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A new class of dinghy?

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fab100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 18 at 4:28pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

 
The Kirby Torch was Bruce Kirby's failed attempt to reclaim the Laser design he sold for 2.6 million back in 2008. I don't know what his train of thought was but the court gave him pretty short shrift when they threw the case out in 2016.

Which always seemed wrong to me, given (IIR) he only took that step because he'd not received his design royalties from LPE for several years.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 18 at 7:24pm
I don't believe the Torch was ever a real thing.

The rights and wrongs of the court case were never very clear to me, but the way it panned out seemed more like who could game the US court system better than anything resembling justice.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 18 at 7:32pm
It's worth reading the precise of the judgement, the royalties had been paid and refused then paid into escrow until the proper rights holder was established. My first thoughts were that BK had been very badly done by but reading more suggests it was mostly of his own making. However I have no inside information so could be way off beam.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 18 at 6:37pm
Originally posted by JimC

I don't believe the Torch was ever a real thing.

The rights and wrongs of the court case were never very clear to me, but the way it panned out seemed more like who could game the US court system better than anything resembling justice.


It must have been... I even bought a t-shirt!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 18 at 7:22pm
I have done umpteen searches, no evidence at all that any 'Lasers' were renamed 'Kirby Torch'
I have found approximately 4 images, one of these is a young lad with his birthday cake with the 'Torch' emblem on it. Their was a lot of excitement amongst Canadian sailors who believed 'Torch' was coming 'HOME' all north American 'Torches' were going to be built in Canada the spiritual home of the 'Torch', their words not mine.
Perhaps if Bruce Kirby was younger he would probably have the drive to have carried this through, but looking at all the evidence available using 'Google' it appears to have been an alternative future.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 18 at 8:46pm
I don't know what went between BK and the other parties before 2008 but once he sold the rights how could he possibly think he had any chance in the court case? I suspect he was either very badly advised or was past making rational judgements WRT the 'Kirby Sailboat'. I'm not a Laser fan (more because I've never liked the way the class was managed rather than anything intrinsically wrong with the boat) but it's very sad that BK should have felt he had to take the action he did.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 09 Oct 18 at 8:47pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 18 at 3:15am
Originally posted by RossV

 Sailing has always had the "blast the details, I'd rather be on the water! Crowd." It has also had many, probably more than it's share, of deep thinkers and practical people. The heavy emphasis on SMODs has worked against that latter group.

There's an enormous number of deep thinkers in all classes and types. The success of guys like Ainslie, Goodison and Slingsby in classes like AC boats, Finns and Stars indicates that those who spent a lot of their time in SMODs can move into development classes with great success, while the number of people from classes like Lasers who have postgrad qualifications in sports science subjects indicates that there's no lack of thinking there.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 18 at 3:26am
Originally posted by RossV

my point was that dinghy sailing has declined here in Australia and, from reading the reports, in the UK. This decline has coincided with the era of SMODs.

What do you base that claim and conclusion on? I can't find any clear data on overall numbers, and I've compiled a huge database of class national titles and other information going back over 60+ years.

Arguably, SMODS and strict one designs have saved the sport. It's not like my parent's days anymore - fewer people work in manual jobs, fewer people have the space to build a boat, and fewer people have the time or the need. In addition, arguably a carbon boat is less fun to build, and rigs, fittings and foils are more expensive.

How many people build their own Moths these days? I'd be surprised if there is a single Moth being built at home in Oz at the moment. The number of traditional ODs being built is also way down.

Without the SMODs, we'd arguably have almost no clubs left. Sailors aren't ignorant, they buy SMODs because they are the logical boat for most of them. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RossV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 18 at 12:41am
Originally posted by Chris 249


Originally posted by RossV

my point was that dinghy sailing has declined here in Australia and, from reading the reports, in the UK. This decline has coincided with the era of SMODs.

What do you base that claim and conclusion on? I can't find any clear data on overall numbers, and I've compiled a huge database of class national titles and other information going back over 60+ years.
Arguably, SMODS and strict one designs have saved the sport. It's not like my parent's days anymore - fewer people work in manual jobs, fewer people have the space to build a boat, and fewer people have the time or the need. In addition, arguably a carbon boat is less fun to build, and rigs, fittings and foils are more expensive.
How many people build their own Moths these days? I'd be surprised if there is a single Moth being built at home in Oz at the moment. The number of traditional ODs being built is also way down.
Without the SMODs, we'd arguably have almost no clubs left. Sailors aren't ignorant, they buy SMODs because they are the logical boat for most of them.


Chris, thank you for your expansive reply. On the subject of numbers, in Australian sailing participation seems to plod along at about 60,000 (Australian Sailing seems to keep their data pretty close to their collective chest). In comparison membership of the premier shooting body in Australia almost doubled since 2000. Given population growth, sailing is going backwards. As to the UK, David Henshall's piece on this website "Snakes" sums up the situation better than I ever could. And that leaves out the aging of the leadership cohorts...

To be clear, I have never sought to exclude SMODs. I have questioned their predominance. Why? Because of precisely the things I would seek to achieve if I was running RS or Laser Industries. I would seek to create a closed ecosystem just as in computing Apple, Google and (formerly) M**rosoft do. They try and retain users within their grip. Sailors in such an ecosystem are channelled through predefined pathways and every penny or cent is kept within that profit centre, new centreboards, mast sections, sail and fittings, all feed the machine.

Non SMOD boats sustain our independent sail and spar makers, not to mention the fittings industry. While they may ultimately service big boats and larger budgets the entrepreneurial start-ups need to start with smaller customers, dinghy sailors. There are many ways of coming into sailing, perhaps the most common is to inherit the role. That is not enough. We need other pathways into sailing and reasons to take up and stick with the sport. In this era, the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate skills and tenacity can be seen as a pathway into employment or further study. This can be a potent form of outreach to non sailors, particularly, it can get sailing into schools but doesn't fit with the SMOD ethos.

In other words, "we can walk and chew gum," SMODs and traditional classes can enrich each other - if there is balance. As a final point on jobs, according to the BIA (Boating Industry of Australia) there are 30,000 jobs in the industry. That compares with 50,000 in coal mining. A significant industry?

Prepare for Australia
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 18 at 8:32am
Interested by the SMOD/Trad class debate. When choosing a boat it has never entered my thoughts whether it was SMOD or Trad or WHY, I chose the boats that suited me at the time, boats that fitted the need, were in budget (which was/is always tight) but above all boats that I wanted to own.
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