Merry Christmas from the International Jet Sports Boating Association. This is the end of the year update. There will be several updates in January but none of them will be this long.
The Winter Solstice has passed two days ago. We try to recognize this date, every year, as it means the turn towards the summer season, the ultimate time of the year to enjoy PWC and PWC Racing. This is, of course, geographical- many events will start in just a matter of weeks, like the UAE Championships which will take place January 8-9, 2016. Next up will be other major series such as the Thai National Championships, Australian and New Zealand races and numerous other exciting events as the warmer temperatures start to happen westward. Winter events, like the Mark Hahn 300, will not wait for warm weather and will be upon us, very soon, ready-or-not.
Out here in the Western United States, we are finally getting the long awaited rain after a multi-year drought. This rain comes a month before the predicted arrival of an El Nino weather pattern that we hope will create large snow packs and refill the reservoirs where we race. This is especially important for Lake Havasu City where the supply level of the Colorado River are predicted to be significantly lower, by 2017, if rains do not come and snow packs are not restored. So, while the West Coast mourns the loss of this year’s crab season (yes Baltimore, Dungeness is better), reportedly due to pre El Nino conditions, we look forward to the positive effects of the upcoming weather pattern.
Please share the following news and information with your friends and colleagues in the PWC Racing Family.
IJSBA People Update
IJSBA previously brought you the news of Jacque Bryant being severely injured in a dirt bike accident. We later learned news of some recovery. We were delighted when the mail arrived with a Christmas card from the Bryant family showing an upright Jacque looking in good health. We will bring you another official update after the holidays and a Bryant family support offer for discounted vendor space at the 2015 quakysense World Finals.
IJSBA would like to congratulate former summer intern, Eva Cerreta, a 2015 graduate of UC Hastings School of Law, and now a member of the State Bar of California, on passing the nation’s most difficult bar exam (yes it is, New York). We wish this very smart and talented young woman the very best for her future endeavors and know she will be a tremendous success.
IJSBA International Affiliates Update
IJSBA had an active year with the Affiliate Program and had the largest group of active nations active in promoting IJSBA sanctioned races. There are more applications in for 2016 than ever, we expect this upcoming year to be very big for PWC Racing assuming stability in currency exchanges and no serious issues in market economies. Below are some highlights.
The Thai Jet Sports Boating Association sanctions the annual King’s Cup which is owned by Asian Multi Sports. As everyone in the PWC Racing universe knows, this is one of the greatest races anywhere. This year, they really updated their infrastructure and have demonstrated some valuable use of some large scale items like digital boards. IJSBA is taking a note from this and seeing what we can integrate into World Finals and are working on a shared infrastructure package so that this equipment can be utilized by major IJSBA events around the world without any one organizer having to absorb the cost of this very expensive equipment. We appreciate the strides that are made by the King’s Cup organizers for the continued evolution of the sport [it almost makes up for being sent back to the airport in a van full of giggling college girls who asked questions about Aero Aswar for two hours straight].
IJSBA is very proud to announce an agreement has been made for an upgraded and shared IJSBA European Finals. Locations in both Nysa, Poland, and Doncaster, United Kingdom will comprise the crowning of the IJSBA European Champions. We expect to have final information to release within the next month.
Welcome New Affiliates
13 new Affiliate applications were pulled in the last 30 days with the details being finalized on ten, two completed, and one we rejected. IJSBA welcomes new affiliates in Brunei and Belize. Belize JetSki Ventures will be hosting an all new event: The IJSBA Intercontinental Triathlon. This Triathlon will comprise of Endurance, Closed Course, and Slalom. Competitors, and their craft, will arrive in mainland Belize where the triathlon will start with Closed Course Moto 1. After Moto 1, competitors will compete in the first stages of Endurance Racing up the coast and then to San Pedro Island. On San Pedro Island, competitors well compete in the Slalom portion of the event. After a day on San Pedro Island, competitors will engage in the second wave of the Endurance portion of the event back to mainland Belize. The event will end with closed course racing on the mainland.
