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New Laser Class

Horizon

Member
It doesn’t say this is run by LP, but it looks like what they tried to do with Sunfish. And the only approved builder is LP. www.thelaserclass.com

On LP's Facebook page, it says they support it:



It would be interesting if anyone is going to the Dinghy Show (in London) this weekend to find out more from the LP stand about this and the new "The Laser Class"
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Oh my, what a mess :eek: There's so much to go through here, but I am not in the mood for writing a long post now...

The good news is that this is more than likely going to go the "Torch" and "ISCO" route: World Sailing has in the past stood firmly with existing class associations.

The worst news may be that there will be "Lasers" and "ILCAs" with the same sail number :confused:

(And of course LP is "supporting" this - it's the real reason why they haven't made the deal with ILCA.)

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
It's insane. At this point it's nothing but an loosely outlined idea on a document. Ready, fire, aim....
 

jmp

New Member
I'm not convinced TLC is independent of the builders and 100% for the sailors, my feel is it's a front for LP similar to the ISCO they setup which World Sailing rejected. I'm sure it's not a co-incidence the domains are all managed by the parent companies preferred supplier:

thelaserclass.JPG
 

NickolasG

Member
It's ridiculous. But that's what "The Laser Class" intends to do: to give their own plaques to LP, starting from number 217250.

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Now it gets really scary. My mate just bought one ILCA with s/n 2178XX
I can’t imagine seeing 2 boats with same s/n’s
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Now it gets really scary. My mate just bought one ILCA with s/n 2178XX
I can’t imagine seeing 2 boats with same s/n’s
Apparently LP is running #'s beginning in the 300,000 range now. However, these boats are not the WS recognized "Laser or ILCA" as there is no plaque. These boats can not be sailed in WS or ILCA recognized OD events under Laser or ILCA branding.
 

Dennis Connor

New Member
I'm not convinced TLC is independent of the builders and 100% for the sailors, my feel is it's a front for LP similar to the ISCO they setup which World Sailing rejected.

View attachment 36496
From what I have heard, those in the know say LP came up with the idea for a new class, then approached Heini to lead it. The website and LP imply it’s the other way around, but LP has often been thought to use alternate facts.

My additional perspective is LP failed with ISCO when they tried to replace ISCA, so this time they are trying to be an additional class association instead of replacing ILCA.
 

Horizon

Member
It's ridiculous. But that's what "The Laser Class" intends to do: to give their own plaques to LP, starting from number 217250.
I hope they are starting "The Laser Class" plaques at 217251 - or else a little known sailor called Robert Scheidt will find himself with a twin out there.....!!!!!

Robert Scheidt collecting his new Laser 217250 a.jpg

Robert Scheidt collecting his new Laser 217250 b .jpg

(I don't know how to link to individual Facebook posts, but if you go to Negrinautica, you can find it here


It looks like by either design or pure serendipity, Robert Scheidt has ended up with the last ever class legal Laser dinghy produced by LPE.

Seriously though, I think The Laser Class are starting numbering their plaques from 217251, but these will still clash with PSA and LPJ numbered boats - what a ludicrous situation!

By doing a freeze frame towards the end of the video here:


you can see that the number being applied is 217251 but in The Laser Class FAQs, they do say that numbers below 217250 were the last with WS palques, so it is a bit ambiguous.

The Laser Class plaque 217251 .jpg

It looked like LPE started numbering their "Club Lasers" at 300000 and so any Club Laser owners will have to apply for and pay for a "The Laser Class" plaque if they want to sail legally in "The Laser Class" events. I can't find anything yet which says how much these plaques will be. Nor does the LP website make it clear what sort of boat they are selling!

Sailing Chandlery-com Club Laser.jpg
Unfortunately, I think this could end up differently to the ISCO Sunfish class that LPE tried to introduce if The Laser Class can get the backing of EurILCA - which it may well do, but they just haven't openly said so - yet.

I imagine that there is a lot of urgent paddling going on beneath the surface at ILCA whilst they try to resolve this situation for the best of all but most importantly, those of us who love and sail Lasers.
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
this could end up differently to the ISCO Sunfish class that LPE tried to introduce if The Laser Class can get the backing of EurILCA - which it may well do, but they just haven't openly said so - yet.
Of the people "officially" involved in "The Laser Class", Beat Heinz seems to be the only one in the EurILCA executive board (master coordinator). (The ILCA website lists Macrino Macri as vice chair, but EurIlCA itself doesn't.) Heini himself is still, at least theoretically, a member of the ILCA World Council.

But I don't see how World Sailing would recognize TLC no matter what EurILCA says. And the latter has very little choice if it wants to stay true to its name. You can't sit on two chairs at once.

