in the organisation has been misleading the World Council and continues to do so. Be interesting to see what happens within that group.

 

When you look at the obvious error made by the ILCA lawyer with the expired patents on the toy boat etc. it suggests ILCA and ISAF are keener to use an opinion from their lawyers that suits their purpose, rather than one that will stand the test of time and likely the Court system.

 

Additionally it seems the ILCA and ISAF thought Kirby´s lawyer Whitmyer was just another hired gun, not realising he is a long time sailor, a former Optimist NA Class President as well as running a serious Intellectual Property Rights legal firm.

 

Seems like its time that ISAF should sit down with Bruce and Whitmyer and actually see what they might be facing in Court and talk about alternatives, rather than just take a giant legal risk.

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No conspiracy, just a strong desire to protect the job or the position as you say.

 

Puzzled by Tracy Usher tho.. , had a few beers with him once over here, at a Masters event, he seems intelligent and has a Phd to prove it but he seems to have been suckered by the promised of rivers of gold from Farzad Rastegar, for ILCA, when the most cursory glance at the size of the industry shows you it is just not there.

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Its all very strange... there must surely be a lot of factors we aren't hearing about, but the blanket of silence from ILCA is no help at all. I really don't understand why they have this deliberate policy of non-communication with the people who they are supposed to be serving (and it is deliberate - its in the NA minutes), but it doesn't look good. As Gouv said the very least you should do is to say why you aren't talking...

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rasty hasn't actually answered yet though... perhaps the ILCA are keeping their powder dry, saving it for the court, hiding under the skirts of whichever shell company are stumping up the fees for Turner and Hooch.

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Its all very strange... there must surely be a lot of factors we aren't hearing about, but the blanket of silence from ILCA is no help at all. I really don't understand why they have this deliberate policy of non-communication with the people who they are supposed to be serving (and it is deliberate - its in the NA minutes), but it doesn't look good. As Gouv said the very least you should do is to say why you aren't talking...

Is it a common practice for the head office of International association to report to the "ordinary" members of the class or to respond to rumors and/or various opinions expressed in the public space?

Talk to your district officers and let them handle this.

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interesting, apparently new molds and dies have been procured, as well as sail patterns.

New molds and new sail patterns?

 

It's a HOAX!

 

And Kirby's propaganda... again.. :(

 

Just zoom in the original picture.

post-55189-0-56344800-1368656755_thumb.jpg

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interesting, apparently new molds and dies have been procured, as well as sail patterns.

 

Where was that boat made? One of the new builders in Canada or Europe? Or is it just a PSA hull with a Torch logo stuck on it?

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interesting, apparently new molds and dies have been procured, as well as sail patterns.

New molds and new sail patterns?

 

It's a HOAX!

 

And Kirby's propaganda... again.. :(

 

Just zoom in the original picture.

 

ojfd, I'm not sure where you are coming from, but I understand where the people behind the Torch (and it's not just Kirby) are. I believe that these are not new molds and that Bruno is mistaken.

 

To me, it's clear that if you take the existing Laser, make some cosmetic changes, it makes a Torch as described. So even if it was a PSA manufactured boat (and nowhere is it claimed to be anything other than what it is), then it still is within the Torch concept.

 

I have a request for you ojfd, since you said "And Kirby's propaganda... again..". Can you please outline exactly what you say is Kirby's propaganda? I believe that you are insinuating that Kirby is spreading mistruths (if I have it wrong, please let me know and I will apologise). From where I sit, and I have reviewed a heck of a lot of documentation over the last couple of years, while I can find evidence of the ILCA and Kirby talking past eachother, nowhere can I find evidence of Kirby spreading mistruths. I can find a little evidence of the ILCA spreading mistruths, however there is evidence also supports that this may not have been deliberate (see earlier post on the legal advice).

