IJSBA End Of Summer Update

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Autumn Equinox.  Summer, as a season, is officially over and dried corn husks, Halloween costumes, pumpkins, and falling leaves are starting to appear.  Fires are being built as much for warmth as for ambience and less of the sun is out when we wake up to start our day.  It is the sign the sunset of 2017 is beginning it is also a sign that the 2017 Blowsion World Finals are soon to start.  Great racing, exciting new vendors, visiting with friends, and our shared love for personal watercraft will be the focus of the first week of October like it has been for the last 36 years.  Those of you attending this year’s World Finals will be contributors to another page in our sports history.  Those of you watching from home will be able to see new feats and accomplishments from the manufacturers, athletes, and mechanics who strive to push the bar.  This IJSBA update contains news and information to set the tone for the 2017 World Championships- please share it with your friends and colleagues in the PWC Racing Community.

 

1.        Blowsion. 

Blowsion loves Ski (Stand Up Type) watercraft.  Blowsion made it a point to remind everyone that Ski racing is the core of personal watercraft competitions and this was the message they wanted to send by sponsoring the 2017 World Finals. Blowsion is committed to making Skis go faster, quicker, and higher in the air than any of their competitors;.  They accomplish this with a style and attitude that pushes the fun factor to the same degree of intensity that they achieve with watercraft performance.  Stop by the Blowsion booth at World Finals and browse their selection of genuine Blowsion parts, Jet Pilot gear, and cool flair accessories.  Please express your appreciation for their support either with a purchase or with a friendly “thank you.”

 

2.       Membership

IJSBA membership grew at a steady pace this year.  Opening events, throughout the world, all saw an increase in attendance.  IJSBA International Affiliate membership also increased with noticeable efforts, around the world, in an increase interest in watercraft competitions, sanctioned by IJSBA, show a strong uptick.  A key factor discussed, in the choice to join IJSBA, has been IJSBA’s wide network of communication and facilitation of cooperation among adjoining regions.  Cooperation, communication, and consistency are the factors which help us thrive and we thank all of the participating affiliates who have helped forge policy and are contributing to the next stages of evolution.  We expect continue growth, in 2018, as there will be even more nations beginning their race programs.  IJSBA is excited to bring you the news over the next coming months. 

 

3.       Congress of the Rules.

On October 7, 2017, IJSBA will hold a Congress of the Rules at London Bridge Resort’s King Arthur Room.  The meeting will begin approximately 30 minutes after the close of the Blowsion Under The Bridge Freestyle Show.  IJSBA will lay out a proposed agenda for future directions of the sport including speed control, new categories such as Mod Lites, and direction for Ski and Runabout classes.  Representatives from several nations will meet with competitors, OEM representatives, aftermarket industry spokespersons, and administrators to comment on the IJSBA agenda and share ideas and proposals for how we are to grow together.  To submit a proposal, or discussion topic, or to register as a speaker or representative, please email info@IJSBA.com.

 

IJSBA wants to make it clear that our agenda focuses on opportunities for a strong aftermarket presence, in racing, and preserving premiere classes that push innovation and continuously raise that bar on what can be done with a watercraft.  This is balanced, in a harmonious overall sport, with opportunities for cost controls and tempered performance levels.  Low cost speed control classes compliment exotic high performance classes- the two are not in competition for the spotlight of the sport.  Growing both segments, simultaneously, will ensure that there is a place to race for every interest.

 

 

4.       2017 Trade Show.

The turnout for the trade show portion of the 2017 Blowsion World Finals has surpassed expectations.  Weather, global politics, and economic conditions all are barriers to being able to exhibit in World Finals’ vendor alley.  IJSBA is pleasantly surprised at the amount of exhibitors that continued to make World Finals a priority despite some difficulties in getting out this year.  IJSBA is also very please and the increased interest shown by entities out of the PWC industry who see the event as a powerful engine for commerce and a collective of successful, ambitious, and forward moving persons.  As of tonight we are nearly sold out of all vendor spaces and are very excited to see how some of our new partners fare with the community.  IJSBA expects to surpass 60 individual vendors for 2017.  Not bad.  If you are interested in taking one of the few remaining spots at the trade show, please email info@ijsba.com.

