Tag Archives: International Laser Class Association

ILCA Elects New President

From the International Laser Class Association:

The ILCA is pleased to announce that Tracy Usher has been elected as the new ILCA President. Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, having served as a member of the ILCA World Council since 2002, a member of the ILCA Technical Committee since 2006, and has served as the Chairman of the ILCA North American Region since 2004.

Tracy was elected at the recent World Council Meeting held in Boltenhagen, Germany where Heini Wellmann announced his retirement after six years serving as President. The ILCA and the entire Laser community would like to thank Heini for all his enthusiasm and dedication to the Laser Class and wish Tracy all the best in his new position.

At the World Council Meeting, Tracy (R) presented Heini (L) with a award acknowledging his service to the class.

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Voting Results of the Fundamental Rule Change

The International Laser Class Association has published the results of the voting on the fundamental rule change that concluded at the end of September:

The voting for the change to the Laser Class Fundamental Rule and other Technical Rule Changes closed at midnight Friday 23 September 2011. Thereafter the votes were verified for membership validity by each District or Region. The results were then audited by an independent audit firm, which reported 1017 ‘yes’ votes (89,3%) and  122 ‘no’ votes (10,7%), showing that over two thirds of the voting members approved the rule change as required by the ILCA Class Rules, part five, article 30(c).

Therefore we will seek the approval of ISAF within the next few days as required by the ILCA Class Rules, part five article 30(d).

Read the entire article here.

Important Fundamental Class Rule Changes

There has been a dispute between the Laser Class builders and today the International Laser Class Association announced rule changes to be voted on by the membership. The main one being voted on is a change to the fundamental rule stating who can build lasers.

Please go to the International Laser Class Association Website and vote on this rule.

Excerpted from ILCA:

This rule change is very important for the future of the class. The change and the explanation have been approved by the Laser Class World Council and the Laser Class Advisory Council. Please do not delay your vote.

For 40 years the ILCA Class Rules and associated agreements concerning the management of the class have given the sailing world the most successful youth and adult racing class in history with over 200,000 boats built and racing in over 125 countries.

This success, we believe, is based fundamentally on the ILCA Class Rules, which requires that a builder of class-legal boats must (among other things) (i) manufacture the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails and battens in strict adherence to the Construction Manual and (ii) have the Laser trademark rights.

In addition, a builder also needs a building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. This provision is mostly historical. The rule was instituted at a time when Bruce Kirby held certain design rights. The ILCA is not a party to any of these “Kirby” agreements.

Unfortunately, a dispute has arisen between parties who claim to be representing Kirby’s interests: a New Zealand company called Global Sailing; and Laser Performance Europe (LPE), one of the manufacturers, which holds the Laser trademark rights for Europe, South America, Africa and Asia (excluding trademark rights owned by Performance Sailcraft Japan for Japan and South Korea). The dispute centers on whether a valid “design rights holder” agreement exists with LPE. Under the current ILCA Class Rules, if there is not a valid building agreement, then a manufacturer, even a trademark owner, would not meet the requirements to be an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and International Laser Class Association (ILCA) approved builder.

Each of the parties to the conflict has threatened ILCA in various ways – Global Sailing has said it may form a new class association for a “Kirby Sailboat”. LPE informed the ILCA that it intends to form its own “Laser” class. We may therefore end up with three different classes and may lose the Olympic status. The “one design / out of the box principle” would also be threatened.

One other possible result of this conflict is that due to uncertainty over ISAF and ILCA approval, there may not be a sufficient quantity of new Laser boats compliant with the ILCA Class Rules available in Europe and other countries in 2011 and beyond to satisfy the demand of its current and future ILCA members.

The class officers made numerous attempts to get the two conflicting parties to end their dispute: meetings were held in different parts of the world and written compromise proposals were made, unfortunately with no success. While discussions between the two parties continue we are unsure of the outcome and running out of time.

We also took legal advice. The above rule changes were deemed the only possible solution in order to promote the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser boats and to maintain ILCA in its current set-up. The lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patents had in fact expired.

 

Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the “building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc” requirement. Manufacturers who have trademark rights and who build in strict adherence to the ILCA Rules and to the Construction Manual, which is controlled by ILCA, will continue to have the right to build Class legal boats. We believe that this change will eliminate uncertainty over ISAF and ILCA approval, give manufacturers continued reasons to support the class and satisfy the demands of current and future class members.

 

Why should you vote YES?

To promote the uninterrupted supply of class-legal Laser boats all over the world to meet the demands of current and future sailors.

To maintain the International Laser Class Association in its current set-up.

To preserve the “one design / out of the box” principle, which is assured by the mandatory adherence to the Laser Construction Manual by all builders as defined in the fundamental rule.

To maintain ISAF recognition and Olympic status.

Heini Wellmann,
Laser Class President

Jeff Martin,
Laser Class World Executive Secretary

200000 Lasers And Counting!

Reposted from the ILCA-NA Website: 200000 Lasers And Counting!

A major milestone is about to be crossed for the venerable Laser: 200,000 boats built since the first back in 1971! To help celebrate this great achievement the International Laser Class Association is partnering with the builders to give YOU an opportunity to win boat number 200000! This will be a complete boat, in the rig of your choice. The requirement are simple, you must be a current member of the Laser Class and you need to know who designed the Laser. For more information go to the ILCA website, or to enter follow this link.