 

So ojfd, if you were able to lay out exactly what mistruths Kirby is spreading in detail, ideally quoting sources, point by point outlining what the Kirby claim is and why it's misleading, I will take up the challenge and use my own sources to publicly agree or disagree with whether Kirby has been using propaganda. Currently, my feeling is that he isn't - but convince me otherwise!

 

- Bruce.

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I just hope that the 60,000 pounds that the ILCA paid their lawyers for advice on the fundamental rule change was well spent.

 

Maybe they could spend a few hundred pounds and use it to inform the members, who ultimately are the ones who pay their salaries and expenses, what exactly is going on.

 

It would seem to me that with so little information being shared with members and so much money being spent, if it all falls apart some of these men could have a great career in politics.

 

Keep them in the dark and be completely unaccountable to the people who actually pay the bills seems to be the modern mantra of good governance...

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You'd think they would at least take a photo of a hull before they stuck on the laser plaque...

 

And if you check the website now, it's been Photoshopped out.

And that that particular photo seems to have been uploaded 7 hours after the others...

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Actually ojfd, not necessarily a hoax, although it is propaganda as are the statements put forward by ILCA. I would classify this more as marketing a new product.

 

If Kirby is using the same CM for Kirby Torch as for the Laser (as he holds or believes he hold the copyright on the CM) then a new mold could conceiveably be used for either the Torch or the Laser. This would make it safe financially for PSA to invest in the mold, as no matter how the lawsuit goes down, they could still use it to produce class legal hulls for either.

 

As for the ISAF plaque. Mistakes happen when you are cross manufacturing on the same production line. I once saw a bike manufactured by Giant for Trek. They made the same bike on the line; some were branded Giant, some Trek. This bike was a mistake and had the Giant logo at the front but Trek everywhere else.

 

As for the sail. Again because Kirby has said that the class will grandfather existing class legal Lasers into the Torch, any Laser class legal sails can also come across, including ones with a Brasilian flag on them. Notice in the second photo its a non Laser marked sail. I dare say that the spars are the same.

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As for the ISAF plaque. Mistakes happen when you are cross manufacturing on the same production line. I once saw a bike manufactured by Giant for Trek. They made the same bike on the line; some were branded Giant, some Trek. This bike was a mistake and had the Giant logo at the front but Trek everywhere else.

 

Those were not the ISAF plaques. They are silvery and on the other side of the cockpit. See for yourselves. http://www.claysails.com/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=1511

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I present you the sticker from the back of the cockpit on my 2006 boat:

 

8743136638_8a70964332_o.jpg

 

Now an extreme blowup from the pre-Photoshop image of Scheidt's Torch:

 

8743136608_e0a1e297c2_o.jpg

 

 

Pray tell where does it say ISAF? Torched Lasers come from the same mold. Hell, my boat no longer has a Laser logo on it after all the repairs.

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Ok, not ISAF plaques, laser stickers. Point being that it is a laser hull that he stuck decals on, nothing particularly exciting about it and I'm surprised that it's taken so long for someone to post a photo of such...

 

The only bit I find fishy about the photos is that it's meant to demonstrate that specifically torch hulls are being produced when really it's a laser, it even has the laser sticker. I'd give a touch more credit if they had built the hull and only applied the torch graphics, the laser sticker smells of desperation...

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Yes, it is fun and games to point out stickers and Photoshop jobs. However, I interpret the pictures to communicate the message "the newly appointed builders are now producing hulls".

 

Clearly that is not the case.

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Yes, it is fun and games to point out stickers and Photoshop jobs. However, I ( really ought to ) interpret the pictures to communicate the message "the newly appointed builders are now fully capable of producing hulls".

 

Clearly that is not the case.

I see the ILCA has taught you to read between the lines. Well done Gouv. I read the same thing.

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Yes, it is fun and games to point out stickers and Photoshop jobs. However, I ( really ought to ) interpret the pictures to communicate the message "the newly appointed builders are now fully capable of producing hulls".

 

Clearly that is not the case.

I see the ILCA has taught you to read between the lines. Well done Gouv. I read the same thing.

Crap, where did the underlined disappear to?

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Dear all,

Precision in language is everything when dealing with lawyerised topics.

 

Does the page say first Kirby Torch or first *brand new built as* Kirby Torch?

 

Can a Laser become a Kirby Torch?

 

How does a Laser become a Kirby Torch?

 

Still, I reckon all of this is manouvering. Once Rastregar's initial reply is in both sets of lawyers will study everything and we'll see if we get a settlement or whether this will drag on for years. I fear its more about principle than money, at least on Kirby's part, so that probably means drag on for years rather than early settlement.

 

 

 

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My mistake. All the Lasers in our boatshed are old enough that the stickering is significantly different so I made an assumption. In fact I don't think our Lasers have 2 stickers only an single IYRU sticker which says Laser built by PSA and may or may not be silvery.

 

My point about mistakes made on a common production line with common components still applies.

 

As do my comments regarding the CM.

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Regardless of their cries of, everything everything we´ve done is to ensure ongoing supply of boats, ISAf AND llCA have it seems stopped Laser production cold.

 

Is there any disagreement that its time ISAF and ILCA sat down with Bruce Kirby and his Incs, whoever they maybe to try and get this whole thing back on track?

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interesting, apparently new molds and dies have been procured, as well as sail patterns.

 

Where was that boat made? One of the new builders in Canada or Europe? Or is it just a PSA hull with a Torch logo stuck on it?

 

Definitely PSA's factory on the east coast of Australia, for what it's worth..

 

I'm told the Scheidt sail has been on display there for some time and the black mainsheet and spliced yellow ropes on the vang have recently been added to PSA's website. So clearly a Laser with Torch sticker applied.

 

Seems like a strange and unnecessarily provocative action from PSA.

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ojfd, I'm not sure where you are coming from, but I understand where the people behind the Torch (and it's not just Kirby) are. I believe that these are not new molds and that Bruno is mistaken.

 

To me, it's clear that if you take the existing Laser, make some cosmetic changes, it makes a Torch as described. So even if it was a PSA manufactured boat (and nowhere is it claimed to be anything other than what it is), then it still is within the Torch concept.

 

I have a request for you ojfd, since you said "And Kirby's propaganda... again..". Can you please outline exactly what you say is Kirby's propaganda? I believe that you are insinuating that Kirby is spreading mistruths (if I have it wrong, please let me know and I will apologise). From where I sit, and I have reviewed a heck of a lot of documentation over the last couple of years, while I can find evidence of the ILCA and Kirby talking past eachother, nowhere can I find evidence of Kirby spreading mistruths. I can find a little evidence of the ILCA spreading mistruths, however there is evidence also supports that this may not have been deliberate (see earlier post on the legal advice).

 

So ojfd, if you were able to lay out exactly what mistruths Kirby is spreading in detail, ideally quoting sources, point by point outlining what the Kirby claim is and why it's misleading, I will take up the challenge and use my own sources to publicly agree or disagree with whether Kirby has been using propaganda. Currently, my feeling is that he isn't - but convince me otherwise!

 

- Bruce.

The propaganda is strong with this one.

 

Much propaganda has he.

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Seems like a strange and unnecessarily provocative action from PSA.

 

hardly- one of the criticisms of Kirby is that there hasn't been a physical sale of a Kirby Torch yet, so anyone wanting one... even on protest for local sailing... can't buy one.

 

This picture shows how easy that criticism can (and maybe soon, will) be addressed.