 

5.       2018 Asian Games

 

 

 

The 2017 Asian Games will take place  August 18- September 2, in Jakarta Indonesia.  Thanks to the very hard work of Fully Aswar, the head of IJSBA Indonesia, Watercraft racing will be part of this very prestigious event.

 We contacted IMS Shirt Werx, the makers of IJSBA’s clothing and event merchandise, to make some IJSBA labeled hooded robes as we have recently learned that IJSBA staff may be now managing this event as an uncredited secret society of officials.  This is ok, since IJSBA invented the sport, in the late 1970s, we have been the ones to do all the hard work when it comes to premiere events and it certainly wont be the first time someone else takes credit for what we make happen.  So, have no fear, no matter how we are identified, we will continue give you our best and to make absolutely certain that the titles earned reflect legitimate wins and we promise we will not cancel our presence after you have already shipped your watercraft and bought your plane tickets.

Dona es rquiem.

 

6.       World Finals Topics

  All signs point to a well attended and well run 2017 Blowsion World Finals.  The section is an overview for things going on at the event and some things for us to think about as we prepare for 9 days in Lake Havasu.

Opening Days


  The event officially opens at 12:00 Noon, on September 30, 2017 when sign in begins at Havasu Powersports.  Before that, however, IJSBA will be on site at 11:00 AM to hand out numbers to persons who are verified as prepaid.  The line will open, at noon, and numbers will be called in the order they were handed out.  At 1 PM, numbers will be handed out, first come first served to all persons. The pit gates will open at 1:00 PM and close at 5:30 PM.  Light refreshments will be served to prepaid entrants from 11:00AM-12:00 Noon.

  On Sunday, October 1, registration will open at 11:00 AM and sign in is available only to those persons who have preregistered and prepaid.  Numbers will be handed out only to verified prepaid persons until 12:00 noon when they will be handed to all persons first come first served.  Pits will open at 12:00 Noon and close at 5:30 PM.

Early Trailer Placement For Groups Of 5 Or More

If you have a team or group of five or more individual competitors, you are eligible for early pit placement.  One trailer, per every five competitors, may be brought in, prior to the official opening of the pits, by appointment.  All competitors in the group must agree to exchange their trailer parking passes for vehicle parking passes.  Email info@ijsba.com for more information.  There is no cost for this placement.  Free benefits from IJSBA don’t come around often.

VIP World Finals Opportunities

IJSBA has only one remaining VIP opportunity for purchase.  The World Finals VIP experience comes with a reserved pit space, 20 feet of reserved beach for a pop up tent, private check in, and two passes to the IJSBA Hospitality Tent on Pro weekend.  please email info@ijsba.com for more details.

Junior Stars Participant

Those persons participating in the Junior Stars program on Sunday, October First are strongly advised to check in on Saturday to ensure easy access to Crazy Horse Campgrounds and to be eligible for participation on the water.  IJSBA will post last minute Junior registration opportunities when we have a schedule for it but this is often a challenging endeavor and should be avoided if possible.  Please register Saturday if you are participating in Junior Stars.

Pasta Dinner And Riders’ Briefing

Courtesy of our generous friends at the London Bridge Resort, an opening riders’ briefing will take place, naturally, at the London Bridge Resort, on Sunday, October 1, at 7:00 PM.  A free pasta dinner is provided for competitors.  This meeting is mandatory for all Novice and Amateur Competitors.  First time World Finals participants, even those racing Expert, Pro Am, and Pro classes, are strongly encouraged to attend as this will be the longest and most detailed meeting of them all in terms of describing the policies and methods of the World Finals operation.  The riders’ briefing will be conducted by Blake Corning and Peter DeSmet.  The IJSBA Executive Director will follow with several dull pieces of information on items you probably don’t want to know about but have to hear anyway as part of the permitting process.  The Mohave County Sheriff will also have a representative informing participants on vessel registration and equipment requirements if participants leave the World Finals permitted area.

