Progress Towards Laser Olympic 2024 Agreements

On May 19th the World Sailing Council voted to retain the Laser and Laser Radial Class boats as equipment for the Men’s and Women’s One-Person Dinghy events for the 2024 Olympics.

Full approval for the 2024 Games is now contingent on the relevant parties agreeing to the terms of the Olympic Classes Contract by August 1, 2019.

Included in this new Olympic Classes Contract is a requirement that if the boat or equipment is protected by patents, trademarks (as Laser is) or other intellectual property, the owner of the IP rights is required to grant a license to any qualified new manufacturer on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (known as ‘FRAND’).

Only Performance Sailcraft Australia and Performance Sailcraft Japan have so far agreed to the terms of the new World Sailing FRAND policy. Laser Performance Europe and its relevant trademark holder to date have not accepted the specific terms of World Sailing’s FRAND policy. LPE makes around 80% of the Lasers in the World and holds the trade mark name Laser and the Laser star burst logo everywhere in the World except Oceania, Japan and South Korea so its agreement is critical.

World Sailing is leading discussions with ILCA and the builders with the goal of obtaining agreement on the Olympic Classes Contract and implementing a FRAND compliant licensing policy before August 1, 2019.

Obtaining agreement with the current builders, the IP rights holders will allow the class to continue under the LASER brand name.

In case these discussions do not obtain the necessary agreement by the deadline date ILCA is working on Plan B exploring other available options to ensure that we retain Olympic status. These include putting forward a rule change vote to allow class legal equipment to be sold under an alternative brand.

There is a good description HERE by ILCA President Tracy Usher covering the issues and ILCA action on Plan A and what will be needed for Plan B. Either course of action if implemented by August 1, 2019 would see the Laser retained in the Olympics in 2024.

There is more information and background in a post on the ILCA web site HERE.


2020 Australian Laser Championships

The 2020 Australian Laser Championships will be held on Port Phillip, Sandringham, Victoria 1-8 January 2020. This is an open event for Standard, Radial and 4.7 Laser rigs. In February, 3 World Championships will be conducted at the same venue.

The 2020 Oceania and Australian Laser Masters Championships will be held on Corio Bay, Geelong, Victoria 13-18 March 2020 immediately preceding the 2020 ILCA Laser Masters World Championships at the same venue. This is a Masters (35 years +) event for Standard, Radial and 4.7 Laser rigs.

You can download the Laser2020 App to your phone for all news update, race documents, competitor lists, results, weather and much more.

Also you can get all the information race documents and enter from the updated web site for the events HERE.

There is a Gold Sponsorship offer for the event open until the end of July 2019. You can see the details on the flyer HERE.

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Women’s Regatta 28-29 September DBSC Sydney

Have you ever been part of a Women’s ONLY Laser Event that includes coaching AND racing and a whole lot more? Double Bay Sailing Club hosts a unique event just for women and girls sailing Lasers.

This is a sailing regatta run by womencoached by women and sailed in by women and girls on the wonderful waters of Sydney Harbour!

SAVE THE DATE – 28-29 September 2019

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! After the success of the 2018 event – The Women’s Laser Regatta hosted by Double Bay Sailing Club has locked in a date for 2019 and the regatta team are in full swing, planning the most amazing weekend of sailing (and a few other fun things),  for you!

The flyer with more information and contacts is HERE.

WomenPlease register your interest (no payment required as yet) by filling in the EOI form HERE.


World Sailing Retains Laser for Paris 2024 Olympics

World Sailing Council meeting in London on Sunday 19th May decided to retain the Laser as the Olympic one person dinghy equipment for 2024 Paris Olympics.

The previous day the World Sailing Equipment Committee had met, also in London, and voted to recommend to the World Sailing Council that the RS Aero be selected for Paris 2024 Olympics. Their voting was 9 for Aero, 3 for Laser and no votes for either the D-Zero or Melges 14. This followed tenders from 8 classes of boat and sea trials and detail evaluation of four (Laser, Aero, D-Zero and Melges 14) by an Evaluation Panel. The Evaluation Panel’s report HERE concluded that the Aero and Laser were suitable Olympic equipment but it scored the Aero higher on most of its criteria.

