What's new

Introducing the New Official Class Sail

torrid

Just sailing
Back in the day when the current sail design was rolled out, was that a common type of sail cloth? Or has it always been an oddball cloth spec?
 

49208

Tentmaker
3.8 was used in Finn mains in the 70's and 80's, but even the specs on cloth for the Finns was geared towards less stretch on the bias. That said it was pretty common for Finn sailors to go thru a couple of sails a year, especially those with Olympic/World aspirations - But those were basically the two classes that were looking for that spec range to work with a bendy/unstayed mast. Once Finns removed the dacron material restriction and moved towards laminates, that left Laser as basically the only "large" consumer of 3.8 with those very "loose" specs. I say "large" with tongue in cheeck because in terms of yardage/meters made, the amount of cloth needed for a year's production of full rig Laser sails is near or at the bottom of the list in the overall production of woven styles
 

jeffers

Active Member
I still don't see it, if you make the size and panel shape regulation and the weight of the Dacron, then they should all be about the same, some may be sown better, but that would only go to longevity.
You would need to trim the sail differently too. I noticed this with the Intensity replica I had which was a heavier weight of cloth. It did last pretty well though.
 

Deimos

Member
That knife cuts both ways. People see someone else winning with X piece of equipment that is much more expensive and assume that is the reason. That's why you have $2000 blades for Optimists.
I still don't see it, if you make the size and panel shape regulation and the weight of the Dacron, then they should all be about the same, some may be sown better, but that would only go to longevity.
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
 

jeffers

Active Member
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
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....
 

Old Dude

Member
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.
 

jeffers

Active Member
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.
 

Old Dude

Member
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.
 
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.
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?
 

torrid

Just sailing
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?
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.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
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.
 
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jeffers

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

jeffers

Active Member
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.
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).
 
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.
 

torrid

Just sailing
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.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
$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 ;)
 

Mrs. P

Member
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.
 
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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?
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Is this Bi-Radial 4.5 oz similar to the ILCA prototype? Wasn't that more like the Laser Radial sail?
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?
 
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jeffers

Active Member
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.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
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.
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...
 

jeffers

Active Member
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...
They are trying to by saying 'we will sell the new sail anyway with or without your approval'.

There will be some who will buy it but I do know if they turn up at my local club they will be told politely that they are not allowed to race as part of the Laser fleet with it (they can of course join the PY fleet).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
The new bi-radial was on display at the Dinghy Show in London this weekend. Looked like in the pictures, though I hadn't noticed that the battens are oriented more horizontally (not at right angles to the leech). The battens themselves are also different than the current ones.

What Phil Peron from LP told me was that the builders (yes, in plural) have approved the sail and it's the ISAF that is holding it back, waiting until the next Olympics are over.
 

Andy B

Member
I am a lightweight sailor and I have one of these training sails. Compared to the MK1 it is awesome. Not faster, it just handles better and is a pleasure to use. The sooner this is approved the better and I would encourage ILCA to phase the release, let club sailors use it now with release to full international competition after the 2016 Olympics.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Good idea but it won't happen.
:(

ISAF has ruled on the issue and that will be the end of the story for more than a year, I am afraid.
 

Tillerman

Member
Good idea but it won't happen.
:(

ISAF has ruled on the issue and that will be the end of the story for more than a year, I am afraid.

Why do you say that Wavedancer? Surely clubs and fleets can choose to allow the new sail in local racing… just as they have been allowing Intensity and APS and Rooster sails etc. etc. for the last few years. Wouldn't it actually be a good thing to use the sail in local racing, get experience with it, give feedback to the sailmakers on any issues, before the bureaucrats at ISAF get round to making it official?
 

Andy B

Member
Well said Tillerman. The Laser still has many advantages over other boats especially if we can introduce some of the upgrades. In the UK some sailors are fed up of waiting and over 300 grass roots sailors who might have bought Lasers have chosen Aero's and D-Zeros instead.If ISAF are delaying matters it would seem there might be advantages in not being affiliated to them.
 

Deimos

Member
Another example as to why being an Olympic class is not good for the class, not good for the massive user base and only suits an elite few at the top for a single competition held only every 4th year.

This is madness.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
No. This is not madness. This is actually how things should be. No joking.

Assuming that LP is telling the truth (and I have no information to suspect otherwise), it means that 1) LP and PSA are finally agreeing and cooperating on something important, and 2) we have a date - give or take a few months - for the launch of the new sail. This is absolutely great! The alternative would be continuing uncertainty. It has been madness up to now, and at last there is a sign that it will be over.

I disagree strongly with anyone who suggests that we should have different equipment on different levels of racing. That's actually a most anti-Laser notion. The strength of the class is exactly that the equipment is the same for novices and champions alike, that is the very root of its global popularity. That is why a huge majority of the world's sailing countries want it to stay Olympic. And if that in turn results in things being done in four-year cycles, fine. Not a big problem. Certainly not "madness".

I can wait another year and a half.
 

Deimos

Member
When I say "this is madness", what I mean is that we have been waiting for ages and ages. It seems everything is ready (and probably has been for some time from reports here, people who have tried it, etc.). Yet we are forced by ISAF to wait for a couple more years just to they can have a few elite sailors have a few races. Meanwhile the vast number of people sailing most weekends have to continue being ripped-off for sails that don't last and are somewhat out-of-date and inadequate. Think of those vast numbers of Laser sailors who will continue to wear out sails on a regular basis and even more people will switch to illegal 3rd party sails. So the majority who sail regularly have to wait even longer just because of the few and their one race series every 4 years !! That is madness. and not in the interests of Laser Sailors nor in the interests of the Laser Class.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Madness has been the lawsuit and (more precisely) everything that led to it, which put the builders on opposing sides. If I've understood it right, it was first LP and later PSA that wouldn't approve the bi-radial, which has been ready for production for something like four years now.

The reason for the extra delay is (as told by the LP representative I talked with) that ISAF isn't convinced that everyone who wants the new sail will get one in time. The builders disagree, and are pushing ILCA to push ISAF for an earlier legalization date. (I would think something like May 2016 would be a good enough compromise.)

Of course, the sooner the better. But as I already said, I can wait.
 

Deimos

Member
... But as I already said, I can wait.
Fine, you can, I can't so despite my exceptionally strong objections to 3rd party gear, looks like this delay will be pushing me down that route ... to join the group of people no longer sailing Lasers.

And all because the ISAF want to protect a few elite sailors for one competition every 4 year who it seems cannot adapt to change (like the rest of us). Class should reject itself from being an Olympic class so we can get on without the elite few dictating and hindering us.
 

Jethro

New Member
I was told by an ILCA representative yesterday that it is still PSA who will not sign the release on the new sail and top section.
Their take on it is that PSA is not going to assist someone they are taking to court, by releasing a new product that LPE could sell.
Believe who you will, but if so it is not ISAF and the Olympics at fault in this case.
 
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