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As I recollect The Torch Class will grandfather any class legal ILCA hulls as Torches. To me that photo says "look how easy it is to change to the Torch Class: all it takes is a logo change - nothing else changes"

 

Is that "propoganda"? To the extent that it leaves out that a class organizational infrastructure needs to be built - perhaps. But I suspect Kirby is likely assuming that he will be able to just absorb the existing district and regional ILCA orgs if the court rulings boot out Rastegar

 

As for reading between the lines, I think the ISAF is letting that information leak to try and make the parties settle RSN. ISAF has plenty of other performance single handers it can switch to - sure none with as big a class as the Laser, but the women could quickly go back to the Europe, and if you leave the men in Finns then you can add back in any of the classes that have recently been slighted.

 

ILCA is the one playing with fire. By backing Rastegar against both Kirby and the other builders, they essentially keep the fight going. If they sided with PSA and Kirby, and simply stopped issuing plaques to Rastegar, LPE would have to sue ILCA to get plaques. but in the mean time ILCA would be dropped by Kirby from the suit, and PSA and others would be able to start manufacturing again.

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Is that "propoganda"? To the extent that it leaves out that a class organizational infrastructure needs to be built - perhaps. But I suspect Kirby is likely assuming that he will be able to just absorb the existing district and regional ILCA orgs if the court rulings boot out Rastegar

 

I thought that the "LPU" was going to absorb the existing districts and regional Laser orgs. :rolleyes:

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ojfd, I'm not sure where you are coming from, but I understand where the people behind the Torch (and it's not just Kirby) are. I believe that these are not new molds and that Bruno is mistaken.

 

To me, it's clear that if you take the existing Laser, make some cosmetic changes, it makes a Torch as described. So even if it was a PSA manufactured boat (and nowhere is it claimed to be anything other than what it is), then it still is within the Torch concept.

 

I have a request for you ojfd, since you said "And Kirby's propaganda... again..". Can you please outline exactly what you say is Kirby's propaganda? I believe that you are insinuating that Kirby is spreading mistruths (if I have it wrong, please let me know and I will apologise). From where I sit, and I have reviewed a heck of a lot of documentation over the last couple of years, while I can find evidence of the ILCA and Kirby talking past eachother, nowhere can I find evidence of Kirby spreading mistruths. I can find a little evidence of the ILCA spreading mistruths, however there is evidence also supports that this may not have been deliberate (see earlier post on the legal advice).

 

So ojfd, if you were able to lay out exactly what mistruths Kirby is spreading in detail, ideally quoting sources, point by point outlining what the Kirby claim is and why it's misleading, I will take up the challenge and use my own sources to publicly agree or disagree with whether Kirby has been using propaganda. Currently, my feeling is that he isn't - but convince me otherwise!

 

- Bruce.

The propaganda is strong with this one.

 

Much propaganda has he.

 

(OK, I'll rise to the challenge). Welcome TRUTHPUPPETTHATHATESUALL. Do you sail Lasers? How long? Where?

 

It would seem we have a common interest - the truth.

 

If you have an issue with what I have written, please be specific. By the way, I'm human and I make mistakes - and I'd rather have a mistake exposed than march blindly onwards with some misconception.

 

And while we are speaking of hollow challenges, and recently, we are talking about the photos of the 'Torch', whether or not they are actually the Torch. The point is that the Torch can be produced now, because it uses the same production line as the Laser. So blank hulls coming off the mold could be Lasers or they could be the Torch. So in that context the production line is ready - and it would appear the PSA is ready to produce the Torch. I'm not sure how many molds there are in the world, or what their location or status is, however I am sure that at least some of them are ready to be used to produce the Torch right now.

