BATTLE: Kirby versus the World of Sailing

Published on April 24th, 2013

Hands down, Las Vegas is the country’s best boxing venue to see a fight. From its glitzy hotels to the bright lights and neon signs of The Strip, to the buzz inside the casinos and the excitement in the air in the arenas. It’s electrifying.

Since the 1980s Las Vegas has been known as the “Boxing Capital of the World”. Some of the best fights in boxing history have taken place in Las Vegas. Hagler vs Hearns, Leonard vs Hearns, Bowe vs Holyfield I, Tyson vs Berbick…just to name a few.

But those matches will all be forgotten when the next bout comes to town:

Bruce Kirby versus the World of Sailing.

Clich√© as it may sound, but there’s been nothing like this fight before.

A quick recap: Kirby designed the Laser, and is owed a royalty on each boat built. Without a royalty, a boat is not to be approved as a class boat. But when the builder stopped paying the royalty, and the Laser class and ISAF kept approving the boats, Kirby filed a complaint against all three parties. That is the simple part of the story.

Where it gets complicated is that only Kirby is allowed to approve builders. When the royalty payments stopped, he moved to halt the production. But since the builders own the Laser name and insignia, he couldn’t hire new builders for the Laser class. So Kirby launched a new class, the Torch, hired builders to make this re-branded Laser, and hoped the Laser class would follow. However, given the statement below by the Laser class, that does not look likely…

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is aware that over the past few weeks various web postings by persons unaffiliated with ILCA may have caused some members to become confused about the current status and the future of the class. After close cooperation and direct consultation with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) ILCA can announce the following:

ISAF and ILCA have taken steps to assure the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser brand sailboats around the world. This includes making newly designed ISAF plaques available to all the current ISAF and ILCA approved manufacturers of the Laser dinghy in accordance with the ILCA class rules. These plaques indicate that all required fees have been paid to both ISAF and ILCA. In order to receive ISAF plaques, manufacturers must continue to adhere to the strict building specifications and one-design standards required by ISAF and ILCA.

For the avoidance of doubt, ILCA is not changing its name or taking on the management of a class association for any new brand of sailboat. Class legal Laser brand sailboats will continue to be available through ISAF and ILCA approved manufacturers and their existing dealers.Read on

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