Laser Rule Change - Bruce Kirby says disaster


02 Apr 2011                             If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                    To reply to this email click here

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Laser Rule Change - Bruce Kirby says disaster -news from the U.S. and

This week the International Laser Class Association asked its membership to vote for a fundamental rule change, on the basis that the intellectual property rights had lapsed.

Laser Designer 82 year old Bruce Kirby came out very firmly against explaining the ILCA had their facts wrong. He said there never was any patent or copyright on the Laser, (the general belief is that he should know), but that the design rights were firmly contracted. . It could be that the ILCA might not have been well advised. Apparently at the ILCA World Council meeting it was revealed that ther Class lawyers had never sighted those contracts. Watch this space.

Back to more fun things, one of the more interesting aspects of our sport is the way that culture and geography influence hardware and yacht design. Take, for example, the IC24 class. This homespun Caribbean class originated out of the desire for an affordable, fun, ergonomic raceboat that could be sailed competitively between clubs, islands and now nations. Many IC24s re-start life as junkyard residents who are resurrected and retrofitted with an open, Melges 24-like cockpit, as well as a modified sailplan. The boats remain just as technical as their predecessors, and allow sailors to play at a high level without getting into serious dollars.

Interestingly, they also make great match-racing platforms, as I have seen during the 2011 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival's (March 28-April 3) inaugural Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship (March 30 and 31). The winner of this Grade-Three match-racing event wins an automatic invitation to a Grade-Two match racing event at the Chicago Match Racing Center (CMRC) this August, giving every skipper reason to push hard.

BVI Spring Regatta   BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival

Eight teams squared off in ten flights on Day One in a one-on-one format with an umpire boat trailing closely astern, ensuring that no tomfoolery transpired. Rather than contending with protest rooms, penalties are determined—and resolved—in real time, just like the America's Cup. And rather than worrying about the length of courses, the game here is to rifle through as many races as possible; because of this, the RC sets courses that they believe will take the racers 20 minutes to sail. Betwixt races, crews and skippers relaxed on the change boat (a 46-foot catamaran), where I was fortunate enough to chat with the sailors and hear their thoughts on the race. Given the number of smiles and positive comments, it was obvious that match racing is quickly taking hold here in the islands, much as it has in the States with the creation of the CMRC and the Oakcliff Sailing Center, on Long Island.

According to Mary Anne Ward of the CMRC, sailors debrief post-racing with the judges and the RC, giving them a forum to ask questions and so that they can better understand why certain calls were made on the water. While there's no possibility of redress, the intent, says Ward, is to help elevate all skipper's knowledge of the rules and to help everyone master the subtleties of match racing. The fact that yesterday's debriefing took place near the beach and the bar ensured a relaxed atmosphere and helped set the tone for this great new event.

By the end of the first day of racing, two boats were eliminated. Ace match-racer Peter Holmberg ended Day One in first place; just below him on the leaderboard was an extremely interesting three-way tie for second place between Colin Rathbun, Leo Vasiliev and William Bailey. Day Two end with Holmberg in first place, Bailey in second and Colin Rathbun in third. Congrats to Mr. Holmberg for sailing a great series of races, and for earning a free trip to the Windy City.

Next up for the IC 24 fleet is the BVI Spring Regatta, which kicks off on Friday, April 1 (no fooling around here folks, despite what the calendar might indicate!). Here, sailors will compete in a standard fleet-racing format aimed at producing plenty of windward-leewards, as well as a few other interesting course shapes. Stay tuned for more updates from the BVI Spring Regatta, and be sure to check the for breaking news from sailing's broader world stage.

Virbac-Paprec 3 - Barcelona World Race  Barcelona World Race ©

(N.B., Barcelona World Race leaders Jean Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron, aboard Virbac-Paprec 3, are getting closer and closer to the finishing line of what is quickly proving to be one of the world's greatest ocean races. Count on updates, articles and images before and after the champagne starts flowing in Barcelona.)

May the four winds blow you safely home.

