2011 Rule Changes - Fundamental Rule

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by 154537, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    I strongly disagree that PSA/GS, the management and owners are not interested in making the class better.

    For starters, Chris is also a person who competes in lasers. From my discussions with him in the past, his production staff and Chris himself are qualified boat builders or in the process of gaining those qualifications, many of whom sail. Chris was employed because of the expertise he brought with him from much more high tech boat building. His staff are not just some bloke that has been employed to lay fibreglass as if it's a bathtub as with LP’s production staff. Chris from my understanding has been pushing for improvements in the way which the other factories around the world produce their boats, whilst still remaining within the methods and procedures contained within the builders manual and this includes staff exchanges between the factories so that we all get a better product. Note the Australian build boats are considered better by many than the ones built elsewhere. On top of this, the factory is present at most of the larger events with spares, accessories, charter boats etc and are regular sponsors of regattas or at least provide products for raffle or prizes. The Spencer family who own PSA & GS have been involved in the class for an extremely long time, I suspect they actually set up the original Australian factory back in the mid 70's (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Essentially the only product PSA makes is the original Laser which is supplied into a very small market in our region (i.e. Aust, NZ and a few pacific nations), we don’t have Laser 3000 etc in Australia, it’s in PSA best interest to support the class and make the best possible product and keep the class as strong as possible.

    Now look at the ILCA, who really are the members of the class association. Have we done the class harm by not only rejecting replica gear? Have we let people compete in the class using replica gear or turned a blind eye to it? Replica gear is only in the market because someone's buying it and using it, one can to somewhat understand sails but mast plugs, battens, rudders & centreboards etc? When the class became Olympic, we handed much of the control of our destination to ISAF, every 2 years they dictate where the worlds are to be held, despite that I don’t see many hosts which would be considered third world Australia, Canada, Croatia, France, Italy, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK and USA even Brasil, South Africa and Thailand are far from being third world countries despite their social / economic problems. Was the ILCA working in our best interest when they gave control of the class to ISAF and does ISAF always have the Laser Class best interests in all their decision making.

    Don’t get me wrong, PSA does get things wrong and they have spent many hours correcting issues in bulk (radial bottom sections, hiking straps, Centreboards etc) so I doubt they look forward to me looking at their product. They now make a very good product albeit relatively expensive, but to say they (and GS) don’t have any interest in making the class better is completely wrong.
     
  2. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I would expect GS to really want the class to do well because the better the class does, the more money they will make. Of course companies are driven by profits not philanthropic motives, but ignoring the "extremes", more successful class=more boats=more profit.

    But the strange question is, why have the ILCA failed to provide any additional information. They must have loads more details (because they could never have responsible proposed the changes based on just what they have published). So big outcry calling for more info and we are just ignored. And that must in itself prompt the question "who are the class officers answerable to ?" because it does not appear to be them membership.

    Ian
     
  3. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Fully agree with you Ian on both points.
     
  4. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Anybody read the 2011 handbook??

    Would you be bothered if the rule change upon which the class website says we have until September 23 to cast a vote is already published as effective January 1, 2011??

    If somebody made this up you wouldn't believe the story.
     
  5. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    gouv, here is the related page that I just directly scanned out of the new 2011 Laser Handbook (I got it a few weeks ago).
    Interesting is: The text as printed here in the 2011 Laser Handbook for the "Definition of a Builder" is in some words not the same as it is printed in the "Laser World" 2011 March issue! In the text of the 2011 Handbook the first sentence differs from that what at the Laser Word, page 5, is pubished as to be the original valid text. And now?????!!!!????
    (Addition: In another TLF-thread at the TLF News Section gouv hints to differences between the original rules text at the fundamental rule related to "Definition of a Builder" compared to the 2011 and 2010 Laser Handbook. In the Laser World March 2011 issue is written for the original valid rules text the version like of the 2010 Laser Handbook. This makes the confusion perfect to me... I am sure this mistakes have no influence to the in future valid 2012 rules version but it is a matter of "doing your exercises correct" to pubilsh the actual correct valid versions at the 2011 Laser handbook and Laser World Magazine of March 2011.)


    Cheers from GER to you all and have all successful weekend races on your Laser (as long it still is called "a Laser" ;) )

    LooserLu
    P.S.: Directly Mr. Wesley W. Whitmyer, Jr. of St. Onge Steward Johnson & Reens, LLC, I 'm not afraid of YOU (and your here secretly viewing staff)... never!! Greetings of Europe, hahaha!!
     

