Welcome to the (Laser) jungle
Published on March 2nd, 2020
Politics are madness, global health is teetering, and now this: the Laser boat has another Laser Class called The Laser Class (TLC).
TLC is being promoted by LaserPerformance (LP), which had been a builder for the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), which is the only recognized class for this iconic boat, until LP was found to be building non-compliant boats.
So with LP having lost its rights to build boats for ILCA competition, along comes TLC which has endorsed LP as the only approved builder at this time. This all feels unsettling with an inevitable showdown with World Sailing as both ILCA and TLC vie to be the ‘Olympic Class’.
Welcome to the jungle… here’s the announcement on TLC website:
Welcome to The Laser Class, established by concerned sailors with a desire to save the iconic One Design Laser boat and to reconstitute the original Laser Class as a world-class organization that represents and serves its community.
The old class is dominated by a minority who are making key decisions in secret and are not accountable to the sailing community they represent. They refuse to share information even with some of their own World Council members and treat those who represent the sailing majority with contempt.
These decisions are undermining One Design principles, while arbitrarily increasing fees for boats and parts that will significantly increase costs to sailors. Where are these fees going and who is benefiting?
The construction of the Laser has already been changed, making 200,000 older Laser boats not adhere to One Design criteria. The lack of transparency is obvious, as well as the concern that there are commercial interests at play.
Our pleas are ignored as they rapidly move to remove the Laser brand, limit supplies, and undermine One Design principles. Internal change will never happen because the old class constitution has no requirements for management term limits or for transparency. So, we had to act to save our class.
The Laser Class aims to create a class that supports Laser sailors and rebuilds the Laser brand as the global iconic leader in sailing as well as THE male and female single-handed dinghy for the Olympics.
TLC is dedicated to the strict One Design Laser and maintaining low-cost accessibility to Laser sailing with regular supply and competitive prices of boats and parts. Our constitution will ensure better geographic and gender representation, introduce term limits, adhere to a strong code of ethics with information sharing, and much more.
The Laser Class will apply for class recognition to World Sailing this year and we are currently creating a process to approve builders and to comply with Olympic competition requirements. Your voice counts! Enjoy the fun of Laser sailing again by joining TLC. Members who sign up now will receive two years of free membership. Join the future of Laser sailing!