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

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
From EurILCA

 

You all have received this morning an announcement of ILCA to kick off the vote for a rule change to be sent out to your members – EurILCA is recommending to vote NO
We, as EurILCA, would like to inform you that we do NOT agree with the reasons for this vote and consequently do ask our members to vote NO for the following reasons:
-    Voting NO does not mean that you vote for Laser falling out of the Olympics, but will force all the parties to come to an agreement with the ongoing negotiations.
-    A lot of progress has been made in the negotiations and discussions between World Sailing, ILCA and the commercial parties. Only little updates are yet to be made to the documents which are relevant to maintain Olympic status. EurILCA is fully aware of World Sailing’s statements in this regard. From EurILCA’s judgment the deadline of 1st August, 2019 for the FRAND policy and related documents required by World Sailing can be met if all the parties keep working together as they do right now.
-    Current progress in the process of closing out the issues between ILCA and LP and consequently to get agreements on several issues are very promising. As an example, the license agreement regarding using the trademarkfor the name “Laser” between ILCA and LP has just been signed. 
-    We are convinced that any activity in this direction is destroying the just build up little trust we could recently feel between the parties and would be a provocation to LP. All parties are in agreement that the Olympic status is important to the class; this common goal is enough of an incentive to keep working together to resolve the remaining issues.
-    This vote – while being declared as fall back scenario for a plan B – will allow to change the name of our boat without any further consultation of the members of ILCA. It’s a blank check to ILCA management to rename our class at any time they wish. 
-    The document states that it would only be used in case no agreement between the parties could be achieved as an ultimate tool to remain Olympic but EurILCA is not trusting this statement. The outcome of the vote would only be available after the deadline of 1st August, 2019. So, in the unlikely case that no agreement was achieved between the parties the Laser would be out of the Olympics no matter what the outcome of the ballot.
-    We cannot even fully judge all the changes of the rules as only 1 article – see below – is mentioned and then it includes the phrase in yellow which will allow ILCA to modify ALL other rules of the class rules accordingly. In our opinion this is not acceptable as we would like to know each and every change of the rules.
-    In February ILCA proposed this rule change to the World council. At same time 2 europeans members of the World council vote in favor after a week of consultation. Later on we discovered that we were miss inform and that we had not all the documents to understand the situation. Alexandra and Beat went to the World Sailing mid year meeting and had a meeting with Kim Andersen. We also pushed for negociation and made the contact with LPE in order to move for progress like we have seen..
-    We also discover that the ILCA board has created a company called” Weatherhelm” in order to do some commercial activities. The World council was never informed. About this. 
The Proposed Class Rule Change
Change the ILCA Class Rules, Part 1, as follows:
Definition of Builder: 
A Builder is a manufacturer that has the rights to use a Laser trademark, is manufacturing the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails and battens in strict adherence to the Construction Manual, and has been approved as a Laser Builder by each of World Sailing and the International Laser Class Association.
If approved, other class rules affected by this rule change will be modified to be consistent with the amended definition of Builder. This will include all rules covering the brand name of the equipment.
This needs fact checking. Badly.

 

jgh66

Anarchist
In a vote of the ILCA World Council, this rule change was overwhelmingly approved by an 11 to 2 margin, including the unanimous approval of all six ILCA Regional Chairmen.

Can someone explain this ?

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,030
2,393
Rhode Island
In a vote of the ILCA World Council, this rule change was overwhelmingly approved by an 11 to 2 margin, including the unanimous approval of all six ILCA Regional Chairmen.

Can someone explain this ?
The message from EurILCA includes this explanation... 
"In February ILCA proposed this rule change to the World council. At same time 2 europeans members of the World council vote in favor after a week of consultation. Later on we discovered that we were miss inform and that we had not all the documents to understand the situation."

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
In a vote of the ILCA World Council, this rule change was overwhelmingly approved by an 11 to 2 margin, including the unanimous approval of all six ILCA Regional Chairmen.

Can someone explain this ?
Sure. Jean Luc voted in favor of the change earlier in the year. 

He later formed the view that he had been mislead into voting that way.

He now seems to think that the conspiracy theories surrounding ILCA are true. (I outlined some above. The source, so far as I can tell is mostly Laser Performance.) 

What Jean Luc is asking us to believe, is that Tracy and Eric are creating (without telling anyone) companies to make a profit. I don't believe this is true. 

