Friday, May 11, 2012

Playing Monopoly


Last weekend I played Monopoly with my 6-year-old granddaughter Emily. She beat me, of course.

You know how Monopoly goes. At first you are cruising around buying properties and building houses and feeling fat, dumb and happy. Then in the middle of the game you are collecting rent from your fellow players but also paying rents to them and the money is coming in and going out and you are still feeling fat, dumb and happy.

Then the game reaches a tipping point...

Maybe one of the other competitors secures an edge of some kind, buying a group of those high price properties and putting hotels on all of them. Or a couple of the other competitors do some side deals to help each other at your expense. And before you know what is happening your money is going out faster than it is coming in, and you are selling houses to the bank and mortgaging properties until... wham, you have no money left and some other player gobbles up everything you own.

I could be wrong, but the news over the past few weeks has made me feel that the Laser world is near one of those tipping points.

1. The Laser SB3 is a popular sports boat built by LaserPerformance Europe. Tony Castro, the designer of the SB3 recently announced that the Laser SB3 will henceforth be known as the SB20 (no Laser in the name), he has appointed White Formula in the UK as the licensed SB20 builder, and global sales and marketing of the SB20 will be carried out by a new organisation Sportsboat World.

2. US Sailing and Zim Sailing (a North American manufacturer of one-design sailboats) announced a multi-year sponsorship deal. Beginning this summer, Zim will be providing Byte CII sailboats to the U.S. Women's Singlehanded Championships and the U.S. Junior Championships (which were formerly sailed in Laser Radials.) So the hotshot young sailors in the US will be training in Byte CIIs and the not so hotshot junior sailors will want to sail in Byte C IIs (instead of Laser Radials) as well.

3. The long time Asia-Pacific Laser manufacturer Performance Sailcraft Australasia (PSA) has, after receiving permission from ISAF, acquired the copyright and worldwide building and marketing rights to the single handed Byte and Byte CII dinghy from its designer and builder, Canadian Ian Bruce.

4. Ari Barshi, owner of the Laser Center at Cabarete, recently published a newsletter summarizing the results of a an earlier survey on how to make the Laser a better class. One of the suggestions was...
The class should be opened to ALL builders and sail makers, rather than regional monopolies. Local class approved builders should be in place, with very strict measurement procedures thereby allowing price competition.
The newsletter also announced a competition to chose a new name for the Laser. In the FAQ for the competition was this question...
Are you sure the Laser will have a new name? 
No, but in order for this name change not to happen some of the current key players have to invest a lot of money at once. For the past two years these players had not shown any interest in investing much smaller amounts of money. It will surprise many if they start spending now.
5. And this week, Ari circulated a letter from Heini Wellmann, President of the International Laser Class Association, saying...
In the name of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) I would like to thank Ari Barshi and all the participants of the survey for their efforts and interesting proposals. In 10 days there is a ILCA World Council meeting and we have put all suggestions / proposals on the agenda. We will obviously come back to you and report on the decisions taken at that meeting.

So what does all this add up to? Is there any pattern in these various news items? Does 2+2+2+2+2+2 equal 11?


Am I crazy if I say that this feels like the tipping point in a game of Monopoly?

16 comments:

Litoralis said...

Maybe the "Laser" will become the "Megabyte Jr."

Tillerman said...

Not if they choose the name I have suggested.

Baydog said...

I call the race car piece. No! I called it first! Mom!!!!!!!

torrid said...

Reading through #4 and #5, it sounds like there is a survey circulating among a select group of sailors which may be a blueprint for a revised ILCA. This is the first I have heard of the survey, and I consider myself fairly informed on the class. I'm not criticizing the survey, namely because I haven't seen it, but we've had more than enough major class decisions made in a vacuum as of late.

Tillerman said...

Good point torrid. I don't know for sure but my guess is that this newsletter was circulated to past clients of the Laser Center at Cabarete (and perhaps potential future clients who had contacted the Center by email at some point.) Again only guessing, that's probably several hundred Laser sailors including many of the top guys in the world who have trained at Cabarete.

Apparently 63 sailors responded to the survey. Not of course representative of the whole class in any way, but not a bad way of generating ideas for submission to the the World Council for consideration. After all, any of us as individuals could send in ideas, I assume.

Ari did give me permission to write about the survey on this blog so he's not trying to keep it a huge secret.

my2fish said...

Maybe it's just me, but "Cheat the nursing home. Die on your Byte C II" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Tillerman said...

LOL my2fish. The Byte CII is for kids and little people. Us fat old geezers will be sticking to our Lasers, whatever they are called.

torrid said...

Oh, I'm not saying there is anything nefarious. It just seems that it is a limited viewpoint of the Laser community, mainly retired masters sailors who travel in support of their hobby. And they seem to have the ear of the international class president.

Tillerman said...

For what it's worth I have updated the original post with a link to the newsletter announcing the survey originally.

Tillerman said...

And I see that the website for the Laser Center at Cabarete has an open sign-up for the newsletter so you don't have to have been a previous client of the center to receive the newsletter.

my2fish said...

yeah, I figured as much. I just thought "Byte CII" is sort of a silly name for a sailboat.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

This is a better design for a 20-ft Laser than a SB3, IMO.

Tillerman said...

Looks cool Doc. I did have the pleasure of sailing a Laser SB3 in Europe last year and I must admit that was a pretty cool ride too. I could see myself in one of those if it weren't for the fact that I don't play well with others. There's no me in team.

Tillerman said...

And in other news, the International Laser Class has created a new position of General Manager and appointed an excellent person to the role. More change. What's it all about?

Here is the announcement...

I am pleased to announce the nomination and engagement of Eric Faust as General Manager ILCA.

At the last World Council meeting in November 2011 it was decided to engage a “General Manager ILCA”, which combines the two originally foreseen separate positions of “Operation Manager” and “Events and Development Manager” into one. The new General Manager ILCA will be fully responsible of all operations of ILCA as well as of the ILCA office. He will work closely with Jeff Martin, Executive Secretary ILCA, and report directly to the Class President.

Eric Faust has a Master degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently the Executive Director of the International J/24 Class Association. Since 2005 he has also served as Vice Chairman of the North American Laser Class Association.

By his education and experience Eric is ideally suited for the position. He will start in this new function on May 15th 2012.

I wish Eric all the best and a lot of satisfaction in his new function.


Heini Wellmann
President International Laser Class Association (ILCA)

Chris said...

Adding the Byte to the Junior Sailing mix is a good idea. The 4.7 is an unhappy compromise. There are kids coming out of Optis with great boat handling skills; the Laser hull is just too heavy for them to properly roll-tack and roll-gybe the boat, to say nothing about kiting. They can dance a jig on the back of a Laser 4.7 with no effect .....
Cheers,
Chris

theknittingsailor.com said...

I used to love Monopoly, but I was rubbish at it. I rarely lost however. The reason for this became clear when I moved out of home and my secret stash box of Monopoly money was discovered. I don't know that my family have ever forgiven me.

Post a Comment