 

Perhaps Jeff and Heini may have thought the that prospect of what we know as the Laser being rebranded was a hollow threat? We now know that this is not true. This is what Tracy said back in 2011:

I would argue that who is right or wrong in the dispute is irrelevant to the larger problem that there is a dispute and it has the potential to very soon adversely impact Laser sailing. The crux of the matter is that, whether we like it or not, one builder owns the trademark to call the boat we sail a Laser and affix a Starburst logo to its sail, while another party, independent of ILCA, owns IP rights to the boat and the current ILCA rules (of which WE the sailors control) require an agreement between the two. In today's world, if the two parties cannot come to agreement then, under the current rules, we are in a situation where a builder cannot build a boat but can prevent any other potential builder from building a boat called a Laser and selling it in their trademarked territory. I would argue that who is right or wrong in the dispute is irrelevant to the larger problem that there is a dispute and it has the potential to very soon adversely impact Laser sailing. The crux of the matter is that, whether we like it or not, one builder owns the trademark to call the boat we sail a Laser and affix a Starburst logo to its sail, while another party, independent of ILCA, owns IP rights to the boat and the current ILCA rules (of which WE the sailors control) require an agreement between the two. In today's world, if the two parties cannot come to agreement then, under the current rules, we are in a situation where a builder cannot build a boat but can prevent any other potential builder from building a boat called a Laser and selling it in their trademarked territory. (Source = http://sailingforums.com/threads/2011-rule-changes-fundamental-rule.21064/)

 

Now we now know that BY CHANGING THE RULE, Chris Caldecoat, General Manager of PSA responded:

As a current compliant builder of Laser boats, and an owner of the Laser Trade Mark, PSA has not been consulted by the ILCA or ISAF with respect to their proposal to keep issuing plaques to a boat building company that has failed to comply with their Laser builders contract and has lost the right to build the Kirby Designed boat. (As the Laser is referred to in the LCM.)

 

PSA does not support this action by the ILCA and ISAF, which is in contravention of the LCM.

 

Any changes to the LCM (including changes to the plaques) requires approval of all the signatories, these include Bruce Kirby Inc. and PSA. Without those signatures any boats built are not Class legal boats.

 

 

For ILCA and ISAF to attempt to change the rules regarding the manufacture of the Kirby designed boat (currently called a Laser) without due process and consideration of all stakeholders is contrary to the principles of our Class.

 

It is against the sailor’s best interests, the best interest of the builders who do comply with their contracts and support the Class at Olympic, World, Regional and National level, in fact the very future of the Class within ISAF and the Olympics.

 

PSA would urge all sailors and ISAF Member Nations to support designers and authorised builders across all classes of sailing by acknowledging the invaluable role they play within our sport in creating and developing the equipment necessary for us to go sailing at whatever level we choose. (Source = PSA release)

 

So on one hand ILCA say that the rule change was to facilitate boat production, then by making the change, another builder and Laser trademark holder says that they are unable to make class legal boats because of the agreements that they have. WE NOW KNOW THAT THE RULE CHANGE WAS NOT A GOOD SOLUTION.

 

Tracy also said back in 2011:

I agree with the comment that Bruce Kirby has always acted in the best interest of Laser sailing, deserves to have a well earned retirement and is completely blameless in whatever disputes are going on.

(Source = http://sailingforums.com/threads/2011-rule-changes-fundamental-rule.21064/page-3)

 

Here are some facts:

  • Bruce Kirby has launched the "Torch" as a way forward for what we now know as the Laser class
  • He has links with builders who have the capability RIGHT NOW to produce the Torch
  • A growing number sailors support sailing the same old boat under a different name

All of this HAS to be of HUGE concern to the ILCA, and to all sailors of Lasers everywhere.

 

To me, the was forward is for the ILCA to reclaim neutral ground by repealing the rule change. It does not have to go to the vote. My understanding is that all it needs is the withdrawal of approval from the Advisory Council and / or the World Council.

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Summary of Gantt's post

 

All the ILCA officers need to do is admit to themselves they made a less than perfect plan, agree among themselves it is a good idea to look for a way to modify their current plan , come up with a new plan, agree among themselves that new plan is a good one, agree to risk admitting they made the mistakes, agree to provide public support for the new plan, release the new plan, advocate acceptance of that new plan

 

 

Yeah. That is gonna happen really soon !!!!

 

I agree. What seems to be lacking is a vision of how the ILCA can move forward.