This is just posted by Lutz, Alex B's boyfriend (who also spoke at the Roses):

 

Launching this vote now, just 12 hours after signing the trademark license agreement 
with Laser Performance (rsp. VELUM) finally proves that what European Sailors in the townhall meeting
in Roses already suspected to be the real reason why Eric Faust and Tracy Usher are pushing this vote is the real reason.
The only reason for all their moves in the last month is to provoke LPE in all possible ways in order
to make the negotiations with them fail and by this reach a situation in which who ever has registered
the company „Weatherhelm“ can profit from the then available license fees.
We need to state that ILCA is continuously following a route that is not in the interest of the sailors,
but in commercial interests of a limited number of persons in the leading circle of ILCA.
So dear Laser sailors the question is not, whether you want the LASER in the Olympics, as this vote cannot change the outcome of this process as it’s possible effect will only be applicable when this decision is already made (1. August), but:
Do you want your class to be led by a small group of people that does not shy away from risking the olympic status for their still not officially announced plan?
- a) Make money from license fees with the company „Weatherhelm“
- b) Push the C-Rigs together with the then stronger Performance Sailcraft Australia ( the company that wasn’t punished by the same persons within ILCA for producing boats that intentionally violated the Laser Construction Manual)
So please vote NO to not allow ILCA to put oil in the fire of the already difficult negotiations, to let negotiations come to a successful end and keep the LASER in the OLYMPICS and to show Erich and Tracy that you are able to see their (no longer so well) hidden plans.
There is a lot to unpack here. A lot to fact check. 

 
Approving builders is not FRAND. Anyone, subject to payment of a license fee agreed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms should be able to build, sell and supply Lasers (or whatever they may be called). It is not for ILCA, GS or WS to “approve” or deny permission.  This is a really important point with far reaching consequences. 
Small detail compared to the momentous news that is breaking on an almost hourly basis, but adopting a FRAND policy does not mean "anyone" can build, sell and supply Lasers.

WS's policy states that a builder has to be "qualified". WS and ILCA determine if a builder is qualified but they have to do so in a non-discriminatory manner.

FRAND policy in fact does not prevent the Olympics selecting just one builder. As I mentioned before, Coca Cola is the sole soft drink and carbonated beverage supplier to the Olympics. That selection was made on a FRAND basis.  However it means that you will not be able to purchase any other soft drink or carbonated beverage within the Olympics facilities (or within certain designated boundaries). Spectators get to enjoy the real thing t  (reg'd trademark)

 
You all have received this morning an announcement of ILCA to kick off the vote for a rule change to be sent out to your members – EurILCA is recommending to vote NO
We, as EurILCA, would like to inform you that we do NOT agree with the reasons for this vote and consequently do ask our members to vote NO for the following reasons:
-    Voting NO does not mean that you vote for Laser falling out of the Olympics, but will force all the parties to come to an agreement with the ongoing negotiations.
-    A lot of progress has been made in the negotiations and discussions between World Sailing, ILCA and the commercial parties. Only little updates are yet to be made to the documents which are relevant to maintain Olympic status. EurILCA is fully aware of World Sailing’s statements in this regard. From EurILCA’s judgment the deadline of 1st August, 2019 for the FRAND policy and related documents required by World Sailing can be met if all the parties keep working together as they do right now.
-    Current progress in the process of closing out the issues between ILCA and LP and consequently to get agreements on several issues are very promising. As an example, the license agreement regarding using the trademarkfor the name “Laser” between ILCA and LP has just been signed. 
-    We are convinced that any activity in this direction is destroying the just build up little trust we could recently feel between the parties and would be a provocation to LP. All parties are in agreement that the Olympic status is important to the class; this common goal is enough of an incentive to keep working together to resolve the remaining issues.
-    This vote – while being declared as fall back scenario for a plan B – will allow to change the name of our boat without any further consultation of the members of ILCA. It’s a blank check to ILCA management to rename our class at any time they wish. 
-    The document states that it would only be used in case no agreement between the parties could be achieved as an ultimate tool to remain Olympic but EurILCA is not trusting this statement. The outcome of the vote would only be available after the deadline of 1st August, 2019. So, in the unlikely case that no agreement was achieved between the parties the Laser would be out of the Olympics no matter what the outcome of the ballot.
-    We cannot even fully judge all the changes of the rules as only 1 article – see below – is mentioned and then it includes the phrase in yellow which will allow ILCA to modify ALL other rules of the class rules accordingly. In our opinion this is not acceptable as we would like to know each and every change of the rules.
-    In February ILCA proposed this rule change to the World council. At same time 2 europeans members of the World council vote in favor after a week of consultation. Later on we discovered that we were miss inform and that we had not all the documents to understand the situation. Alexandra and Beat went to the World Sailing mid year meeting and had a meeting with Kim Andersen. We also pushed for negociation and made the contact with LPE in order to move for progress like we have seen..
-    We also discover that the ILCA board has created a company called” Weatherhelm” in order to do some commercial activities. The World council was never informed. About this. 
The Proposed Class Rule Change
Change the ILCA Class Rules, Part 1, as follows:
Definition of Builder: 
A Builder is a manufacturer that has the rights to use a Laser trademark, is manufacturing the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails and battens in strict adherence to the Construction Manual, and has been approved as a Laser Builder by each of World Sailing and the International Laser Class Association.
If approved, other class rules affected by this rule change will be modified to be consistent with the amended definition of Builder. This will include all rules covering the brand name of the equipment.
OMG.

