Saturday, May 11, 2013
This post was going to be a rant.
I wrote some angry stuff about some of the people posting on forums and blogs about the Kirby Sailboat/ Laser/ Torch issues.
Then I decided it was crazy for me to be angry at other people for being angry.
I don't always agree with all my fellow sailors but some of them are very upset about this issue. And they are my fellow sailors. So I've decided not to rant at them, but continue to listen to them and to respect their views.
Personally, I don't think that any of us regular sailors really know enough about this issue to know which course of action will lead to the best result for all the sailors.
We don't know who will win the court battle between Bruce Kirby and LaserPerformance. We don't know if the design rights contracts between Kirby and the current Laser builders were still valid and enforceable. We don't know what LaserPerformance's defense in the court case will be. We don't know what legal advice has been giving to the Laser class that has informed their actions on this issue. We don't know what has been discussed and decided in countless meetings behind closed doors.
There is so much we don't know.
What I do know is that the only people whom I can rely on to be working for my interests as a Laser sailor are the voluntary leaders of the Laser class. I have met Andy Roy (North American Chairman) and Tracy Usher (President of the World Council) and they both strike me as people who are even more enthusiastic about Laser sailing than I am, who care deeply about the future of the sport, and who must be putting enormous amounts of voluntary effort and time into dealing with this issue. So I support them in their efforts to resolve this mess and wish them well.
I also have the utmost respect for Bruce Kirby (whom I have also met) for designing the boat which has given me so much pleasure for many decades, but he is also pursuing his own commercial interests in this dispute, just as LP and LPE and PSA and Global Sailing and the new builders appointed by Kirby, and all the rest of them are. Nothing wrong with that. But I am way too cynical to believe that anyone who is trying to make a buck or two out of my sport is 100% on my side.
I take solace in the thought that when this is all over and the dust has settled and the lawyers have been paid, we will all still have our Lasers and we will all still be able to play with them. The newer Lasers might be called something else but I'm sure nobody will really care. We will want to play with our fellow sailors whatever their boats are called. And there will still be volunteers willing to run the class and organize regattas for us.
This too will pass.
Posted by Tillerman at 10:15 AM