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20 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

When did the Finn go to carbon masts that are designed to the skippers weight Did that hurt the class? 

Even wooden masts were made to measure. Was easy to remove some material with standard woodworking hand tools..... I know Contender sailers who just added some layers of carbon to their mast, when they felt the spar was too soft for their weight. Can also be removed again, when you lose weight.... 

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The cost of misinformation As an ILCA World Council member, I am alarmed at some "news stories" in the The Sailor's Voice (Facebook), specifically those posted by Jean-Pierre Kiekens. His comments

https://www.sailing.org/news/90895.php#.YHkHCy2ZNN0 Laser Radial sailor Nethra Kumanan has become the first ever female Indian sailor to qualify for the Olympic Games.

And edition 40 of our 6 hour laser relay race (you switch every lap with your team mate) is close to having 40 boats (80 sailors). All that on a tiny lake in the south of Amsterdam. If you read D

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12 minutes ago, Old Yeller said:

Can someone please educate me? What does this FIFY mean?

It means "I have no manners and like misquoting other people and telling what they ought to think"

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28 minutes ago, JimC said:

It means "I have no manners and like misquoting other people and telling what they ought to think"

I looked it up. When in doubt google it.... Apparently it also has something to do with ILCA membership.

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2 hours ago, Old Yeller said:

Ok we’ll try this again. This discussion has nothing to do with the freedom of entrepreneurs to introduce a product onto the marketplace. The question is, should the Laser class allow the introduction of the C rigs as class legal equipment. Do you support this? If so why?

That is up to Laser class members. 

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I think if the Laser wants to stay as an Olympic class beyond 2024/2028, then yes the class would need to adopt the Cx rigs.  Not because the boats are faster or more competitive (the C5 in Asia aside), but from a marketing point a view a more modern-looking boat it needed.  I state that not as a good reason but just reality.  And who knows how long sailing will remain an Olympic sport.

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2 hours ago, torrid said:

m a marketing point a view a more modern-looking boat it needed

Well, then it also makes sense to build the hull with half the weight from foam sandwich, add proper seattanks and proper foils. Essentially than you've got an Aero. Still a slow low performance hiking boat, maybe 1.5% faster than a Laser. Still not very spectacular to watch at on TV. Is this the very top of our sport? I remember that a german Contender Sailer had designed a proper high tech singlehander with trapeze and gennacker especially for the Olympics.... No the Laser is still olympic cause a lot of MNA have invested in this boat, better to check with them before making major changes to the boat.

But the biggest "marketing" for the Laser ist that 200000 very similar boats were sold. If you give this "similar" up not many reasons to buy a new Laser and join the class are left over. 

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4 minutes ago, jgh66 said:

Well, then it also makes sense to build the hull with half the weight from foam sandwich, add proper seattanks and proper foils. Essentially than you've got an Aero. Still a slow low performance hiking boat, maybe 1.5% faster than a Laser. Still not very spectacular to watch at on TV. Is this the very top of our sport? I remember that a german Contender Sailer had designed a proper high tech singlehander with trapeze and gennacker especially for the Olympics.... No the Laser is still olympic cause a lot of MNA have invested in this boat, better to check with them before making major changes to the boat.

But the biggest "marketing" for the Laser ist that 200000 very similar boats were sold. If you give this "similar" up not many reasons to buy a new Laser and join the class are left over. 

What inspires people to watch TV is not just about going fast. 

Close racing and tactics. Personalities.

The Laser actually has an audience pull that many other classes don't.

---

Consider chess: 

http://www.chessdom.com/between-100-and-200-million-have-followed-the-match-anand-carlsen-on-tv-every-day/

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9 minutes ago, jgh66 said:

But the biggest "marketing" for the Laser ist that 200000 very similar boats were sold. If you give this "similar" up not many reasons to buy a new Laser and join the class are left over. 

Exactly 

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5 hours ago, RobbieB said:

While I can understand the 4.7 idea I also realize that allowing that in would be the first domino before we end up seeing a similar rig change for the Radial and Full.  

Yep

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I agree with the point that the Laser is meant to be the most popular, not the best.  Any proposed changes should be to increase popularity not make it better per se.

However, this is where the different priorities of the businesses that make a living form the Laser and the class association come to the fore.  ILCA members will generally be happy with the boat they have (else why have one) and will therefore want to maintain the status quo.  In contrast the builders will see they are losing share to the Aero and will want to do something about that. Whether the C rigs are the right response I don’t know, but the 4.7 certainly isn’t great and most only stay in the class for a year or so, so that is probably the easiest place to start.  

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1 hour ago, Ned said:

At what point does adding the new rig(s) get the cost up to being a Finn?

Prices vary a lot but for a new Finn these numbers are a good start (do not necessarily include delivery costs):

1) Hull  $16,000 - 17,000

2) Carbon mast $3,000 - 4,000

3) Sail  $1,500

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4 hours ago, torrid said:

I think if the Laser wants to stay as an Olympic class beyond 2024/2028, then yes the class would need to adopt the Cx rigs.  Not because the boats are faster or more competitive (the C5 in Asia aside), but from a marketing point a view a more modern-looking boat it needed.  I state that not as a good reason but just reality.  And who knows how long sailing will remain an Olympic sport.

Why is a more modern boat needed for marketing? How many people can see the difference between a Laser and a new boat, in the typical few seconds of screen time sailing gets on whatever device it is watched on?  What proportion of the potential viewer population could really tell the difference between a 1970 and a 2020 hiking singlehander anyway?

As quite a few people who have worked in media have said, colourful sails do more to attract the cameraman than high speed. 

If "more modern boats" are better for marketing, why are most of the most popular and top selling classes actually quite old?

If more modern boats are good for marketing the sport, why didn't Olympic sailing climb up the spectator rankings during the period the RSX, spinnaker cats and 49er were introduced?

If more modern gear makes for better marketing of an Olympic sport, why are athletics, gymnastics, swimming and other sports that don't use modern gear the highest-rating sports?

 

 

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5 hours ago, tillerman said:

126850616_forkintheroad.jpg.9b46dcca917ec9b5e1ebdf22aa77f02f.jpg


It seems like the Laser class is at a fork in the road...



.

Sadly, I think there are many people who do not understand or appreciate what made this boat and class so successful to begin with. They will be easily led astray by anything marketed as progress. Others seem to be blindly intoxicated by the performance possibilities of contemporary boat design. They are like evangelical religious converts who won’t rest until all the primitives have been converted. Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a real genius to make something simple. It takes wisdom and character to keep it that way. Oh well.... when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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The 4.7 is just wrong. The Laser hull is simply too big for the rig and the sailors. No way little kids can muscle those boats around. And a sexy rig won't change that much. There already appears to be an appropriate boat for this size of rig and sailor - the Topper. I don't know much about them other than what I read of the hundreds of boats at regattas - especially the UK. China? There were 62 Chinese sailors in the 209 boat Worlds in Mendemblik this year. And China hosted the 220 boat Worlds last year. Another old class that keeps on rolling. Maybe one of these fancy rigs should be sold to that lot. 

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2 hours ago, bill4 said:

The 4.7 is just wrong. The Laser hull is simply too big for the rig and the sailors. No way little kids can muscle those boats around. And a sexy rig won't change that much. There already appears to be an appropriate boat for this size of rig and sailor - the Topper. I don't know much about them other than what I read of the hundreds of boats at regattas - especially the UK. China? There were 62 Chinese sailors in the 209 boat Worlds in Mendemblik this year. And China hosted the 220 boat Worlds last year. Another old class that keeps on rolling. Maybe one of these fancy rigs should be sold to that lot. 

Topper sailors size out as they grow through 55Kg or so but you need to be close to, and heading beyond, 65Kg to sail a Radial in a breeze... there's a pretty big gap between those weights where there ought to be a big overlap to allow for growth spurts, timing of sailing seasons and fleet strength.

  The 5.3 sq. m. Topper sail is less powerful than the 4.7 rig but competitive sail life is counted in days. 

 It's a pretty good stepping stone for kids but doesn't fill the gap the C5 is targeting.  The idea behind the C5 is to address the issues your describe with the 4.7 by making the rig powerful enough for the hull, and yet easier to control, while being light enough to allow smaller sailors to work the hull better (that's quite a big ask, don't know whether it's been achieved but expect it's better than the 4.7).

 If it works out then the 4.7 might go the way of the M-rig allowing the C5 to develop as the Radial has.

  Having said all that, I'm inclined to agree with your premis- there ought to be other designs existing that would fill this niche... but the question then moves on to wondering why they haven't already?  Maybe each has it's own issues, limiting it to local success, and there is a space for a better option, especially if it can leverage the existing abundance of laser hulls? 

 Ultimately, it's not about the boat; it's about the fleet. 

Cheers,

              W.

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As a long time laser  sailor who moved to another class because of the difficulties with the rig in decent wind , I would welcome the new style rig but do understand it could cause difficulties in class racing. 

I now sail a boat ( Comet singlehander in the uk) This has two rigs The old standard rig and the new xtra rig. The standard mast is longer and stiffer but the sail is a simple triangle with no batterns. The xtra has a shorter slightly bendier mast and a sail with batterns. Both have the same py number and class race together . The only rule when doing an open meeting is you have to stick to using only one rig for the duration of the event . This is because the different rigs do have a different sweet spot. 

Couldnt the same thought of thing be done to introduce the new rigs to the laser? 