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  6. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Me thinks I was wrong to join the class. For ages I did not (having been very unimpressed with the Class Association in the country I lived at the time). But I believe in supporting the class associations (you play the sport so you should support the sport, etc.). Clearly I threw my money down the drain as it seems the class officers have no interest in the membership. Everybody wanted more information, it was said there will be a Q&A and still nothing. People have been pressured into VOTE[ing] NOW based on what may be incomplete information yet they have voted and their votes still stand and still it seems the class officers have "left the planet".

    Even a statement that along the lines "we are collecting more information and statements from the all interested parties ... and will publish by <date>" would help. But silence. I cannot see myself renewing my membership.

    (Was planing to sell the Laser this season (I was going to switch to a Solo) but I'm giving it another year but it seems just completely disorganised and these officers are spending our money).

    Ian
     
  7. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    It's actually even more weird than gouvernail implies. The wording of Definition of Builder published in the 2011 Handbook is neither the wording in the old 2010 Rules or that in the proposed new rule. It is a third version.

    The old rule says that a builder must have "a building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. to build the Laser"

    The proposed new rule deletes the quoted words entirely.

    But the version in the 2011 handbook replaces the words in quotes with a requirement that a builder must have "a building agreement from the design rights holder. to build the Laser". (That unnecessary period after "holder" really is there in the text in the handbook.)

    Can someone please explain why this change was made?
     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Publication and explanations go with the act of admitting errors and asking for forgiveness and for making plans to correct errors and installation of policies to prevent future errors.

    Silence is a tool for those who are strealthfully participating in fraud and deceit.
     
  9. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    However, ‘gouv’, for me, in my own opinion: the ILCA's voting on to change the F.R. in the moment completely is "extraneous" / "irrelevant". The only laws that in this issue are valid, are the so called "int. trade laws". That there is no added information of the so called "out of the box boat"-builders or "ILCA's" int. class office or members of the board of the int. class (ILCA) is definitely cased by the lawyers. Anyway, there are still some 10.000's of active sailors on this globe that still and in future will sail their own or club owned "Laser"(C)/(TM) Dinghy. Nothing will change this, in future. The actual issue only is an issue between the so called "out of the box boat"-builders (or their related holding companies ->"business is war", as the Japanese managers always secretly say). There is nothing to make us, the many thousand common Laserites to be afraid of. Perhaps, and the likelihood is low, for the Olympics only there will be a change for the boat, but who of us here at TLF is really a professional athlete that still is on his/her successful way to join the 2012 or 2016 Olympic Games... hm?? You may vote "no" or "yes" or what ever... Not you decide of the future of the "LASER" but a lawsuit between LP and PSA (or Gavel Securities vs. Global Sailing) based on the int. trade laws.

    Hike hard and stay wet! And:

    Cheers from GER to you all and have all successful weekend races on your Laser (as long it still is called "a Laser" )

    LooserLu
    P.S.: Directly Mr. Wesley W. Whitmyer, Jr. of St. Onge Steward Johnson & Reens, LLC, I 'm not afraid of YOU (and your here secretly viewing staff)... never!! Greetings of Europe, hahaha!!
     
  10. magnum

    magnum New Member

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    The class is only strong because it is a strict one design class, no out of the box builders, only builders that for the good of the class built identical boats so your boat has a $ worth long into the future. The international Laser class measurer actually travelled to the factories and witnessed the boat being constructed to ensure the class was identical.

    Now that aside, it absolutely amazes me that you people are considering handing over all power and the value of your investment to someone you have never met, never spoken to and never heard of prior to this event.

    As mentioned previously the ILCA is you, you elect member to you local region, then to the national body then to your regional body. These are people who sail the boats, who do this as a volunteer, because they love the boat like you.

    Who are you to think that the ILCA is reading posts on here!!?? If you have an issue, or require something to be explained further write to them.

    Finally, Chris Caldecoat however well placed his intentions is not Global Sailing, he is an employee of PSA. Someone who could be gone tomorrow.

    The reasoning of some of the posts here is mind numbing.
     
  11. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    As is yours. What the hell are you trying to tell us?? Which way would you vote and why?? Or would you like the vote to be about some other available options??


