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the long way home

Tune the Way Back Machine to the fall of 2002… I had just taken a layoff package during the Hi Tech meltdown, and  decided on a complete change of course. Funds were spent on a CNC milling machine, and I stuffed it into the basement and declared myself in the business of making foils.  Naive, I thought I would be a craftsman eking out a living from dinghy blades. My shapes were great, thanks to technology. My paint finishes – not so much. But the prices were right and customers started coming. “Phil’s Foils” was launched, for better or worse.  Soon enough the occasional small keelboat rudder was added to the mix, then bigger and bigger projects came along. The Ed was good enough to run this story on the Front Page in 2003 – and more customers came.  In turn, I started advertising on SA. More than anything, this business has been about relationships: customers, suppliers, service providers.  Barney Harris (Albacore, 505) gave me a load calculating spreadsheet I use to this day. Bruce Marek trusted me with the short run of Cape Fear 38 rudders, and later posted in my defense when someone got pissy on BoatDesign.net.  One day Ian Farrier even dropped by to check me out - by then I was doing quite a business with the Farrier homebuilders - and had a laugh at the small shop I was working out of (which to me it was a big step up from the basement!).   I’ve mourned customers that have passed away, I’ve lost clients to bankruptcy, I’ve been threatened with law suits, and I’ve been rewarded with notes of gratitude. I’ve learned to take my lumps when I’ve screwed up, but I also hold firm when I’m right and to hell with the consequences. ...

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dumb micks

The Irish Cabinet has blocked a bill that would have ended further oil and gas exploration off the coast of Ireland, drawing praise from the energy industry and condemnation from environmental groups. The cabinet of Fine Gael Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took this decision based on the bill's potential financial impact on the government, including the loss of royalties and the certainty of lawsuits from the holders of existing drilling licenses. For issues affecting public finances, the cabinet has the authority to block legislation in the Dáil, Ireland's parliament. The Dáil had already passed the anti-drilling legislation (dubbed the Climate Emergency Bill) twice by majority vote. The cabinet also acted on analysis showing that the bill would have resulted in greater natural gas imports, increasing emissions from gas transportation and raising Ireland's net carbon footprint. Read on....

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the torture never stops

The European branch of the Laser class recently issued today a recommendation to vote No to a Laser class rule change put forward by the international Laser class ILCA. The move by ILCA came at the very last minute. It came just after LaserPerformance and the Laser class ILCA announced on June 30 they had reached a trademark agreement - a development many observers thought was a greatly positive step towards a resolution of the crisis. Last April, the international Laser class had announced it had completed the name change for the boat, but retracted itself afterwards and then stated it would seek a membership vote for such name change. The timing of the class rule vote is dictated by a deadline set by World Sailing for an Olympic contract to be signed with the Laser class by August 1st. For this vote to be successful, the Laser class rules requires a two third - 66% - majority. According to its own numbers, some 61% of the Laser class members reside in Europe. With the European Laser associations currently mobilizing for a no vote, it’s a tall order for ILCA to get its rule change approved, given the geographical distribution of the class membership. Read on for more details....

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