 

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The C5 rig is definitely faster than the 4.7. So, the big question is: How does it compare to the Radial? If the C5 is close in performance to the Radial the two rigs could race together at club regattas and other lower tier regattas. That would allow younger kids and light weight adults to be part of the game. This could help with growth of the class for two reasons: 1) Retain more kids who just do not want to sail Optis any more and 2) give adults who are new to dinghy sailing a less intimidating point of entry. Sailing a Laser in anything over 12 knots is intimidating for anyone doing it for the first time in their late thirties. I am still hanging in there, but I have seen quite a few trying it two or three times and giving up.

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14 hours ago, Curious said:

If "more modern boats" are better for marketing, why are most of the most popular and top selling classes actually quite old?

If more modern boats are good for marketing the sport, why didn't Olympic sailing climb up the spectator rankings during the period the RSX, spinnaker cats and 49er were introduced?

Agreed. There are a ton of classic classes everywhere which are stable or growing. It seems to me that it is more about close one design racing than the boat itself.

9 hours ago, bill4 said:

The 4.7 is just wrong. The Laser hull is simply too big for the rig and the sailors. No way little kids can muscle those boats around. And a sexy rig won't change that much. There already appears to be an appropriate boat for this size of rig and sailor - the Topper. I don't know much about them other than what I read of the hundreds of boats at regattas - especially the UK. China? There were 62 Chinese sailors in the 209 boat Worlds in Mendemblik this year. And China hosted the 220 boat Worlds last year. Another old class that keeps on rolling. Maybe one of these fancy rigs should be sold to that lot. 

I'd not characterize it as wrong but 'different'. I agree that that someone who is 50 kg / 110 lbs can't muscle the boats around - but everyone of a similar weight has the same issue.

The Topper is growing for sure and is becoming a significant feeder class to the Laser - and competes with the Laser 4.7. (The Irish Optimist website promotes the Topper, and says the Topper weight range is 47-63 kg / 103-139 lbs. There is also a smaller 4.2 sq m sail suitable for lighter sailors from 35 kg / 77 lbs.) The Topper's success in China is evidence of growth in sailing in Asia - which the Laser is poised to take advantage of.

The Irish Optimist Website also promotes the Laser, with a perspective written by 2012 4.7 UK national champ / 2013 Irish national champ Conner O'Bierne:

Quote

In late January, early February of 2012 I decided that I had had enough. At 50 kilos [110 lbs] I wasn’t that heavy but I was just way to tall and it had gotten to the stage that I couldn’t fit under the boom! At first I was nervous that I wouldn’t know anybody in the Laser fleet but I soon realised that I already knew a whole bunch of people from the Oppy circuit and I had also met others from the 4.7 nationals in LDYC the year before which I had done just for the fun.

I quickly found my feet in the Laser and soon realised that the trick to heavy weather sailing was about technique and not weight. I had no problem with my back even though I was quite light, again if you hike with proper technique and a straight back you will not have a problem no matter what your weight.

Once I got into the racing side of things I completely forgot all about my disappointing previous year and began to enjoy it. I travelled all over Europe including Austria, Holland and Wales. I ended up winning the British nationals which was a huge thrill and was a huge amount of fun as everything is a little bit more relaxed than the Oppy boat park. I also went to the Europeans in Austria where I actually had a pretty awful event and I finished in the bronze fleet. Although I was disappointed I really did enjoy myself as I got to meet a completely new set off overseas friends.

Note that he viewed the Laser as more about fun and more relaxed than the fierce competition of the Optimist! Conor went on to compete in the Laser Radial.

6 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Ultimately, it's not about the boat; it's about the fleet. 

Absolutely agree. Having said that, 200,000 hulls world wide does make a difference. It is my view that there are two factors which drive the success of the 4.7:

  • The availability of inexpensive second hand boats
  • Can easily buy/sell hulls to upgrade - while retaining equipment (including carbon tiller, trailers etc) so you can build over time.
  • The ability to upgrade to Radial then Standard.
  • The 4.7 is sailed in more countries than most other junior classes, including the Topper.

In the 2019 4.7 worlds in Kingston, there are 33 countries represented. (The Topper's recent worlds in the Netherlands had 12 nations represented). 

1 hour ago, Xeon said:

As a long time laser  sailor who moved to another class because of the difficulties with the rig in decent wind , I would welcome the new style rig but do understand it could cause difficulties in class racing. 

I now sail a boat ( Comet singlehander in the uk) This has two rigs The old standard rig and the new xtra rig. The standard mast is longer and stiffer but the sail is a simple triangle with no batterns. The xtra has a shorter slightly bendier mast and a sail with batterns. Both have the same py number and class race together . The only rule when doing an open meeting is you have to stick to using only one rig for the duration of the event . This is because the different rigs do have a different sweet spot. 

Couldnt the same thought of thing be done to introduce the new rigs to the laser? 

Of course that it possible, but it is sacrificing the one design concept across certain wind ranges.

6 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

If it works out then the 4.7 might go the way of the M-rig allowing the C5 to develop as the Radial has.

The difference is that the 4.7 is farm more established than the M-rig - having achieved International Class status and having its own worlds.

---

The above seems to focus on the junior classes however it is more about weight than classes. 

The biggest challenge is to retain people sailing from 20-40 years old, though any solution must overcome pressures outside of sailing - a big ask! Some success has been had with the establishment of Laser fleets for parents which race alongside Optimists and other junior classes.

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There is definitely a case to be made to replacing the existing rigs with the carbon rigs - and the way it is introduced offers opportunities to save on costs for early adopters.

---

Equally, there is a case to be made to introduce the new C rigs as a new class.

There, the risk is that the class cannibalizes existing fleets - having said that, it is still worthwhile figuring out the best way to introducing a new class.

Both the 4.7 and the Radial are proof that new classes can be established. 

---

For both options that there is an enormous Laser class 'muscle' which has yet to be flexed - one that is global. Introducing new rigs need not be viewed as a negative, particularly in areas where there are a good supply of old bangers to get butts on boats - perfect for learning on.

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1 hour ago, Bruce Hudson said:

Equally, there is a case to be made to introduce the new C rigs as a new class.

There, the risk is that the class cannibalizes existing fleets - having said that, it is still worthwhile figuring out the best way to introducing a new class.

Both the 4.7 and the Radial are proof that new classes can be established. 

OK. What's your case?

The 4.7 and Radial were introduced to deal with weight of sailors. A new rig is an orange to this apple.

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Just would like to comment on a few points that have been made and then bill4 has lead straight into the first one.

#1 I have been going to China now for 25 years and more intensely in the last 9.     25 years ago, there was no sailing in China, or it was very rarefied and limited to sanctioned venues under state control.    If you wanted to sail privately, you went to HK.

Today there are sailing clubs everywhere, and when I say clubs, these eclipse anything you could think of in the western world.  Maybe Arabia, but holy shit!

It's nothing to go to a venue and see over 1,000 kids out on the water.   I have been blown away.    By far, Windsurfing is everywhere, and yes there are a lot of Toppers, un-believable number of Optimist, (most non kosher) and in the hi-end schools, it's very much part of the curriculum.  

It really dose not matter what the rest of the world thinks, what China thinks, Asia thinks and a Asian GM is worth so much more then a Olympic GM to them.

#2 someone said something about square heads and mylars and its all been done for the last 30-40 years.    The first serious attempt at a square head (in the modern sense) was Chris Carins making them for Tornado's in the mid 90's.    Now I just need to qualify that.     The Square head I am talking about uses bias "elongation" & using the 2 trigger battens to complement a stiffer than usual (pin head) mast.    You did not see anyone else playing real "square head" until mid 2000's and people did not really understand them when we where doing it in 2008, and I know that because we where talking to the biggest lofts and they where as lost as anyone.     Not that in any way and I saying that it was my fathers concept, because it absolutely was not, but his analytical mind, and the way he went about dissecting what was happening lay the ground work for what is happening today.   And again that was 2008.     (need to stress, windsurfer sails are a completely different concept, they do not do the same thing)

#3 first time I use a "plastic sail" was Prime Mk2 (along with a asymmetric spinnaker) in 1982-3.    It was so much better than a dacron at holding it shape and the need to "re-cut" it simply dis-appeared.   By 1993 when I retired from 18teens, you would never think about using anything other than some variant of Mylar.     Sure some "die-in-the-woods" skipper tried dacron jibs, but they where rarely in the top 10.  And those Mylar sails had a life span of 3-4 years.   The boats we build for Europe so Loony Tunes, Tanewha and Ovington where fully Mylar sails and those sails are still being used today, 20 years on.    Those 18teen Mylar sails dramatically out lived the Dacron ones.    And yes, full length battens have a lot to do with it!

OK 1996 and the first 49er sails, where shit, and I really do mean shit!    They de-laminated, and where good for 6 months max.    But now, every Wednesday I sail a Farr 40, and last Wednesday we used a Med #1 that was register in 2008 and yes its showing sign of de-lamination.   We had it up in 25-30knts gusting to 35-40 before we switched to a number 4, but it did not let go and we had a ball!

29er sails last for 10 years, sure competitively about 3 years appears max, I am aware of a world championship being won with a 3 year old main and a 1 year old jib, and it was a 230 boat fleet, so to even suggest it was not competitive is a complete joke. 

The material we have been using for the last 8 - 12 years, is DP, and I am yet to see it de-laminate, it tears it cracks but it dose not de-laminate.

There is a very big 2nd hand market for both 29er and 49er sails, so much so that the sails used in the WY's on the 29er are gobbled up, almost immediately.