    Personally?? I would have the class change itself from a pawn of the builders to an organization fiuunded by the 15,000 of us who would like to be able to buy a high quality playtoy.

    The class is perfectly capable of certifying builders and, as the design rights are now non- existent, we no nonger need to tie the 15,000 of us to any of those who are currently in the business of building our toys.

    If I had my way, the class would assemble a group of us who are capable of inspecting and certifying potential builders and open the contest for our business up to the world market.

    Simply put:

    The class can offer three year renewable contracts and protected supply regions to any buiilder who our oversight comittee believes can best supply our needs.

    The ONLY restriction against doing that is the Laser trademark issue. The game would have to be renamed while we wait for the trademarked name laser to become worthless as an intellectual property.

    So what!!!

    We can call our boats Poop Pots for all I care. The builders lost my loyalty when they got caught siphoning off $400 per sail just to pass them though their Laser trademarked hands.

    Does Walmart want to market our official ILCA toys?? We all know Walmart could sell toys ust like our lasers for under $1000 and things like our plastic gudgeons could be on the shelves for $1.99 a pair.... with screws included.

    The Stockholm Syndrome has gone far enough and hurt us for long enough.

    .
     
  12. WhiteRock

    WhiteRock New Member

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  13. Dr._Loser

    Dr._Loser From 3# World

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    I wolud like to read a letter of the authorities ( Heini and/or Jeff ) to the Laserites in the next issue of the magazine Laser World.

    NOT BLA BLA BLA BLA.....this is what we know.......................

    We are speaking about contracts, trademark laws , Euros, Dollars, Yens. Pounds............. and who remembers the laserites???

    Are they ( Heini & Jeff ) the owners of the ILCA ?........it seems to me.


    HEINI, HURRY UP !!!!!.............October 21st is the end of the world !!!!!!

    Link:
    http://9point.li9r.com/2011/05/date-for-end-of-world-has-changed-its.html
     
  14. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    I would like to read a response on the Laser Forum today from Heini and/or Jeff to the many issues about this rule change that have been raised here.

    I would like to read on the Laser Forum today the "Q&A page to help answer questions people are asking" that Tracy Usher said on April 1 that ILCA was "hoping to put together" and that he hoped would be available by "next week" (i.e. 6 weeks ago.)

    I would like to read on the Laser Forum, over the next few weeks, an open, frank and honest exchange about this rule change between the officers of ILCA and the interested members of ILCA, like myself.

    Is that too much to ask?
     
  15. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    In the June Sail magazine is a piece on the issue titled "Laser Fracas" (attached). The last paragraph says:

    "ILCA officials declined to comment on record, saying the text on the class web site explains its position in full."

    It looks like further information will not be forthcoming.
     

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  16. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    These guys spent $100,000 of Laser Class money on a lawsuit without getting the class members' opinion first. Now they want to ram their selection through with no discussion. I'm angry. They are behaving as dictators, but of course, they only have our good in mind and they love the class more than anyone else. Give me a break! People are going to vote with their feet.
     
  17. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    I have been trying to approach this issue with some respect for our elected leadership and appointed staff, on the assumption (which I still think is true) that they are acting in what they perceive to be the best interests of the class and the members. But if it really is true that the ILCA officers believe that "the text on the class web site explains (the ILCA) position in full," then I guess I will just have to vote NO to the rule change. The current statement on the website doesn't convince me of the need for a rule change - not to mention that it still includes one crucial statement that Bruce Kirby has said is untrue.

    I am not going to vote until September. I could still be convinced to vote YES if our officers would answer our questions and explain the case for the rule change more completely.
     
  18. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    I did not know there was a lawsuit either in progress or planned, can you give more details? Also, I have not been told that the legal bill was in the 6 figure range. Admittedly, the last accounting I saw was at the last World Council meeting this past February where it was still in the range of 4 figures, though by now I'm sure its passed into the 5 figure range. From my point of view, given that ILCA's annual budget on the order of $500,000, it would seem to be in line given the seriousness of the situation (and, as well, one of the reasons to have the surplus that ILCA has maintained over the years).

    Anyway, having said the above, I am also disappointed that ILCA chose, in the end, to not directly address questions further. I generally believe that more information is always better than less information, when its possible to give accurate information and not just speculate. However, I can't say that if I were in their position, with the advice given them, I might not come to the same conclusion they did.