 

Monday Course Orientation And Practice

Course orientation will take place at 11:00 AM on Monday October 2.  Competitors are advised to be in the grandstands prior to 11:00 AM so they can receive all of the information and see the entire course demonstration prior to practice.  Practice will being promptly at 12:00 Noon.

 

Schedules and Key Dates

The competition schedule is available on the World Finals tab of IJSBA’s home page.  This schedule is always tentative as entries are coming in every day.  Beginning Monday, October 2, the following day’s anticipated schedule is posted on IJSBA’s home page prior to 8:00 PM.  Racers are strongly encouraged to check the pit board, each morning, in order to ensure no last minute changes were made to the schedule.  Last minute schedule changes can occur for many reasons including, but not limited to: late entries, weather, equipment adjustments, or incidents on the lake that affect the permitted area.  Lake Havasu City likes to surprise us with wind gusts, periodically when these look like they are going to increase, we may adjust to run Ski and Junior classes earlier to ensure we can get through the day’s schedule.  Please check the schedule frequently and, if there are conflicts- particularly if you are in back to back classes, please let us know as soon as possible.

Key Dates:

September 30:  Check in at Havasu Powersports, 12:00 Noon

October 1:  Check in at Havasu Powersports, 12:00 Noon

                     Pasta Dinner and Riders’ Briefing at London Bridge Resort

October 2:  Course Orientation

                      Practice

October 3:  Competition

October 4:  Competition

October 5:  Competition

                     Freestyle Corral 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM in Tech

                     Freestyle Future Rules Meeting:  2:30 at IJSBA VIP Tent

                     US Promoters Meeting:  7:00 PM At Martini Bay

October 6:  Competition

                      Junior Awards Possibly To Be Held At The Beach Immediately At The End Of Race Day

                      Awards for all completed classes: 7:00 PM At London Bridge Resort’s King Arthur Room (Not The Convention Center)

October 7:  Competition

                      Blowsion Under The Bridge Show: Sunset, London Bridge Resort

                      Congress of the Rules:  30 minutes after the Under The Bridge Show at the King Arthur Room at the London Bridge Resort

October 8:  Final Day of Competition

                      Awards:  7:00 PM London Bridge Resort Convention Center              

 

Junior Racers And Standing Devices On The Start Line

Junior competitors come in all shapes and sizes.  The water level, during competition, is generally at one level.  Blake Corning is working on having additional sets of starting band poles for Ski and Junior racers to sit back from the position Runabout watercraft start (we know he is doing it because he requested expenditure allowance for the metal tubing).  If the race director determines that the water level is too high for some Junior level competitors to start properly, the race director may authorize a device for the Junior to stand on.  However, if this device is authorized it will be authorized for all Juniors on the line.  Under no circumstances may a Junior start with a knee in the tray.

 

Fuel Availability, Fueling Policies, and Shoreline Policies

VP Fuel will be running limited hours throughout the day.  VP plans to close early each afternoon.  Competitors are advised to order their fuel immediately and to pickup or purchase fuel, from the VP distributor, early in the day to avoid missing any opportunities.  Competitors are reminded that they may not fuel over the water or within 20 feet of the water’s edge.  This is a condition required for the permit as is the mandatory requirement that IJSBA fine competitors who violate this rule.  

In addition to the prohibition on fueling over the water’s edge, competitors may not service/repair watercraft over the water.  Watercraft must be pulled up completely out of the water before doing any sort of work on the watercraft.  Vehicles and over the road trailers may not be parked over the water except for the immediate loading and unloading of watercraft.  Complying with these policies is a condition of the permit as is the mandatory requirement that IJSBA fine competitors who violate this rule.

I know, some of you are sitting there reading this and thinking “IJSBA don’t really have to fine us, they only do that so they can buy beer and steak dinners for the staff.”  This actually isn’t true.  [Note: Glen Bothwell, one of the revered old timers of IJSBA’s mythical golden days, who we, in today’s administration, all measure ourselves by, used to joke that fines were beer funds. This seemed amusing at the time but we want to make sure you know it is just humor]. We are actually required to levy the fines and the money goes into the general fund.  Some regulatory bodies police the event and photograph the offending incidents and come to us, at the end of the event, and audit our log to see how many we have caught.  This has really happened and it is very serious if we do not implement fines for these actions the regulatory bodies are committed to preventing.  We would much rather buy our own beer and keep the authorities happy.  Please do your best to remember these policies and abide by them- whether we are using the fine money to buy pilsner or printer paper, we would rather you keep the money in your pocked and follow the rules set for us.