Problem with the 49er is people seem to use them to death,   A competitive 49er crews sails 4-5 days per week, and only has 4-6 weeks off a year, so they need training sails so they simply do not pass them down the line.       On talking to some of the people at the top of the "tree" so to speak, they "break in" new sails, it takes about 7-10 days of use before they are "prime" and then with a bit of care those sail will remain competitive for multiple events.  Again I am not going to specify what "X" is because that will open Pandora's box, but its more than 5 (events).     And again, the mast lasts for 3-4 years continuous use.   There was a German that used to go to events with 9 masts!    Now, they have there favorite mast and some spares (as in a few parts, not complete masts).    We used to sell 1,000 topmast per year, 1,000!  We now sell 250-280 and that includes 200 new boats.     

You regularly see 3-4 year old sails being trained with.

So to say that nothing has changed simply defies reality.     The single biggest thing that has changed is the understanding of the square head as a sail shape control mechanism!

From my POV, the coupling of the Downhaul and Outhaul together, which is only possible because we have got the geometry of the top batten length/angle and mast stiffness ratio's right which in turn opens up Vang as a twist control is seminal!   It's new, I am sure someone else has done it before, but as a main stream idea it's very exciting!

#4 Both Takao and I where there with Ian and Hans were bending the lower masts to try and get the Radial and 4.7 to work.     All the doom-sayers where saying it will destroy the "std/7.1" class and will divide and will be the death of the Laser Class.  With the benefit of hindsight, never could a more ill-conceived and more incorrect statement have ever been made.    My understand is that the Radial and the 4.7 account for more than 75% of the current Laser sales.   Talk about getting it wrong.    A little like the vote!

So the fat lady sang and she belted it out.    They are moving on, if you know anyone in WS you would also be very well aware that matters have not been idle there either.   But there is process and for people in this body to say they don't know only means they are not connected very well to those that matter.      I have seen the minuets, but I don't have and don't want to have a copy because that way I can't be responsible for there "leaking".    Given the gravity of the process, it's been surprisingly waterproof! 

In the next 2-3 weeks, exactly as per the Nov 2018 manifesto, the C5 will become available globally.   Exactly as per script, it will be done under the auspicious of PSJ (and now PSA).   Up Marine own the concept, the iP, but have a contract with PSJ WRT it introduction & use.     I have little doubt that in Bermuda in November that "use" will be fleshed out.

C8 at best is 9 months away but that assumes we drop everything else.   But there seem to be no urgency!

C6 is starting to be trialed at a greater arms length!   But again there seem to be no urgency!

C5 is where it's at!

                     jB

 

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7 hours ago, JulianB said:

#4 Both Takao and I where there with Ian and Hans were bending the lower masts to try and get the Radial and 4.7 to work.     All the doom-sayers where saying it will destroy the "std/7.1" class and will divide and will be the death of the Laser Class.  With the benefit of hindsight, never could a more ill-conceived and more incorrect statement have ever been made.    My understand is that the Radial and the 4.7 account for more than 75% of the current Laser sales.   Talk about getting it wrong.    A little like the vote!

1. If the 4.7 and radial are doing great (accounting for more than 75% of current sales) then why replace them with C rigs?

2. The radial did divide the class. We now have radial fleets and full rig fleets, so a division has occurred. Full rig fleets are now smaller. Sailors who could be competitive in full rigs are choosing to sail radials because they are on the lighter end of the spectrum. Sailors will wait until the last minute at regattas and switch fleets according to the wind forecast. This is especially evident at the district level. 

3. The radial and 4.7 have not meant the death of the class. However, they may prove to have been the slippery slope that leads to the C rigs.

4. Why not improve the Laser (including the 4.7) by working within the concept, rather than introducing a rig that is a dramatic departure?

5. Could the Laser hull be made stiffer and more durable while keeping the same lines and weight?

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I have just been looking at WS International CB classes. 

Some here say that the problem of the 4.7 is not the rig, but the hull is just too big and too heavy. I know the Splash, but this class is 95% dutch, but is doing quite well in NED. Then there is the Byte, which seems to fit much better for Kids from 50-65 kg as a class between Opti and Laser Radial. The CII even has a carbon rig and fully battened sail, similar to the C5. The boat looks quite similar to the Laser, just a bit smaller. I must admit that I have never seen one in germany, despite the fact that the german sailing federation has 1300 member clubs with total 190000 members. WS gives the info that there are 7 builders worldwide, but the classes homepage is down, and according to the WS page there were just between 20 and 150 boats build per year worldwide. What's wrong? The hull, the rig, the marketing, dealer network, MNA support or what else? 

General info
Class Website: http://www.byteclass.org/
Contact:
Position: President Secretary General Chief Measurer Class Manager
name: Penny Ma Paul Mckenzie Chris Caldecoat
Address: Bei long kou, Sha zi kou, 
Laoshan District ,Qingdao.
China, 266102
telephone: +86 532-8882 8290 +33468926046
mobile phone:
fax:
skype:
email: penny.ma@zouintermarine.com paul.mckenzie@orange.fr chris@psasailing.com.au
Technical &/or 
equipment control 
committee members:
Technical representative 
for WS:
Chris Caldecoat
Names of Official 
Measurers:
Names of International 
Measurers:
Number of International 
Measurers:
0
Latest: Next (if known):
Class Equipment 
Inspection Semminars: 
Builders
Average price (ex VAT,£): £ 4,995.00
Builder's name: Hartley Boats PSA Sailing Zim Sailing
Hull Quoted Price (ex 
VAT,local currency):
£ 4,995.00 8995 A dollars 6450 US dollars
Equivalent in £: £ 4,995.00 £5,104.00 £4,650.00
Including:
website: http://www.hartleyboats.com/i
ndex.php?id=184
https://www.psasailing.com.au/p
roduct-category/byte/
http://www.zimsailing.com/byte-
cii.html
Average number of set of 
sails allowed 
competition:
1
Average price per new 
set of sails (ex VAT,£):
£ 675.00
Average Price Boat 
inscribed in big event. 
(including all allowed set 
of sails)
5591
Total new builts: 70
Builts over past 5 years: 323
Boats world wide: 750 - 1000
Explanation on how 
number is justified:
Members
National Class 
Associations that paid 
previous year:
sailors pay directly not national 
associations
total number:
WS minimum criteria Country Number
GBP, CHN SIN, AUS, CAN, HUN, 
ITA.

 

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There was a small fleet here, but the Byte never really did get going. Nice little boat, and I have no explanation as to why it didn’t do better - maybe it is because they are a bit skittish. IMHO the Europe is a better boat, but I think it stalled out internationally once it was taken out of the Olympics. 

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19 minutes ago, bill4 said:

There was a small fleet here, but the Byte never really did get going. Nice little boat, and I have no explanation as to why it didn’t do better - maybe it is because they are a bit skittish. IMHO the Europe is a better boat, but I think it stalled out internationally once it was taken out of the Olympics. 

Trouble with the Europe is the 1965 decapitating rig. Plus people don't want to sail 11ft displacement boats much anymore. Its an OK boat, but my next generation vintage Moth with much the same size hull and a more modern Moth rig was just so much better at the same job.
I like the Byte, its a nice little thing, but I don't think the hull is quite right. I think its just a bit too short and wide for the mass market. Possibly the biggest problem for the Byte was the Laser Radial.

 

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Europes are not extremely big in germany anymore, about 80 boats in the german official ranking list (min 9 races), and 168 boats with minimum one official Regatta. Don't know how big the class was, when it was olympic. It is still next to the Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and OpenBic the only official. German youth championship singlehanded class. Without that status it is extremely difficult to build a new class here. To get this status you need a minimum of boats, or it is a new WS youth worlds class like N15. That might be one reason why it is so difficult for new classes in germany. Aero has 13 boats in the official german ranking list. 

I was just wondering about the Byte, cause it seems exactly what others here suggested. A boat smaller than a Laser, but similar, lighter and full carbon rig, build by some of the biggest builders like PSA, Nautivela, Hartley, ZIM etc and sales are close to zero. One year they reported 20 boats to WS, thats less than 3 boats per builder and year. 

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On 8/22/2019 at 1:59 AM, tillerman said:

1.The future is not white sails on aluminum masts.

2. Kids like boats that look cool.

3. Everybody except Europeans hates 4.7 rigs.

4. Asian women are (on average) smaller than Anna Tunnicliffe.

5. There are 2.2 billion Asian women who don't yet sail Lasers.

1- Why not? You are just making a completely unsubstantiated claim, or as we say, just pulling it out of your arse. 

"The future" in the near term, at least, can be said to be the classes that are selling best today. They are, in rough order of sales, the Opti, Radial, 4.7, Sunfish, Aero, Feva, Laser, 420, Tera, Topper, Finn and 470. So the boats that sit 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9, and 11 have alloy spars. The overwhelming evidence is that alloy spars ARE most of the future.  The boats that are 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 and 11 have dacron sails. The overwhelming evidence is that dacron IS most of the future for some time. 

Laminate sails and carbon sticks have been around for eons in plenty of classes. They are good - but they have never been as popular as dacron and tin. We still have not been shown evidence why carbon sticks and laminate will actually become more popular than dacron and alloy. Oh, and the popular culture of sailing has a woeful record of predicting the future. In the last 20 years, we have been told that skiffs would take over from dinghies; that canters would take over from fixed keelers; that multis would take over from monos, etc etc etc. Time and time and time again those claims have been proven to be completely incorrect, so it is folly to heed any such claims.

2- Kids like Optis, Lasers, Flying 11s, heavy bendy plastic Fevas, 420s, 29ers, Technoes and a lot of other different classes that don't look particularly cool. They have walked away from some of the coolest boats, like the Cherub in NZ or the JD and Flying Ant in Australia. It's an insult to kids to imagine that they can be stereotyped. The kids who are actually madly into new designs wouldn't be stupid enough to sail a 1970 hull or a hiking singlehanded seahugger - they'd be out kiting. In fact, kids are far more likely to have their floating fun on a plastic pop-out kayak at 3 knots than on a foiler, and that in itself says a lot about what they think about the cool factor.