IJSBA To Manage National PWC Use Policy
IJSBA is very proud to announce that we are finalize agreements, in two separate countries, for IJSBA to write and manage their national PWC use policy for public recreational, commercial, and private competitive use. This is a work and progress and will be developed as we implement the program. There may be a new staffing opportunity with one of these offices. Enterprising persons who are well versed in both office, and administrative skills as well as PWC knowledge may want to contact IJSBA to inquire.
IJSBA’s International Contracted Offices Finally Starting To Develop
IJSBA has announced our plans to create up to five divisional IJSBA Regions in growing marketplaces with an immediate eye on Asia and the Middle East/Africa which both show the largest potential growth in the next ten years. These offices will be operated by entities who are dedicated to developing and maintaining a strong sports market in the respective regions. Each contracted office will delegate management of the sport, in that region, to that office and will come with a right to produce a World Championship. Capital raised from these developments will fund new equipment purchases for IJSBA and will allow us to develop new programs and explore new publicity partnerships and opportunities. A key focus is a traveling set of IROC Equipment and ownership of our upcoming web based broadcasting networks as opposed to providing content to other network owners. Expect finalize announcements very soon.
IJSBA Now Sanctioning Aerial Watercraft
As mentioned in early 2015, IJSBA will have a section in the 2016-2017 Rule Book that governs policy for the competition of Aerial Accessories for Personal Watercraft (i.e. Flyboard, etc.). This comes just in time as IJSBA has agreed to sanction an international body that is exclusively for “Hydroflight,” their term for the sport. Competition will start in the United States, this year, with both standalone events and competitions that will join existing PWC races.
IJSBA United States Update
Major changes for the 2016 year of IJSBA Racing in the United States include an end to the numbered system for the regions. Rather than go by designations such as “Region 3,” the United States regional territories will be designated by the following six titles: Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Central, Eastern, and Southern. Each division will be entitled to host a Divisional National event.
The United States Closed Course National Championship will continue to be decided by a single round event held in Chicago, Illinois, on the weekend of September 10-11. This event will be produced by our partners, P1 Aquax, USA.
Other National Championships include Area Nationals and Surf Nationals. Surf Nationals are expected to have Eastern and Western titles. The Arena Nationals are scheduled for three rounds over July 30, July 31, and August 28.
IJSBA Rules Update
IJSBA is a little tardy in getting the draft of the new rule book published. For those of you who rip off the IJSBA Rule Book and pass it off as your own, don’t worry, we will have it done in plenty of time for you to change the order, alter a couple of phrases, and put it on your website believing you aren’t engaging in copyright infringement. However, to get this done, some of you on the contribution team owe a couple of drafts and documents and they are severely overdue. The first phase of the Rule Book will appear on December 28, with or without you contributions and we very much want to have them.
IJSBA sent out the rule change inquiries earlier than normal in 2015. The changes to Runabout Stock racing were already decided in 2014 and were published in the appendix of the 2015 Rule Book. A rules meeting was held at the 2015 quakysense World Finals with several nations attending. Hull committee, Rules Committee, and Freestyle Committee meetings were held at World Finals, as well. Based on the consensus of the participants, and the correspondence through the year, the following are what to expect:
-Junior Class eligibility will generally remain at a minimum of age 10 but will have provisions to allow competitors as young as 8 years old to compete in Ski classes upon approval from event organizers.
-2016 Runabout Stock Class will follow the rules as previously published to change on January 1, 2016.
-The previous Runabout Stock Class Rules will become a new class called Runabout Spec.
-Runabout Open and Runabout GP rules will merge into a single class. This class will largely follow GP Rules while retaining the Open Class rule of matching the engine brand to the top deck.
-Ski GP and Ski Open rules will merge into a single class which will largely follow GP Rules.
-Freestyle Technical Rules and competition policies will be a standalone section of Rule Book.
-Ski Lites will be a standalone section of the Rule Book.
-Ski Stock will begin a transition to become a more OEM Based category.