The recommendation from the Equipment Committee was rejected by the 19th May World Council meeting and so the process moved to a ballot where World Council Members cast votes on the four boats. The results of these votes were;

Men’s Dinghy 36 for Laser 5 for Aero and none for D-Zero and Melges 14
Women’s Dinghy 37 for Laser 4 for Aero and none for D-Zero and Melges 14

The International Laser Class Association on 20 May said the following;

“The vote was an important milestone but is not the end of the process. All contractual agreements must be successfully concluded by 1 August or the council will select new Equipment. ILCA has been working to ensure that the class is able to implement World Sailing’s FRAND compliance policy, which is a requirement for Olympic Equipment.

ILCA is looking forward to a scheduled meeting later this week with representatives of World Sailing, Performance Sailcraft Australia, Performance Sailcraft Japan, and LaserPerformance to look for ways we can move forward together for the benefit of sailors and the sport worldwide.”

More information is on the World Sailing website HERE.


South Pacific Laser Masters RQYS 12-15 July

The SPLM is on again at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Manly between 12th and 15th July.

This is always a great winter event and a chance to escape to the warmer, beautiful one day perfect the next, Queensland weather. There will be charter boats available so you can be a fly in – fly out Laser sailor.

The Notice of Race for the event is HERE.

Entries can be placed online HERE.

Entry prior to 5 July $195 and $245 if later.

The event is preceded by a Laser Forum on Thursday evening 11 July at the club.

The flyer for the event is HERE.


Class Olympic Selection

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is working very hard to ensure that the Laser is retained as the men’s and women’s single-handed dinghy class for the Olympics for 2024 and beyond.

As a part of World Sailing’s (WS) evaluation process for the Olympic equipment selection sea trials were held last month in Valencia Spain between the Laser and three other nominated designs (Devoti D-Zero, RS Aero and Melges 14).

A new and now mandatory requirement by WS for Olympic equipment is that there must be a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) competition in its supply. This new WS arrangement required ILCA to negotiate with the class builders and have them agree to it.

Local Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) and Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ) have agreed and all new ILCA appointed class builders will also have to agree to the FRAND arrangements. It was essential that ILCA meet WS’s FRAND conditions for the boat to be considered for Olympic retention.

A decision on the Olympic equipment is scheduled to be made by World Sailing at their meeting in mid-May. ILCA are optimistic about the outcome, however at this stage neither the timing or the outcome is certain.


ILCA Class Name Change

On 25th April the ILCA issued a press release detailing the earlier signalled name change for the Laser.

Why the Change?

There has been dispute and friction between the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) and the largest licensed Laser builder UK based Laser Performance Europe (LPE). Many attempts to resolve the dispute by negotiation have failed.

LPE makes around 80% of the Lasers in the World and holds the trade mark name Laser and the Laser star burst logo everywhere in the World except Oceania, Japan and South Korea.

On 27 March 2019 ILCA announced HERE that it was removing LPE as an approved builder and was negotiating with several companies interested in being added to the approved builders Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) and Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ).

ILCA said that it took this action because LPE breeched the Builders Construction Manual Agreement by refusing to allow ILCA to inspect and audit their production facility. This audit process is to ensure compliance with the strict one design policy of the Laser class.

ILCA took this step in full knowledge that LPE owned the rights to the Laser name and Laser starburst logo and that a consequence rebranding of the class would be needed. ILCA subsequently announced this rebranding in a press release on 25th April HERE

What Happens Now?

ILCA will seek member approval of the name and logo change. If it is approved it will be sent to World Sailing for formal approval. The process and the reasons for it are outlined in more detail on the ILCA web site HERE.

From now boats will be supplied from PSA, PSJ and new builders with the name ILCA Dinghy and the ILCA logo in place of Laser and the Laser starburst.

All existing Laser class legal boats and equipment will remain legal and we will see some new ILCA branded gear come on to the water over the next few months.

Because LPE does not hold the Laser trademark in Australia we can continue to use the Laser name and logo. In due course it is expected that we would change our naming and documentation to reflect the new ILCA brand. We are fortunate that we can make the changes at our convenience and when it is clearer what the landscape will look like in the new ILCA Dinghy land.

Until new builders come on stream PSA is ramping up production from levels already elevated due to the upcoming busy event schedule in Victoria in 2020. As we recommended last month HERE, if you are planning to get a new boat for next season then you need to place a reservation with your dealer.


World Championships Ranking

This is a reminder on ranking for World Championships. The original post on this site July 23 2018 HERE outlined the ranking events for 2019 and 2020 World Championships in accordance with the ALCA Ranking Policy and explained the reasons for these.

The summary of this is;

Non Masters

2019 World Championships – ranking by results in 2019 Australian and Oceania Championships (Devonport).

2020 World Open Men’s Standard, Women’s Radial and Men’s Radial Worlds February 2020 Sandringham also ranked by results in 2019 Australian and Oceania Championships (Devonport).

2020 All other World Championship events held in northern hemisphere summer 2020 – ranking by results in 2020 Australian Championships (January 2020 Sandringham).

Masters

2019 Masters World Championships Port Zélande Netherlands September 2019 ranking events, each with 100 points are 2017 World Masters (Croatia), 2018 World Masters (Ireland), 2018 National Masters (Mooloolaba), 2019 National Masters (Devonport), 2017/18 Season State Masters (Various Venues) and 2018/19 Season State Masters (Various Venues).

2020 Masters World Championships Geelong March 2020 ranking events, each with 100 points will be 2018 World Masters (Ireland), 2019 World Masters (Netherlands), 2018 National Masters (Mooloolaba), 2019 National Masters (Devonport), 2017/18 Season State Masters (Various Venues) and 2018/19 Season State Masters (Various Venues).

There have been a few enquiries about World rank order when sailors have sailed the qualifying event in one rig and applied to sail in the Worlds in another. We have made provision to allow this by ranking the sailors proportional to their place in their qualifying fleet i.e. 100% if first 50% if mid fleet etc. This allows for the difference in fleet size and it allows sailors to compete with the rig most appropriate to their strength, development and the likely weather conditions. For Masters the ranking points are accumulated irrespective of the rig so already allow for different fleet sizes.

On the subject ALCA President Ken Hurling said “The years when young sailors come into the 4.7 and progress onto the Radial is a very important time in their sailing life. It’s in the younger years that injuries can happen if for example a 4.7 sailor moves into a Radial too early and is not ready for the move up. So as not to push sailors who are moving from 4.7 to Radial to compete too early in qualifying events in the larger rig we allow them to carry their qualifying place in the 4.7 into the Radial. It happens less often but the same applies to the move from Radial to Standard rig.”

Ken added “The ILCA stipulates that we only send the very best sailors to their World Championships and our ranking system is geared to ensuring this happens even as sailors progress through the rigs in their Laser Sail For Life.”


Julian Bethwaite on the C5 Design

The new C5 rig if successful in trials may be adopted as a more attractive option covering a wider weight range alongside the existing Laser 4.7. You can see a post on it on this site HERE.

Julian Bethwaite has been methodically working on the project for some time with ILCA endorsement. Julian has produced an update on the design process to date and the the testing and evaluation regime going forward in the document HERE. From this you can see how much work and fine tuning has been done to make sure that the new rig meets its design objectives.

Just for interest there is a similar piece HERE written by Laser designer Bruce Kirby in 2016 recalling how the boat was designed and built nearly 50 years ago. Interesting that Bruce wanted an above boom vang back in 1970 and says in this piece that there was not time then to develop it. Well it may have taken 49 years but the new C5 has such a vang along with many other innovations.


ILCA Seeking New Laser Builders

ILCA has today announced that it is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of Laser manufacturers.

The move comes after longtime builder of the class dinghy, Laser Performance (Europe) Limited (LPE), breached the terms of the Laser Construction Manual Agreement (LCMA), which seeks to ensure the identical nature of all Laser class boats, regardless of where they are built.

There is more information on the reasons for, and the implications of, this move on the ILCA web site HERE.

There is a Frequently Asked Questions on this on the ILCA web site HERE.


Attendance 2019 Pacific Games Samoa – 5-20 July

Australian Sailing is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) for Athletes and Support Staff to attend the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa from the 5 – 20 July, 2019.

A selection criteria is now available on the AS Youth website outlining the criteria for both athletes and support staff. To be considered for the Pacific Games we ask that athletes or support staff register by the 5 April, 2019 by the close of business AEST by 1700 hrs.

Athletes  >> Click Here

Support Staff >> Click Here

If you have any questions regarding the event please contact Lesley Fasala AS Manager Regattas and Events lesley.fasala@sailing.org.au


2019 New Laser Pre-orders Open

Laser production capacity will be limited in the lead up to the many events in Melbourne in 2020.

PSA say that there will be a fixed amount of production scheduled for availability per month in 2019 while they build boats for the Melbourne events.

PSA and it’s Laser dealers are encouraging sailors who want new boats to pre order them to ensure that they don’t miss out. To this end PSA and Laser dealers are taking deposits for a monthly delivery schedule.

By placing your deposit and nominating your delivery month you will be given a build slot. These monthly spots will be limited and will be on a first come first served basis.

PSA say that they can’t guarantee availability of new boats without being pre ordered in the 2019 lead-up and during these Melbourne events.

Contact your local Laser Dealer or PSA for details.


Applications Open World Masters & Under 21 Championships

Applications for entry for the following World Championships will be accepted beginning Tuesday, 26 March 2019:

   2019 ILCA Laser Masters World Championships

For the Laser Masters World Championships, the deadline for receiving PAID applications is 2 May 2019 at 2:59 Central US Time.

   2019 ILCA Laser Under-21 World Championships

For the Laser Under-21 World Championships, the deadline for receiving PAID applications is 5 June 2019 at 23:59 Central US Time. 

If you would like to compete in one of these Championships, you are encouraged to complete an entry application as soon as possible after it becomes available. Please be aware that if you do not apply by the application deadline, you may have little chance of receiving an entry offer.

Information about all ILCA Laser World Championships and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page HERE

The ranking for Australian entries for these events will be in accordance with ALCA Masters Ranking Policy for the World Masters and by placing in the Oceania and Australian Championships 2019 (Devonport) for the Under 21 Championships.


Fiji Oceania Masters 2019 12-17 October 2019

It is on again the Laser event in paradise the Fiji Oceania Laser Masters. This year the event is from 12th to 17th October 2019 from the Sofitel Resort Denarau Island Fiji.

The Notice of Race is HERE. It contains information on entry and charter conditions for the event. Charter boats are one use PSA supplied.

You can enter online HERE. Entry is $330 which included event shirt and opening function and gala three course presentation dinner. At the same time as you enter you can book and pay for your Laser charter. You can pay a deposit of $300 to secure your Laser with the balance $1,200 payable at the same link by the end of August 2019.

The there is lots of resort accommodation available close by and more economical places to stay not far away. The Sofitel Denarau Island has some special rates available for sailors and their families. Competitors can use the code SFLASERS2019 for a special rate when booking at the Sofitel for the event.

You can get the feel of the event from the video taken last year HERE.

Watch out for more information on the event web site at https://www.oceanialaserchamps.com/


2020 Laser Events Brochure

The exciting Laser events coming up in 2020 are summarised in the brochure HERE.

This is a once in a decade opportunity for our class in Australia so we want to get the maximum of exposure and publicity for for these events.

Laser sailors and clubs are requested to publicise these events.


2019 and 2020 National, Oceania and World Laser Events

It will be a very busy year for Laser sailing in Australian in 2020 with Oceania and World  Open & Masters Championships scheduled for Sandringham and Geelong.

The list of known National, Oceania and World Laser Championship events in 2019 and 2020 is below.

EventVenueDatesWeb Site
2019 Australian Oceania and World Events
2019 Australian & Oceania ChampionshipsDevonport, Tas1-8 January 2019https://www.auslasernationals.com.au/
2019 Australian Youth ChampionshipsHobart, Tas10-14 January 2019https://www.sailingyouth.org.au/home/
2019 Standard Men’s World ChampionshipSakaiminato-City, Japan2-9 July 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019 Radial Women’s World ChampionshipSakaiminato-City, Japan17-24 July 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019 Radial Man’s World ChampionshipSakaiminato-City, Japan17-24 July 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019 Laser Radial Youth World ChampionshipsKingston, Canada24-31 July 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019 Laser 4.7 Youth World ChampionshipsKingston, Canada16-23 August 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019 Laser Masters World ChampionshipsPort Zélande, Netherlands5-14 September 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019 Laser Masters Oceania Fiji ChampionshipsDenarau Island, Fiji12-18 October 2019https://www.oceanialaserchamps.com/
2019 Under 21 World ChampionshipsSplit, Croatia26 Oct – 2 Nov 2019http://www.laserinternational.org/
2019/20 Victorian State ChampionshipsSandringham YC Vic23-24 November 2019http://laser2020.com/
2020 Australian Oceania and World Events
2020 Australian ChampionshipsSandringham YC Vic1-8 January 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 Australian Youth ChampionshipsSorrento Sailing Couta BC
10 – 14 January 2020
https://www.sailingyouth.org.au/home/
2020 Oceania Laser Championships  & Sail MelbSandringham YC Vic17-21 January 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 Standard Men’s World ChampionshipSandringham YC Vic9-16 February 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 Radial Women’s World ChampionshipSandringham YC Vic21-28 February 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 Radial Man’s World ChampionshipSandringham YC Vic21-28 February 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 Oceania & Australian Laser MastersGeelong YC Vic13-18 March 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 Laser Masters World ChampionshipsGeelong YC Vic19-28 March 2020http://laser2020.com/
2020 4.7 Youth World ChampionshipsArco, Italy16-24 July 2020http://www.laserinternational.org/

Entry Applications Open for ILCA World Youth Championships

Applications for entry for the following World Championships in Kingston Canada will be accepted beginning Thursday, 31 January 2019:

   2019 ILCA Laser Radial Youth World Championships

   2019 ILCA Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships

These are limited entry events with Australia’s allocation of places filled in order of ranking. The ranking event for World Championships is the preceding Australian Laser Championships – 2019 Devonport in this case.

For both of the above events, the deadline for receiving paid applications for initial allocation of places is 20 March 2019 at 23:59 Central US Time (16:59 21 March AEDT). .

You are encouraged to complete an entry application as soon as possible after it becomes available. Please be aware that if you do not apply by the 20 March 2019 deadline, you may have little chance of receiving an entry offer.

Information about all ILCA Laser World Championships and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page HERE


C5 Rig Update

Over 8 thousand people have viewed the Vimeo video introducing the new C5 HERE. The ILCA have placed the new rig development in perspective in a post on their web site HERE.

ILCA emphasises in the post that they have no plans to replace or remove any of the existing Laser classes. They say “the 4.7, Radial and Standard classes will continue as always with controlled, incremental evolution and development aimed at improving longevity, increasing the ease of use and reducing the cost of ownership”.

On the C5 ILCA says “development has now reached the point where it would be useful to deploy a reasonable number of sample rigs “into the field” as a test to see how they perform in racing conditions in active fleets.” and that “Performance Sailcraft Japan, which has long been championing the idea of a way to make the Laser more viable for lighter weight sailors, has stepped up to serve as the lead builder on the introduction of the C5 test rigs.”

ALCA President Ken Hurling is an enthusiastic supporter of the C5 initiative. He has commented “When you see the C5 rig on a Laser hull for the first time she is like a lady with a new dress – wonderful and looks fast. The C5 is at the end of a 4 year planning and development program. We in the Laser world have a history of slow introduction of new products taking our time and getting it right. The C5 development has involved an international team of designers, engineers, builders, lawyers and sailors operating and working to Worlds best practice to deliver the outcome.”

Ken went on to elaborate on the ILCA approved field test rigs and the timing for their introduction. Ken said “So where are we right now? Patents approved, masts, boom, sails with insert ID, parts supplies contracts to be approved, and the whole rig for final testing in March April 2019. It is hoped that the first 100 C5 Rigs should be ready for sale after May 2019 – a record for ILCA – just 4 years since the concept started. Watch closely for the C5 Rig coming to a club near you or for information from your local dealer.”


Laser World Championships Japan Application

Applications for entry for the following World Championships in Sakaiminato-City Japan will be accepted beginning Tuesday, 29 January 2019:

2019 ILCA Laser Standard Men’s World Championship
2019 ILCA Laser Radial Women’s World Championship
2019 ILCA Laser Radial Men’s World Championship

These are limited entry events with Australia’s allocation of places filled in order of ranking. The ranking event for World Championships is the preceding Australian Laser Championships – 2019 Devonport in this case.

For all three of the above events, the deadline for receiving paid applications for initial allocation of places is 9 March 2019 at 23:59 Central US Time (10 March 16:59 AEDT). If you don’t apply by this deadline you have little chance of receiving and entry offer.

The ILCA event web site HERE has all the information and links to apply.


Australian Laser Annual General Meeting Devonport 2019

Want to know a bit more about what is happening in the Australian Laser world, in Youth training and Masters sailing as well, then the comprehensive reports and meeting minutes of ALCA AGM HERE may be of interest.

As with the duck while it is all relatively calm on the surface there is some vigorous paddling going on underneath.