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

 

Sail-World.com : Drama ahead as Fundamental Rule Change approved by Laser Class Members

Drama ahead as Fundamental Rule Change approved by Laser Class Members

'Laser Masters Worlds 2011'    Chuck Lantz ©    Click Here to view large photo

A major sports political development may have ramifications for One Design Dinghy sailiing world wide, with the Laser Class President Heini Wellmann and Class Executive Secretary Jeff Martin announcing that after a vote by International Laser Class membership to change the class rules, they will be applying to ISAF to have that change ratified.

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.

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. (the original designer of the Laser..ed) 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.'

Today, Laser Class President Heini Heini Wellmann and Class Executive Secretary Jeff Martin released the following statement.

Fundamental Rule Change - voting results

International Laser Class Association: results of fundamental rule change voting

After the approval by the World Council and the Advisory Council on March 7th 2011 a change in the fundamental rule of ILCA was submitted to the member for voting on March 23rd 2011 with following explanation:

This rule change if ratified by ISAF will have major affects on One Design classes world-wide.

This rule change proposes to eliminate the 'building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc.' requirement.

Manufacturers who have trademark rights and who build in strict adherence to the ILCA Rules and to the Construction Manual, which is controlled by ILCA, will continue to have the right to build Class legal boats.

Discussions on the different web forums during the 6 months voting period showed that there were some misunderstandings on certain element of the proposed rule change. These were attempted to be clarified by the ILCA President with a statement of 19 September 2011, which was published on the International Class web site and circulated to all National Laser Associations:

In September the ILCA President wrote to the membership world wide 'Under the current ILCA Class Rules a valid builder agreement is required between the 'design rights holder' and the licensed Laser builder.

'Who the owner is of the design rights is unimportant in this context. Since the licence agreement with Laser Performance Europe has been terminated, only a new (or the renewal of the old) licence agreement between the 'design rights holder' and Laser Performance Europe would solve the issue and potentially make the rule change unnecessary.

'ILCA has always preferred a peaceful solution. If all three parties are close to agree on a solution, we will not stay in their way and give them reasonable time to conclude their negotiations on a new licence agreement with Laser Performance Europe.'


Today they reported 'Unfortunately, up until today no new licence agreement between the 'design rights holder' and Laser Performance Europe has been signed or is close to an agreement, nor has the old agreement been confirmed by all parties concerned.

Result of the membership vote:

The voting for the change to the Laser Class Fundamental Rule and other Technical Rule Changes closed at midnight Friday 23 September 2011. Thereafter the votes were verified for membership validity by each District or Region. The results were then audited by an independent audit firm, which reported 1017 ‘yes’ votes (89,3%) and 122 ‘no’ votes (10,7%), showing that over two thirds of the voting members approved the rule change as required by the ILCA Class Rules, part five, article 30(c).

Therefore we will seek the approval of ISAF within the next few days as required by the ILCA Class Rules, part five article 30(d).


Under ILCA rules, the amendments to these Rules shall be approved by each of:

a. the World Council,

b. the Advisory Council,

c. at least two thirds of the membership replying in writing to the International Office of the Class in response to a postal ballot published by the International Office of the Class. Only those postal votes returned to the International Office within six months from the date of publication of the rule change shall be valid, and

d. the ISAF.

However it seems that this may be a much more complex issue than that which the ILCA stated.

To the earlier ILCA statement that ‘Lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patent has in fact expired’ Bruce 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!’

Asked about the pre-vote ILCA statement 'Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the 'building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc' requirement' Kirby said ‘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 succeeding, with the help of ISAF, in setting aside commercial rights that have been in force for 30 or 40 years. Can you imagine what would happen in a legal case?’

This week the ILCA World Council will be meeting, Kirby's last sentence possibly a factor in discussions.

If the material provided by Heini Wellman and Jeff Martin to the ILCA voters was in fact not accurate, as Kirby forcibly suggests then where to from here?

What do Julian Bethwaite, the Johnstones and Bruce Farr think about this development?

It has been alleged by some influential members of the ILCA, not in favour of this rule change, that ISAF has previously let it be known that this change was unlikely to be ratified by ISAF. Now it seems we will discover if this is in fact the situation.

It seems the saga is likely to continue for some time to come.




by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=90118

3:46 AM Sun 30 Oct 2011 GMT






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


News - USA and the World

































































International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,


ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners   
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win   
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC   
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries   
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video   
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh   
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2   
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again   
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible   
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters   
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek   
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton   
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3   


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