World Sailing – discord continues in Part 3.

It turns out that two years ago World Sailing received a note, sent on behalf of Professor Giacomo di Federico, Professor of European Union law at the University of Bologna, established in 1088!

Text notes (in a slightly abbreviated form) reads as follows:

“We are writing to you on behalf of a number of European sailing yacht builders, sailing masters and manufacturers of yacht equipment.

We ask to inform about the compliance with European law on competition, the decisions World Sailing (previously ISAF) has taken in the past regarding the selection of classes for sailing races at the Olympics.

We refer to the fact that gradually, over time, WS has moved away from unlimited rights of riders to choose from the shipyard for the construction of racing yachts, from the right to free choice of masts and sails from any manufacturer (of course, always subject to strict measurements in place) to the use of racing yachts, whose design and Assembly is a private property in the form of intellectual property rights of its creators, and whose production is carried out on an exclusive basis by the license holders.

Currently only two classes (Finn and 470 – YR) is not subject to such restrictions, and we learned that both of these classes may soon be replaced by a new one which will only be built under license from the copyright holder.

It is obvious that this situation violates EU Law on competition. Accordingly, we instructed Giacomo di Federico, associate Professor of European Union law in Bologna to prepare this note independent opinion.

It clearly shows the illegitimacy of past decisions (ISAF/WS), and future, rumors that are proliferating and therefore, there is a risk of the imposition of various sanctions as in World Sailing, and the international Olympic Committee (which received a copy of this letter).

The situation should be corrected as soon as possible, because many of our clients have already suffered significant losses as a result of policies adopted by the WS, they intend to defend their interests and to pursue all appropriate forms of compensation for the losses they have suffered and may suffer in the future.”

Essentially, the above claim is the following: selecting the class for the Olympic regatta, which is being built by only one manufacturer (or are only matrices that manufacturer that today is rare), WS actually creates a monopoly the market structure of the Olympic sport of yachting (sailing) equipment. It should be noted that the started (to our knowledge) in may 2018 the EU antitrust investigation is limited, of course, only the Olympic classes.

We recall that the choice of yachtsmen open “monotypes” (that is, yachts that are open and available to the project can build virtually anyone, freely or by paying the right holder of the project a certain amount and after confirmation of the measurement characteristics of the relevant class to declare it on competitions of any level) acted on the Olympic games up to the early 1990s. The first “cuckoo” in 1992 was the Laser, which was followed by other closed “single production monotypes”.

Today, there were only two classes – Finn and 470 – hull and masts which can be ordered by riders for themselves in different manufacturers (the WS are serious to completely remove Finn from the road, as we wrote yesterday). However, in reality, the EU already conducts the investigation in accordance with its antitrust Directive number 101 (here the text):…/antitrust/procedures_101_en.html

And sources in the US confirmed that in the middle of this week, the President WS, Kim Andersen and CEO, Andy hunt held a closed meeting of the Executive Committee and Council WS, on just that topic. After an investigation, the EU formally move can be very time-consideration of the final list recommended for the Olympic games in 2024 (Paris) materiel.

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