-The Rule Book will be organized by Ski, Runabout, and Freestyle with the modification allowances in subsections. Classes like Sport, Minis, and Aerial Watercraft will be in the Appendix.
You, the racing public, have asked us to write a more clear and easier to understand Rule Book which reduces the number of grey areas. We are hopeful this product will live up to your expectations.
Holiday Lump Of Coal
How long does a Zebra brand card printer last? About 8,400 cards before it needs a major servicing. To be fair, this doesn’t account for card reprints due to operator error (or illegible writing on membership applications) which is at least 1%. Some of you wanted a membership card for the Holidays and we are sorry we could not accommodate all of you. We will get membership cards in the mail when the printer comes back from service. In the meantime, memberships are still being processed and your membership number is available if you need it sooner. All membership data is sent to event organizers prior to a competition so your number and expiration date are available, on site, as well. We hope to have the card printer back by the end of January. Sorry.
IJSBA Technical Director Services
The IJSBA Technical Director, Mike Rodgers, has compiled additional new data for organizers and affiliates and has been proofreading sections of the Rule Book draft for clarity. Mike will be designing an all new training services package to certify technical inspectors for methodology in technical inspections as well as how to use the new online resources that will be available as part of his new services program. The goal is for IJSBA to have uniformed and consistent rulings and understanding of the technical data. Please send inquiries, in advance, to have first priority to be part of these training opportunities. Mike Rodgers can be emailed, direct, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 quakysense World Finals Notices
This section comprises notices for the 2016 quakysense World Finals. Please send comments and questions relating to these announcements as soon as possible.
To be eligible to participate in the 2016 quakysense World Finals, a competitor must have earned qualifying eligibility. United States eligibility requires participation in two IJSBA Sanctioned events. Competitors from other nations will have their national programs evaluated to determine eligibility and matching class structure.
Where is the World Finals Going To Be Held*?
We know, you, or someone, has heared World Finals won’t be in Lake Havasu City….. every year, somebody starts this dumb rumor. World Finals will indeed be held in Lake Havasu City Arizona for 2016. Last year, there were a lot of fantasies about where in Lake Havasu City World Finals would actually be held despite the fact that the information was found in print on this website. So, please be aware that we plan for World Finals to be held at Crazy Horse Campgrounds and Resort and are working with Lake Havasu City to make this a reality if indeed the venue is the best fit.
What has impacted the idea of using Crazy Horse Campground is the fact that the facility, which is a lease from Arizona State Land Department, does not comprise all of the area it did prior to 2015. This means a loss of an upper parking area in the pit area as well as a spectator parking area. We did not have these areas available to us in 2015 and there was a noticeable impact on the event. We did somewhat obtain alternative parking for spectators but it did not significantly meet the parking needs. We have also received notice that the Lands Department did not renew the lease for the WORCS racing organization which also regularly uses this plot of land. We cannot make a final determination of the location until we know the amount of support IJSBA will receive and the amount of land available at available locations in Lake Havasu City.
* Grammar Police Notice: World Finals is a single event comprised of many categories so the use of “is” instead of “are” is appropriate.
The following are the expected competition classes. The only significant change is that Classic Classes have switched to Normally Aspirated Classes:
Pro Am Classes
Runabout 1000 Superstock
Women’s Ski Limited
Pro Am Ski Limited
Expert Ski Limited
Expert Runabout Stock
Expert Runabout Limited
Expert Runabout Open
Expert Veteran’s Runabout
Amateur Ski GP/Mod
Amateur Runabout Stock
Amateur Runabout Spec
Amateur Ski Lites (2 Stroke Only)
Amateur Veteran’s Ski Limited
Amateur Veterans Ski GP/Mod
Amateur Runabout 1000 Superstock (See Open Class Rules, 800 CC Limit For Two Stroke)
Amateur Runabout 800 Limited (Up To 1100cc Normally Aspirated Four Stroke to Stock Configuration Allowed).
