The Torch

"As a fan of the Laser from its inception back in the 70's, it is tragic to see Bruce Kirby having to fight for the integrity of his brilliantly simple design which has given so many of us so much fun on the water. 

You have more support than you probably realise. Good Luck in your endeavour."   --J.L.

You are doing the right thing

"I was ... Olympic Finn rep ...".

"In my view, you are doing the right thing with the Torch.  You deserve every recognition and benefit for creating this incredible boat. It isn't just the boat that is at stake -- the sport's necessary foundation is fairness and forthrightness. You are setting a high and proper standard for others to follow." --R. Professor

Hang in there!

"While your legacy as a sailor, designer and author is already clear to those of us who know you, I am even more impressed with your tenacity to do the right thing."  --r.d.


"I've been following the news about your case, and hoping good sense will prevail and things will move to your side."  --name witheld (Olympic Laser Sailor)

Good luck - you are in the right

"I admire tremendously your standing up for what is right against blatant theft of your property, dishonest representations, and cowardly kowtowing by the world sailing federation.  This is an issue with serious repercussions, financial, reputation, and sailing, and ISAF and ILCA should have stepped in to help you resolve this instead of leaving it for the two parties to address.

I wish you every success in resolving this and only regret that at 80 you have to come back to the class you created to enforce the agreements they made with you."  --D.S.

Re: Kirby Torch Class News

"Here is my question and this was posed to the local ILCA representative this weekend. How much are the royalties per boat and how much is owed? and when did the ILCA, builders or ISAF stop paying them? Are there similar classes that one can look to in that the bylaws have been changed and the designer has been removed?  I don't think so, but it would come out in court if there was a example of such action. I am familiar with royalties on boats and sails from other one design classes, know the amounts and that they were always paid."

"[I]t is BK's design and he is owed his royalties and should always be."  --M.P.

The Torch !!!

"... the laser is the best dinghy in the world and the person who have all rights on the boat and his name is Bruce Kirby.

I totaly agree with you and I want to have a Kirby torch not a laser ... because they lie and they didn't respect your agreement."  --T.


"I'm sure you don't remember me but my wife and I spent some time with you and your wife at the Bitter End Yacht Club in November 1991.  I've spent the better part of the evening reading all I can about your present dispute and wanted to just drop you a note and tell you I admire the cause you are pursuing. ... I rekindled my Laser sailing so I feel part of the fraternity you created."  All the best. T.F.

Kirby Torch

"I am down here ... with limited Internet so I just got wind of the Kirby Torch. I can't be more proud of you and I wish you the very best in taking back ownership of your baby. She is worth it."  --J.K.

Kirby Torch Campaign

"I applaud your defense of your design and royalty rights."  

"I am the program director ... and I will not be authorizing the purchase of any boats or parts ... as long as this persists."

"It would be my pleasure to support this cause on Facebook and on the bumper of my vehicle, and tell all my friends about the Kirby Torch."

"Good Luck, and please continue to let sailors know what they can do to help!" --B.M.


"My parents kindly bought my first Laser ... in 1973 and I have owned several over the past 40 (!) years. My PIN number on my bank card was "Laser" until I had to change it to 4 digits for use in the US. I tried to name the family dog Laser. I have an old Laser duffle bag from the '70s I still use. I have a vintage Laser belt somewhere. However, after all this nonsense, I consider myself a long-time Kirby Torch sailor! Non carborundum bastardum, Bruce!"  --BF

Laser ...

"I organise ... as part of UKLA.

"...Bruce deserves our support."  Regards, name witheld

"PS I noticed that MacLaren sponsor the ISAF!"

The Torch

"I know you will be snowed under by mails at the current time, so please accept this contribution to your mountain of fan mail."   

"There is no need to write about my admiration for the class in its pure form, which I think you must take as a given from anyone who knows anything about sailing. 

"My interest and admiration lie in your readiness to battle for doing the right thing.  In an age where social responsibility has been eclipsed by the god of greed, your stance is commendable and admirable. ...  To re-launch with the correct ethos, looking for longevity of the pure ideal and still keeping the racing pure at all levels must send out the strongest signal to the somewhat questionable morals of ISAF.  On a more positive note, it highlights the fact that our sport is built by real men of integrity.  You are not only a torch, but I am sure will become a beacon to many young sailors..." 

 With total admiration, and if you need support or campaigns launching ... do let me know." --P.C.


"Bloody good on you.  Take them on.  The world needs more people like you."  --R.F.


