Since January 20th, 2004 the role of the International Jet Sports Boating Association (IJSBA) is to fulfill the responsibility as the worldwide sanctioning body for the personal watercraft sport. Immediately the IJSBA began evaluating applications to fulfill the responsibility of the United States affiliate, including a proposal from Patrick Mell on behalf of the American Power Boat Association (APBA) and Jacque Bryant on behalf of the United States Watercross Racing Association (USWRA).
As part of the procedure, the IJSBA has gathered input from various sources, including promoters, riders, the IJSBA transition committee, aftermarket companies and watercraft manufacturers.
A critical reason for seeking the opinions of these groups is that they are the actual connection with the grass roots of the racing sport, and without their support and cooperation, an Affiliate's program is likely to fail - a result neither IJSBA or the industry would welcome.
Based on the input from these groups and following IJSBA guidelines in similar situations in other countries, the IJSBA has decided the following for the 2004 season.
The IJSBA will not select an official affiliate, but proceed by working with both organizations (APBA and USWRA), giving both organizations and their allied promoters adequate time to demonstrate their capabilities. The IJSBA will allocate World Finals entries to promoters supporting both organizations and assist in managing the qualifying system. Each organization will have the opportunity to issue membership cards and to manage member services and to issue insurance and sanction to the promoters that support them. By the end of the year, the IJSBA will re-evaluate the affiliate situation based on the experience during the season.
IJSBA will no longer be involved in directly servicing the U.S. racing members with membership cards/licenses or benefits, or issuing insurance or sanctions to promoters - this will now be the responsibility of the two organizations.
How does this affect the racers in the United States?
This situation will give racers a choice of who they want to belong to. Racers can decide to belong to the APBA or to the USWRA, or both.
Members who sent checks or applied on-line for membership since early December may have noticed that their checks have not cleared or charges have not posted to their credit card. A notice will be mailed to inform these members on how to proceed.
Current IJSBA members and members that recently renewed will continue to have the memberships honored at both APBA and USWRA events and will renew with one of these organizations once their IJSBA membership expires.
For information about benefits or how to sign up for 2004 racing membership, racers may sign up at the first event with the promoter or contact the APBA or USWRA using the information below:
A new website dedicated to the APBA personal watercraft racing category is currently being finalized and should be live by the end of next week. You can access the website from the APBA main website or by enteringwww.apbapwr.com
Information about sanctioned promoters and 2004 event schedules will be available on the respective websites or by contacting the APBA or the USWRA directly. Event schedules will also be available on www.ijsba.com as soon as we receive them.
The IJSBA wish both organizations the best of luck and look forward to a great year of racing in the United States.