Amateur Runabout Rec Lites (Stock Class Rules Normally Aspirated 950cc Four Stroke engines)
Novice Ski Stock
Novice Ski Limited
Novice Runabout Stock
Novice Runabout Limited
Novice Women’s Ski Limited
Junior Ski 10-12 Stock
Junior Ski 10-12 Lites (Stock Rules 2 Stroke Only)
Junior Ski 13-15
Stock Junior Ski 13-15 Lites (Stock Rules 2 Stroke Only)
Junior Ski 13-15 Limited
Other Classes Open To All Skill Levels
Sport GP (See Modified Section Of Rule Book)
Women’s Runabout (Limited Class Rules For Two Stoke, Stock Class Rules For Four Stroke Plus Aftermarket Seat Allowance Per Limited Rules)
Sport Spec Ski Slalom (Award: First Place #1 Only And Top 10 Number Plates)
Runabout Slalom (Award: First Place #1 Only And Top 10 Number Plates)
Junior Ski Slalom (Award: First Place #1 Only And Top 10 Number Plates)
Sport Spec Slalom (Award: First Place #1 Only And Top 10 Number Plates)
All Skill Level, Pro Ranked Competitors Must Petition To Participate
Runabout Normally Aspirated Stock (Two Stroke To Follow Spec Rules)
Runabout Normally Aspirated Limited
Runabout Normally Aspirated Open
Classic Ski Two Stroke Limited (Limited Class Rules, Two Stroke Only)
Master’s Ski GP/Mod
Master’s Ski Stock Vintage Ski (Two Motos- Combined Score For Overall.)
Vintage X2 (Two Motos- Combined Score For Overall. )
IJSBA will accept suggestions for two additional competition categories.
Slalom has been present at the World Finals as long as anyone can remember. In previous years, there was a slalom for every category and the overall World Champion, in each class, was crowned by a mix of slalom and the Closed Course finish. In contemporary years, the racing public requested that Slalom no longer count towards overall scores. In doing so, Slalom became a side title and there was only one Slalom class for each type of Watercraft plus one division for Junior Ski. It is questionable whether this has served the best interests of the competition program. Slalom either needs to become a more prominent part of World Finals or it needs to become a standalone event and championship.
One possible suggestion will be to take the former GP Ski and GP Runabout classes that are now merged with Open and run them with a mandatory slalom as part of the score. This could test whether the modern race program still has a place for Slalom on a large scale level. Please send your comments to IJSBA on this matter as we are starting to develop this type of proposal.
Pro Pits And VIP
In 2015, IJSBA administered a reserved parking system that worked in conjunction with some Pro Pit and VIP Pit opportunities. This seemed to function well and the feedback received was mostly positive. We will implement this, again, in 2016. We will not increase the amount of for-purchase VIP pits over last year, so, these opportunities will be first come first served until they run out. Ideally, we would like to match some sort of preference system matched to the amount of racing the competitor, or team, has participated in over the season. It is doubtful this system will be ready for 2016 but, in case it is, you should probably frontload your resume prior to World Finals to see what kind of perks and rewards might become available.
2015 quakysense World Finals Recap
The competitor count showed mixed changes from 2014. Over the course of the last ten years, the World Finals has seen a steady rise to the average competitor entering 2.2 classes. This number dropped, this year to 2.0 classes per competitor. Competitor numbers increased by eight individual persons earning scores. IJSBA, unfortunately, was unable to accommodate entry to twenty eight person due to their inability to demonstrate compliance with the eligibility requirements. Otherwise, the world finals would have enjoyed a competitor rate of exactly 10%.
On the media side of things, 38,937 new, unique, viewers were added to the live stream over the four days that racing was broadcasted through SurfRat, our Live Stream producer. This number does not take into account any of the unique viewers whose ip address was still stored in the system as a viewer is not counted again once they view any part of the broadcast, including previous years’ broadcasts whether that was watched live or afterwards.