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Horizon

Member
But I don't see how World Sailing would recognize TLC no matter what EurILCA says. And the latter has very little choice if it wants to stay true to its name. You can't sit on two chairs at once.
I agree, but given everything that is going on at the moment, sadly, I wouldn't rule anything out!
 

jmp

New Member
LP can't sell the "Laser" world-wide through dealers unless they get agreement for the use of the starburst and laser name in the regions PSA and PSJ have the trademark... Given LP don't want to accept current PSA and PSJ boats into their TLC class, I expect LP will have some challenges getting their new class approved by World Sailing
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
ILCA response: "It is unfortunate that the company who does control this trademark in certain parts of the world has yet to accept the offer to be an approved builder and build boats in compliance with the ILCA Class Rules. Instead it seems that, with the support of some individuals in Europe who appear unwilling to wait for new approved builders to get up to speed, they are attempting to start a rival organization with the express intent to undermine ILCA and its sailors."

Laser Class Update – ILCA Looking to the Future – International Laser Class Association

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In answer to the above ILCA response, I am one of those ILCA sailors and I will try to formulate carefully the concerns of the European Master Sailors:

  1. We believe in the introduction of new equipment to solve problems, but it should go very slow in order to make sure that older Lasers do not suddenly become obsolete. Sailors will stop sailing the laser when their boat suddenly becomes much slower than new boats. This will have a big impact on the number of competitors of the club races and national championships in the different countries and at the end also for the European and World championships.
  2. The cost price of the boat and equipment should be a fare price. This price is based on the margin of the builders and de ILCA royalties.
    1. We are not against new builders (as that could mean lower prices), as long as ILCA is able to make sure they build in accordance with the strict One Design and not making the older boats suddenly obsolete (see point 1).
    2. The ILCA royalties is something ILCA can decide. The question her is, does ILCA really need to get so much money out of the boat and equipment sales and the ILCA events?
  3. We are very much in favour of the Olympics, but if this is the reason that the older boats become obsolete, and the amateur laser sailors stop sailing, then we should forget about it. Afterall the Olympic sailors are a very small group and do not necessarily need to compete in a Laser in order to become Olympic champion. On top of that, I have not seen many classes benefit from being an Olympic class.

So the bottom line is: the ILCA management should make sure the laser is and will be what it was originally designed for, an affordable boat (Strict One Design) for everybody and not only for the happy few. We do not believe that the current ILCA management is going in that direction with the new ILCA class rules. There fore we propose a new democratic voting system where every ILCA sailor will have a vote and not only one vote per Laser district.

I hope this gives a better understanding what drives the European Laser sailors.
 

jmp

New Member
In answer to the above ILCA response, I am one of those ILCA sailors and I will try to formulate carefully the concerns of the European Master Sailors:

  1. We believe in the introduction of new equipment to solve problems, but it should go very slow in order to make sure that older Lasers do not suddenly become obsolete. Sailors will stop sailing the laser when their boat suddenly becomes much slower than new boats. This will have a big impact on the number of competitors of the club races and national championships in the different countries and at the end also for the European and World championships.
  2. The cost price of the boat and equipment should be a fare price. This price is based on the margin of the builders and de ILCA royalties.
    1. We are not against new builders (as that could mean lower prices), as long as ILCA is able to make sure they build in accordance with the strict One Design and not making the older boats suddenly obsolete (see point 1).
    2. The ILCA royalties is something ILCA can decide. The question her is, does ILCA really need to get so much money out of the boat and equipment sales and the ILCA events?
  3. We are very much in favour of the Olympics, but if this is the reason that the older boats become obsolete, and the amateur laser sailors stop sailing, then we should forget about it. Afterall the Olympic sailors are a very small group and do not necessarily need to compete in a Laser in order to become Olympic champion. On top of that, I have not seen many classes benefit from being an Olympic class.

So the bottom line is: the ILCA management should make sure the laser is and will be what it was originally designed for, an affordable boat (Strict One Design) for everybody and not only for the happy few. We do not believe that the current ILCA management is going in that direction with the new ILCA class rules. There fore we propose a new democratic voting system where every ILCA sailor will have a vote and not only one vote per Laser district.

I hope this gives a better understanding what drives the European Laser sailors.
What spec of boat do you propose to revert to? pre-turbo? pre carbon upper? pre mark II sail? pre 3.8Oz cloth? All of those things make the boat better value for money in my opinion and did not require an all-member vote. No longer having top sections snap and destroy a sail, MKII sails that last a lot longer than the old 3.8, turbo vang system that lets sailors from a broader weight/strength range sail the boat more effectively/safely.

