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LaserPerformance versus Sunfish Class

Published on November 7th, 2017

LaserPerformance is best known as the manufacturer of the Sunfish and Laser – the two most notable recreational singlehanders in sailing. But as the sole manufacturer of these boats since its formation in 2007, the actions of LP – as they are known – has a huge impact on the health of these class organizations.

Both classes have been struggling with supply issues, but the latest chapter now sees LP going after the control of the Sunfish class. LP has just launched the International Sunfish Class Organization (ISCO) with the intent to eliminate the independently controlled International Sunfish Class Association (ISCA) which was formed in 1969 as the governing body for Sunfish competition.

Here are updates issued by both LP and the Sunfish class… what a mess!

LaserPerformance: International Sunfish Class Organization (ISCO) is pleased to announce its establishment as the independent body to manage the Sunfish Class with the mission to promote Sunfish sailing, racing and events around the world.

ISCO is an invigorated organization which, with substantial support from LaserPerformance, the manufacturer of the iconic Sunfish sailboat, will be better placed to implement and expand its activities as mandated by ISCO’s Constitution.

ISCO will be the successor to the International Sunfish Class Association (ISCA) mandate and activities. ISCA’s license to operate has been subject to termination by the owner of the Sunfish intellectual property. Full report.
Sunfish Class President Laurence Mass: I had hoped to send a President’s letter out after the 2017 World Sailing Conference, however, certain events had forced me to change the letter and release it sooner. As you may have seen or heard, Laser Performance (LP) has announced that they are starting their own Sunfish Class, the International Sunfish Class Organization.

Over the last two years, ISCA has tried unsuccessfully, to negotiate to a support and trademark agreement with LP. For two successive years, four weeks before the World Championships LP has threatened to withhold the containers of World Championship boats unless we signed their agreement.

LP stopped supporting the class with charter boats and financially in 2011. When asked about this, LP response was “sign the Trademark agreement and you will see we will support the class.” ISCA and LP signed a support outline but, never a support agreement. At LP’s insistence these two agreements were to be independent of each other. Full report.

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