 

In my opinion, Here's some possibilities (which admittedly are oversimplified):

 

First, let's set the scene:

  • Bruce Kirby sold rights to Global Sailing
  • LP stopped paying Royalties to Global Sailing
  • Kirby gets the rights back from Global Sailing

What could/should have happened (Scenario #1):

  • Kirby informs ILCA exactly how LP was in breech of contract
  • ILCA/ISAF warn LP that unless they comply with agreement they will no longer get plaques
  • LP pay royalties, concentrate on improving their production and we all go sailing

 

What could/should have happened (Scenario #2):

  • Kirby informs ILCA exactly how LP was in breech of contract
  • ILCA/ISAF warn LP that unless they comply with agreement they will no longer get plaques
  • LP refuse to pay royalties
  • A new builder is appointed, rebranded Lasers (the Torch) are built in North America/Europe
  • LP sue and win rights to the Trademark Laser, we all sail Torches

 

What could/should have happened (Scenario #3):

  • Kirby informs ILCA exactly how LP was in breech of contract
  • ILCA/ISAF warn LP that unless they comply with agreement they will no longer get plaques
  • LP refuse to pay royalties
  • A new builder is appointed, rebranded Lasers (the Torch) are built in North America/Europe
  • LP sue and win rights to the Trademark Laser
  • LP sell the Trademark to the new builder, we all sail Lasers again

 

What could/should have happened (Scenario #4):

  • Kirby informs ILCA exactly how LP was in breech of contract
  • ILCA/ISAF warn LP that unless they comply with agreement they will no longer get plaques
  • LP refuse to pay royalties
  • A new builder is appointed, rebranded Lasers (the Torch) are built in North America/Europe
  • LP sue and lose rights to the Trademark Laser, we all sail Lasers

Instead we have:

  • LP refuse to pay royalties
  • Kirby informs ILCA that LP are no longer builders
  • ILCA/ISAF effectively support LP by continuing to issue plaques
  • Kirby commences legal action
  • ILCA/ISAF change the rules and effectively take sides with LP, and in the process muck things up for PSA
  • Kirby launches the Torch
  • We wait for the legal action outcomes

Maybe the right thing is for the ILCA to try to broker a way forward - and from my way of looking at it, they simply cannot do that if they have taken sides with LP.

 

Deadline as per the summons was 21 days, that makes it according to my calculations 24 May.

 

Meanwhile, plans for the Torch are gaining pace.

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Let me ask another relevant question - what is the MRRP of the Kirby Torch that everyone raves about? Any idea? Anyone have ever heard any announcments? $2499 perhaps? ;)

What differences do you know about in production and promotional costs you believe would allow such a different market price???

Many here expressed their view that largish part of the markup is due to need to supply boats to high profile ISAF events and Olympic games and added value due to being International/Olympic class.

None of this applies to Torch, so why not lower the price for the benefit of fanatic sailors?

 

Let's make it $3000. Realistic?

 

$700 in 1975 has the same buying power as $3,025.50 in 2013

 

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=700.00&year1=1975&year2=2013

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Let's make it $3000. Realistic?

 

$700 in 1975 has the same buying power as $3,025.50 in 2013

 

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=700.00&year1=1975&year2=2013

You cannot use the CPI as an indicator in that way. There is no link between the costs of the "inputs" that go into a boat (labour, raw materials etc.) and the average "shopping" basket used for the CPI. You also fail to take into account changes in distribution methods used today. Back in the day, the price was ex works. Now, the price is ex dealer. Somebody has got to pay the dealer and unfortunately, that comes at a real cost. I bet most Laser/Torch sailors would be very upset if the new Torch organisation stopped using dealers and boats/parts were no longer available locally. Or maybe you would be prepared to give up the dealership network because things would become cheaper, but I suspect that would hurt the class because all evidence is that people are prepared to pay for the convenience of the local dealer.

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