3- is complete and utter bullshit, as the Australian and UK Laser 4.7 fleets show.

4 and 5 are meaningless without more information and evidence to back up any implications.

 

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On 8/21/2019 at 11:24 PM, JimC said:

But C, if you dig that old boat out of the weeds you're already stuffed because you haven't got a low profile carbon tiller or a set of XD controls or whatever... And if you buy all that gear its money straight out of the door because you've still got a clapped out old boat that's worth next to nothing. 

Personally I'd agree the time is wrong for new larger rigs, the new topmasts and new large sail design are far too recent. An alternative smaller rig for the areas where neither the ghastly 4.7 or the Radial cut it on the other hand is arguably a different matter.

Sorry, I missed this.

I've dug old boats out of the proverbial weeds a couple of times, and taken them and their tin tiller and modified old systems into the top 10% at Masters titles (ahead of world Masters champs), top 10 in division at nationals, top boat in a small region, etc. Sure, the old hull and gear is a handicap - you may drop back two or three spots. But most people are going to be mid pack, by definition, and as we both know for the vast majority of us the limiting factor is our sailing, not our gear.

The low profile tiller on my wife's boat drops the boom by maybe 12mm compared to the alloy ones I still use. When I was into Lasers seriously and in the top 10 nationally, my arch rival regularly had his mainsheet about 20mm looser (in terms of distance between blocks) than I did, and he was fast enough to win Masters worlds more than once around then. So the difference between a carbon tiller and a stock alloy one is less than there can be between the personal styles of two pretty quick individuals.

There's plenty of clean and sound "no weed" boats that would be fine for the middle of a good club fleet (or better) that sell for $2500-4000 AUD around here, with a couple of sails and often two rigs. If you had to put a C rig on them, the price doubles. If you don't and the C rigs are significantly faster, the boat is no longer going to be competitive and therefore probably worth much less.

Incidentally, there are a lot of boats around here that sell with Radial and 4.7 sails, so the ability to swap between the two rigs is very popular. I only recently sailed the 4.7 and didn't find it too bad - friends and family who have sailed Tornadoes, 420s, A Class cats and windsurfers enjoy their 4.7s. Part of the appeal is the ease and economy of getting an old 4.7 sail and bottom section and using it for heavy air, which would not be such a good option if the change required an entire new rig with limited second-hand supply.

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1 hour ago, Curious said:

1- Why not? You are just making a completely unsubstantiated claim, or as we say, just pulling it out of your arse. 

"The future" in the near term, at least, can be said to be the classes that are selling best today. They are, in rough order of sales, the Opti, Radial, 4.7, Sunfish, Aero, Feva, Laser, 420, Tera, Topper, Finn and 470. So the boats that sit 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9, and 11 have alloy spars. The overwhelming evidence is that alloy spars ARE most of the future.  The boats that are 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 and 11 have dacron sails. The overwhelming evidence is that dacron IS most of the future for some time. 

Laminate sails and carbon sticks have been around for eons in plenty of classes. They are good - but they have never been as popular as dacron and tin. We still have not been shown evidence why carbon sticks and laminate will actually become more popular than dacron and alloy. Oh, and the popular culture of sailing has a woeful record of predicting the future. In the last 20 years, we have been told that skiffs would take over from dinghies; that canters would take over from fixed keelers; that multis would take over from monos, etc etc etc. Time and time and time again those claims have been proven to be completely incorrect, so it is folly to heed any such claims.

2- Kids like Optis, Lasers, Flying 11s, heavy bendy plastic Fevas, 420s, 29ers, Technoes and a lot of other different classes that don't look particularly cool. They have walked away from some of the coolest boats, like the Cherub in NZ or the JD and Flying Ant in Australia. It's an insult to kids to imagine that they can be stereotyped. The kids who are actually madly into new designs wouldn't be stupid enough to sail a 1970 hull or a hiking singlehanded seahugger - they'd be out kiting. In fact, kids are far more likely to have their floating fun on a plastic pop-out kayak at 3 knots than on a foiler, and that in itself says a lot about what they think about the cool factor.

3- is complete and utter bullshit, as the Australian and UK Laser 4.7 fleets show.

4 and 5 are meaningless without more information and evidence to back up any implications.

 

 

1 hour ago, Curious said:

1- Why not? You are just making a completely unsubstantiated claim, or as we say, just pulling it out of your arse. 

"The future" in the near term, at least, can be said to be the classes that are selling best today. They are, in rough order of sales, the Opti, Radial, 4.7, Sunfish, Aero, Feva, Laser, 420, Tera, Topper, Finn and 470. So the boats that sit 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9, and 11 have alloy spars. The overwhelming evidence is that alloy spars ARE most of the future.  The boats that are 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 and 11 have dacron sails. The overwhelming evidence is that dacron IS most of the future for some time. 

Laminate sails and carbon sticks have been around for eons in plenty of classes. They are good - but they have never been as popular as dacron and tin. We still have not been shown evidence why carbon sticks and laminate will actually become more popular than dacron and alloy. Oh, and the popular culture of sailing has a woeful record of predicting the future. In the last 20 years, we have been told that skiffs would take over from dinghies; that canters would take over from fixed keelers; that multis would take over from monos, etc etc etc. Time and time and time again those claims have been proven to be completely incorrect, so it is folly to heed any such claims.

2- Kids like Optis, Lasers, Flying 11s, heavy bendy plastic Fevas, 420s, 29ers, Technoes and a lot of other different classes that don't look particularly cool. They have walked away from some of the coolest boats, like the Cherub in NZ or the JD and Flying Ant in Australia. It's an insult to kids to imagine that they can be stereotyped. The kids who are actually madly into new designs wouldn't be stupid enough to sail a 1970 hull or a hiking singlehanded seahugger - they'd be out kiting. In fact, kids are far more likely to have their floating fun on a plastic pop-out kayak at 3 knots than on a foiler, and that in itself says a lot about what they think about the cool factor.

3- is complete and utter bullshit, as the Australian and UK Laser 4.7 fleets show.

4 and 5 are meaningless without more information and evidence to back up any implications.

 


My post was a compilation (with some paraphrase/ slight exaggeration perhaps) of what various other folk have been saying about the need for new Laser rigs on this forum. Not meant to be serious, but to show how misguided and even silly some of these arguments are. Thanks for doing such a good job of debunking them.

And I totally agree with you about dacron. That's one reason I sail an RS Aero and not a Melges 14, say.



 

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35 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

The Opti should be in the Olympics. Drop the age limit and let anybody Sail. 

And the Chinese women would have their boat! Problem solved. Brilliant!

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43 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

The Opti should be in the Olympics. Drop the age limit and let anybody Sail. 

It is the most popular singlehanded boat in the world so it's the obvious choice. Every MNA would vote for it.

Kids could win gold medals when they are 15 and could then give up sailing to focus on college, career etc. even earlier than they do now.

The Opti is already FRAND.

Brilliant!

 

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There is an assumption here that for the last 15-20 years that PSA and PSJ along with the likes of the OLCA and the ALCA have sat on their hands and not tried to push/promote/support the 4.7.

That's a pretty un-substantiated assertion!    The actions of both PSJ and PSA could not tell a more different story & the minuets of OLCA & ALCA are in the public domain, the conversation has been had!

Yet its exactly these people (PSJ/PSA/OLCA/ALCA) that are behind the push to try something different, because for what ever reason, there efforts over the last 15-20 years have not born fruit!

It's a question I guess do they listen to to others (like you) and (in their opinion) continue to bash their heads against a brick wall, or, in just about every case, stick their hands in their pockets and try something different.

When you have PSJ, PSA and even LP trying something different, they can't all be wrong!

If your so right, they will fail and loose their money, but you have to give them 10 points for having a go.

Their ideal, their belief is to "GROW" the class in Asia.     If they can't do that, then your right and they are wrong.       But equally just like the vote, they may be right!

Their money is on them being right and time will tell!

And BTW, PSA did make Opies for a long time, they may even still do!

              jB

 

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On 8/25/2019 at 12:11 PM, tillerman said:

 


My post was a compilation (with some paraphrase/ slight exaggeration perhaps) of what various other folk have been saying about the need for new Laser rigs on this forum. Not meant to be serious, but to show how misguided and even silly some of these arguments are. Thanks for doing such a good job of debunking them.

And I totally agree with you about dacron. That's one reason I sail an RS Aero and not a Melges 14, say.



 

Ahhh, the internet - the place where irony can always be spotted.

:P

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20 hours ago, JulianB said:

There is an assumption here that for the last 15-20 years that PSA and PSJ along with the likes of the OLCA and the ALCA have sat on their hands and not tried to push/promote/support the 4.7.

That's a pretty un-substantiated assertion!    The actions of both PSJ and PSA could not tell a more different story & the minuets of OLCA & ALCA are in the public domain, the conversation has been had!

Not sure where that’s coming from or what you are talking about. I have no assumptions regarding the 4.7 and the entities you mentioned. I only questioned why we would want to replace it with such a dramatically different rig. 

20 hours ago, JulianB said:

Yet its exactly these people (PSJ/PSA/OLCA/ALCA) that are behind the push to try something different, because for what ever reason, there efforts over the last 15-20 years have not born fruit!

