EC 573 – Laser Standard and Laser Radial stay at Olympic boats, and now?

Beste Lid,

Hierbij wensen wij u ter kennis te brengen van het laatste bericht dat wij doorgestuurd kregen van de EurILCA, met volle steun van de Laser Group Belgium. Dit geeft u een duidelijk beeld van de vele besprekingen die in de laatste weken plaats vonden tussen de verschillende partijen (World Sailing, ILCA, EurILCA, de boatbuilders, …) en de laatste stand van zaken, een zeer verrijkende lectuur die heel wat misverstanden uit de weg ruimt.

Met sportieve groeten

vanwege Laser Group Belgium

Cher Membre

Par la présente nous tenons à vous faire part du dernier missive que nous avons reçu de l’EurILCA, texte que le Laser Group Belgium supporte pleinement. Cette missive vous informe des multiples discussions des dernières semaines entre les différents acteurs (World Sailing, ILCA, EurILCA, les constructeurs, …) et de la situation actuelle, une lecture enrichissante qui dissipe tous les malentendus.

Sportivement vôtre

De la part du Laser Group Belgium

Dear District Officer,

The Laser Standard and Laser Radial remains as Olympic boat for Paris 2024.
Thanks to everyone for all your efforts to keep the Laser Olympic!

EurILCA didn’t make a lot of communications during the last weeks regarding
the termination of Laser Performance as a party to the LCMA (Laser
Construction Manual Agreement) and the action done by the ILCA executives.
The reason for our silence was to preserve the class and to not have a
negative impact on the voting for the Olympics. However, the European
executive committee, together with the two Europeans World Council members
(Alexandra Behrens) and our former ILCA President (Heini Wellmann) have
been working very hard to resolve the problems from the dispute between
Laser Performance (LP) and ILCA we are still facing.

The positive voting of the World Sailing World Council was only the first
step. A FRAND (Fair Reasonable And Non Discriminatory) agreement must be
adopted by the 1st of August in order that the Laser Standard and Radial
stay Olympic (condition imposed by World Sailing Council).

As we announced in the previous circular a meeting was held the 22nd of May
between all parties in London at World sailing offices (with all the
parties LP Europe, PS Australia, PS Japan, World Sailing and ILCA). Beat
Heinz, EurILCA master coordinator, attended the meeting on behalf of
EurILCA. EurILCA had asked for that meeting and hoped that the outcome
would be positive for the benefits of the Laser Sailors, Laser dealers and
the sport of sailing. After the meeting and after having met with LP and
World Sailing in preparation of the meeting we are optimistic that a FRAND
agreement can be reached between World Sailing and the three existing boat
builders.

In addition to the FRAND agreement a license agreement must be signed with
LP and LP would have to be re-instated as a party to the LCMA even though
LP does not accept the unilateral termination of the LCMA with LP by ILCA.

After the long-term history of the dispute between ILCA and LP as well as
our recent failed attempts to mediate between ILCA and Laser Performance,
we believe that the current ILCA leadership will not be able to facilitate
the re-instatement of LP as a party to the LCMA and sign the license
agreement with LP. We also believe that it would be beneficial for the
process of reaching a FRAND agreement between World Sailing and the three
existing boat builders if a class representative familiar with all the
parties and their interests but not involved in the long-term dispute
between ILCA and LP was present.

A lot of miscommunication has been done the past months from ILCA and has
cruelly affected the Laser class. So only a new person or team can achieve
our next goal to have all the documents signed by the 1st of August if we
want the Laser stays at the Olympics.

Consequently, we are requesting the class representative, Beat Heinz, to be
nominated to participate in the discussions between the three builders and
World Sailing on ILCA’s behalf. Beat has attended the World Sailing midyear
meeting, has met with World Sailing and also attended the all parties
meeting on the 22nd of May. He is very familiar with all aspects of the
current situation. Of course we are open to other suggestions for a
suitable class representative. If there are any, please let us know by
close of business 31st May, 2019.

Going forward after the 1st of August, our goal is a more democratic,
transparent ILCA that will concentrate on serving the sailors. We would
like to:

   –

   Let the boat builders build boats and the class do the business they are
   elected for, i.e. organize regattas, promote Laser sailing in all regions,
   control the quality of the boats, ensure the one-class-design etc.
   –

   Spend our budget on projects that are important to the sailors and not
   on legal fights.
   –

   Achieve a better representation of the of the Laser population in the
   ILCA World Council.
   –

   Keep the Laser name.
   –

   Ensure true universality of the boat and assist the boat builders in
   resolving the supply issues in the undersupplied regions.
   –

   Help to introduce the 4.7 rig in regions where it is not so popular
   instead of trying to replace it by new equipment.
   –

   Start a solidarity program like we did in Europe for 4.7 sailors and
   others.
   –

   Built a strong sustainability program for the Laser class

From our opinion this is our only option if we want to sustain as Olympic
equipment as long as sailing is an Olympic sport.

If you agree with us, we suggest that each District sends a letter to the
ILCA executives in support of our case. In addition please publish your
opinion on the social media.

This view is also supported by many sailors living in Asia, North America,
South America, Oceania, Europe and Africa.

We would also like to inform you about the resolution of an immediate
problem:

   –

   EurILCA had pushed for supplying plaques at least for boats built prior
   to the termination of Laser Performance as a party to the LCMA. Upon
   intervention of World Sailing, a solution has been found to supply Laser
   Performance with enough plaques to make sure boats are available for the
   next couple of months.

Finally, we would like to make the following clarification:

   –

   The European executive committee, together with the 2 Europeans World
   council members and our former ILCA President want to clarify that it has
   been no vote at the world Council on the name change of the boat and the
   only vote was to remove the obligation that a builder has to own a
   trademark from the class rule: definition of a builder. Anyhow the next
   step, if any, will be to have the member vote on this class rule change. We
   also made clear, by certified letter to the Class President and the
   executive secretary, that any change to the class rules and the
   constitution must follow the proper path for any change (consultation of
   the Laser Class members).

Best regards,

The EurILCA Executive Committee