Re-posted from the North American Laser Class Association website:
Message from the International Laser Class Association President:
Dear Laser friends,
Next Friday September 23 is the deadline for the vote on the fundamental rule change. The importance of this rule change triggered a lot of discussions between the Laser sailors and on the different web forums. These discussions were very healthy and contributed to a better understanding of all the different issues involved. Personally, I kept a certain restraint in order to allow an as free discussion as possible. For those who want to refresh their memories on the reasons of the rule change can go to http://www.laserinternational.org/rules2011.
During the last few weeks, however, a certain number of issues were brought up, which need clarifications:
1. The whole issue started when ILCA was advised by Global Sailing, who purports to be representing Kirby’s interests, that as per July 11 2010 they had terminated the license agreement with Laser Performance Europe. ILCA is not a party to these agreements and does not even know their exact content. Therefore to pretend that the purpose of the rule change was to terminate the royalty payments to Global Sailing is not correct. The only reason of the rule change is to assure the supply of a sufficient quantity of new Laser boats compliant with the ILCA Class Rules available in Europe and other countries in 2011 and beyond to satisfy the demand of its current and future ILCA members.
2. We understand that currently negotiations might be under way between Bruce Kirby and Global Sailing for Bruce to get his rights back. Under the current ILCA Class Rules a valid builder agreement is required between the “design rights holder” and the licensed Laser builder. Who the owner is of the design rights is unimportant in this context. Since the licence agreement with Laser Performance Europe has been terminated, only a new (or the renewal of the old) licence agreement between the “design rights holder” and Laser Performance Europe would solve the issue and potentially make the rule change unnecessary. We have informed all parties involved (Global Sailing, Bruce Kirby and Laser Performance Europe) of that and have asked them to inform us if they had come to a new agreement. This has not been the case up until today.
3. ILCA has always preferred a peaceful solution. If all three parties are close to agree on a solution, we will not stay in their way and give them reasonable time to conclude their negotiations on a new licence agreement with Laser Performance Europe.
If you want to preserve the Laser Class in its current set-up you need to vote YES. If you vote NO the Class in its current set-up will soon cease to exist.
With best regards.
President International Laser Class Association (ILCA)