So let me get this straight. These guys have been pushing/ promoting/supporting the 4.7 for 15-20 years and according to you for whatever reason it has not born fruit. Now they are pushing something different. Not only a replacement for the 4.7 but an entire series of rigs that represent a fundamental departure from the original Laser rig. Perhaps it’s time to stop pushing and start thinking. You need to get a handle on “for whatever reason” before pushing anything new.

 

20 hours ago, JulianB said:

Their ideal, their belief is to "GROW" the class in Asia.     If they can't do that, then your right and they are wrong.       But equally just like the vote, they may be right!

So they want to grow the Laser class in Asia by fundamentally transforming the boat. Thereby destroying the very concept that made it so popular to begin with. Makes perfect sense. All because there’s gold in them there hills!!

 

20 hours ago, JulianB said:

And BTW, PSA did make Opies for a long time, they may even still do!

Great. My kid loves Optis.

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18 hours ago, JulianB said:

There is an assumption here that for the last 15-20 years that PSA and PSJ along with the likes of the OLCA and the ALCA have sat on their hands and not tried to push/promote/support the 4.7.

That's a pretty un-substantiated assertion!    The actions of both PSJ and PSA could not tell a more different story & the minuets of OLCA & ALCA are in the public domain, the conversation has been had!

Yet its exactly these people (PSJ/PSA/OLCA/ALCA) that are behind the push to try something different, because for what ever reason, there efforts over the last 15-20 years have not born fruit!

It's a question I guess do they listen to to others (like you) and (in their opinion) continue to bash their heads against a brick wall, or, in just about every case, stick their hands in their pockets and try something different.

When you have PSJ, PSA and even LP trying something different, they can't all be wrong!

If your so right, they will fail and loose their money, but you have to give them 10 points for having a go.

Their ideal, their belief is to "GROW" the class in Asia.     If they can't do that, then your right and they are wrong.       But equally just like the vote, they may be right!

Their money is on them being right and time will tell!

And BTW, PSA did make Opies for a long time, they may even still do!

              jB

 

But surely PSA's efforts have borne pretty good fruit. The Laser 4.7 seems to be well top 10 in a list of the most popular classes in Australia - that's not bad for a kid's boat that is a modification of an adult's boat. In recent years it seems to have eased up with or past classes like the Minnow, Sabre and Spiral in terms of championship turnouts.

How much bigger will it get - and is any such increase worth the screwing over of all the kids whose parents cannot afford to pay 

The test marketing of the C5 rig was apparently carried out in an extremely wealthy area of Australia, where the median household income was AUD$2393 per week and the median house price is 3.6 million. The parent that rocks up to get their kid into sailing at RSYS is going to pay $5800 US in membership fees alone for their first year. To this un-representative sample, an extra AUD $3700 for a new C5 rig is clearly not be a big deal. 

A few years back a paper noted that the area around the test club was Australia's "number one postcode for a host of expensive imported brands, from Audi and BMW to Range Rover, Mercedes and Volvo. In fact, the suburb has three times as many Porsches as it has Kias. In the rest of Australia, Kia sells the German brand by 13 to 1."  The fact that the people who live around the test club are over 30 times as likely to own a Porsche as the average Australian says a lot about their appetite and ability to buy luxury goods. The testing appears to have been done in an area that is completely un-representative of the general population and of much of the average sailing population.

However, much of the rest of the country that new rig represents a lot more money.  The area around Gosford SC, home of our Laser gold medallists, has a median household income of $1330 - and there is an even lower proportion of disposable income once housing costs are paid. I only know the job of one parent of recent Olympic reps - their job pays $1000 per week. I know another Youth rep is in a single parent family that, according to a coach, is hard put to pay for a cheaper class. The entry list for the 4.7 nationals already shows a strong preponderance of expensive clubs; what will happen to the class when costs rise dramatically?  What will happen to the sport in the "normal" clubs when one of the cheapest classes basically doubles in price?  How will that help a sport that is expensive, and is already suffering from being seen as too expensive? 

I note that although I've asked a few times, we still have not been told how the process of changing to the C rigs will work. If the C7 comes in (say) August 2022, what will the typical standard-rig club fleet look like in the 2022-23 season? I'm betting it will include a couple of C rigs and a bunch of standards, and that the next season's fleet will be smaller than the ones we have today. We will have lost the class' greatest asset for a tiny "improvement" in areas that the Laser cannot succeed in no matter what.

From many perspectives, the C rigs look like the best advertisement for an Aero one can think of. If we're not going to have the big one design fleets, if we are going to be told what is happening rather than asked what we want to happen, why not change class entirely?

 

 

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On the other hand, haven't many of the longest lived classes had some kind of mid life upgrade?  Classes last longer than boats do.

You can argue that a Laser is a shoe in for an updated rig since you can slam an updated rig in so easily, even with a hull out if the weeds. 

The issue is if you wait until your class is in deep trouble before making a change it will probably be too late, but if you go too soon you'll make trouble.  

I wonder if its sensible to try prototype alternative rigs regularly so its no big deal, and then only jump if its really compelling. It doesn't feel to me as if the rig is really a big selling point for the Aero, so maybe that says something, but its not a  rig style i like so that could just be personal bias.

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Opti - Feva - Radial - Standard. Or - after the Feva kids could go 29er etc.. It would be great if kids learned how to sail a two person -  3  sail dinghy. They would learn a lot more about sailing and teamwork on a Feva than they would on a 4.7.

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2 hours ago, bill4 said:

Opti - Feva - Radial - Standard. Or - after the Feva kids could go 29er etc.. It would be great if kids learned how to sail a two person -  3  sail dinghy. They would learn a lot more about sailing and teamwork on a Feva than they would on a 4.7.

 Well, yes.  That's why the Feva is available as an alternative youth boat to single-handers for those that want to try it... but there are plenty of kids (and parents) that want to stick with single-handers, too, for very good reasons (I've known families fall out over the strains of campaigning a double hander).

 Forget the bigger rigs for now.  They are there to answer the question "Hey, that's neat. Can I have a bigger one for my boat?".   The point is to offer an alternative to the much derided 4.7 rig for the markets where it has not succeeded because of its well understood, and intrinsic, flaws. If it's good enough to succeed with that, then it will be adopted as a replacement for the 4.7 where there are existing "fleets". This will be much less painful and much quicker than for other Laser rig options because the 4.7 is a TRANSITIONAL rig.  No-one is committed to it in the long term. 

 The bigger rigs are a distraction in the short to medium term, though they may offer a way for the Laser to stay in the Olympics for women in the longer term. It's for the class to decide if that's a price worth paying over the next decade or so...

Cheers,

               W.

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Maybe JimC is right.

LP, PSJ and PSA have all been in the business of selling Laser and Laser related products for, in PSJ's case 40+ years.

PSA under the Spencer's is probably 20+ years and LP is Johnny come lately at about 15 years.

PSA started this (Carbon/Mylar rig) about 7 years ago, if you believe the rhetoric, LP in about the last 4-5 years but ILCA has no record.    PSJ who had been watching from the sidelines (again if you believe what  is written in ILCA minuets) then took the whole thing and re-focused it about 3 years ago, on something that he had been banging on about, (and this is 1 on 1) for the best part of 20 years, which is the Euro-Centric Caucasian focus of sailing at the abandonment of everyone else, Inc Asians and Latin's.

I don't think anyone disagrees that the 4.7 is hugely successful in Europe, but has not had the same level of success else where.

Now, someone sitting in some ivory chair somewhere may think they know more about the Laser market and the Laser World than PSJ, PSA & LP, and they may think they know more than ILCA, OLCA & ALCA and you could even possible believe the last part given how wrong EuLCA got it, but that would require a whole new string and it will go on for years.

I think you have to give credit where credit is due, ILCA got it right, as did PSA & PSJ.   Given that what is un-mistakable is that PSJ, PSA and ILCA/OLCA/ALCA all chose to do down one path (C5) and un-be-known to them LP where in-fact going down a similar path (ARC).    That's really stupid part! (they are both similar!)

That has to tell you something.   When you have a couple of Billionaires with access to un-imaginable levels of data mining, and I have an idea of what is possible because I have played in this space, and it is extraordinary, but more to the point when you have someone of PSJ's status and complete and total  immersment  in the Asian and for that matter global sailing scene  (this guy is a absolute legend and has been for all of the 40 and especially the last 20 years) all advocating a shift to a up-graded rig then maybe, just maybe they are looking beyond there own backdoor and at what will be good for the sport and the future of the Laser.

You can go on about RSYS all you wish, its 10 mins from home.   It could have been MHYC, it could have been WSC, BSC or my beloved NSC!  It was in-fact SASC most of the time, where I parked a Laser while doing all the testing.     But then you have the kids in Tasmania, the others is South Australia, the reaction at Port Stephens, and in Japan, now in the US.    It's not a Royal YC thing, its a kid thing and kid's just wanta have fun!

My "tipping point" was watching 2 - 40kgs something Chinese girls struggling in Longsheer with a 4.7 alloy mast and sail.   1/4 of their weight!    Then their coach coming up and saying its not just getting the mast in the boat, its the capsize and the fight to get the rig out of the water, its everything.       And she did not even know about the C5!

Obviously time will tell, but you have almost the entire Laser manufacturing establishment, along with the higher levels of the class management all nurturing a change along.

Your more than welcome to stick your head in the sand, and advocate doom and gloom!       

People talk about death and taxes, long before that is inevitability of change and the inevitability of the resistance to that change.    ( it's a Peter Principal)

Could I urge you to contemplate standing up and contribute to the process so the huge chasm you speak off doesn't eventuate!

                 jB

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Class members will inevitably be inward looking, trying to protect their investment and the rules of the game they signed up to play.  Can't really blame them for that, though it can be a short sighted approach if there are a reducing number of people wanting to play the same game.

