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26/04/2019 - 09:02

Eppure continuiamo a non capire

Laser? No: ILCA Dinghy L'operazione procede

Il singolo olimpico non si chiama più Laser: adesso è ILCA Dinghy. Tra fretta, superficialità, protervia, business, l'operazione dell'associazione internazionale della classe velica più diffusa al mondo va avanti scrivendo un altro capitolo. A tre settimane dalla decisione di World Sailing sul singolo olimpico 2024 (e a quanto pare in accordo con la federvela mondiale). Nuovo nome sulle rande, velerie già pronte. Il testo originale. Tutto procede nello scenario anticipato. Ma non finirà certo qui...

 

L'ultima atto dell'operazione "Addio Laser" che scuote il mondo della vela (da quella di base al livello olimpico) è un comunicato stampa (sic!) dell'ILCA International Laser Class Association, che trovate qui anche in versione originale, firmato da Austin (Texas) dall'ineffabile Eric Faust, segretario generale prezzolato dell'associazione.

Vi si annuncia il cambio di nome della classe, da Laser in ILCA Dinghy. Che fantasia, eh? Con tanto di fotomontaggio che rende ancora più sconcertante l'idea. "A seguito della fine del contratto con il sul costruttore europeo, ILCA annuncia oggi 25 aprile che tutte le nuove barche approvate saranno vendute e regateranno con il nome di ILCA Dinghy. Questo cambio non avrà impatto sulle esistenti barche e attrezzature autorizzate ILCA, che potranno continuare a partecipare in tutti gli eventi riconosciuti ILCA."

"E' un grande cambiamento per una classe che ha quasi 50 anni di vita - scrive nel comunicato il presidente ILCA Tracy Usher - Tutti noi abbiamo lavorato instancabilmente per rendere minimi gli effetti dirompenti per i membri ILCA e i regatanti della classe in tutto il mondo." Ci soni riusciti?

Si spiega ancora che "Il nuovo nome sarà applicato alle tre attrezzature (4.7. Radial, Standard) e le nuove vele stazzate riporteranno il nuovo logo. Una sigla. Che brutta fine per il sogno Laser, almeno esteticamente. Senza il raggio non c'è poesia.

L'operazione rientra nelle previsioni da noi fatte alcuni giorni fa (leggi qui l'ultimo articolo), con l'obiettivo di lasciare olimpico l'ex Laser con nuovo nome e (ben presto) anche con una nuova attrezzatura, albero-boma-randa, con tutte le conseguenze del caso. Altro che minimizzare: la "disruption" per i laseristi di tutto il mondo rischia di essere cara, anche se poi come sempre la vita va avanti e ci si adatta a tutto. La veleria North ha già annunciato che produrrà queste rande.

Naturalmente non finisce qui. Troppo facile. C'è adesso da attendersi la legittima reazione di Laser Performance, che in poche settimane si è trovata svuotata della sua storia e del suo marchio di fabbrica. E' probabile che il cantiere inglese (evidentemente fallito ogni tentativo di trattativa di riavvicinamento con ILCA) continui a produrre la barca e a chiamarla Laser e a fare regate e attività. Avremo un vecchio Laser e un nuovo ILCA Dinghy, identici, su due campi di regata diversi, calendari diversi, classi diverse? Pazzesco. Vedremo a breve gli aggiornamenti, e sentiremo i protagonisti.

 

IL TESTO DEL COMUNICATO ILCA DEL 25 APRILE

 

Olympic One-Person Sailing Dinghy Completes Name Change

“ILCA Dinghy” Is New Face of World’s Most Popular Racing Boat

Austin, Texas, USA (25 April 2019) – In the wake of last month’s termination of its

contract with its European builder, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA)

announced today that, from 25 April 2019, all new, class-approved boats will be sold

and raced under the “ILCA Dinghy” name. This change will have no impact on existing

ILCA-authorized boats and equipment, which will be able to race alongside ILCA

Dinghies in all class sanctioned events.

“It’s a big change for a racing class that hasn’t seen anything like this in our almost 50-

year history,” said Class President Tracy Usher. “Our staff and our network of

stakeholders have been working tirelessly to ensure minimal disruption to ILCA

members and class racers in all regions of the globe.” Usher pointed out that the name

change will apply to all three rig sizes allowed by the ILCA Class Rules (Standard,

Radial and 4.7 rigs) and the new class-legal sails for each rig will carry the updated

ILCA logo.

