Greetings PWC Racing community,
This is your monthly update for April. We have a lot to go over so please get comfortable as this will be a lengthy update. A lot of things are going on in the IJSBA world and with it comes a great deal of good news.
As many of you know, we were experimenting with a site change for the 25th Anniversary World Finals by working on a move to Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City. The City of Lake Havasu ultimately decided that the event and the park were not a fit. I want to personally thank the Mayor, Harvey Jackson, the heads of several of the city departments such as parks, fire and police, Dallas Finch of Kokomos, and Cal Sheehy of the London Bridge Resort for all of the time spent exploring the possibilities and options.
As the sport of PWC Racing continues to evolve, we are fortunate to have persons who are willing to be open minded about a greater future for our signature event and the sport as a whole. The biggest thanks of the month go out to Joe Labarbera of Crazy Horse Campgrounds for his generosity and graciousness.
Throughout the whole process, Mr. Labarbera was very supportive and understanding of the IJSBA’s interest in assessing options. Joe has shown great personal concern in the PWC sport’s premiere event and has contributed some excellent insight and guidance towards the future of IJSBA in Lake Havasu City. As previously mentioned, every effort will be made to keep this event in Lake Havasu City and to give this sport and community the sterling 25th Anniversary Event that it deserves. Please visit the IJSBA website frequently as more announcements on this subject will be arriving soon.
Staying on the topic of World Finals...
The IJSBA is working on a new fee format for the World Finals. This new format will be needs based and will save the average participant more than $40.00 in payments made to the IJSBA. Junior class race fees are expected to be raised $5.00 to account for the new policy of every Junior Participant receiving an award. If this new format pans out, all other entry fees will remain the same price as in 2005 and we will bring the goal of charging no fee for the gate into fruition. The goal of the IJSBA is to bring you the very best World Finals at the lowest possible cost. With higher gas prices and other ancillary price increases sure to be factors this year, I will assure you that every step is being made so that this event is more cost efficient to the competitors. This will not require a sacrifice of amenities, either.
The IJSBA is strongly considering (which is another way of saying “more than likely going to implement”) a requirement that all Junior Class racers shall wear adequate chest and back protection at the World Finals. Please send in your comments and suggestions on this topic right away. Of the most significance is the question of whether such equipment hinders the effort to return to the PWC if dismounted. The IJSBA would very much like all affiliates and their promoters to also investigate the positives and any potential negatives of such an equipment requirement.
Should such equipment be required, Macc Racing and Jet World have both committed to offering special pricing to Juniors who do not yet have such equipment when they arrive at World Finals. Safety is the number one concern and the IJSBA will pursue all options to provide the greatest amount of safety at our events. Chris Hagest of ProWatercraft.com has also submitted proposals for Juniors safety clinics at the World Finals. Please contact these persons and express your appreciation for their commitment to enhancing Junior Class racing.
Some questions have come in regarding the Ski Lites Classes. Lites Classes are not unique to PWC (as many of you know, I bit the class from Supercross), in addition to both street and dirt based motorcycle racing, Lites formats are offered in midget car competitions, stock car races, and various types of boat races. The main purpose of Lites is to keep active an established base of racing without stifling innovation and development from cutting edge developers. This is most essential in Ski Classes where a more significant portion of the OEM consumer base is race oriented. More manufacturers are developing Ski class PWC with an eye towards the performance/racing market. Therefore, we should expect that future Ski Class PWC continue to push the performance boundaries
In order to keep the existing Ski class PWC competitive, a race class has been developed which will allow existing Ski PWC to remain in a like-competitive class without spending additional dollars to stay competitive. The IJSBA does not want to punish OEM manufacturers for their innovation nor do we want to alienate established racer members of this community. The Lites Class appears to be the best way of bridging the gap caused by this dichotomy. The IJSBA hopes that racers will enjoy having more options and being able to enjoy more racing with their Ski Class PWC. Please write or call in if you have more questions.