Class builders will push for change because they will see sales falling, rivals gaining market share and technology opening opportunities for new classes.  If Laser don't adopt the C5, the rig will end up on another hull anyway.

These different priorities will always result in tension between builder and membership.  When a class is as big and important as the Laser, this is where WS earn their stripes.  They get to approve/veto any rule change for the greater good of the sport. 

The 4.7 is a transitional rig so in a sense is easier to replace than the others.  However, who is going to want to transition from a C5 to a Radial?

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42 minutes ago, sosoomii said:

However, who is going to want to transition from a C5 to a Radial?

Why shouldn't they? Most people aren't gearheads, they only care if the boat is good to sail. Doubly so for the people who are most likely to sail Lasers. Plus if the Laser and Radial are still Olympic boats that's all that will be needed.

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6 hours ago, JimC said:

On the other hand, haven't many of the longest lived classes had some kind of mid life upgrade?  Classes last longer than boats do.

You can argue that a Laser is a shoe in for an updated rig since you can slam an updated rig in so easily, even with a hull out if the weeds. 

The issue is if you wait until your class is in deep trouble before making a change it will probably be too late, but if you go too soon you'll make trouble.  

I wonder if its sensible to try prototype alternative rigs regularly so its no big deal, and then only jump if its really compelling. It doesn't feel to me as if the rig is really a big selling point for the Aero, so maybe that says something, but its not a  rig style i like so that could just be personal bias.

I'm not sure if many of the popular older boat classes have had an upgrade as big as this. Can you recall a complete change of spars and sail in a class anywhere as big as the Laser?

The oldest classes have generally only had upgrades that reduced maintenance and cost, or gradual upgrades where you didn't have to spend more than the value of the entire going unit in one hit, just to keep it racing. And many of them are bought by people who like changing designs - the Laser is built around a very different ethos.

The thing about a boat in the weeds is that if getting it out of the weeds and onto the club racecourse is going to cost $2500 US instead of nothing (or the price of a decent second hand sail and maybe a mast section) then it may very well stay in the weeds. It's particularly noticeable in yachts, where the price of a new set of sails for something like an old J/24 is so high compared to the boat's value that it's not an economic proposition.

The only recent success I know that's anything like these proposals was the introduction of the Windsurfer LT, but that was brought in in a very different fashion, with very different aims, and at cost of about 21% of what the C6 rig will apparently cost. And the motivation behind the LT was almost the opposite of the motivation behind the C rigs; in some ways it was an enormously successful reaction against the style of thinking that is apparently behind the new Laser rigs.

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1 hour ago, sosoomii said:

Class members will inevitably be inward looking, trying to protect their investment and the rules of the game they signed up to play.  Can't really blame them for that, though it can be a short sighted approach if there are a reducing number of people wanting to play the same game.

Class builders will push for change because they will see sales falling, rivals gaining market share and technology opening opportunities for new classes.  If Laser don't adopt the C5, the rig will end up on another hull anyway.

These different priorities will always result in tension between builder and membership.  When a class is as big and important as the Laser, this is where WS earn their stripes.  They get to approve/veto any rule change for the greater good of the sport. 

The 4.7 is a transitional rig so in a sense is easier to replace than the others.  However, who is going to want to transition from a C5 to a Radial?

No, class members are not always inwards looking and for plenty of us in the Laser, the "investment" is very small and not really worth protecting.  If class members were inevitably inward looking then there would not be those of us who have been sitting here and working on the calendar for volunteer coaching and organising the local Laser circuit.

Many of us with concerns are OUTWARD looking - we are worried about the prospects for bringing new people into the sport if the cost of entry rises dramatically. We are looking out at people who have not been financially as lucky as we have. We are looking at the long term issue of the sport becoming more elitist, more expensive, and less welcoming to those who do not want to spend several times what the average person spends on their sport, in just one hit to remain fashionabl

 

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7 minutes ago, JimC said:

Why shouldn't they? Most people aren't gearheads, they only care if the boat is good to sail. Doubly so for the people who are most likely to sail Lasers. Plus if the Laser and Radial are still Olympic boats that's all that will be needed.

The C5 won't be a particularly good training ground for the Radial , it is supposedly a better size for many women who currently transition to the Radial but now won't need to (unless they are 'Lympic wannabes), it is supposedly more fun, faster and easier, it has a halyard for easy rigging and it looks more modern (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder).  So now there are good reasons for wanting to stay in the C5 rather than seeing the Radial as the long term goal, even if the Radial is the long term goal the C5 may not be the best pathway to it and if you do outgrow the C5 many will want to get into a C6/7/8 instead of a Radial.

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2 hours ago, JulianB said:

Maybe JimC is right.

LP, PSJ and PSA have all been in the business of selling Laser and Laser related products for, in PSJ's case 40+ years.

PSA under the Spencer's is probably 20+ years and LP is Johnny come lately at about 15 years.

PSA started this (Carbon/Mylar rig) about 7 years ago, if you believe the rhetoric, LP in about the last 4-5 years but ILCA has no record.    PSJ who had been watching from the sidelines (again if you believe what  is written in ILCA minuets) then took the whole thing and re-focused it about 3 years ago, on something that he had been banging on about, (and this is 1 on 1) for the best part of 20 years, which is the Euro-Centric Caucasian focus of sailing at the abandonment of everyone else, Inc Asians and Latin's.

I don't think anyone disagrees that the 4.7 is hugely successful in Europe, but has not had the same level of success else where.

Now, someone sitting in some ivory chair somewhere may think they know more about the Laser market and the Laser World than PSJ, PSA & LP, and they may think they know more than ILCA, OLCA & ALCA and you could even possible believe the last part given how wrong EuLCA got it, but that would require a whole new string and it will go on for years.

I think you have to give credit where credit is due, ILCA got it right, as did PSA & PSJ.   Given that what is un-mistakable is that PSJ, PSA and ILCA/OLCA/ALCA all chose to do down one path (C5) and un-be-known to them LP where in-fact going down a similar path (ARC).    That's really stupid part! (they are both similar!)

That has to tell you something.   When you have a couple of Billionaires with access to un-imaginable levels of data mining, and I have an idea of what is possible because I have played in this space, and it is extraordinary, but more to the point when you have someone of PSJ's status and complete and total  immersment  in the Asian and for that matter global sailing scene  (this guy is a absolute legend and has been for all of the 40 and especially the last 20 years) all advocating a shift to a up-graded rig then maybe, just maybe they are looking beyond there own backdoor and at what will be good for the sport and the future of the Laser.

You can go on about RSYS all you wish, its 10 mins from home.   It could have been MHYC, it could have been WSC, BSC or my beloved NSC!  It was in-fact SASC most of the time, where I parked a Laser while doing all the testing.     But then you have the kids in Tasmania, the others is South Australia, the reaction at Port Stephens, and in Japan, now in the US.    It's not a Royal YC thing, its a kid thing and kid's just wanta have fun!

My "tipping point" was watching 2 - 40kgs something Chinese girls struggling in Longsheer with a 4.7 alloy mast and sail.   1/4 of their weight!    Then their coach coming up and saying its not just getting the mast in the boat, its the capsize and the fight to get the rig out of the water, its everything.       And she did not even know about the C5!

Obviously time will tell, but you have almost the entire Laser manufacturing establishment, along with the higher levels of the class management all nurturing a change along.

Your more than welcome to stick your head in the sand, and advocate doom and gloom!       

People talk about death and taxes, long before that is inevitability of change and the inevitability of the resistance to that change.    ( it's a Peter Principal)

Could I urge you to contemplate standing up and contribute to the process so the huge chasm you speak off doesn't eventuate!

                 jB

 

Many of the people I know who share my concerns have changed at least as much in their sailing as you have. As an example, last season I sailed Lasers against people from 18 Foot Skiffs, shorthanded offshore multis, A Class cats, Tornadoes, windsurfers, and kitefoilers - and those people all had major reservations about mooted changes from Radial and Standard to C rigs.

People who sail kitefoilers, build their own live-aboard multis, design low-energy housing or do medical research for a living and adopt other classes very quickly are very obviously NOT resistant to change. They have legitimate concerns and are not getting much response when those concerns are raised.

People will not stand up and contribute to a process if a simple question (like asking how the changeover will work) gets a response that (utterly incorectly) implies that the questioners are resistant to to change, instead of a response that answers the question. The fact that we are not meekly doing what we are told does not mean that we are resistant to change!

The irony is that emerging fields like SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) are showing that the level of resistance to change is often over-stated - but many people just refuse to take on the lessons of modern research.

Many of us respect PSA, PSJ and ILCA, but that does not mean that they are always right and we must always fall into line. Even the biggest corporations get it wrong sometimes, as Boeing's customers will tell you.

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28 minutes ago, Curious said:

No, class members are not always inwards looking and for plenty of us in the Laser, the "investment" is very small and not really worth protecting.  If class members were inevitably inward looking then there would not be those of us who have been sitting here and working on the calendar for volunteer coaching and organising the local Laser circuit.

Many of us with concerns are OUTWARD looking - we are worried about the prospects for bringing new people into the sport if the cost of entry rises dramatically. We are looking out at people who have not been financially as lucky as we have. We are looking at the long term issue of the sport becoming more elitist, more expensive, and less welcoming to those who do not want to spend several times what the average person spends on their sport, in just one hit to remain fashionabl

 

The cost of entry to the sport won't rise - second hand boats, scaffold spars and Intensity sails will still be available.  But now there will be a choice - those who want "better" can get "better".