David Schmidt, US Editor

Laser Class major rule change – A disaster says Bruce Kirby
Rob Kothe and the Team,
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. In this interview Kirby gives his view on the ILCA's proposed fundamental rule change and explains why it would be a disaster.... [more]
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BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival - Caribbean photo action
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
40th Anniversary BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival - Photographer Tod VanSickle brings us all the action from the Carribean.... [more]
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Strictly Sail Pacific Exhibit Space 'Sold Out'
Wanda Kenton Smith,
Exhibit space at Strictly Sail Pacific, the west coast's only all-sail boat show slated for April 14 – 17 at Jack London Square in Oakland, CA, is 'sold out,' posting a 20% increase compared with last year's event. 'The show is completely sold out and we've just created a waiting list,' said Strictly Sail Pacific Show Producer and Sail America Executive Director Jonathan Banks.... [more]
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2011 Snipe Pan American Game Trials - A beautiful day of sailing
John Payne,
2011 Snipe Pan American Game Trials kicked off on the waters off Dania Beach, Florida. The day featured three exciting races with a different winner in each. In the first race Raul Rios and crew Marco Teixidor (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) grabbed the favored right side of the race course and never looked back.... [more]
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BVI Spring Regatta - Facing the starters gun
Linda Phillips,
40th Anniversary BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival Fifteen to twenty knots and small seas greeted sailors racing in the protected waters, and classic Caribbean ocean rollers fueled surfing sessions outside of the lee of the islands.... [more]
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Yacht Studio Blokart Racing wins North American blokart Sailing Champs
Ross Vickers,
Yacht Studio Blokart Racing Team wins the North American blokart Sailing Championships 2011, Performance Middle Weight Division and finishes second overall behind current world champion Santi Oliver from Spain.... [more]
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SAP 505 World Championship happy ending - Video
505 Worlds,
An exciting conclusion for yesterday's seventh and final race in the SAP 5O5 World Championship 2011.... [more]
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Wildwind Holidays: Vassiliki Watersports Festival - Wind and Bikinis!
Simon Morgan,
Wildwind Holiday's: Vassiliki Watersports Festival - How often do you get a chance to see exactly what you are doing wrong on the race course and why others get ahead of you?... [more]
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Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre - Women's Match Racing preview
Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre - The Women's Match Racing title brings twenty-four teams from eighteen countries to Palma de Mallorca, Spain to compete. In addition to the individual event title, the teams are competing for the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup 2010-2011 (SWC) title.... [more]
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America's Cup accepts Venezia Challenge
Geronimo Emili,
America's Cup - In a letter addressed to Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria, the Golden Gate Yacht Club has officially accepted the Venezia Challenge into the 34th America's Cup.... [more]
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Barcelona World Race leaders battle forty knots
Barcelona World Race,
Barcelona World Race leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron were not offered an easy passage this time either as they guided Virbac-Paprec 3 back into the Mediterranean early this morning, returning into the teeth of 40 knots of Levant easterly wind, funneling through the passage.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans anything but easy
Velux 5 Oceans,
The Velux 5 Oceans skippers Brad Van Liew and Le Pingouin are finding times are tough. Regardless of their 50-mile lead over the nearest rival they are finding life at the front of the fleet has been anything but easy.... [more]
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Star South American Championship 2011 - Grael and Seifert lead
2011 Star South American Championship. Lars Grael and Ronald Seifert took advantage of the variable wind conditions as they won both of their races. However Grael used his experience by showing his downwind skills to give him a safe lead.... [more]
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America's Cup entries soar, World Series venues announced
America's Cup Media,
With the passing of the entry deadline for the 31st America's Cup passing on the 31st March 2011, event organisers have announced that five more teams have entered and the first venues for the new America's Cup World Series has also been announced.... [more]
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SAP 505 World Championship 2011 win to defending World Champions
Di Pearson,
Wolfgang Hunger and Julien Kleiner (GER), the reigning champions, have taken out the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship.... [more]
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BVI Spring Regatta - Match Racing win to Holmberg
BVI Spring Regatta,
As the match racers were dialing-up, sailors competing in the 21-mile Nanny Cay Cup were easing their sheets and hoisting their off-the-breeze wardrobe. The monohulls also had a hoot, enjoying the primo Caribbean conditions.... [more]
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New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup - Setting the standard
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup - While a light snow decorated daffodils breaking through the ground around New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court, the realization that the 2011 sailing season in the northern hemisphere is not far off has been confirmed by the announcement of two skippers who will lead their yacht club teams in the upcoming Cup.... [more]
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Shingles Bank Sparks Isle Of Wight Ownership / Independence Claims
Isabella de Fortibus 'I've noted the squabbles between the Gurnard Sailing Club and the South West Shingles Yacht Club about some tiny scrap of tidal pebbles off the Needles and have decided it's time to put a stop to all this nonsense... and to stake my legal claim not just to that worthless bit of rubble... [more]
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64th Newport to Ensenada - A fun week of fiesta festivity
Rich Roberts,
64th Newport to Ensenada - There will be a jam packed week of fiesta festivity leading into the 64th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race begins Sunday, April 10, with the Launch Party at the Newport Nautical Museum.... [more]
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USA boat owners need to speak out on EPA Requirements
Calling all USA-based yacht owners: Do you recall the Clean Boating Act of 2008? The bi-partisan federal legislation stopped recreational boats from falling under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit requirements originally targeting 'normal operating discharges' from commercial ships.... [more]
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Convoy of cruising yachts successfully transit Somali pirate zone
Nancy Knudsen,
The Thailand to Turkey Convoy (TTT), led by Rene Tiemessen, rejected for escort by the combined navies, has safely transited the pirate zone around Somalia, which has now spread so wide that vast stretches of the Indian Ocean have been deemed dangerous for cruising sailors.... [more]
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Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race update
Bruce Babiarz,
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club announced today that Bell's Brewery has come aboard as the title sponsor Bayview's Port Huron to Mackinac Race 2011.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans sprint four - Canadian Hatfield leads
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans sprint four is being led by Active House skipper Derek Hatfield, who yesterday reported headwinds of more than 30 knots as he punched his way north up the coast of Brazil. Following his fourth-place finish in ocean sprint three, Derek vowed to up the pace as the Velux 5 Oceans enters its penultimate leg, a 5,700-mile race to Charleston.... [more]
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BVI Spring regatta images by Todd VanSickle,
BVI Spring Regatta 2011 - Caribbean photographer Todd VanSickle has been on the water, doing it tough. Here is a selection of his latest images... [more]
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