It appears that the boat once known as the Laser may now be called the Torch. Designer Bruce Kirby, in his efforts to hold the builders of his boat accountable to the agreements that they signed, has now launched the Kirby Torch website which provides these details:
* Bruce Kirby Inc. terminated the builder agreements in Europe and North America late in 2012. This was due to a failure of said builders to make royalty payments as required by their builder agreement. Bruce Kirby Inc. considers boats made by the terminated builders and distributed under the Laser brand to be without his authorization and therefore counterfeit.
* On March 25, 2013, ISAF instructed the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) to no longer recognize LaserPerformance as a builder of the Laser. – Does this mean that ISAF will also make Olympic Single Handed Dinghy Sailing take place in a Torch Dinghy – Steve’s conjecture in italics.
* Bruce Kirby Inc. has signed new Builder Agreements to manufacture the Kirby Torch in regions serving the needs of sailors in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Companies listed on the website are located in Canada, Australia, and The Netherlands. LaserPerformance is not among the companies listed.
* Current manufacturers of the Kirby sailboat under the Laser brand are in the process of converting over to manufacture the Kirby sailboat under the Kirby Torch brand. The process is expected to take a few months after which Kirby Torch builders will be the only licensed manufacturers of the Kirby sailboat throughout the world.
* Bruce Kirby Inc. and the Torch Builders have been trying to negotiate with the International Laser Class Association in hopes it would replicate itself as the Torch Class. This is considered the most expedient way to establish a Torch Class because Bruce Kirby Inc. and the Torch Builders all agree that all authorized Laser brand boats with ISAF plaques will be class legal in the Torch Class.
Source: Kirby Torch website
Steve’s conjecture – will the Laser Class Associations line up with the Torch Dinghy. Surely it all depends if ISAF dictate that the Youth Worlds or Olympics will be sailed in Torch Dinghies. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the ISAF head office tomorrow; I am sure there are lots of big decisions to be made with some very big implications for sailors worldwide.