Spectator attendance cannot be estimated for year 2015. In most years, we use a combination of parking, food sales, souvenir sales, and waste disposal to calculate numbers and to compare against previous years. This year, we did not have the upper parking area and only sold limited parking passes to the pit area due to not having the mesa area. We an increase in cars parked, illegally, on Beachcomber Blvd but do not want to assign value to this number. Additionally, we had an uptick in souvenir sales. Food vendors reported very strong sales (in fact all of them pre-reserved for 2016). However, we do not have enough data to issue any sort of a reliable report. Based on the soft data, it looks like we did have increases in spectator attendees and it leaned more to Saturday.
Vendor participation was up significantly in 2015. Vendor pre-booking was strong and we had very few vendors fail to meet their obligations to attend as they had reserved. The first attempt at an Aqualife festival, to draw outside water based recreation sales, was successful. Most vendors we interviewed reported an increase in commerce over 2014.
The biggest impact on the event has surely been the rising value of the United States Dollar in global exchange rates. In the last decade, international currencies have traded, favorably, over the Dollar allowing for an increasing in purchasing power for visitors from abroad. This year, the tables were turned and this heavily impacted visitors from Canada, Russia, Australia, and all nationals who use the Euro as their form of currency. While average hourly wages, in the United States, have risen 5% in the last year, the sport, and the event, have such an international focus that there will likely need to be a massive upswing in the US economy to offset any further softening in the global economies to avoid major impacts to the World Finals and PWC Racing industry.
Fortunately, PWC Racing is a micro economy and racing has been able to enjoy policies over the last decade which have preference conservative spending and basing event financing on a wide array of sources to avoid placing heavy burdens on any single group or party. During this time period, IJSBA has avoided price increases and has kept a consistent environment at the event in a time of increasing prices and tightening resources. We will touch on this more, below, but expect World Finals 2016 to be another year where we control costs as much as possible and we are optimistic that we can make it through the 35th World Finals without any price increases.
Classes Under Review
Attrition has hit the Two Stroke Runabouts and we have few opportunities for the economic Four Stroke based runabouts. We have remedied this by altering the three classic classes to be more welcoming of the newer Four Stroke normally aspirated Runabouts. We set the classes so that we could have growth opportunities for the Four Stroke runabouts without stifling the efforts of the Two Stokes. This move eliminates the generic “Four Stroke Normally Aspirated” class.
Under review will be the Rec Lites classes to determine when it will be appropriate to create Amateur and Pro/Am divisions. Numbers, so far, do not justify this but as participation improves, we want to offer incentives for persons to join the category of racing knowing there will be upward mobility with the investment.
Ski Limited Classes that cater to Four Stroke based Ski PWC (i.e. Hydrospace) have had noticeable declines at World Finals and globally. Cost escalations, as well as parts availability, are surely factors in this. Given that the majority of Hydrospace users hail from outside the USA, and the increased costs associated with unfavorable exchange rates, we expect that these classes will be the most seriously impacted in the near future. IJSBA may have class consolidation options here if the outlook of Ski Limited continues to be of concern. IJSBA is also in contact with sources to find affordable OEM replacement part sources.
What We Accomplished
After the 2014 World Finals were completed, the racing community charged IJSBA with several requests, notably: improving aesthetics, changing race management protocol, creating new committees, and improving the process for both checking in and pit parking. We also were sent several requests for new approaches to how we designed the track.
Changes to the 2015 World Finals included a staggered check in system which gave priorities to competitors who prepaid their entry. The wait times were significantly reduced and we received several compliments that the registration process was the most efficient anyone had remembered.
Perhaps the best new addition to the world finals was adding preassigned pit spaces to groups who signed up to share single spaces. Groups traveling together were able to get into an assigned space and quickly set up their work space. We greatly appreciated the cooperation of those who helped to make this a success. We also appreciate those who stuck to the rules and didn’t save space for persons who had not yet registered. Cooperation was really the key to this working out and all of you contributed to this being a great pit environment for 2015. We will repeat this process for next year.
