After the announcement of the Kirby Torch sailboat as a proposed replacement for the popular Laser, we have had several concerned sailors contact Fogh Marine regarding the future of the class and the boat. The rumours are already starting to fly so we thought we would try to answer some of the questions from a sailor’s perspective.

LaserTorch

The two images above show the only difference between the current Laser and the proposed Torch. The Logo.

  • When is this happening?

Thie legal process is just beginning, there will be no change in supply of Lasers or Laser parts for at least 2013. LaserPerformance is still building the Laser and parts are still available through them., 

  • Will this change affect Laser Sailors? 

No, for the average sailor competing in the Laser or proposed Torch this change would affect nothing. 

  • Does this mean that I won’t be able to race my Laser and would my Laser no longer be class legal?

The proposed change in name from the Laser to the Kirby Torch would simply be a name change due to a LASER trademark issue.  All current Lasers are and would remain class legal.  The proposed Torch Class, once up and running would allow class compliant Lasers (those with ISAF and builder plaques) to participate in any racing the Torch Class is sanctioning. Therefore the Laser and Torch would race together.

  •  HOW can they sail together?

The proposed Torch sailboat would be the same Bruce Kirby designed sailboat as the Laser. The change would be in name only – from Laser to Torch. All fittings and equipment on the boat would be the same except for a logo.  The expectation of Bruce Kirby and the proposed Torch builders would be that the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) would accept the Torch class into the ILCA, or run a parallel class for the Torch. The end goal would be to have the ILCA become the ITCA once/if the Torch is produced. For this season, it will be business and sailing as per usual.  The Torch could be in production later this year, if the legal and class issues can be settled.  (ISAF, ILCA and lawyers)

  • I read on Sailing Anarchy/Scuttlebutt that Hans Fogh and Thomas Fogh are part of the new company.   Is Fogh Marine building the Torch? 

Fogh Marine and Morten Fogh are not involved in any way with the new builders of the proposed  Kirby Torch. We would sell the boat at our store in Toronto but have no stake or say in the new company.

The North American Torch Group includes Hans Fogh, John Kerr, and Thomas Fogh, none of whom are associated in the operation of Fogh Marine in any way. 

  • Will parts still be available for the Laser?

The current Laser class legal parts will be available for Lasers as per normal channels.  While the Torch would use many of the same parts, they would be Torch branded once the boats and parts are in production.

  • They’re building the boat in Midland, Ontario? 

No!  The proposed Torch would be built in Southern Ontario at a location still to be determined.

Tags: Laser, Torch, Fogh, Kirby

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