Introducing the New Official Class Sail

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    The difficulty with multiple gear manufacturers is that whilst as Cavi says it "makes no difference", so often when people are less successful than they would like, they look for a cause - and blaming different gear is far easier than identifying the real problem (i.e. their own performance). So rather than look to do more training, study tactics, analysing where they went wrong, etc. they decide they need the same brand sails/hull/foils/whatever as a boat higher up the results, often ignoring the old beaten-up boat with the yellowed patched 20 year old sails that actually won the race.

    Ian
     
  2. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    Plus having multiple gear suppliers will inevitable lead to 'supplier X is better than supplier Y' (see the North vs Hyde sail discussions).

    Plus it all gets thrown ut the window when sailor Z shows up, borrows a beaten up old shed of a boat and proceeds to win....
     
  3. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    Are you guys saying its the class association's job to protect fools from themselves? I have to pay more for a sail and everything else from somebody the owns a monopoly, and we don't set a sail or boat spec and open it up to all manufacturers giving us lower prices and more access for more sailors because we have to worry about the fools that can't see its the sailor and not the gear that produces the result.
     
  4. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    The point is Old Dude that having a free sail maker will open up an arms race where each sail maker will work to produce a sail that still measures but that they will claim is better than any others.

    There are a lot of classes over here in the UK where open sailmakers are allowed and whilst all the sails measure there can be several different cuts and styles that suit different sailors. This is not how the Laser class is.

    I agree that for far too long the builders have had things their own way which is why the class now has such a huge issue with replica equipment being in the system (and some of it clearly being counterfeit as you cannot tell it from the genuine article).

    What the class can do about this is limited. remember the class is only part of the story. The rights holder and the builders hold most of the cards, the class is a bit of a puppet in some respects. The new sail has been ready for release a long time now but because all parties can't (or won't) agree it will simply stay there gathering dust. It is the same with the new top section, this is pretty much there but we are unlikely to see it until the mess between BKI and LP is sorted.

    This situation is allowing other new and established national classes to gain a foothold in what has traditionally been Laser territory. A lot of UK clubs that I know of have (rapidly) diminishing Laser fleets in favour of other national classes (the Solo) and new classes (the Devoti D-Zero and RS Aero range).

    People are starting to vote with their feet (and their wallets) and that can only damage the class further in the long run.
     
  5. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    I don't know if I am part of a silent majority or minority, but I disagree.

    I am glad the new sail and spar is not released. I see it as nothing more than a way for the sail makers and builders to extract more money from sailors and make our sport more expensive. The changes will not make the Laser a different boat or more fun to sail or race and I bet you anything it makes buying and racing the boat more - not less - expensive. Everyone tosses around the term SMOD. I don't think Laser truely is SMOD (there are multiple boat manufacturers, they just don't compete due to regional constraints... there are multiple sail manufacturers) and I wish the class would do away with it as the lack of competition raises costs, limits access and hurts the class broadly in my opinion. For the vast majority of sailors racing a Laser ( I agree not so for Worlds/Olympic level sailors) it is a cost and not a benefit. Yes, others will disagree.
     
  6. UK Laser Sailor

    UK Laser Sailor Member

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    Agree with alot of what Jeffers and other are saying. All the class issues including the law suit and sails could/should/will damage the class but one ray of light. Look at the class sign up ratios for Barts Bash http://www.bartsbash.co.uk/. 176 lasers full rigs, 56 radials and 14 4.7's. No other class gets close.

    One sad fact. No laser's signed up from United States for Barts Bash! Is the "sail issue" more of a issue in one part of the world like the US then in others?
     
  7. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I'd like to sail in that, but I don't think my hull would fit in the overhead bin on the plane.

    Realistically, sailing is just dying over here (seems to be healthier in the UK from what I have read). Twenty years ago, CORK in Canada used to have registration numbers like that. In recent years, the numbers look to be way down.

    As far as the sail issue, I don't think people are leaving the class just because of that. Just part of the overall decline in interest in sailing, though the sail issue certainly doesn't help.
     
  8. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Around the world there are thousands of class including a fair percentage that offer everything from open design within certain constraints like the Moth, through to one design with tightly controlled class rules and highly restricted supply chain like the Laser. Rather than changing the class because doesn't suit your requirements, change classes to one that meets your requirements. Honestly, it's pretty simple.

    The strength of the Laser is because it is because it is a tightly controlled one design with a highly restricted supply chain. The ability to purchase a boat or sail off the shelf, which is equal to what the club champion or the world champion has and is a selling point for the class.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  9. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    You can organist an event close to you if you need to. Speak to the guys who are running the show over here I am sure they would be more than happy to get you aboard and help you however they can.
     
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  10. UK Laser Sailor

    UK Laser Sailor Member

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    Jeffers is right, you could get a event running on your side of the pond. Agree, don't think any airline would allow a laser as carry on. If no club taking part near you, come to UK. Am sure the UK sailors on this forum could get you a boat to borrow and bed for the night.
     