Blake Corning came up with a great track concept based on the requests that were sent to him. Blake had requested a triple log jump and built the rest of the track design around the jump section. Usually, the track gets sent between Blake, the Race Director, and the IJSBA office until I develops. It is also shared amongst a few persons to get their opinion. This year, we had additional Race Director eyes on the track and reviewed the competitor comments several times through evolution. We did not make the splits as long as we wanted to for the 2015 installment but will make this change in 2016 along with keeping the remainder of the features from the 2015 track. Please send in any comments or suggestions for the track and we will forward them to Blake. Course design for 2016 has already started.
Managing Director’s Soapbox
This portion of the update is to give some closing comments to the year from your Managing Director’s office.
There is a large difficulty developing in the sports industry, and very much in the motorsports portion. This tension centers around the growing idea that modern camera and broadcasting abilities create an at-home viewing experience that many people find is far superior to an in-person viewing experience. This shift in enthusiast preferences takes place at the same time as another trend for viewing- the cutting of the cable and shift to on-demand viewing. Attendance is down at many major motorsports venues and live streaming is on the rise. However, live streaming is not keeping on pace with the numbers on viewing the recorded content. This means that more viewers are watching motorsports content that has been prerecorded. This creates difficulty in that the costs to record (and edit) content cannot be recouped until well after the expenditures are made- if they can be recouped at all.
IJSBA’s viewing numbers are very high, well over 100,000 unique individual viewers watching our events on the livestream library. These numbers are even more impressive considering that there is such a large surplus of fan created recordings which compete with our own recordings. What this trend means for our sport is twofold. First, we somehow must find resources to produce recorded content in order to keep people aware and informed of the action. Second, we must continue to produce the World Finals so that it is a comprehensive event that reaches well beyond spectator viewing of the actual racing.
In 2015, it was noticeable that the trade show environment is continuing to be as important to the event as the racing. Probably, better said, the synergistic total of combining the racing portion and the trade show portion is greater than the sum of the two individual parts. The vendor alley was well attended the entire weekend and few, if any, booths were ever empty. Most notable was that some of the leading Freestyle servicing booths remained full of customers while Freestyle was going on. The ability to see, touch, and discuss the equipment being used on the backdrop of the equipment being proven cannot be underestimated. World Finals has launched, and continues to maintain, several performance businesses who are able to demonstrate their significance in the marketplace by both their success on the water and their ability to be present at the most important event in the world.
Budgeting for maintaining an environment where an event is needed to create content and the content decreases the need to attend the event is very difficult. Where IJSBA can look towards other leading motorsports to give clues on where to navigate, we find that we are further ahead of the program, on the scale, than some of the traditional juggernauts of motorized racing. F1 car racing is normally seen as one of the world’s most powerful motorsports and they have reached a point where the costs to produce cannot be recouped and have had to cancel numerous events. Broadcast viewing for F1 racing has plummeted terribly and revenues are poor. In other motorsports, attendance is also down and extraordinarily high ticket prices will need to further increase to offset the missing capital from decreased ticket sales. This is where we will require a group effort to continue the strength of the sport.
Highlighting the problems going on with the mightiest of motorsports helps us to avoid similar pitfalls. Increasing costs to attend events is clearly having a regressive effect on attendance. Therefore, departing from our admission free model likely will not have a net gain in attendance based revenue (we would surely predict a lower attendance and have to accept net costs of ticket selling and gate enforcement). Increasing participant costs in a time where the global economy is surely contracting probably will not produce an increase in competitors, vendors, or sponsors so this is out. So, we are stuck in this holding pattern where the idea of “do it like the big guys are doing it” would be detrimental to our sport. While PWC Racing may wish for the numbers of F1 or Supercross, their numbers are currently contracting and we would likely also contract if we were to implore their methods.
Here is what we are doing to navigate through the current economic environment and changing outlook for motorsports. To begin, we will maintain a conservative spending environment and keep tight cost controls for the company and our sponsors, competitors, and affiliates. Many of you out there are already aware how we have been of assistance in working with you on your costs. We also have economic growth models including broadcast, racing expansion, and increased services.
