The head Mum says "Don't Say Nuthin and keep yer big trap shut"

Thread starter #1
From the July 2012 NA Ex-Com meeting minutes:

b. Class communication: reminder from Lauralee that ExCom members should consider keeping comments on any of the forums to a minimum. This also applies to the forwarding of items to the class social media. There is currently a lot of chatter on the forums about the ILCA/builder situation. Hopefully there will be improvement on the amount of public communication on that topic after the Olympics.

I guess this is her view of all of us..



Just sailing
Granted the current mess has more to do with the builders and the ILCA than the national-level class, but this doesn't exactly scream "transparency".


New Member
I don't think being a mushroom would be so bad if being a mushroom would get me a new Laser. Oooops, sorry I shouldn't have mentioned the problems associated with getting a new Laser or even new Laser parts. Please disregard this post and/or forget that you ever read it. Thanks, BLS ("B"oatless "L"aser "S"ailer)

You pay for them. They are there to represent you. It is all meant to be in your interest. The person who wrote the above "Don't say a word" advice should already have been thrown out. The ILCA is an organisation of the members for the members.

How many would be joining the ILCA if it was a secret organisation and you could not find out what was going on and what it was doing ? It's why I left (or rather did not renew) after the farce of the rule change vote. Things can only get worse (or so it seems).

Lauralee should now account for herself and make herself open to membership scrutiny (i.e. stand down and stand for re-election should she so wish - against anybody else who wants to stand).

I am reassured that my decision to leave the class was the right one. I'm a member of other Class Associations for boats I sail, but the ILCA was just too bad and getting worse it seems.

I think we were very fortunate when Tracy Usher was Chairman of the NA Laser Class that he did participate in this forum, and he did a good job keeping us all informed with what was going on with current issues affecting the membership of the class. No doubt there were some things he was aware of that had to be kept confidential, but I for one am grateful that he was as open as he was. In this day and age, many of us expect such openness and transparency from the elected officials of our organizations.

As these minutes also mention, in October there will be an election for the officers serving on the North American Laser Class Executive Committee, including for Tracy's replacement. Nominations, campaigns and voting (by district secretaries) will take place October 1 thru 18th. I hope all candidates, especially those for Chairman, will let us know what their plans are on how they will communicate with members and whether they intend to use this forum as Tracy did.


Super Opinionated and Always Correct
each fleet captain ,district secretary, and member of the executive committees should make it a point to spend at least fifteen minutes a day using the tools of the internet to organize, promote, and generally invite and make it easy for sailors to come play with us. Our hired help ought to spend five or six hours daily making certain our class has the most fabulously visible and useful internet presence of any sailing class ever.
we want everybody to read about how much fun and how easy it is to join that fun.EVERY DAY!!!

The main purpose of the association is to gather and disseminate information about how and where to come play with us.

It's kinda hard to do that while staying off the forums and out of social media.
Well, I don't know Laura Lee but Mr. P does and can't say enough good about her. So perhaps, with a little reading between the lines, there is another message in her statement about the ExComm members use of the forums. Perhaps she is saying that as an ExComm member, they are presumed to be in the know and have a clue and inside information about what's going on behind the scenes at the ILCA. So if the ExComm member, as a representative of the ILCA, speculates or offers an opinion, the mushrooms out here believe that the the ExComm member is speaking on behalf of the ILCA, when really they are just a fellow mushroom.

I, for one, would like to hear from the ExComm members, even if they add a qualifying statement saying they don't know any more than we do and they're not speaking on behalf of the ILCA. Surely, they should be allowed to be both an ExComm member and a Laser sailor and communicate (or is it commiserate) with the their fellow mushrooms.
I have met LauraLee a couple of times and certainly believe that her intentions are good. No doubt there is a lot going on behind the scenes right now and a successful outcome for the Laser Class might be prejudiced if confidential information about ongoing negotiations is leaked prematurely.

However, as a longtime class member, I would like to know more than I do about what is happening. I always felt that Tracy managed to tread that line between keeping us informed when he could, and keeping stuff confidential when it was necessary. That's a difficult balance. A lot harder than just imposing a blanket ban on all communications to members.

I look forward to seeing a new generation of class leadership who can strike that balance as well as Tracy did.


Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Laura Lee seems to me to be a wonderful person...period.

As I near the end of my sixth decade on the planet, I have yet to encounter a situation where, with respect to ANYTHING having to do with sailboats, someone who was un willing to share information with me, was later confirmed to have had that which I considered to be a credible reason for refusing to share that information.

