SAN FRANCISCO (#1180) – In what is being characterized as by far the largest vote in the history of the Class — by a factor of three — over 3,300 votes were received from 85 countries on six continents. Based on all your Ed. is hearing, from a number of sources close to the Class, one can only assume the "yes" votes overwhelmed the "no" votes by much more than the required two-thirds to allow the proposed (by the ILCA World Council) amendments to the Class Constitution to pass. But that has not yet been officially reported by the Class, and won't be until they verify member voting lists in a number of Districts.
On May 17th, ILCA President Tracy Usher (USA) penned a guest editorial that we ran here on Sailing Illustrated entitled, "Assessment and update on current state of affairs for the Laser Class to remain in the Olympics." Four key paragraphs:
My hope is that this article will help my fellow sailors to understand that the top priority for ILCA is to try to convince the current trademark owners to enter into a fair and reasonable trademark licensing scheme to satisfy World Sailing’s policy using the Laser brand.
But as an insurance policy, in case this does not happen by the August 1 deadline, the ILCA World Council is asking the class members to support the proposed change to the Class Rules to decouple our class from the trademark owners and allow it to comply with World Sailing’s policy to approve new builders.
Even if the trademark owners are able to come to agreement on a licensing scheme, we believe it is still in the best interest of the class to pass this change – the experience of the dysfunction between the commercial parties has shown that our class needs to remain strong and independent in order to control our own future.
This is an important moment in the history of this great class and a critically important vote for our sailors and for our sport.
Assuming we have got this right – that the "yes" votes prevailed – and, again, we have not heard that officially from any class officials, what happens from here is anyone's guess. That of course given the strong opposition to the move expressed by Farzad Rastegar (IRN/USA), head of LaserPerformance – the class's largest builder, recently de-certified as a licensed builder by the Class over this dispute. Mr Rastegar was my guest on Tuesday's TFE LIVE. You can watch a replay below.
One hears the World Sailing Board meets next Monday by phone to discuss these latest developments.
Mr Farzad Rastegar, head of LaserPerformance, was my special guest on Tuesday's TFE LIVE. Watch a replay (above) to hear his side of the story.
As a result of this vote, will the Laser Class be officially renamed the ILCA to "decouple" the Class from the "trademark holders"?
The late, great artist formerly known as Prince.