Usher said the class is grateful for the overwhelming response they’ve received from

the racing community and sailing industry as they look to involve new manufacturers in

their existing system of suppliers. “Boatbuilders, sailmakers and manufacturers of

spars, blocks, and other sailing hardware have immediately stepped up to help, showing

just how tight this sporting community can be,” said Usher.

Chris Caldecoat, General Manager of longtime class-approved boatbuilder Performance

Sailcraft Australia (PSA), said his factory is gearing up to maximize production of the

newly-branded ILCA Dinghy. “The class’s new logo looks great on the boats and sails,

and we’re excited about this new chapter in the long story of this great little boat,” said

Caldecoat, who has been collaborating on the many efforts involving current and

prospective suppliers and dealers. Both PSA and builder Performance Sailcraft Japan

have agreed to use the new ILCA name and branding for all of their class-approved

offerings.

Eric Faust, ILCA’s Executive Secretary, said his team is close to issuing a formal

application form to help narrow down the large number of prospective new builders he’s

heard from since the class’s March announcement. “After recent discussions with

World Sailing leadership, we’re assured that we have their full support with this

changeover, especially since we now have the opportunity to comply fully with World

Sailing’s fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing requirements for Olympic

equipment. We’ve already had serious interest from well-funded and highly respected

builders who are committed to building to the exacting one-design standards of our

construction manual and the ILCA Rules,” said Faust.

But Faust is quick to point out that there will be no performance difference in the sails,

hardware, or any other equipment that has helped make the class the world’s

most popular choice of racing boat. “Our main suppliers of spars, sails and parts will remain

the same. They’ll be selling the same class-legal gear, just under a different brand

name,” said Faust. “Hyde and North have now made sample sails with the new graphic

and we expect to see newly branded ILCA sails available for purchase in the next few

weeks,” he said, adding that a combination of new and existing vendors and dealers will

round out the more efficient supply chain.

Dan Neri, CEO of North Sails Group and a longtime Laser sailor, says his company is

fully on board with this change. “North Sails has always been a huge supporter of ILCA

and we are excited about their new direction and the opportunities it brings,” said Neri.

“We’ve got our team ramping up production with the new logo and we look forward to

continuing to supply quality products for this great one-design class.”

13-time Laser Masters World Champion, Peter Seidenberg, is also fully supportive of

the move. “As a Laser sailor for 46 years, and one who has competed internationally

for the last 39 years, I have relied on ILCA’s strict one-design concept to be certain that

all boats are exactly the same and that none of my competitors have an advantage by

sailing a special boat,” said Seidenberg, who was inducted into the ILCA Hall of Fame

last year. “I understand that, because of a breach of the construction manual

agreement, ILCA considered it had no choice but to terminate its contract with the

European builder and to search for new builders and that trademark restrictions forced

the class to rename the boat. I fully support ILCA in their efforts to save the one-design

concept of the class and to continue the long-established tradition of ensuring that the

boats are identical around the world.”

Usher admits that the timing of the situation isn’t ideal. “Unfortunately we had to make

this change at the start of the biggest season for new boat sales so we can’t promise

that the next few months will be perfect,” said Usher, who added that PSA and PSJ

would be able to move a “substantial number of boats” to Europe, North America, or

wherever the need is greatest. “Europe may see a slight increase in delivery times, but

other regions will soon see their orders filled more quickly and efficiently than under the

previous builder,” Usher said. ILCA plans to reach out directly to its members, districts

and to national sailing federations over the next 30 days with guidance on ordering

boats and equipment easily.

As suppliers begin to receive new ILCA-authorized decals for class-approved parts this

month, ILCA emphasizes that all existing authorized parts on the dealers’ shelves will

still be legal for racing. Similarly, all existing Laser brand boats with World Sailing

plaques affixed to the aft face of the cockpit are legal for all class racing regardless of

the builder. “Club Edition” or “training boats” that do not bear the World Sailing plaque or

sails without an ILCA sail buttons are not class legal and will not be eligible to compete

in any ILCA-sanctioned event, including events organized by any national or continental

class association.

For additional information, ILCA has answered a number of frequently asked questions

about the recent changes here: https://tinyurl.com/y66uxb4o

Sezione ANSA: 
Saily - News

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