Yes, that might mean the Laser fleet will split in two like A Class cats, but the overall numbers might go up.  More people a sailing AND a profitable, sustainable business.  Win/win!

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1 hour ago, Curious said:

I'm not sure if many of the popular older boat classes have had an upgrade as big as this. Can you recall a complete change of spars and sail in a class anywhere as big as the Laser?

Well there is no class as big as the Laser.
The Star is an obvious example. The International Moth threw away all the old 15ft rigs when they adopted the 17ft one. All the classes that were about at the time ditched wood masts and cotton sails for aluminium and terylene...

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

Well there is no class as big as the Laser.
The Star is an obvious example. The International Moth threw away all the old 15ft rigs when they adopted the 17ft one. All the classes that were about at the time ditched wood masts and cotton sails for aluminium and terylene...

The Star's first rig change just changed the spars - the old gunter mains went on to the new bermudan mast. George Elder, who was a vital part of the class in those days, wrote that the ease of changing sails, apparently to avoid the problem of having to go out and hang them out to dry with the boat on the mooring, was more important than the speed improvement. When they changed to the tall rig decades later, they allowed the old ones to keep on racing even at world level, and the old rigs were faster in a breeze for a while. No one seems to be talking about similar set-up for the proposed new Laser rig. The Star and Moth are also by definition quite different in that one is a fairly loose OD and the other a development class, where modifying the boat to go faster is part of the game.

All the research I've done about the changeover from cotton to dacron, wood to alloy spars and the introduction of 'glass and ply indicates that in the stricter ODs, the main benefit was a reduction in costs and maintenance rather than a jump in speed.  Carl Beetle, who built one of the first 'glass sailboats, reckoned that with a conventional wooden boat, upkeep for the first season alone was 25% of the purchase price of the boat. That expense dropped dramatically with 'glass. As you would of course know very well, the ply ODs tended to be dramatically cheaper (although normally slower) than their conventionally planked counterparts. 

I've never been able to find out much about the introduction of alloy spars in dinghies. Illingworth, who claimed to have been the first person to design production masts for offshore boats (in 1948) spends more column inches talking about their superior longevity than he does about their superior performance.

Dacron sails were quicker, but a lot of the old tales about the change from cotton sails seems to stress the lower maintenance; no mildew issues, no tiresome stretching period.  The Snipes knew that dacron sails had major advantages, but because they were 10% more expensive they phased them in over a period of several years - first allowing them for club racing, then for nationals, and last of all for the worlds. It was an interesting way to approach the issue.

Time and time again, the tales of those times tell of people like Haylock and George O'Day who used the emerging technology to reduce costs and make the sport more accessible, rather than faster.  I've always thought an accent on that sort of thing, rather than more speed, would be a great thing for the Laser.

More recently, none of the major SMOD classes have changed sail and spars so dramatically and at the same time, as far as I'm aware, and of the most popular "normal" ODs only the Finn would come close - and even it did not adopt a different outline and full battens. 

 

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1 hour ago, sosoomii said:

The cost of entry to the sport won't rise - second hand boats, scaffold spars and Intensity sails will still be available.  But now there will be a choice - those who want "better" can get "better".

Yes, that might mean the Laser fleet will split in two like A Class cats, but the overall numbers might go up.  More people a sailing AND a profitable, sustainable business.  Win/win!

Okay, the cost of entry into the sport will stay at zero, because you can always drag an abandoned GP14 hull or something off a bonfire and propel it with an old umbrella. But the cost of getting into the sport (or discipline, or activity) of Laser sailing at a competitive level, even in a club, will probably increase.  No one has proposed a two-fleet solution at top level, so the class would seem to be likely to split into a section of keen sailors who can change to the new rigs and will chase major events, and the rest. That is not the Laser formula.

There's no evidence that the overall numbers are likely to go up. Byte numbers seem to have dropped. A Class membership numbers haven't really increased and may have dropped, depending on what years you count.  The numbers at worlds don't seem to have generally increased - the fleet at the current worlds is the same size as there were at Euro worlds in the early 2000s and around 10 years ago but now it's split into two. So what evidence of a possible increase do we have, and is that evidence good enough to risk such a large class and so much money?

Every class can claim that changing the rules will allow people a "better" choice. The Moth could open up its rules, the OK could open up its rules, the 49ers could offer an all-carbon fully-foiling option,  and the Merlin could throw on racks and a trap.  The Laser class' success is founded on the fact that it DIDN'T offer a "better" choice, and that's what most of the owners have voted for with their pockets.

 

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1 hour ago, Curious said:

Okay, the cost of entry into the sport will stay at zero, because you can always drag an abandoned GP14 hull or something off a bonfire and propel it with an old umbrella. But the cost of getting into the sport (or discipline, or activity) of Laser sailing at a competitive level, even in a club, will probably increase.  No one has proposed a two-fleet solution at top level, so the class would seem to be likely to split into a section of keen sailors who can change to the new rigs and will chase major events, and the rest. That is not the Laser formula. There is no proposal (yet) to ditch the existing rigs.  You can still win major events in the cheaper rigs.

There's no evidence that the overall numbers are likely to go up. Byte numbers seem to have dropped. A Class membership numbers haven't really increased and may have dropped, depending on what years you count.  The numbers at worlds don't seem to have generally increased - the fleet at the current worlds is the same size as there were at Euro worlds in the early 2000s and around 10 years ago but now it's split into two. So what evidence of a possible increase do we have, and is that evidence good enough to risk such a large class and so much money?  They are not risking your money.  It is the builder's money at risk.  If they have done their homework and believe there is sufficient RoI why are you worried?  if you are worried about Laser fleet sizes then that view is inward looking - caring more about the number of people you can race your Laser against than the profits of the builder or the number of people sailing in general. As I say, that is quite understandable but it isn't the necessarily the same priority as the builder has.  Which is why WS will ultimately need to decide whether or not to allow C rigs in ILCA events.

Every class can claim that changing the rules will allow people a "better" choice. The Moth could open up its rules, the OK could open up its rules, the 49ers could offer an all-carbon fully-foiling option,  and the Merlin could throw on racks and a trap.  The Laser class' success is founded on the fact that it DIDN'T offer a "better" choice, and that's what most of the owners have voted for with their pockets.

If both products are available then total sales should go up (which is more folk sailing), unless the fear of reduced fleet sizes prevents both selling.  Let the market decide whether the 4.7 (or the C5) has a long term future. 

I do take your point that a boat that is popular because it is cheap is unlikely to become more popular by becoming more expensive.  I also understand your concern that more choice is fragmentation of existing fleets, and that is a shame.  ILCA has already shown it is more concerned about high level international racing than the grass roots, so they will do whatever they think is best to develop and protect that part of the game.  .

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2 hours ago, Curious said:

here's no evidence that the overall numbers are likely to go up. Byte numbers seem to have dropped. A Class membership numbers haven't really increased and may have dropped, depending on what years you count.  The numbers at worlds don't seem to have generally increased - the fleet at the current worlds is the same size as there were at Euro worlds in the early 2000s and around 10 years ago but now it's split into two. So what evidence of a possible increase do we have, and is that evidence good enough to risk such a large class and so much money?

Don't make the same mistake as the A class.... the leadership thought that sailors would quickly upgrade to foiling platforms... the transition period would be short and given the developmental class culture,  resemble the past transitions.  So, they ignored the obvious reality on the water for at least 4 or 5 years... cats and dogs, foilers and floaters.... whatever...  Ultimately the leadership recognized reality  on the water and created worlds for the two divisions.  The feckless leadership did not grow the class as a previous post noted.  Once they embraced two classes... tThe builders actually started selling optimized floater designs again.  My take home... don't pretend the world is the way it was....  embrace the change immediately and focus on what matters...  the integrity of the competition.  People are not stupid... they understand the pecking order, they will continue to compete in one of the two games so long as they believe the integrity  of their  game is intact.

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12 hours ago, JulianB said:

Given that what is un-mistakable is that PSJ, PSA and ILCA/OLCA/ALCA all chose to do down one path (C5) and un-be-known to them LP where in-fact going down a similar path (ARC).    That's really stupid part! (they are both similar!)

That has to tell you something.   When you have a couple of Billionaires with access to un-imaginable levels of data mining, and I have an idea of what is possible because I have played in this space, and it is extraordinary, but more to the point when you have someone of PSJ's status and complete and total  immersment  in the Asian and for that matter global sailing scene  (this guy is a absolute legend and has been for all of the 40 and especially the last 20 years) all advocating a shift to a up-graded rig then maybe, just maybe they are looking beyond there own backdoor and at what will be good for the sport and the future of the Laser.

I have no doubt the billionaires have done their homework and understand the enormous sales potential in the Asian market. But the price of entry will be a complete reimagining of the Laser concept and a loss of continuity with the past. One could describe the move as a “revolution within the form”. Why bring a new product to market and have to compete against the Laser when you can reinvent the Laser out of existence. The fact that all the major players are apparently on board, including the senior leadership of ILCA, says only that a major gold rush is on.

 

13 hours ago, JulianB said:

Obviously time will tell, but you have almost the entire Laser manufacturing establishment, along with the higher levels of the class management all nurturing a change along.

Your more than welcome to stick your head in the sand, and advocate doom and gloom!   

I understand. Anyone who questions the wisdom of dramatic change is to be branded a doom and gloom reactionary. 

 

13 hours ago, JulianB said:

Could I urge you to contemplate standing up and contribute to the process so the huge chasm you speak off doesn't eventuate!