I would also like to update all of you on the status of the introductory Four Stroke Limited Class. This class is an introductory class to stimulate the use of Four Stroke PWC in IJSBA racing and to encourage Four Stroke PWC owners to utilize products from the emerging aftermarket product manufacturers. Limited Class racing carries the following goal:“LIMITED CLASS COMPETITION Intended to promote interest in personal watercraft competition with a limited number of modifications, and to enable individuals to become active competitors with a relatively modest investment.” Four Stroke Limited will carry the goal of limited modifications resulting in a relatively modest investment and when the class is permanent, it will STAY THAT WAY. As of today, there is not a sufficient of overall Four Stroke participation to split Normally Aspirated 4 Stoke PWC into a separate class from those PWC equipped with a turbocharger or supercharger. Therefore, the current 4 Stroke Limited Class Rules allow a choice between two paths of modification: cam and valve modifications or super/turbo impeller and intercooler modification. These temporary rules apply to the introductory 4 Stroke Limited Class only. 4 Strokes that wish to race in the existing 1200 Limited classes must adhere to the same rules as depicted in the 2006 Rule Book (which is available online or from your IJSBA Affiliate- you can also order one from the IJSBA). Please write or call in if you have more questions. The Four Stroke Limited Rules have been submitted to the tech committee and all that is left to approve is the text for the aftermarket valves. I hope this is done by the end of next week.
Racing has started in most parts of the World. The IJSBA has sanctioned an offshore World Championship in Spain. Please see the IJSBA news releases for more info. Tours all over various nations have begun or are about to begin.
On the West Coast of the United States, Round 2 of the Western States Cup is getting some serious buzz. This event will be part of the Lake Elsinore Action Sports Festival which will feature an intense vendor area and exhibitions from other motorsports such as Freestlye Motocross. In the Central US, South Central Watercraft Promotions started up their season with “an unprecedented level of new beginners in both the Ski and Runabout classes,” according to promoter Kenny Simms. Simms said this successful event was attributed to a high level of support from the community of Pottsboro, Texas. Also in Texas, Round 2 of the Team Sport’s Supercourse Series there was an unusually high turnout for a first event. Promoter, Marty Roberts said that his second event, on May 7th, should have an even better attendance level. “The first race wasn’t quite in the riding season yet. Now that the riding weather has shown up, most people have their PWC out of the garage and are ready to go race,” said Roberts. Great Plains Racing Promoter Rod Hanquist also was pleased with the early inquiries for his series, which begins June 3rd.
Racing in Europe has been exciting so far. Robin Adair, of Northern Ireland’s IJSA, stated that his racers were already prepared to hit a variety of venues. UK’s JSRA has been reporting the highest early season numbers ever seen. The joint effort between Thailand and Japan, the TJAWS events, has been some of the most successful promotions in their regions. This kind of excitement only goes to demonstrate why the sport of PWC competitions produces the best racing on the planet.
In addition to the diligence from affiliates and promoters, the racers should be congratulated for they are the reason for this upswing in PWC racing. As many of the racers know, the IJSBA is hard at work on a 25th Anniversary hard bound year book which will chronicle the history of the sport and focus on the accolades and efforts brought forth from all of the competitors.
This sport is all about the participants. In approximately two weeks, the information will be posted to give one of you the opportunity to serve as the Racer Representative to the IJSBA. This position is quite a bit of work and a heavy load of responsibility. You will be the voice of and be accountable to the World Wide racing community. Please contact the IJSBA or your current Racer Representative, Amy Green, for any questions about what all this position entails.
The IJSBA will be sanctioning a special charity race on the west coast. We hope that the community of PWC racing can soon have many opportunities for our fine sport to provide need to many worthy causes. In this case, The IJSBA will support the Kern County Search and Rescue efforts with a special event at Lake Isabella. Details are being worked out with our partner’s at Southern California Edison. Many West Coast racers have attended this race in the past and the IJSBA looks forward to participating in this event and being a part of the local community.
There is going to be quite a few special announcements this week. New members of the IJSBA will be joining us, more special events will be announced, and the World Finals location will be officially confirmed along with the launch of the World Finals information pages on the IJSBA website.
Please feel free to contact the IJSBA for any suggestions, comments, or for us to answer any questions you may have. The IJSBA is the World’s only PWC Association that gives 100% of all revenues received back to the sport of PWC Racing. We are happy to serve you in our efforts to sustain and enhance the sport of PWC Racing.
IJSBA Managing Director