In the on-going legal battle over rights to the Laser dinghy, Laser designer Bruce Kirby, who owns the design rights but not the name, has renamed his boat the Kirby Torch.
When the builder for North America and Europe, LaserPerformance, stopped paying Kirby royalty fees, Kirby called a halt to their production. This means that no legally licensed Lasers are available at this moment.
The builders in Australia, Canada and the Netherlands have joined Kirby and call their boats 'Torch', the name chosen by Kirby to continue to sell his design.
It is now up to the International Laser Class Association, whether the illegally produced boats called Laser or the Torch called Laser design will be represented by this organisation.
This means that International Laser Class Association does not have an authorized builder. The builders in Australia, Canada and the Netherlands have joined Kirby and call their boats 'Torch'. The Asian builder has also been forced to halt Laser production.
This satement is on the website for the Torch:
'The issue is supply of the Kirby sailboat and parts to sailors worldwide. After numerous attempts, Bruce Kirby felt he had no choice but to withdraw Laser brand building rights in North America and Europe. Through the Kirby Torch brand, sailors will be able to maintain access to hulls, parts and the one-design aspect which is the touchstone of the Kirby sailboat design. To accelerate this outcome, the Kirby Torch builders agree that all ISAF-plaqued Lasers are class legal in the Kirby Torch fleet.'
Full report on sailingscuttlebutt.com
10 April 2013 7:36 GMT