That’s priceless! Your idea of contribution would no doubt involve embracing the new rigs.“Just close your eyes and think of England.”  And if by chance things don’t go as planned it will be the fault of the reactionaries who did not “contribute to the process”..........,

In the end I am eternally optimistic. These are high class problems. Sailors will continue to sail. Classes will come and go. And if I wake up alive tomorrow I’ll continue on my merry way.....

loved your father’s book btw....

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9 hours ago, sosoomii said:

I do take your point that a boat that is popular because it is cheap is unlikely to become more popular by becoming more expensive.  I also understand your concern that more choice is fragmentation of existing fleets, and that is a shame.  ILCA has already shown it is more concerned about high level international racing than the grass roots, so they will do whatever they think is best to develop and protect that part of the game.  .

Glad that you agree on those points. I've firmly supported ILCA over the LPE issue, because they have more information on that aspect, but I've become concerned about their attitude towards the new rigs. When the new rigs - and as Julian's blog shows, the plural is correct and there is a lot of talk about replacing the Standard and Radial - were mentioned by an ILCA committee member at my AGM, I tried to discuss it from an angle in which I have experience in the industry, as a class president, as a sailor and academically.  I was waved off with a one liner. I appreciate the work that committee member is doing, but there was certainly no interest in taking on board any feedback from the floor.

They are not risking your money.  It is the builder's money at risk.  If they have done their homework and believe there is sufficient RoI why are you worried? 

It's not just the builder's money at risk. If the C rigs are to be introduced more widely, the value of existing rigs will diminish and many thousands of people will spend over two grand US each to get new rigs. If the C rigs take over then my little club fleet will spend about $30,000 bucks. The club will have to find $10,000 just to maintain what we currently own (four Laser with rigs of the usual type) and we don't have that much money. And if the new rigs do not make the class significantly better then all that money is effectively burned. That seems like a risk.

 

if you are worried about Laser fleet sizes then that view is inward looking - caring more about the number of people you can race your Laser against than the profits of the builder or the number of people sailing in general. As I say, that is quite understandable but it isn't the necessarily the same priority as the builder has.  Which is why WS will ultimately need to decide whether or not to allow C rigs in ILCA events.

No. Many people, like me,  sail Lasers largely or partly because we are worried about the number of people sailing in general, and feel that a very good way to maintain or increase those numbers is to sail, promote and organise the Laser class. We are outward looking and use the Laser class to develop the sport. That's why we are so concerned about the possible flow on effects of a dramatic increase in the cost of the Laser class. In places where the Laser is the normal entree into the sport, doubling the entry cost or creating a two-class system does not seem to be a good way to keep on growing our sport.

As far as the builder's finances go, I will treat them as they treat others.  In this case they don't seem to be worried at all about the finances of plenty of sailors I know, so I won't care about the builder.  If the builder shows that they are concerned about the sailors I know who aren't rolling in it, then I will be concerned for the builder.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Frumious Bandersnatch said:

Laser - Know of one new Kingston Regatta ILCA Laser that has been acquired by a longtime Laser racer in the USA and has been transported from Canada to USA.  How many others?

Confirmed that it was built in Australia. Rumor has it the quality is superior. 

And the lawsuit that LP/LPE (as it was formerly known) threatened with did, or did not, materialize?

It would be interesting to know where those (PSA) ILCA dinghies (for a day or two) ended up.

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3 hours ago, Wavedancer II said:

And the lawsuit that LP/LPE (as it was formerly known) threatened with did, or did not, materialize?

It would be interesting to know where those (PSA) ILCA dinghies (for a day or two) ended up.

I was in K-town Friday to pick up my boat which I had lent to a Spanish 4.7 sailor. Nothing materialized at the end of the event. There were no lawyers, Customs officers, Sheriffs, so no "seizure".  Sailors returned their chartered PSA boats and I understand the majority were taken away over the next few days by individual buyers.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, spankoka said:

Canada Customs were probably not very interested in being the dinghy police.

Actually, Canada Customs know the judge and jury are found in this thread. They are just waiting for the final verdict and will take appropriate action. 

Edit: let me add to that. We also have defence lawyers and prosecutors on board.

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If the boats went to Canada on a Carnet, as  anounced, the Australian Business Solutions organisation are holding the customs duty already prepaid by PSA and 6 months after the promised return to Australia date the money will be forfeited and transferred to Canadian Custms. Thats how the system works. See: http://www.australianbusiness.com.au/international-trade/export-documentation/ata-carnet

At least north america has some new boats to vitalise the fleet.

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5 hours ago, Phil S said:

At least north america has some new boats to vitalise the fleet.

AIUI PSA would not be allowed to promote sales of even ex charter boats in LP trademark territory, so it was very kind of LP to do so much promotion for them...

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9 hours ago, aroy210677 said:

I was in K-town Friday to pick up my boat which I had lent to a Spanish 4.7 sailor. Nothing materialized at the end of the event. There were no lawyers, Customs officers, Sheriffs, so no "seizure".  Sailors returned their chartered PSA boats and I understand the majority were taken away over the next few days by individual buyers.

 

 

 

This needs a "Love" tag!  

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8 hours ago, Phil S said:

At least north america has some new boats to vitalise the fleet.

Not that there are many left, but I wonder if any Canadian dealers were somehow able to get in on this action. Although it has been thought that LP would be upset, how would you like to be a dealer who has been unable to get boats for a couple years? 

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On 8/24/2019 at 8:56 AM, Old Yeller said:

1. If the 4.7 and radial are doing great (accounting for more than 75% of current sales) then why replace them with C rigs?

Gouv, why do you and others insist that Julian is planning to replace the 4.7 and Radial with C rigs? 

On 8/24/2019 at 8:56 AM, Old Yeller said:

2. The radial did divide the class. We now have radial fleets and full rig fleets, so a division has occurred. Full rig fleets are now smaller. Sailors who could be competitive in full rigs are choosing to sail radials because they are on the lighter end of the spectrum. Sailors will wait until the last minute at regattas and switch fleets according to the wind forecast. This is especially evident at the district level. 

Poppycock! What has really happened is that these rigs have introduced more people to the Laser. 

On 8/24/2019 at 8:56 AM, Old Yeller said:

4. Why not improve the Laser (including the 4.7) by working within the concept, rather than introducing a rig that is a dramatic departure?

Do we know this has not already been tried?

On 8/24/2019 at 8:56 AM, Old Yeller said:

5. Could the Laser hull be made stiffer and more durable while keeping the same lines and weight?

Do we know this has not already been tried? 

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One of the cool things emerging out of Canada is that a ton of local kids (as well as Masters in the weeks prior) have had some brilliant racing out of CORK in Kingston in various World Championships, and there are a swag of well made, lightly used boats percolating into the market, duties and carnets complied with!!!  Might be the start of a refreshing of the class ... well done all and good luck to the PSC crew!!! :rolleyes:

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9 hours ago, CenterboardBrake said:

Gouv, why do you and others insist that Julian is planning to replace the 4.7 and Radial with C rigs? 

Poppycock! What has really happened is that these rigs have introduced more people to the Laser. 

Do we know this has not already been tried?

Do we know this has not already been tried? 

Well, ILCA's president and a committee member have said that there is no future for the existing rigs, so someone is planning to replace them. 

 

PS - I agree that the Radial and 4.7 have added people to the class. I'm just too light to be competitive in a full rig Laser down here in Australia, and so are the vast majority of people under about 78kg. Changes in gear and techniques have lifted the minimum competitive weight of the standard.

Mind you, that's probably no longer an issue for me since if I'm going to see my fleet carved up and my three nice rigs made worthless, I may as well just change class. If it's worth changing rig, it's probably worth changing hull as well.

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On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 8:45 AM, aroy210677 said:

And in that vein, a new Canadian company was recently registered with the acronym PSC.  Not sure what it stands for, but I'm guessing it could be Pour Strong Ceasars?

And/or Pour Several Caesars!

9 hours ago, Stanno said:

One of the cool things emerging out of Canada is that a ton of local kids (as well as Masters in the weeks prior) have had some brilliant racing out of CORK in Kingston in various World Championships, and there are a swag of well made, lightly used boats percolating into the market, duties and carnets complied with!!!  Might be the start of a refreshing of the class ... well done all and good luck to the PSC crew!!! :rolleyes:

Definitely a positive for the Class, but I still can't help but bleed a little for both Canadian and US dealers. These are small businesses and this will hurt. A strategy to include them in the process would have helped. I suspect that - whoever the builders wind up being - Lasers and parts will be the domain of direct buy from manufacturers and Amazon. I suspect we will see the old dealers follow APS into becoming specialty clothiers... 

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3 hours ago, bill4 said:

And/or Pour Several Caesars!

Definitely a positive for the Class, but I still can't help but bleed a little for both Canadian and US dealers. These are small businesses and this will hurt. A strategy to include them in the process would have helped. I suspect that - whoever the builders wind up being - Lasers and parts will be the domain of direct buy from manufacturers and Amazon. I suspect we will see the old dealers follow APS into becoming specialty clothiers... 

If I were an LP-affiliated dealer and I wanted any hope of getting more parts and boats out of them, even under current conditions, I wouldn't touch those PSA boats with a ten-foot pole.  That would be a sure way to get cut off by LP for good, which is probably a moot point by now.

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1 hour ago, torrid said:

If I were an LP-affiliated dealer and I wanted any hope of getting more parts and boats out of them, even under current conditions, I wouldn't touch those PSA boats with a ten-foot pole.  That would be a sure way to get cut off by LP for good, which is probably a moot point by now.

I see what you are saying, but LP haven’t been touching the dealers with a ten foot pole for a while. 18 month delivery for a top section. So that is actually an 11.8 foot pole. 

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