July 23, 2014

What's Going on with Kirby v. LPE?

by Pam
Everyone keeps asking and the people that know aren't talking. I don't have any insights but every time I go to check the status, it takes me too much time to find everything again. So, the below case headings are links that will take you to the public data available. I've summarized what I saw as coming up but if I have it wrong, please correct me.

The trademark cancellation stuff is all public and it's just a matter of understanding the cancellation process. Looks like everything is proceeding along.

The lawsuit is quasi public and from my calculations a Joint Status Report is due on August 24th which should shed some light on how things are going and whether there was any progress in the mediation. A few of the parties have been dismissed.  A couple more are trying to get dismissed. It's all moving very slow.

Karaya LASER TM Cancellation Proceeding (92/057,167)
30-Aug-14Plaintiff's 30-day Trial Period Ends
14-Sep-14Defendant's Pretrial Disclosures
29-Oct-14Defendant's 30-day Trial Period Ends
13-Nov-14Plaintiff's Rebuttal Disclosures
13-Dec-14Plaintiff's 15-day Rebuttal Period Ends
Velum LASER TM Cancellation Proceeding (92/057,217)
19-Aug-14Discovery Closes
03-Oct-14Plaintiff's Pretrial Disclsoures
17-Nov-14Plaintiff's 30-day Trial Period Ends
02-Dec-14Defendant's Pretrial Disclosures
16-Jan-15Defendant's 30-day Trial Period Ends
31-Jan-15Plaintiff's Rebuttal Disclosures
02-Mar-15Plaintiff's 15-day Rebuttal Period Ends
Kirby v. LP Lawsuit (3:13-cv-00297)
Parties:BKI - Bruce Kirby, Inc. (Plaintiff-Counterclaim Defendant)
BK - Bruce Kirby (Plaintiff-Counterclaim Defendant)
LPE - LaserPerformance (Europe) Limited (Defendant-Counterclaim Plaintiff)
QM - Quarter Moon, Incorporated (Defendant-Counterclaim Plaintiff)
ILCA - International Laser Class Association (Defendant)
GSL - Global Sailing Limited (Additional Counterclaim Defendant)
PSA - Performance Sailcraft Pty. Ltd. (Additional Counterclaim Defendant)
KL - Kayara (Jersey) Limited (Defendant) - DISMISSED 2-27-14 - lack of personal jurisdiction
VL - Velum Limited (Defendant) - 
DISMISSED 2-27-14 - lack of personal jurisdiction
ISAF - International Sailing Federal Limited (Defendant) - 
DISMISSED 2/27/14 - lack of personal jurisdiction
FR - Farzad Rastegar (Defendant) - 
DISMISSED 2/27/14 - failure to state claim
07-Aug-14Disclosure of Opening Expert Reports due
Prefiling Conference Request for Dispostive motions (if any) due
24-Aug-14Joint Status Report due
29-Aug-14Damages Analysis due
04-Sep-14Rebuttal Experts Reports due
15-Sep-14Trial Brief due
22-Sep-14Discovery due
Oct. 2014Mandatory Settlement Conference
20-Oct-14Trial Ready Date

July 18, 2014

5 Years

by Pam
Five years ago today, Doug and I had race duty and stopped on the way to the lake to tie the knot. We were aiming for 7-8-09 as the date so that Doug wouldn't have to work too hard to remember it, plus the number would have been excellent feng shui. However, being a bit unorganized, we didn't get our paperwork done in time and had to settle for 7-18-09. Still a good feng shui number and not much harder to remember. A year later we announced our marriage to our friends and family. 

We hadn't bothered to exchange rings, names, etc. and this year I came across a ring ding that looked like it would fit Doug's finger and I jokingly put it on him. To my surprise he didn't take it off. After all, for a sailor it's quite practical. A short time later we found one that fit my finger and we suddenly had wedding rings. How many people have rings that will interlock forming the symbol for infinity, will save you or a friend in an emergency, can easily be replaced and, let's face it, it's pretty hard to get attached to the ring itself instead of its meaning. 