    What I don't understand is why some people want to direct their anger at ILCA. Two companies have a conflict which they appear unable to resolve after many months (years?) of dispute. The situation has reached a critical point and in very short order the factory that builds over 60% of the Lasers sold each year (and whose parent company is responsible for something like 85-90% of world production) will have to stop building boats. Instead of resolving the conflict the warring parties have tried to place ILCA squarely in the middle (successfully it would seem). To try to prevent the conflict from affecting the game of Laser sailing the ILCA proposes a rule change which will allow approved builders to continue building boats. Since the builders (apparently, by other articles that have appeared online) have contracts with the IP rights holder, the warring parties can continue to work to resolve their conflict - presumably through the legal system - while we continue to go sailing. Why is ILCA the bad guy here? Would you prefer ILCA do nothing and simply wait for the end of Laser sailing as we know it?

    Also, ILCA will not be capable of answering all the questions raised here, they would only be able to speculate. For example, why did LPE stop paying royalties? Remember that LPE has been owned by the same person for some dozen years now, why the sudden decision to stop payments after a decade of making them? One could speculate on all sorts of reasons, ranging from a bad hangover to balking at proposed changes by the IP rights holder. However, these are questions for LPE and/or Global Sailing - and good luck getting the real story on that one. We are just never going to know who the real bad guy was here.

    One could also ask why this entire issue has not been resolved through legal means a long time ago. After all, we have read a nice article where Bruce Kirby pointed out that there were contracts between the IP rights holder and the builders and one might think that a violation of the contract would result in a lawsuit between the parties (e.g. look at Samsung and Apple going at each other right now). Since ILCA is not priviliged to these contracts, they can do no more than speculate (as I'm doing here) on them. But one has to wonder why,if these contracts and/or rights are so powerful, this whole thing wasn't settled a very long time ago.

    Final thought: maybe I'm misunderstanding, by why would one presume that those with a vested financial interest in the outcome, and who are not active Laser sailors, be more benevolent than a retired businessman who actively races a Laser and who volunteers a considerable amount of his time to the ILCA?
     
  19. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    ILCA has consulted lawyers using class funds. We (the membership) effectively "own" the class. Thus we "own" the legal advice. Thus, that advice should be made available to the membership (as it belongs to us).

    Personally I am quite disgusted with the Class. Took me a long time to join but I will be leaving a lot quicker. I was going to switch to the Solo this year but I do love Laser sailing so decided to give it another year - but with organisation like this ... I think I will be joining the FIFA as by comparison it seems a transparent and open organisation accountable to its membership and prepared to ... (at least in comparison to the ILCA).

    Do those people running the class think they own the class. They seem to act as though they have been handed a dictatorship.

    How easy is it to initiate a vote of no confidence in the Class Officers - as it seems this might be the only way to establish what is really behind this vote. I am now totally convinced that there is far more to this than we are being told and the only explanations for further information not being provided are because such information would jeopardise the vote from going the way the class officers want.

    Like others, as things stand I will be voting NO - if only because the Class Officers have convinced me they are hiding lots of stuff and are failing to even recognise that the membership s relevant.

    Ian
     
  20. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Because the iLCA is meant to be accountable to the membership - yet choses to ignore them, to behave as though only they know what is best for the class and fail to provide adequate details for anybody to make an informed decision. There are important questions that they should provide further information on - yet just ignore everybody. Not good attitude to membership. I will be leaving the class association come next subscription renewal.

    Yet the ILCA lawyers (who also have not seen these contracts apparently claim that they are ineffective. So how come they know so much about those contracts The lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patents had in fact expired. So why can't we see that legal advice. How come they know things the class has no access to ? These are valid questions and deserve an answer as those answers are very relevant to the validity of the action the class is proposing.


    If anybody thinks Global Sailing will just walk away with a shrug of their shoulders when the ILCA decides to exclude them from royalties they spent a large amount of money purchasing the rights to - then those people are exceptionally naive about business. The ILCA is opening a massive can of worms with themselves in the middle and potentially getting themselves mixed-up is massive court actions over an extended period. And even if found clear, such actions will cost the membership vast amounts of legal fees. Of course, information available to the Class Officers but not provided to the membership might suggest other outcomes - but ho can we make an informed decision without even knowing if that information even exists, let alone what that information is ?

    Ian
     

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