"I support what you guys are doing. Don't let them steal your design!"  --2012 Olympian 

Torch / Laser

"Totally behind you on this one... Hope you win this one and I know you have the design so close to your heart. --M.K.

Bruce Kirby Reaches Out

"I am the Sailing Programs Director ...  I have just dropped my membership in the Laser Class.  I currently have 6 Lasers in use ... for training and racing.  None of us are pros but we love our boats.  ***

I like the boat and its designer, therefore, I have no interest in being part of a group who steals due funds to the designer.  In my opinion, we owners should all abandon the national and international authorities and then they will do the right thing and rightfully pay up.  This would get our boat back on track!  Count me in Bruce!"   Fair Winds, C.D.


Torch boats...

"We will help support your new branded boat here is Asia.

 Keep up the good work and we look forward to a fleet of Torch dinghies in our fleet in the near future."  --Cheers, R.A.

Mr Kirby

"Love what you are doing, I am now a fat Finn sailor but incredibly fond of the class that got me into competitive world class sailing. My little brother has started to sail them and I have been shocked at how low the quality of the gear has got, it was bad enough 5 Years ago. Here is to hoping that you can defeat the tyrants over at ISAF and get the class back on the right track."  --G.C.

Good Luck

"...I like to take a thoughtful view of what I see happening in the sport that I love but I regret to say that the recent events regarding the Laser have left me saddened. You are the father of the class and (given the timing of the boat and the name....) the one person who can say that his DNA runs through the design. It is YOUR boat."  --D.H.


"Happy to Have you back in charge."  --M.P.


"I am looking forward to sailing the Torch worlds in Kingston in 2015 in ... Torch that I bought from Fogh Marine."  --H.L.

Fun city!

"It's been some 30 years of me parking my cheeks on your deck(s) and I am truly eternally indebted to you for a life time of wonderment and fun. You da man!"  --R.B.

Moral support for your efforts

"I can’t believe the $#!+ that has been going on over the Laser ... I applaud you for taking these guys on to make things right.  It is clear it isn’t just for you but will be good for the sailors in the class ... It is amazing to see this boat so relevant for so many years."  Sincerely, A.A.


With you all the way...

"I have owned five lasers ... nothing beats laser sailing for maintaining fitness and friendships built over many years of competition. 

I was disappointed in the ILCA lack of support for you, and the all too common immoral behaviour behind the issue.

Wishing you a successful conclusion and happy to see Performance Sailing Australia ( makers of quality boats) on board!"  Regards, G.T.

Dear Bruce 

"We are right behind you watching every twist and turn in you endeavours to wrestle your boat back from those who have money as their core desire, rather than to share the fun of sailing with everyone.

The Torch has now built up a head of steam with your news and developments.   Sailors are behind you ..."  All the very best, S.C.

Long Overdue

"May I congratulate you on the action that you have taken to reclaim control of your boat.  As a sailor of the Laser for 20 years I have been continually frustrated by the poor regard that ... has had for its loyal customers.  The build quality showed a lack of passion and a lack of attention to detail and the continual price rises were getting beyond a joke."  Regards, D.W.

Lasers to Torches

“I think this would be a good time to turn over a new leaf. Take what we liked about the ways things were run with the "Laser" and continue them, take what we didn't like about the way things were run with the "Laser" and eliminate them. I think it's time for a fresh start.”  --S.P.

Thank You

“The voice of one laser sailor may not mean much, but thank you for the steps you are taking.  

Far better we have some short-term confusion and trouble, than the long slow death we have been enduring with bad supply and poor quality products.

I love the boat and complete in masters events. I don't mind what it is called, I just want to see the sailing and boat we love continue and thrive.”  --M.O


 Welcome, Torch!  R.S.


This is awesome!

“I cannot stress how excited I am about the termination of license to build the laser ... Hopefully this (huge) move can help advance the laser class as a whole and bring about some needed changes to the boat. Good luck in this venture!”  Sincerely, F.E.


Torch the Future of Laser Class In SouthAmerica

“… I really happy to hear big change in Laser Class, We are really boring to wait 6 months for a simple part of the boat or to pay thousands U$S to bring it from US or Europe.”  Regards, P.S.



Very cool.  --W.


Parts for my “Laser”

 “Congratulations on wrestling control back and hopefully putting an end to the shameful situation ...”   Regards, P



"I am fully in favour of you 'taking back whats yours' as it were, and changing the laser into the torch... after all, whats in a name? "  Thanks, R.