As a laser sailor, I'm a massive fan of all those things and I'm comfortable that my regional ILCA rep is actively involved in the class and communicates well. The ILCA financials are published and I'm comfortable with those things too. Would I like to see things be cheaper? Of course! And I'm confident with more builders able to sell in all regions the market competition will come into play.

It was nice seeing the recent change of North being able to sell sails direct resulted in a ~$100 reduction in price for the radial and 4.7 and I'm eagerly awaiting to get my hands on a carbon radial lower and not being stuck with short-lifespan alloy lowers that permanently bend in a decent breeze
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I will try to formulate carefully the concerns of the European Master Sailors
I am a European Master. I don't quite share your concerns and I strongly disapprove of your methods. Please don't speak for me.

We believe in the introduction of new equipment to solve problems, but it should go very slow in order to make sure that older Lasers do not suddenly become obsolete.
How slow is "very" slow? The current plan (pandemics notwithstanding) is to have all the new builders up and running by late 2021. What if I want a new boat now?

We are not against new builders (as that could mean lower prices), as long as ILCA is able to make sure they build in accordance with the strict One Design and not making the older boats suddenly obsolete
That's exactly what ILCA is doing. What's the problem here?

the ILCA management should make sure the laser is and will be what it was originally designed for, an affordable boat (Strict One Design) for everybody and not only for the happy few. We do not believe that the current ILCA management is going in that direction with the new ILCA class rules.
What do you mean with "new" class rules? The last change was to not require builders to be trademark owners anymore. What is your "belief" really based on?

we propose a new democratic voting system where every ILCA sailor will have a vote and not only one vote per Laser district.
What is that supposed to mean? That's how it is, and has been for decades. One member, one vote.

I hope this gives a better understanding what drives the European Laser sailors.
It doesn't. Your arguments are very weak and definitely don't warrant the existence of a fake class association. Which looks totally like a LaserPerformance-driven thing, but we can talk about that later...

And one more time: please don't claim that your views and actions are somehow "European". Don't include people like me in your "we".

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
In answer to the above ILCA response, I am one of those ILCA sailors and I will try to formulate carefully the concerns of the European Master Sailors:

  1. We believe in the introduction of new equipment to solve problems, but it should go very slow in order to make sure that older Lasers do not suddenly become obsolete. Sailors will stop sailing the laser when their boat suddenly becomes much slower than new boats. This will have a big impact on the number of competitors of the club races and national championships in the different countries and at the end also for the European and World championships.
  2. The cost price of the boat and equipment should be a fare price. This price is based on the margin of the builders and de ILCA royalties.
    1. We are not against new builders (as that could mean lower prices), as long as ILCA is able to make sure they build in accordance with the strict One Design and not making the older boats suddenly obsolete (see point 1).
    2. The ILCA royalties is something ILCA can decide. The question her is, does ILCA really need to get so much money out of the boat and equipment sales and the ILCA events?
  3. We are very much in favour of the Olympics, but if this is the reason that the older boats become obsolete, and the amateur laser sailors stop sailing, then we should forget about it. Afterall the Olympic sailors are a very small group and do not necessarily need to compete in a Laser in order to become Olympic champion. On top of that, I have not seen many classes benefit from being an Olympic class.

So the bottom line is: the ILCA management should make sure the laser is and will be what it was originally designed for, an affordable boat (Strict One Design) for everybody and not only for the happy few. We do not believe that the current ILCA management is going in that direction with the new ILCA class rules. There fore we propose a new democratic voting system where every ILCA sailor will have a vote and not only one vote per Laser district.

I hope this gives a better understanding what drives the European Laser sailors.
Can you be specific regarding changes with "New" class rules? Also, outside of the C series sail development, (which has seemed to shut down since everything went a little sideways) what other concerning developments are being made to disrupt the OD aspects of the boat?

Regarding fees- It's my understanding the bulk of the fees are related to WS and the Olympic Class status. Yes, the class will get a portion as well, but it's needed to properly support the class as dues alone do not cover what the class supports.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
From my prospective the Europeans pushing for the split are just like the Brits who pushed to leave the EU. The perceived loss of power in controlling everything (just like the rest of us deal with) leads to a dummy spit. The Brits are coming to the realisation the leaving the EU might not have been the smartest move and leaving the ILCA might also be a bad move as well. Ask yourselves, will splitting from the ILCA make it better or worse, if you want to compete at a Masters World Championships, you will still need to join the ILCA, you will need to purchase class legal equipment (anything produced or supplied by LP will be illegal). Time for a bit of maturity and a bit of reality check that the world is actually bigger than Europe.
 