Years ago, I was a Notary and would notarize estate planning documents. The clients of the firm where I worked were the obscenely wealthy. At the time, there was a Power of Attorney document that had to be filled in and signed in front of witnesses as the attorney explained the options of making it effective upon death, disablement or with immediate effect. This was followed by an explanation that if it was effective immediately, the person to whom the power had been given could go out the next day and legally empty the bank accounts and sell everything belonging to the person giving the power. The husband would nod knowingly. 

Many of the couples that came in were older men with younger wives yet many were also close to the same age. The husband always seemed to be the one with the money (usually family money). Based on the size of the wedding ring the wife was wearing, regardless of age, I could predict with 100% accuracy which option the husband would select for when the Power of Attorney would become effective. The smaller the ring the more the trust.

All that to say, after watching this play out over and over, I was opposed to even having wedding rings ... but these are really a sailor's best friend.

July 17, 2014

Laser Cheat Sheet - Settings Explained

By Doug
This question from Tony in the UK about our cheat sheet in the right-hand column:

I recently changed to a Laser and am finding that what looks very simple from the outside is a bit complicated! I have been finding out loads from your cheat sheets and have a question: when you refer to inches in the table in the right column, what exactly are you measuring??

The settings are deceptively simple, really important, and are in inches (apologies to readers outside the US). Different people have very different settings - these are what work for me.

Traveler refers to how high/low it is off your deck. As a general rule, you want the traveler to be as low as possible without affecting your steering. Lower is better, so a low-profile carbon tiller is a must.

Upwind (in the order I set controls at the bottom of the run getting ready to go upwind)
  • Vang tension is interesting because you use it to depower the rig when it's windy and to flatten the sail and let the boom out (not up) when it's light. In medium conditions, I have no vang tension and control the sail with my mainsheet
  • Cunningham (or downhaul) settings vary greatly. Some like "speed wrinkles" while others like it so tight that the bottom of the sail behind the mast is hard to read. I rely on the Laser's good design and just pull the cunningham enough to get wrinkles out and then release it enough so that the sail is sensitive enough to read. When it's windy, some pull so tight that they have to set up the cunningham on one side of the boom to get it really low.
  • Outhaul is a trick I learned from Steve Bourdow after he came second at the 1990 Open Worlds: put your thumb on the boom and then the tip of your pinkie should just touch the sail at its fullest part (this reminds Pam of the Hawaii hang loose sign). What I like about this measurement is that people with smaller hands tend to weigh less and therefore need a flatter setting. As the wind increases, you depower with a tighter outhaul.
  • Mainsheet refers to the distance between the two mainsheet blocks at the back of the boat. I prefer to have a looser setting compared with most others. As the wind increases you want to get to block-to-block, but many do this way too soon. When it's really windy, you need to depower by letting the boom out (with a tight vang, the boom goes out instead of up).
First day of the 2012 Master Midwinters East, set up for light air. Note the really loose mainsheet
set for speed and not pointing (I won both races that day).

Downwind (in the order I set controls when rounding a mark to go downwind)
  • Cunningham is let off as much as possible. Having it too tight in a breeze makes things unstable and may have cost me the 1999 Master Worlds.
  • Vang downwind has many possible settings. A good general rule is to have it loose enough to have the leach move back and forth a little on its own. Most people have it too tight.
  • Outhaul as measured from the middle of the boom to the fullest part of the sail. This tends to be really loose until it's windy.
  • Mainsheet is tricky to get right. I try to sail by-the-lee whenever possible. If it's really windy, this means pulling the boom in as this also helps make things more stable.

July 10, 2014

Reducing Mistakes - More Important Than Boatspeed?

By Doug
I gave a clinic in Colorado a few years ago and shared something that others may find useful.