  11. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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  12. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    There is a story going around that the UK Europe Olympic girls had to check her hull as hold baggage for the Sydney (or was it Atlanta) games. This was before sailing got a lot more funding due to the success of said girl (Shirley Robertson IIRC).
     
  13. UK Laser Sailor

    UK Laser Sailor Member

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    LPE have started selling (well taking orders) for the new radial cut mark 2 full rig sail. http://shopeu.laserperformance.com/laser-standard-mark-ii-sail/
    But wait, it's only a training sail. I have copied the product description below. This is a interesting move by LPE. From the limited info l had hear about the development of the sail, l didn't think LPE was the driving force. Was it not the ILCA who were developing it with the sail markers hyde?

    Lots of questions are now jumping out!

    What drove LPE to do this? Is it lawsuit related or a fight back against the replica market?
    Where does PSA fit in and will the "training" be available in the PSA regions?
    Does ILCA know about this move?
    If the training sail cost £295 (it's folded) and a folded official sail cost £355 (sale price, was £395) will some dare try and sell the mark 2 once approved at the current price levels?

    Nod to tillerman (propercourse blog) who seems to one of the first to spot the sail on the website.

    Product Description
    LaserPerformance is pleased to announce the availability of the new Laser MK II sail for limited release in January of 2015. This is the sail everyone has been waiting for. The Mark II is more durable due to its bi-radial construction, it is manufactured out of longer lasting 4.5 ounce Dacron cloth with optimized sail patches and the new luff tube design is easier on the upper spars. Although it has not been approved by the Laser Class or ISAF for competition, it is time to put the training sail out in the market for the sailors to train and enjoy.

    While we wait for its approval, with each purchase the consumer will also receive a rebate coupon towards their purchase of a class approved Mark II sail, if and when it becomes available. Coupon will be valued at £50 redeemable through dealer or directly through LaserPerformance. After class approval, the Mark II starburts will revert back to red. Don't miss a great opportunity, order them as soon as you can.
     
  14. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Spend £295 now for a practice sail that you can't race with. If and when it is approved for racing, we'll give you a £50 coupon for an official race sail, the same damn thing, that now costs £695.
     
  15. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    $395 in North America with a $80 coupon for the new class-legal sail, if it ever comes out and LP doesn't go belly up.
    Not a deal, IMHO. One might just as well get one of the other non-legal sails, at a far lesser price.


    Unless of course, you like blue torches; I mean starbursts, on your sail ;)
     
  16. Mrs. P

    Mrs. P Member

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    ILCA seems to be silent on LP's release of this new sail. LP is saying this is the sail we've been waiting for. ILCA had patents recently issue on their new sail design. Did LP just swipe the ILCA patented sail?

    Folks on the SA forum were discussing some time back about whether ILCA was an unincorporated UK association (I believe it is). ILCA (the UK entity) is the holder of the sail patents. An unincorporated UK association can't hold property (a patent is considered personal property) and they can't bring a lawsuit against others (so anyone can infringe their patented inventions and designs without consequence). Is that what just happened? Or is ILCA working with LP behind the scenes and LP just jumped the gun on the announcement?

    The new ILCA organization is a Texas nonprofit corporation (formed in June 2014) but the inventors of the recent sail have assigned their rights to the UK ILCA and not the Texas ILCA. If the UK ILCA can't enter into contracts (being a UK unincorporated association) then can they even enter into a contract to assign their patent rights to the TX nonprofit ILCA which can initiate a lawsuit?

    But if the UK ILCA can't enter into contracts or hold property then would the sail patents automatically revert back to the inventors as the owners and they could bring a lawsuit against LP for infringing their patent?

    Hmmm ... ILCA you might want to run the ownership issue past your IP attorney. Not the one that committed malpractice in telling you that Kirby had a patent on the Laser (or did you make that one up yourselves?) but rather the one involved in your litigation who seems to know what he is doing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  17. inlandfreddy

    inlandfreddy Member

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    With a 4.5 oz. cloth and all those seams wouldn't this Mk II sail be a lot heavier than the presents sail?
    Is this Bi-Radial 4.5 oz similar to the ILCA prototype? Wasn't that more like the Laser Radial sail?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  18. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Just by looking at the pictures, I think it's the same thing. The Radial sail (with the capital R!) "radiates" only from its clew.

    Still, more questions than answers... what does LP mean with "limited release"? How many of these sails are they sitting on? When were they made - years ago? Do the sailmakers have a huge stockpile of them? Did they revert to making "classic" cut Standard sails again at some point, for obvious reasons? Will the original design stay on the market even after the bi-radial is approved (at a lowered price, that might make some sense)?

    Is anyone of you planning to buy one?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  19. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I wouldn't touch one (even if I did still have a Laser).

    LP are bang out of order making this move, all they are trying to do is force the hand of the other parties.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    How is LP forcing the hand of the other parties?
    I just think that a year or so from now, when the dust will have settled around the legal issue(s), this new 'practice' sail will be considered a big (commercial) mistake.
    I certainly won't buy one...
     

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