World Sailing to mediate Sunfish dispute

Published on November 22nd, 2017

The International Sunfish Class Association (ISCA) and the builder of the Sunfish, LaserPerformance (LP), are embroiled in a conflict over control of the one design class. When ICSA would not relinquish control (details), LP launched its own class organization, International Sunfish Class Organization (ISCO).

ISCA President Laurence H. Mass reports on the latest chapter of this saga and the financial strain ISCA is enduring:


(November 22, 2017) – World Sailing affirms ISCA as the only Class Association to hold World Championships for the Sunfish Class Sailboat.

ISCA is the only Class association recognized by World Sailing. That will not change. I received a letter from Andy Hunt CEO of World Sailing earlier this week confirming World Sailing position. Below are several quotes from the letter:

“World Sailing cannot accept a rival international class association being created without the consent of the current class. Doing so fundamentally undermines the Class’s membership of World Sailing and the purpose of World Sailing Classes. In particular, ISCA has an obligation under the World Sailing Constitution to (emphasis added):

“… be responsible for implementing the objects and decision of the Federation affecting their classes and for protecting the design characteristics of their class” [Art. 8].

It is almost inconceivable that World Sailing could admit ISCO to World Sailing Class membership (without the agreement of ISCA) as this would undermine ISCA’s right and obligation under our Constitution to protect the design characteristics of their class.”

As I have said previously, the class associations protect the integrity of one-design sailing. World Sailing has also offered their help in mediating the trademark dispute and ISCA welcomes this opportunity. I want to thank World Sailing for supporting ISCA and for offering their assistance in resolving these matters with LP.
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Since 1984, ISCA has been an independent nonprofit volunteer organization representing sunfish sailors worldwide. Recently, LP has indicated that they want to remove ISCA as the independent class association and replace it with their own organization.

For perspective, virtually every racing class (e.g., 505’s, Lightings, Snipe, Laser, etc., etc.) has their own independent class association. This keeps a balance between the builders and the class itself.

By its actions, LP has indicated they want to eliminate ISCA, so they will have a virtual monopoly on class rules and allowed parts/materials. To stop LP from usurping ISCA’s independence and authority, ISCA has been forced to take legal action and has incurred considerable legal expenses.

ISCA’s only source of income comes from membership dues and donations. These funds cover our normal operating expenses. To maintain our independence from Laser Performance, we are asking for your donation to help cover our legal expenses.

One hundred percent of your donation will help keep ISCA as an independent class association looking out for our ISCA members. The class has set up an easy way for you to do this.

To make a donation… click here.

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