Happy first day of Spring.  What a wonderful time of the year this is for Personal Watercraft Racing.  Spring is the time when we start reuniting with our friends (and rivals) at the events throughout the world.  New faces will show up and race for the first time and our family will grow further.  Those that have been training and testing will soon be reaping big rewards on the race course.  Some events have already happened and have enjoyed good turnouts.  As the weather warms more people will be out on the water as we head into yet another summer that paves the way for another World Finals.  Companies like Jettribe, the World Finals title sponsor, are showing new styles and designs that will mark 2014.  There probably isn’t a season that doesn’t have something exciting for our sport but Spring gets to be the season’s start.

This is the March, 2014 update.  However, this implies that we release an update every month.  Sometimes the workload gets pretty heavy and we don’t always get one out every month.  So, we don’t want to be misleading in the title and disappoint anyone.  However, there are some people whose only involvement in the sport is perpetualy complaining on internet forums- we don’t want to disappoint them either.  So, if you are an enthusiast or competitor then this is the Spring update.  If you are a keyboard complainer then this is the March update.  Whoever you are, please share the following news with your friends and colleagues.

1. Back Protection Is Mandatory For Ski Classes

The rule was introduced in 2012, passed in early 2013, and implemented in 2014- All ski competitor, with the exception of Freeride/Freestyle, must take some extra precautions to protect your spine from injury.  Never before has there been such universal access to performance and speed as there is for today’s Ski class competitors.  Because of this, IJSBA is requiring a little more on your back than just an approved life vest.  We realize that there is subject for debate as to adopting standards as the type and production of the devices we are requiring.  We also realize that no device will realistically prevent all injuries.  You are all welcome to recommend these things and help evolve this rule.  In the meantime, please do your part to set a good example at the races and pick up your back protection device today.  Protection can be built into vests and wetsuits.  IJSBA Rule 17.3.4 describes the policy for the back protection precautions competitors must take.

2. Second Set Of Sponsons/Increased Sponson Length  For Hydrospace Under Review

IJSBA rules  allow for a second set of sponsons or an increased length of sponsons for all Ski PWC homologated in quantities of 500 or more.  When the Hydrospace S4 was homologated, the homologation number was only 200 for Ski units.  The minimum number was later changed to 500.  Hydrospace did eventualy produce an excess of 500 S4.  IJSBA is reviewing whether the second set of sponsons/increased sponson length of IJSBA Rule 6.2.3 applies to Hydrospace S4.  We encourage interested parties to contact IJSBA with your comments on this matter.

3. Displacement Of Two Stroke Ski Limited

Two Stroke Watercraft in Ski Stock Classes are allowed a maximum displacement of 850cc.  Two Stroke Watercraft, built to 850cc Stock Class specifications can, indeed, compete in Limited Classes.  However, the question has been raised as to whether the 850cc displacement applies to Two Stroke Ski Watercraft built to Limited Class specifications.  IJSBA is reviewing this question.  We encourage interested parties to contact IJSBA with your comments on this matter.

4. Hall Of Fame Nominations Still Open

Nominations for inductees to the 2014 Jacobsen Stjernstrom Hall Of Fame are still open.  We have received a healthy dose of nominations already.  We value your suggestions and want to hear from everyone who has a hero or mentor in this sport.  Please send in your nominations with a well written and thorough position on why your candidate should be selected for the Hall Of Fame.

5. IJSBA Sanctioned Events Are For IJSBA Members Only

From the “I cant believe we have to explain this” department, IJSBA reminds competitors that you must be a current member of IJSBA to participate in any IJSBA Sanctioned events.  Persons who attempt to side-step this are putting all promoters, as well as the viability of future events, at risk.  Persons who compete under an expired license, or sign up for a license with an invalid payment forfeit any points and titles earned and may be subject to further sanctions.  Unfortunately, IJSBA is going to have to police this closer as there has been some inappropriate activity with memberships this year.  We hope that this will end up being an isolated event.  Memberships are not expensive and it is through a responsible membership base that IJSBA is able to keep insurance rates at a low rate.

6. South American Confederation And Championships

The IJSBA South American Championships were recently held in Asia Beach, Peru, which is just south of Lima.  We plan to bring you a full story with pictures and videos just as soon as we are sent the official results (tapping our feet, glancing at our watches, and raising an eyebrow in your direction Peru!).  One great part of the event was the establishment of a cooperative effort between the South American nations to establish a stronger region and to send more pilots to World Finals.  Look for more exciting news to develop from South American teams as well as more international events to be announced in this region.

7. IJSBA Evolution To Take Another Step Forward In 2014

IJSBA is currently looking for office space in Lake Havasu City.  Once secured, IJSBA will take steps to start an Arizona based organization to oversee production of World Finals and handle United States competitions.  The existing organization will oversee international policy, appeals, creation and oversight of the rules, reporting and sanctioning results, and homologation.  A Havasu based office will allow for a meeting area that we hope will foster more participation in the IJSBA management duties.  This is all still in planning phase but we expect progress in the next step of our evolution to take place soon.  We will keep you posted when we have more to report.

That is it for this update.  Endurance races, Euro Tour, Australian Nationals, US Tour, and another UAE event are all coming up shortly.  Regional racing will start up soon.  We will have the calendar section updated shortly.

If you have any questions or comments about this update, please email info@ijsba.com