Andy B

Member
Ask yourselves, will splitting from the ILCA make it better or worse, if you want to compete at a Masters World Championships, you will still need to join the ILCA
Alternatively you may be able to sail in TheLaserClass Masters World Championships and if the ILCA boats are to the same one design they might be allowed to participate too. This could be an open event, as they always used to be, leading to more inclusive participation.

Has to be better than the UKLA system of only allowing the chosen few who sailed in selection regattas to attend Masters Events which has destroyed UK Masters International participation and was not helped when ILCA refused to intervene and introduce a World Wide qualification system similar to the excellent one in the USA.

It is many little instances similar this which have resulted in falling membership in the UK, club sailors see no value in spending $50 on membership, the membership becomes dominated by the elite who have to be members to compete and who then take the association along their preferred path (Janis Groupthink).

As Alan D said it is similar to Brexit where MSM and the Establishment were advocating Remain but a recent election involving all voters supported the Leave party.

Imagine if we had a vote on the way forward where the ILCA position had to be endorsed by everyone who owned a Laser, it might be a very different outcome!
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Alternatively you may be able to sail in TheLaserClass Masters World Championships and if the ILCA boats are to the same one design they might be allowed to participate too. This could be an open event, as they always used to be, leading to more inclusive participation.

Has to be better than the UKLA system of only allowing the chosen few who sailed in selection regattas to attend Masters Events which has destroyed UK Masters International participation and was not helped when ILCA refused to intervene and introduce a World Wide qualification system similar to the excellent one in the USA.

It is many little instances similar this which have resulted in falling membership in the UK, club sailors see no value in spending $50 on membership, the membership becomes dominated by the elite who have to be members to compete and who then take the association along their preferred path (Janis Groupthink).

As Alan D said it is similar to Brexit where MSM and the Establishment were advocating Remain but a recent election involving all voters supported the Leave party.

Imagine if we had a vote on the way forward where the ILCA position had to be endorsed by everyone who owned a Laser, it might be a very different outcome!
I think your issue is with the UKLA rather than the ILCA.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Alternatively you may be able to sail in TheLaserClass Masters World Championships and if the ILCA boats are to the same one design they might be allowed to participate too. This could be an open event, as they always used to be, leading to more inclusive participation.
There is no way LP and TLC will let ILCAs sail with LP Lasers. Their whole idea is to be the monopoly mfr of TLC Lasers. They said they will consider licensing other builders, but ILCA mfrs are not going to want to support TLC, and visa versa.

As an American Laser sailor I am thrilled that LP got the boot and we hopefully we have access to parts and boats once some ILCA mfrs get approved. ILCA sails are already cheaper.
 
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Andy B

Member
I think your issue is with the UKLA rather than the ILCA.
No ILCA. ILCA introduced the requirement for association ranking but gave no guidance on how it should be achieved and National Associations were left to invent their own rules. ILCA should have issued a framework with core objectives.

It is ILCA which is driving the class towards elitism at the expense of the club sailor in it's quest for Olympic Status. The UKLA is only following.

It is ILCA who appear to have failed to ensure all boats are strict one design by allowing one manufacturer to make subtle changes to hull construction which only came to light when another constructor dissected a hull.

As an American Laser sailor I am thrilled that LP got the boot and we hopefully we have access to parts and boats once some ILCA mfrs get approved. ILCA sails are already cheaper.
You are very lucky. Here in the UK I bought LP Radial sails last season for £300 in the end of year sale. Same local supplier and this year the list price is £500 discounted to £450. A 50% increase.

I made the point in another thread that the Laser Carbon spars are more expensive than the Aero spars despite the fact they have no track and no machined joint. Now the List price of a Laser sail is between £50 and £100 (difference depends on which rigs you need) more expensive than an Aero sail.

ILCA might have secured the 2024 Olympics but by 2028 it might be very different if the Aero continues to be lower cost, and, offer the advantages of a modern rig. Remember the Aero was the recommended choice of the technical panel for 2024.

In the long term ILCA might just have engineered everything they were trying to avoid and killed the Laser at both Olympic and club level at the same time.

It almost seems as if ILCA is trying to squeeze a low cost volume supplier out of the market by some of its actions, although, I accept LPE is not faultless in this matter.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
There is no way LP and TLC will let ILCAs sail with LP Lasers. Their whole idea is to be the monopoly mfr of TLC Lasers. They said they will consider licensing other builders, but ILCA mfrs are not going to want to support TLC, and visa versa.