All bets off.

What a disaster and mismanagement of the process.

When ILCA announced earlier today that this vote had the support of all regional representatives on World Council, we all naturally assumed that the class leadership had come together on this in recent days.       I imagined that the Europeans present at Fridays meeting had met with Tracy and agreed that it was now time to make the rule change.  Its incredible if the ILCA statement was based on a World Council vote from 5 months ago!!!!   

 Tracy, if you are reading this.  How can you announce a vote and announce it is supported by the European class representatives when it seems that they do not support the vote?    What happened to building consensus?

The optics are terrible. 

I was 100% in favor of the rule change.  But not like this.

 
153
90
Sure. Jean Luc voted in favor of the change earlier in the year. 

He later formed the view that he had been mislead into voting that way.

He now seems to think that the conspiracy theories surrounding ILCA are true. (I outlined some above. The source, so far as I can tell is mostly Laser Performance.) 

What Jean Luc is asking us to believe, is that Tracy and Eric are creating (without telling anyone) companies to make a profit. I don't believe this is true. 

This is just posted by Lutz, Alex B's boyfriend (who also spoke at the Roses):

 

There is a lot to unpack here. A lot to fact check. 
I was under the impression that the vote within the World Council occurred much later than February ie around the time of the Roses meeting.  In February, the World Council's plan B was still to change the name to ILCA Dinghy and to kick LPE out indefinitely.  Surely if the World Council had voted on this in February, they would've put the vote out first before changing the class name and revoking LPE without any explanation. 

 The document states that it would only be used in case no agreement between the parties could be achieved as an ultimate tool to remain Olympic but EurILCA is not trusting this statement. The outcome of the vote would only be available after the deadline of 1st August, 2019. So, in the unlikely case that no agreement was achieved between the parties the Laser would be out of the Olympics no matter what the outcome of the ballot.
This part of their statement has made me reconsider my pro-ILCA stance. Eric did say in the Roses meeting that they would need at least a week to count the votes and verify membership before August 1. So either Eric has had word from people at WS that the deadline is extend-able or, he has been leading us on. 

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
iStock_35807926_XLARGE-e1474463368227.jpg


 

jgh66

Anarchist
The message from EurILCA includes this explanation... 
"In February ILCA proposed this rule change to the World council. At same time 2 europeans members of the World council vote in favor after a week of consultation. Later on we discovered that we were miss inform and that we had not all the documents to understand the situation."
The July 1 announcment and the Voting Now Open for Proposed 2019 ILCA Rule Change made no reference to February, so I thought, that there has been a new vote on this, and the europeans had agreed on pushing the vote forward now. 

Sorry for that confusion, it looked to me as the world council members were pulling in the same direction now. Maybe just due to my bad school english....

Or was that announcement even  misleading for native speakers?

 
In a vote of the ILCA World Council, this rule change was overwhelmingly approved by an 11 to 2 margin, including the unanimous approval of all six ILCA Regional Chairmen.

Can someone explain this ?
It looks terrible. Tiller had the best explanation.  They are referring to an old vote. 

I assumed (and so did you) that the World Council currently supports the rule change.