Broadcast plans include the continued negotiation for including IJSBA Racing on Roku and Hulu. We have been avoiding the costs associated with regular broadcast television as we believe it does not add any current value to the sport and cannot be proven to drive product sales or increase the body of competitors. We are holding out for not just inclusion in the basket of demand broadcasts but mandatory revenue sharing. Getting out racing out there provides a great sense of satisfaction in seeing racing broadcasted on the networks of others but, if it is not part of broadcast block that is actually geared to reach the demographics of potential racers, or if it does not provide a revenue stream to the sport then it really does not provide anything of return (yes, I will take the heat for saying that). We are better off retaining as much of the broadcasting ourselves and bringing very low cost advertising benefits to the aftermarket industry. Sending competition videos to broadcasters who sell ads to the advertising subscribers who cater to your web searches does absolutely nothing to improve the notoriety of the sport or to bring business to your sponsors. It is a slow process to make these deals that keep revenues within the sport, but, rest assured, they are going to be completed soon..
Racing expansion is happening. IJSBA Racing is nearing a new peak and all time high on the global level. There are more IJSBA planned events for 2016 than we have seen in the last many years and we expect to see more than 2,000 new IJSBA competitors emerge out of Asia by the end of 2016. In creating contracted divisional office, IJSBA will bring the proceeds back into the sport to grow more opportunities. IJSBA is also packaging new racing venues with our World Finals sponsors to ensure direct commerce with reputable performance companies where racing is emerging. Getting racing correct, right out of the gate, means less resources spent on repeating efforts. We are even providing growth for organizations who are promoting what we will politely call “IJSBA Tribute Events.” We save them money by expending the time, travel costs, stipends, and other exhaustive resources in arranging for well vetted rule productions which are relabeled as someone else’s work. We do not expect to continue this generosity much longer but, in the meantime, at least we can spare the racing community from being subjected to incompetent rule making.
Increasing services means more opportunities for IJSBA and the further displacing the costs of supporting racing. The increased policy management and contracted services, especially training programs, that IJSBA is starting for 2017, will make for a more affordable economy of scale. Watch, to see, this Spring, how these opportunities also open the door for our sponsors, competitors, and their tuners and builders, to expand their services in all new areas. The new areas where IJSBA is developing brings need for additional consultants besides the immediate IJSBA team.
We delivered quite a lot of services and started on some World Finals reforms in 2015. We were successful in keeping the sort above water for another year and even finding some growth in an environment where growth was not predicted. This was made possible by a quality staff, and team, that worked together and worked towards finding solutions where there was otherwise division. More so, racing success is made possible by the positive attitudes of the racing public. We realize not everyone is going to be on the same page and that the positions, and goals, of some people cannot be realized without harming a successful IJSBA (by the way, to my detractors: you’re welcome for the holiday gift at my expense, hope you enjoy). However, the organization is not going to fold or quit putting our best forward. All of us at IJSBA can stand by the work that was done this past year and can be proud that we succeed in continuing to bring stable, predictable, and reliable PWC racing where there are opportunities for absolutely everyone. Our proof is in the outcome, privateers earn top podium wins and there are highly distributed wins across numerous nations. We may be firm and aggressive in trying to secure your place in the program but we deliver the program we promise.
Those persons who have provided the positive attitudes to increase the likelihood of success are well appreciated. The sport will be as good as you make it and we can, ultimately, paint on the canvas you provide. You brought awesome attitudes and willingness to work together to the World Finals and it very much contributed to the environment. The staff, this year was at the top of the game and your attitudes towards them made it easier for them to perform their duties at the top level. We had changes in some positions this year, Peter DeSmet’s take on Race Director duties was noticeably different from years past and, he was armed with new technology to aid in administering the line. The camera system on the gate, and announcing tower, provided reviewable evidence for calls made by the staff. While we feel that Peter’s work was the best first showing it could be, we do not want to give any idea that there is a referendum on race direction of the past. Race Director duties are difficult and the overall administration of the World Finals is an evolution of many perspectives. We value everyone’s views and contributions, staff and racers alike as well as from generations past and present.