The very best cure for the spreading sickness unsubstantied rumors is the truth.
I don't think our Association (ILCA) has done its job to keep us informed, and this has allowed all sorts of speculation to flourish. I'm not suggesting that sensitive information relating to negotiations be disclosed or leaked, but please, just let us know what is going on and what they are doing to save our Class! They are hardly promoting the class by giving everyone (both members and the sailing world) the impression they are sitting on their hands doing nothing.
I mean, *really* ... It's a little, fairly inexpensive sailboat. Why is there not total transparency ???
Seriously, there are a lot of things that don't need to be passed around prematurely or even at all. Particularly when you think about how riled up everyone gets over every rumor.

Think of it like sausage, you probably don't need to know everything that actually goes into making it to enjoy it. In fact, you probably will enjoy it more if you don't know absolutely everything that goes into it.
Seriously, there are a lot of things that don't need to be passed around prematurely or even at all. Particularly when you think about how riled up everyone gets over every rumor.

Think of it like sausage, you probably don't need to know everything that actually goes into making it to enjoy it. In fact, you probably will enjoy it more if you don't know absolutely everything that goes into it.
It is a difficult balance and I agree with you with regard to sausages. However, Laser sailors are suffering not being able to get spare parts (or even new boats according to some reports), struggling having to buy overpriced sails that last no time (if you can get them), etc. 3rd party illegal parts are becoming increasingly widespread meaning the class is not longer what I consider "strict one design". All this (and probably many other factors) is badly damaging the class. People are already concerned and do have a right to know what exactly is going on.

And often providing information can stem the spread and escalation of rumours. The ongoing debate about what is happening with the builders is far from helping the class. If people knew (even if it was bad news) then at least they would know where they stand. Plus, when you release "bad news" you also state what is being done. So hypothetically you announce that the bailer bung manufacturer is stopping production. But you also state that a negotiations with a new supplier are well advanced and whilst there may be short term supply problems, they will be quickly resolved when new suppliers are online. Thus all rumours stop because people know. They also know there will soon be a solution and everybody is happy.



Former ISAF Laser Measurer
People are seriously mixing up organisations. The ILCA which Tracy now heads, is a completely different identity to the Laser builders. Why LP, PSE, PSA or even PSJ would be openly discussing their financial situation with the ILCA, financial discussions generally only involve the business, the bank and maybe the Tax Department, for commercial reasons. Anything discussed with other parties would be in strict confidence. Certainly it helps the ILCA if they do know what's happening with the builders, but if they can't keep under wraps what is told to them in confidence, then the builders won't discuss any further issues with them and that is probably a great loss going ahead for the ILCA than a single short term gain for the grass root sailers.

North American / European Laser Sailors not being able to get parts locally, disappointing as it is, is not really an issue for the ILCA, btw plenty of parts here in oz. Quality of the sails is an issue for the ILCA because they control the specs in combination with the ISAF and the builders, however the ILCA has no imput into the prices set by the builders, they might be representing us, but all they can do is jump up and down just like us. 3rd party parts are an issue for both the builders from the loss of sales, but for the ILCA t is only a measurement issue.
Let me see if I have this straight. LP can use the name LASER and the starburst logo but they aren't authorized by the ILCA to build the boat. PSA can build the boat and use the trademarks but can't sell in LP's markets (where LP can use the name but not make the boat). Seems like more of a class issue and not a builder issue. Why can't the ILCA just authorize PSA to make bunches of stickers that say "Kirby" or "ILCA" or "Un-LASER" and have PSA slap them on top of the Laser and starburst trademarks so that they can ship to all the places where LP is holding the market hostage and we can all just move on down the road. Everyone that has a "sticker" boat or part will know it's from an authorized builder that can't use the Laser trademark in that market but the product remains the same and the class remains one design. Why can't it be that simple?

And why can't the ILCA just say 'we'd like to hear your suggestions' or 'we have everything under control'? That alone would be better than what we now have.

And as for any "speculated upon" confidentiality obligations that the ILCA might have with LP ... just look what LP did with the US college sailing to see the pitfalls with keeping negotiations confidential.

But seriously, who gives a flip about the LASER trademark. A well built boat from PSA that is clearly marked "THIS IS NOT AN LP LASER" can't possibly be an infringement and these days, I'd buy that boat over an LP Laser any day of the week. I'd even pay extra for the in your face name.