 
The July 1 announcment and the Voting Now Open for Proposed 2019 ILCA Rule Change made no reference to February, so I thought, that there has been a new vote on this, and the europeans had agreed on pushing the vote forward now. 

Sorry for that confusion, it looked to me as the world council members were pulling in the same direction now. Maybe just due to my bad school english....

Or was that announcement even  misleading for native speakers?
I understood it exactly the same way as you.

Does an American  qualify as a native speaker? 

 
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jgh66

Anarchist
OMG.

All bets off.

What a disaster and mismanagement of the process.

When ILCA announced earlier today that this vote had the support of all regional representatives on World Council, we all naturally assumed that the class leadership had come together on this in recent days.       I imagined that the Europeans present at Fridays meeting had met with Tracy and agreed that it was now time to make the rule change.  Its incredible if the ILCA statement was based on a World Council vote from 5 months ago!!!!   

 Tracy, if you are reading this.  How can you announce a vote and announce it is supported by the European class representatives when it seems that they do not support the vote?    What happened to building consensus?

The optics are terrible. 

I was 100% in favor of the rule change.  But not like this.
Fully Agree.

Poor Laserclass. Not that the post from Lutz was any better. 

I propose that all world council members get locked up in a single room with enough food and wine until white smoke signals that you solved all internal problems, and you can pull in the same direction. Then the rest of the gang can enter that room, you get enough food and wine for a week, and the door gets locked until white smoke.....

In the meantime I´ll rig my Contender and make it ready to race....

 

Bruce Hudson

Super Anarchist
3,251
846
New Zealand
This part of their statement has made me reconsider my pro-ILCA stance. Eric did say in the Roses meeting that they would need at least a week to count the votes and verify membership before August 1. So either Eric has had word from people at WS that the deadline is extend-able or, he has been leading us on.
It is possible that Eric may have found another way to shorten the time to verify the votes. (My best guess, and quite likely, given the pressure they were under to not release the vote).

I know I could verify the votes as they are received, given the tools they are using.

I do not believe that Eric intentionally mislead anyone on any item, including the vote.

Note that none of these rumours are new to me. For six years I have been saying that Eric and Tracy are good. I still believe it.

What we are witnessing is not a polished corporate approach, but an organisation run by volunteers who are being subjected to what can be described as an attempted hostile takeover.

Key to the the vote is this:

1) Make sure that our class will remain in the Olympics.
2) Ensure that class-legal equipment is available in ALL parts of the world.
3) Give control of our class to the sailors, not the commercial parties. 

Consider this: all of the accusations are not affected by the rule change. The negotiating position (and power) of Rastegar is.

@RobbieB got it right earlier when he said there is no downside, and I agree. Once the rule is changed, they can still agree to use the Laser trademark.

My vote remains yes.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Board skiff

Super Anarchist
1,606
672
Small detail compared to the momentous news that is breaking on an almost hourly basis, but adopting a FRAND policy does not mean "anyone" can build, sell and supply Lasers.

WS's policy states that a builder has to be "qualified". WS and ILCA determine if a builder is qualified but they have to do so in a non-discriminatory manner.

FRAND policy in fact does not prevent the Olympics selecting just one builder. As I mentioned before, Coca Cola is the sole soft drink and carbonated beverage supplier to the Olympics. That selection was made on a FRAND basis.  However it means that you will not be able to purchase any other soft drink or carbonated beverage within the Olympics facilities (or within certain designated boundaries). Spectators get to enjoy the real thing t  (reg'd trademark)
Okay, I accept the builder has to be “qualified” under WS policy but surely in the interests of being non-discriminatory you would need good grounds to disqualify a potential builder. I am not sure that not liking the cut of their jib is reasonable grounds. To disallow Sosoomii Sails to provide class legal sails because I do not have sufficient turnover, or others in my region have a better reputation, or I called for Tracy’s resignation is discriminatory.  If my sails measure and I agree to pay a fair and reasonable fee I should be allowed to sell them as Sosoomii branded sails.  I’ll even offer a discount to any Anarchist who likes this post ;)

I like the Coca Cola analogy but draw a different conclusion.  To me it shows that you can comply with competition law whilst entering exclusive agreements, by virtue of regularly running a transparent tender process, but these agreements are not FRAND. Which demonstrates that WS did not have to create a FRAND policy, they misguidedly chose to do so to get Luca off their back. 

 
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