Besides the final score of a Superbowl, what statistic is most likely to determine the winner? Passing yards? Nope. Rushing yards? Nope. Total yards? Nope. Time of possession? Nope. Winning record against other teams? Nope. All good guesses, but all wrong. The answer is the number of mistakes - the team that turned the ball over the least has almost always won:
  • Since Superbowl I in 1967, only three winners committed more turnovers.
  • Super Bowl winners have committed 52 turnovers while losers have committed 135.
  • Fifteen Super Bowl winners committed zero turnovers.
In professional football, the best talent money can buy is wiped out by mistakesSo, is this also true in sailing? I decided to check it out for myself. Here's a list of mistakes in a typical race:

Before leaving the beach
Arriving late at the rigging area
Not checking sailing instructions
Not checking relative positions
Not checking tides
Not checking weather
Not clearing my mind
Not checking the boat
Not checking spars, fittings
Not preparing spare equipment
Not stretching

At the starting line
Arriving late
Not checking tides
Not checking wind phase
Not checking line sight
Not watching earlier starters
Not picking the correct end
Not anticipating first shift
Not knowing the favored side
Not having a game plan
Not knowing where fleet is starting

The start
Not picking a good hole
Getting greedy
No using peripheral vision/time
Not accelerating
Not pointing
Not protecting my lane
Not working 100% to punch out
Ignoring location of judge boats

The first shift
Getting boxed in
Not tacking when fully mature
Not protecting my lane
Not knowing where the leaders are

The first beat
Not knowing which side to protect
Not knowing where the leaders are
Not staying with the top 10
Not keeping head out of the boat
Trying to win race, not the event
Approaching the 1st mark
Not anticipating traffic
Forgetting last shift is persistent

The 1st mark
Getting greedy
Not being in the top 5
Not powering up properly

The 1st reach
Not protecting my lane
Letting stretch/not stretching

The run
Not keeping clear air at all times
Not carving
Not protecting the inside for room

The bottom reach   
Not stretching out

2nd beat
Not leading to the right, or
Not staying with the leaders
Not keeping head out of the boat
Not using boat-speed

Rest of the race
Poor communication
Pumping too much
Not watching others mistakes

Picking the wrong end of the line
Not protecting the right

After racing
Not eating pasta within 30 minutes
Not stretching
Not checking for protests
Not writing down everything

One of the good things about keeping a sailing journal is that you can go back and learn from an event, even years later. I did this for:
I created a spreadsheet with the races along the top as columns and the possible mistakes along the side as rows. For each mistake, I scored 1 for a minor mistake, 2 for a major mistake, and 3 for a disaster (like an OCS). This turned out to be fantastically revealing.

The row scores for each part of the race told me what part of the race was the most dangerous. I had always assumed that it was the start, but I was wrong. Think about it - In Melbourne we had 72 boats on the starting line that was almost 500 meters long. It was crazy for sure, but the same number of boats had to squeeze through just 1% of that space to round the first mark. For me, the first mark rounding was much more difficult and where lots of mistakes were made.

Lesson learned:
  • Get a clean start, get into phase, and think way ahead about how you want to approach and round the first mark.
The column score totals for each race were even more revealing.

Lessons learned:
  • My boatspeed was consistently good, but my finishes were not consistent.
  • No mistakes meant 4 bullets (ignore race 11 in Chile because I had already won).
  • There is a correlation between the number of mistakes and how badly I finished.
  • Spending time on physical preparation is important for boatspeed. But mental preparation to reduce mistakes is also important - perhaps even more so.
Something to keep in mind when preparing for Hyères.

July 07, 2014

506 Registered

by Pam
Apprentice (35-44)342702
Master (45-54)1197535
Grand Master (55-64)8971116
Great Grand Master (65-74)879015

Everybody wants to go to France. Doug is switching back to the standard, is at the top end of his age group, is underweight, and has the second largest group competing. 89 boats on the start line!

He has his hiking bench set up in the entry way to the living room and every time he walks past it, he jumps on for a couple of minutes. He thought he was in good shape until he went out for a sail on a particularly windy day a couple of weeks ago and learned differently. 

He just returned from the Butterfly Nationals where he won it (not easily) for the 5th time. And from now until France, his practice conditions and fleet size looks like this:

Hmmm ... wonder how he'll do. Either way, we're going to France! 
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