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Posts Tagged ‘sunfish’

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Confused about the establishment of a new class as a negotiating tactic?  Wondering about the Sunfish’s battle with the universally loathed LaserPerformance (LP)?  Read on for the latest letter from the Sunfish Class President, who once again calls out LP for allegedly making shit up again, but first, a summary of the situation from long-timer ’tillerman’ (with credit for the cartoon here):

It’s all very simple.

ISCA is the old Sunfish class but they are not allowed to use the word Sunfish and may not even be allowed to use the acronym ISCA. They have gazillions of members but zero dollars support from the builder. They are allowed to run World Championships but are not allowed to call them Sunfish World Championships.

ISCO is the new Sunfish class and they are allowed to use the word Sunfish. They have zero members but a gazillion dollars of support from the builders. They are not allowed by World Sailing to run World Championships but probably will anyway.

Members of ISCA have sworn a blood oath never to go within 100 miles of an ISCO regatta, or even refer to ISCO as a class. It’s traditional for ISCA members to drink a shot and make a derogatory comment every time the letters I, S, C and O appear in that order anywhere on social media. Nobody knows what ISCO members think about all this because there aren’t any ISCO members.

LaserPerformance is the only builder of Sunfish which is why everybody hates them.

The only thing that everyone agrees to is that Sunfish are way better than Lasers.

And here’s today’s letter from the real Sunfish Class:

Dear ISCA Members and Supporters:

Yesterday, Laser Performance (LP) made an announcement that they had invited ISCA and World Sailing to attend a “town hall” meeting in New York City to discuss the issues between ISCA and LP. Please know that ISCA and WS have NOT agreed to a town hall style meeting. ISCA informed LP on multiple occasions that the class was not interested in a town hall meeting.

ISCA did however agree to a January 8th, 2018 meeting, with World Sailing and several ISCA World Council members, in order to try to reach an agreement. Once again, LP has chosen to announce the town hall meeting anyway.

As your President I want to make you all aware of the facts. World Sailing has clearly stated that ISCA is the only recognized Class Association allowed to organize the World Championships. World Sailing will not recognize ISCO. Consequently, there is no reason for a town hall meeting.

ISCA has agreed to sign a new World Sailing agreement that will cover the availability of parts, builder responsibilities, class responsibilities and any licensing agreement that LP/Velum may want. This is the same agreement that other World Sailing recognized International Classes have signed with their manufacturers. ISCA agreed to meet LP in NYC on January 8th to go over this agreement and to discuss any other issues that the two parties might have. World Sailing agreed to attend the meeting to mediate this meeting only.

ISCA is more than willing to allow LP to protect what is theirs, however we are not willing to give ‘ISCA’, (which belongs to all the class members) to LP simply because they demand it. ISCA’s goal is to continue to provide outstanding, world caliber, one-design singlehanded dinghy racing, with equal equipment that is readily available to all competitors. Rest assured, that ISCA will continue to work for all class members, to make this happen.

Laurence H. Mass ISCA President


December 14th, 2017 by admin

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Once again, LaserPerformance looks to be up to no good.  Plagued with terrible customer service for years and unable to provide a steady stream of quality parts for both Lasers and Sunfish, the ISCA (of which our own Mr. Clean is a member) finally acted to protect its members by voting to allow other manufacturers to supply parts for Sunfish, and the folks at LP appear to have taken that as a declaration of war, lawyers and all.  Why does this company always find itself on the wrong side of their customers and the sport itself, and how the hell are they still allowed to be part of the Olympics?  Here’s the letter that Sunfish Class Prez Laurence Mass posted today, and after you’ve read it (and if it pisses you off like it does us), call your national sailing association’s rep currently at the World Sailing meeting and let them know that it’s time to hold LP’s feet to the fire.  Photo credit to Sue Ingram via the Proper Course blog.

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, 4 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.

The World Council was prepared to sign a trademark agreement until LP required that the ISCA initials and the name International Sunfish Class Association name were to be signed over to LP as well.  This was a deal breaker for the World Council.  LP has long wanted to control ISCA. LP’s new sunfish class has blatantly copied ISCA’s Class Rules, Constitution, calendar, and website.  LP has even copied the same NSCA and regional USSCA Representatives.  Most Representatives are likely unaware of this. LP is trying to imply that LP’s class has replaced ISCA.  IT HAS NOT.  We remain united and independent from the builder.  This just goes to further illustrate that their intentions were control the class.  World Sailing currently only recognizes ISCA.  No other International Class can run World Championships for the Sunfish Class Boat.

In August 2017, the World Council decided that we would not sign the restrictive trademark agreement and changed ISCA class rules to allow non-builder supplied, class approved spars, masts, goosenecks, sails and parts.  World Sailing should approve this class rule change this week in Mexico.  This rule change has been proposed many times before and has been a long time coming.  This rule change was important because it allows the flow of parts from several suppliers vs. one builder.  The builder cannot unilaterally decide to change parts in a one-design class as they have done several times without the class’s knowledge or input.  This ultimately undermines the integrity of the Sunfish one-design class.  We as a one-design class cannot allow this to happen anymore.

As for the trademark, LP has issued ISCA a cease and desist notice.  As of 31 March 2018, ISCA is no longer allowed to use the Sunfish logo in conjunction with running regattas. ISCA is the only class that can holds World Championships for the Sunfish Class boat.  LP has not and does not run regattas.  ISCA, USSCA, and other National Sunfish Class Associations run regattas.  ISCA does not need to use the Sunfish trademark to run regattas for the Sunfish class boat.  ISCA will continue to run regattas as the only recognized international class for the sunfish class boat.

In conclusion, availability of class legal parts should improve and the class will no longer be held hostage by an unreliable supply of parts from one builder.  ISCA Class members will be eligible for substantial discounts on ISCA class approved racing sails, purchased through the class.  Now, more than ever, it’s vitally important that we start to build back our membership, move this class forward and grow again.

Laurence H. Mass



November 7th, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 2.47.30 PMClean Report

Longtime Anarchy pal and sailor chick Gail Turlock invited me to come and sail the Sunfish Masters US Nationals on a chartered boat this weekend in Gull Lake, Michigan, and for someone looking to get my 1-year old baby girl in as many pretty bodies of water as possible this summer, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.  So we’re headed to the other side of the state to jump on the 3-mile long lake, where Mer and Joey will play on the GLYC beach and I’ll go embarrass myself on the water.

Confession time: I’ve never sailed a Sunfish. I’ve never sailed a Masters anything, and I’ve only raced one singlehanded regatta in my life (a little local thing in a Force 5), so I have zero expectations…but I’d prefer not to come in last in this 40-ish boat regatta.

So…anyone have any tips on making a Sunfish go fast while carrying 210 pounds of meat on it?  Peculiarities of the lateen rig?  What about reaches and triangle courses, which seem to be a possibility on this tiny lake?  Any inside knowledge about Gull Lake?  Post it all in here, or just tell me how shitty I am going to do – it’s all good.

Thanks much in advance, and if you’re going, I look forward to meeting you.   Keep an eye right here or on Facebook for my reports.



August 4th, 2016 by admin