sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Breaking News: Laser Class – Contracts signed and Kirby is back

Breaking News: Laser Class – Contracts signed and Kirby is back

'Are smoother waters expected for the Laser Class now the Old Master is back in town?'    Chuck Lantz ©    Click Here to view large photo

Breaking News - Bruce Kirby has now taken back the Laser Design rights. The ink is drying on the contract returning the Laser design rights to the 82 year old Laser designer.

He has just advised 'I signed the contract this morning. The design rights have reverted to me. I am hoping now that the ILCA will drop the whole idea of a rule change, and I will be taking steps immediately to get the confusion over builders and builders' plaques straightened away. I have confidence that I will have class and ISAF support with this.

'It's been a long drawn out hassle, but the door is now wide open for the class and builders to come together for the benefit of all concerned, and especially Laser sailors worldwide.'

A Global Sailing representative in Auckland has just confirmed a few minutes ago to Sail-World by phone that the contract has been signed at both ends and the contract has been finalised.

Back to some history...

Since its launch at the New York Boat Show in 1971, over 200,000 Lasers have been sold. The strength of the class comes from its rigid one design rules that designer Bruce Kirby approved 40 years ago.

Early this year the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) asked its membership to immediately vote YES on a fundamental rule change, probably the most important one in the history of the class. It would have a major change on the class structure. Six months ago Bruce Kirby gave his view on the ILCA's proposed fundamental rule change and explained why it would be a disaster.

In a document distributed to ILCA members worldwide the Laser Class Association amongst the arguments for voting Yes said – ‘a builder also needs a building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. This provision is mostly historical. The rule was instituted at a time when Bruce Kirby held certain design rights. The ILCA is not a party to any of these 'Kirby' agreements.

‘We also took legal advice. We understand this is the only possible solution in order to promote the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser boats and to maintain ILCA in its current set-up. The lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patents had in fact expired.

‘Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the 'building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc' requirement.

The deadline for all votes is 23rd September 2011. PLEASE DO NOT DELAY YOUR VOTE


However soon after that, it rapidly became clear that this was a much more complex issue than that which the ILCA stated.

Bruce Kirby at the Bitter End Racing Pro Am 2006  Neil Rabinowitz   Click Here to view large photo
Back when this happened we decided to talk to Bruce Kirby. ‘Two and a half years ago, I sold my rights to the New Zealanders, the Spencer families’ Global Sailing. I am 82 as you know, and this move was what you would call estate planning.

‘The Spencers have been building Lasers through Performance Sailcraft Australasia for umpteen years. I simply figured the Spencers had the good of the class in mind - far more so than anyone else that was on the horizon - and that they would do the best job in looking after the class and promoting it and enhancing it.

‘Now it would appear that Laser Performance Europe doesn’t want to recognize the fact that this transfer has taken place. It is really weird because they paid the royalties to Global Sailing for two years as they were supposed to do, and then all of a sudden they stopped doing that.

What was his response to the ILCA statement ‘Lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patent has in fact expired.’

Kirby responded. ‘That’s total bull s--t! There never were any patents. You can't patent a sail boat design. These were contracts, legitimate contracts drawn up by lawyers and there is no suggestion that I had a patent on the boat. These were long term contracts that were renewable every so many years. No-one’s ever questioned them so I don’t know what lawyer they found that suggested this course of action. It’s crazy!’

The ILCA document continues 'Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the 'building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc' requirement.'

Kirby was firm on that suggestion. ‘If this rule change was to come into play, it would be a disaster - to suddenly expose all designers who want to have international Class boats to a major legal precedent.

‘Just imagine that with the 49er, the J Boats, the Farr designs, all kinds of people, all kinds of designers.

‘Imagine an International Class voting to set aside commercial rights that have been in force for 30 or 40 years. Can you imagine what would happen in a legal case?

Now the need to vote seems to have evaporated with breaking news from Bruce Kirby on the evening of September 22nd in New England.

As recent written advice from ISAF to the ILCA had according to informed sources, already rejected the proposed rule changes, the confirmation that Kirby is now seeking to bring the parties together, will it seems remove any argument that the ILCA has a role to play in this matter.

Public confirmation or otherwise by the ILCA of the receipt of this advice from ISAF has been sought by numbers of players, but at this time there has been no response.

More news as it comes to hand.




by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World.com Team

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=88802

9:33 PM Thu 22 Sep 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

22 Oct 2013  Another week of the PSA New Laser and Rig Deal
15 Oct 2013  Great Laser boat and rig deal for the next two weeks
29 Sep 2013  Laser World Championships - Star studded entries confirmed
10 Aug 2013  Now more news on the foiling Laser
22 Feb 2013  Western Australia Laser Dinghy Championship 2013 - Crowded competition
14 Feb 2013  NB Sailsports and PSA End of Season Sale 23 / 24 Feb
23 Dec 2012  Laser Nationals 2012 - World’s No 1 heads fleet in Hobart
03 Jul 2012  Laser Radial Youth Championships Day 4 - The battles continue
02 Jul 2012  Laser Radial Youth World Championships 2012 – Day 3
30 Jun 2012  Laser Radial Youth Worlds 2012 day 2 - Not enough knots
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

































America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


































ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1   
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams   
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top   
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base   
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!   
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT