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.