2016 World Finals In Review

2016 was an excellent year for World Finals.  The racing was great and people seemed to really have the best attitudes anyone could remember experiencing at the event.  This creates harmony for the staff and for the competitors and makes the overall enjoyment of the event much better.  Professional  interaction, respect, manners, and courteous communication set the stage for positive outcomes when there is a dispute or challenging situation.  The IJSBA Staff is there to provide a controlled environment and it isn’t an easy job.  Please remember to approach them in a friendly manner even if you believe they may have erred in some way that requires immediate attention.

In a similar note, competitors have spent a great deal of time and have invested incredible amounts of resources to compete in the World Finals.  Competitors are members of the IJSBA and have the right to expect that IJSBA staff act in a courteous and professional manner in creating a World Championship worthy environment.  Last year, we had a hot microphone incident that sure sounded like one of our staff members lost his cool.  IJSBA has apologized to the offended competitor and we offer the same apology to the general public for any appearance of a deviation from our professional standards.  Everyone can have a bad day and we strive to make ours minimal.  This is a good time to remind each other that persons on race craft as well as persons wearing an official’s shirt are all human beings.  We are also all members of a community that one the same thing- the very best watercraft racing.

Now in the 36th year, World Finals changes frequently and there are always places to improve and there are also frequent opportunities to reexamine and adjust the way things are done.  This is a reason for your participation in the event, not just as  competitor, but as a member of IJSBA to bring things to our attention while it is going on.  We welcome emails giving us suggestions on how to improve.  When we get an email, in December, telling us something we could have improved during World Finals it feels disappointing to know we have missed an opportunity to, perhaps, resolve the matter as it was happening.  Please do not hesitate to approach any of the staff, during the event, if there is a problem that needs to be resolved.  Again, professional and respectful communication are the best tools in reaching a resolution or agreement.

It is important to keep in mind that there are limits to what can be discussed and resolved in the time frame allotted during the event.  IJSBA is lucky to have seasoned staff who have many a World Finals on their resume and, in many cases, decades of experience in watercraft racing.  This experience allows them to make seasoned judgment calls in an active competition environment.  This does not mean that calls cannot be reviewed later and that things cannot change from what we learn. The urgency of the event and the hope to reach a call made in one’s favor can created heated communication which might, in turn, make the exchange about the conflict itself rather than resolution.  Staff will be reviewing the best ways to avoid conflict and to offer support in all parts of the event.  We ask that competitors reflect on the need to stay courteous even in a situation that appears crisis like at the time.  We had a lot of progress, in this section, last year and we want to reach an even better state of communication in 2017.

Comments On The 2017 World Finals

As of today, the 2017 Blowsion World Finals is enjoying solid participant registration as well as strong vendor and sponsor presence.  We are confident in saying that we expect this to be a good event.  Weather is expected to be in the 90s(F) and only soft winds are predicted by the major weather forecasting websites.  This is great racing weather and we will be very fortunate if this is the actual weather we get. The recent storms on the Eastern parts of the United States caused only moderate increases in fuel prices which means that traveling to the event will be affordable and hassle free to travel to.

Many teams have already arrived in Havasu.  Popular practice and tuning areas are packed during the weekends.  Performance shops have been receiving containers and individual shipments.  Everyone we speak to, in Lake Havasu City, is busier than normal.  IJSBA’s phone is ringing, often, for last minute clarifications.  Lots of parents are calling IJSBA this year…. lots and lots of parents.  If we have just one Junior competitor for every parent that called then the Junior lines should be pretty full.

