Bruce Kirby - whose single-handed one-design has become a staple at the Olympic Games - has apparently signed all new builder agreements to manufacture his rechristened Kirby Torch design, after terminating his previous deals at the end the last year.
"The issue is supply of the Kirby sailboat and parts to sailors worldwide," according to the Kirby Torch website. "After numerous attempts, Bruce Kirby felt he had no choice but to withdraw Laser brand building rights in North America and Europe."
It's alleged that lack of royalty payments for the design by at least one top manufacturer prompted the move by Kirby to strike out on own, but nothing has been confirmed as of this time.
It is also not known exactly what the consequences will be for currently sailed Lasers and for the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), although the Kirby Torch website states that all ISAF-plaqued Lasers are class legal under the renamed fleet.
More on this story as it develops...