As an American Laser sailor I am thrilled that LP got the boot and we hopefully we have access to parts and boats once some ILCA mfrs get approved. ILCA sails are already cheaper.
If you look hard enough you can find ILCA boats in the US right now. There are also some class approved LP boats at West Coast Sailing. Parts are still an issue...
No ILCA. ILCA introduced the requirement for association ranking but gave no guidance on how it should be achieved and National Associations were left to invent their own rules. ILCA should have issued a framework with core objectives.

It is ILCA which is driving the class towards elitism at the expense of the club sailor in it's quest for Olympic Status. The UKLA is only following.

It is ILCA who appear to have failed to ensure all boats are strict one design by allowing one manufacturer to make subtle changes to hull construction which only came to light when another constructor dissected a hull.


You are very lucky. Here in the UK I bought LP Radial sails last season for £300 in the end of year sale. Same local supplier and this year the list price is £500 discounted to £450. A 50% increase.

I made the point in another thread that the Laser Carbon spars are more expensive than the Aero spars despite the fact they have no track and no machined joint. Now the List price of a Laser sail is between £50 and £100 (difference depends on which rigs you need) more expensive than an Aero sail.

ILCA might have secured the 2024 Olympics but by 2028 it might be very different if the Aero continues to be lower cost, and, offer the advantages of a modern rig. Remember the Aero was the recommended choice of the technical panel for 2024.

In the long term ILCA might just have engineered everything they were trying to avoid and killed the Laser at both Olympic and club level at the same time.

It almost seems as if ILCA is trying to squeeze a low cost volume supplier out of the market by some of its actions, although, I accept LPE is not faultless in this matter.
In the US the Aero is only $50 less expensive than a fully equipped ILCA boat from PSA. The PSA boats come with the carbon spars, tillers/extension, dolly and a boat cover.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Andy, I don't understand what you're trying to say about your country's ranking and selection systems, and I think it's a bit off topic. I'll just add that as far as I know, ILCA isn't requiring my national class association to do anything we wouldn't do anyway.

But this one has to be shot down (again), as it seems to be a central reason of existence for "The Laser Class":
It is ILCA who appear to have failed to ensure all boats are strict one design by allowing one manufacturer to make subtle changes to hull construction which only came to light when another constructor dissected a hull.
No. ILCA did - as I've understood it - the exact opposite: solved the problem by having all builders add the two small pieces of fibreglass cloth that this was all about. (The fact that LP still indirectly through "TLC" uses this as a weapon against ILCA despite, allegedly, suggesting the solution themselves in the first place and being quiet about it for years, tells something of the LP mindset.)

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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I am not in a position to state that the above is 100% accurate since it was written from a PSA perspective. But for LP to use the addition of some glass cloth by PSA to reinforce what was a weak point as an argument to pester PSA has always appeared silly to me.
 

jmp

New Member
There's folks reading this thread that have access to the world council minutes and reports, so could verify if they really wanted to get involved
 

Andy B

Member
Beldar was right
There is no way LP and TLC will let ILCAs sail with LP Lasers. Their whole idea is to be the monopoly mfr of TLC Lasers. They said they will consider licensing other builders, but ILCA mfrs are not going to want to support TLC, and visa versa.
UKLA have announced they will not allow boats without plaques to compete and that current LPE boats do therefore not comply. I wonder if LPE will continue to sponsor the UK National Events.
 

Horizon

Member
I think it is good that one national class association has given clarity to its members as to what is allowable at their events.

Although, their statement did raise a couple of questions:

I know they are probably not exporting out of their area, but aren't Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ) still accredited manufacturers? They are still listed on the ILCA website as such

Point 3 does make it seem as though you must have a sail with a sail button on it. Or am I misreading it. However, my reading of the class rules is that older (pre-button) sails are still perfectly legal. As the owner of a couple of unused sails purchased new from the manufacturer in the 90s - I certainly hope so!

I wonder how long LP and Maclaren will stay as official suppliers for WS. Still listed as such.
I think that as World Sailing has furloughed most of its staff for the time being, keeping its website up to date in these areas will be a long way down its list. And it may also depend on whether there are still any outstanding contracts of supply for LPE to supply boats for WS events.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
aren't Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ) still accredited manufacturers?
Yes, but they're a pretty small builder (fewer than 100 boats in a "normal" year), and have probably been quite busy with building boats not only for the Olympics but other major regattas in Japan which were scheduled for this year. Although (and maybe even because of) this has all changed for well-known reasons, they're likely not thinking about exporting anything for a while. Therefore it's not hugely inaccurate to list PSA as the de facto only builder now. The same goes for not mentioning ancient buttonless but legal sails... I mean, no one really races with 30-year-old rags, right? :rolleyes:

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