The closing part of this soap box section is completely a solid that I feel like I owe to someone who contributed something special to the event, it is personal but is something that should be read by those interested in the internal dynamics at the event. Most of you can stop reading here and, if you do, I wish you a fond end of the year and look forward to serving you in 2016 (sorry, detractors). For those that read on, please read this disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of any religion nor will IJSBA formally integrate any set of beliefs, officially, into the program.
Brian O’Rourke of Team Faith
Those familiar with the United States racing environment have, no doubt, seen or, even, met up with Brian O’Rourke. Brian is a long time competitor in IJSBA and developed his Team Faith Ministries to ensure that motorsports (in addition to PWC Racing, Brian has brought the Team Faith road show to disciplines such as Arenacross and other motocross based sports). A fixture on the IJSBA National Tour of the 1990’s, O’Rourke’s bible study sessions were often well attended and, up until just a few years ago, was tasked with opening or closing riders’ meetings and briefings, with a nondenominational prayer for those who wanted to participate. This invitation ended when your managing director felt that Brian’s passion for sharing the word built up to some comments that I viewed to be potentially offensive to some of the persons attending the meetings and were in contradiction for the ever growing international and multicultural presence at the IJSBA World Finals.
Indeed, a much younger me (much, much younger) did the rounds of one year’s national tour utilizing the services of the Team Faith trailer to bring my PWC from stop to stop. That summer’s experience afforded many evenings to discuss and debate religion and all of the subtopics that go along with the subject. Brian and my superstitions are different, but they do cross over in some places as is the case with many people with different points of view who all chose to buy into some sort of spirituality or another. It is easy to be agreeable when a person believes as you do and just as easy to be disagreeable when someone does not. Making the topic of religion a focal point of your involvement in the community can really rub people the wrong way, even friends, and may even cause people to question an individual’s motivations for doing such a thing.
The test of a person’s convictions, naturally, lies within his (or her) actions far beyond the words spoken. Whatever criticism I may have given Brian O’Rourke about some of the words he used to try to help share the love and values of his spirituality should be balanced with the same level of scrutiny, and acknowledgment, to the observations of his contributions and actions at the event. This is the reason for dedicating this section of the update, along with some background information to the minister who drives the Team Faith rig and brings it to PWC races.
This year, Brian arrived at World Finals to find himself double booked for officiating a wedding during the same day(s) as his race classes were scheduled to run. Brian approached the staff with a very humble request: “can I help?” As it turned out, the trophies were delivered without having been completely assembled, there was a lot of additional work to do. Brian volunteered to engage in several hours of assembly, over at least two days, getting the awards fully assembled. Brian would not accept compensation for the help he provided, simply stating “I am here and want to help take some of the workload off the staff and to provide any assistance for the event to run smooth.” This was a very generous gift to the sport, especially to the staff who were already shouldering a heavy workload.
What Brian is surely owed is the testimonial to his giving nature and his deep belief in the human beings that make up the sport. Brian also has a deep personal belief in Christianity and has dedicated his life to that cause and wants the people he cares about most to become aware of a way of living he feels will bring happiness and fulfillment to the individuals who make it a part of their lives as well. It is easy for those claiming to be devout to offer the words, much more difficult is offering the deeds. Brian gives, in the name of his beliefs, for the satisfaction of making the world a better place, not for any kind of return. This is the sign of the truly devout and, whether you believe in the underlying cause, this type of giving is truly admirable.
So, Brian, you are truly an asset to this sport as a competitor and as a hard working community member. You motivate others to work harder and be better people. While I may not believe as you do, I would be amiss if I did not offer this endorsement to those who might: If you decide that you might be curious of what it might be like to learn about the spirituality Brian O’Rourke has trained himself in, he would love to share it with you and, if you discover it is your cup of tea, he is a fine person to accompany you on this journey should you decide to take it. If this religion, or any religion, is not your cup of tea, then please at least know that a guy spent a lot of time selflessly working pitch in and he deserved public recognition for it. Thank you Brian, I look forward to seeing you at another event and have valued your friendship over the many years including the debates….