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Mackay Boats

Lasers in court battle, Osaka race underway, Sail Townsville launched

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 18 Mar 2013
Not sure you need a caption for this! - Club Marine Series Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
This week’s big news is that Bruce Kirby, the legendary designer of the Laser, is headed back to court with LaserPerformance, the UK and US Laser builder, over a rights issue (Kirby’s lawsuit also names the International Laser Class Association [ILCA] and the International Sailing Federation [ISAF]). This cases has lots of ramifications world-wide and down under, as the Australasian builder Performance Sail Craft is highly regarded on the world stage.

We've looked at some 18 documents some 143 pages in all before writing our feature piece. The 84 year old designer is suing for default of contract as well as counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, inducement to default on contract, and right of publicity under federal and state law.' More, inside, including some bold comments from both LaserPerformance and the ILCA and a more cautious reaction from ISAF.


The 5,500 nautical mile Melbourne to Osaka Race, first held in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Osaka, Japan is run every four years to celebrate the City of Melbourne and the City of Osaka Sister City and Sister Port relationship.

The race features staggered starts to try and ensure the boats arrive as close as possible together in Osaka. The first start off Portsea Pier was today, there were two yachts on the start line, the Osaka Yacht Club entry, Yasuyuki Nakji´s 40 footer Southern Cross and Robert Bradley´s Farr 38 Escapade. Sail-world has traditionally provided the most detailed coverage of this event. We will do our best to keep this record intact.

In a series constituting numerous races held over seven event days from November to March, you almost have to factor it in. Add to that the Club Marine Series’ location on Melbourne’s Port Phillip, and also the sheer weight of precedence with the previous six rounds being sunny, warm and totally hospitable, then it was effectively a lay down misère that this final outing was bound to be blowy, wet and almost a tad miserable. Spectacular scenes from the weekend and wonderul words from John Curnow, as you´d expect.


This August-September, Queensland’s newest major event, Sail Townsville will be held in North Queensland. Sail Townsville, a first of its kind ten day International Sailing Regatta and Festival, was officially launched last week.

The Sail-World team has been heavily involved in the keystone event, Magnetic Island Race Week for the last six years and that will continue in 2013.



The next next big event on the Australian calendar is Sail Port Stephens which incorporates the NSW IRC State titles and the Elliott 7 Nationals. It starts on April 15th. We will be there with bells on. Have you registered yet?

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