Of the things to discuss, for 2017, is the removal of Lites class Skis from the Ski Stock Classes.  This effectively makes the Ski Stock Classes only open to the 2017 Kawasaki SX-R.  Surely the conspiracy theorists have had a field day with all the reasons we did this but the answer is quite simple.  This is a new kind of Ski, being raced on a large scale for the first time, and Junior competitors are young competitors beginning to forge their experience with racing a watercraft.  For these reasons we opted to separate the two types of Ski so that people who are entering the Stock Classes know what they are racing against as do those in the Lites Classes.  There is no reason to rush the direction for Junior Classes and we think separating, at the base level, was the right thing to do this year.  The restrictor plate is showing to control the speeds of the new SX-R to the range Juniors were reaching in previous Lites Classes.  Moderated inclusion of the new SX-R was our goal for this year and we think we are on target.

The biggest topic to discuss is the boost control and the forced induction displacements in Ski GP and Ski Mod Classes.  On January 2, of this year, IJSBA posted an update announcing we planned no changes for Ski GP but sought out public input regarding changes to this class and the inclusion of boost controls.  Public input was heavily in favor of keeping the new SX-R out of GP Ski and maintaining this class as an aftermarket build centered category of racing.  On April 10, we posted a notice confirming the separation of GP and Mod into single day events on Saturday and Sunday and that Sunday would be a class focused on letting all of the previous day’s skis run against then new SX-R on the same track.  Speed control measures were announced as likely to be part of the program. 

On May 2, we released the proposed classes and plan for World Finals which included dropping the naturally aspirated displacement in GP to 1300 and bringing up the forced induction displacement to 1100cc in Mod with use of a boost controller.  We received feedback throughout the summer relating to the increasing amount of people building new GP Based Ski and expecting to run both GP and Mod, at World Finals, on the same Ski.  We received a considerable amount of input, from the international community, indicating that when a turbocharger was affixed to a Sea-Doo ACE 900 engine, the performance was in the same range as when a turbocharger was affixed to a Yamaha TR-1 1049 engine.  On August 8, we released an updated class list, with notations, which indicated that GP Ski would be allowed to utilize the TR-1 with a boost control device affixed.  We spent the next two weeks reviewing communication, studying data and communicating with key engine tuners and racers.  During this time, we also became aware that there might be a few more Ski racers looking for something to do in October.  Boost suggestions were made in ranges from 5 PSI to 12 PSI.  Ultimately, we settled on 8 PSI for all triple cylinder turbocharged Ski and 12 PSI for all twin cylinder turbocharged Ski (the current IJSBA standard in Ski Limited for Turbocharged Ski).  This announcement was made on September 21.  We believe these settings will control for the speeds traditionally reached in GP classes prior to the 2017 World Finals.  We also believe this created the most clear explanations for what settings need to be placed on the Ski watercraft.  

We have received a couple of messages in the last day claiming that we have made a new rule prior to World Finals.  We apologize for those persons unaware of the postings online.  When we made postings that indicated that we would keep the turbocharged TR-1 out of the GP class, we received mostly negative responses.  We provided several months for persons to comment and received few comments against the TR-1 being in the GP class.  We gave notice boost regulators were going to be required.  For those taken by surprise, despite the numerous online instructions, we hope you will take the time to meet with us and let us know how we can better get information to you.

On the subject of not being surprised, we want to remind competitors who are testing their abilities in Pro Classes, at World Finals, that there may be consequences when those competitors return to lower level classes.  In 2016, a competitor who had moved up to compete in the Pro Class, at World Finals having earned a Second Place in Amateur Ski Open.  He finished 12th in the final Pro Ski moto.  In 2017, he returned as an Expert and won Amateur Ski Lites.  The competitor then went on to win Pro Am Ski Lites and had entered registered to compete, again, in Pro Ski prior to the Amateur win.  Given the totality of circumstances with the showing that the competitor was able to contend in the Pro classes and that the rider won a Pro Am class, IJSBA reclassified the rider as ineligible to participate in Amateur Classes and nullified the Amateur win.  The competitor explained that he was unaware of IJSBA’s policies in this circumstances and we believe this to be a legitimate explanation.  However, IJSBA did not reverse the decision due to the fact that he had raced Pro the previous year, had registered Pro in this year, and had both Amateur and Pro-Am wins at the same vents with a previous Amateur podium finish.  We stand by the decision and this will be the policy used if the same or very similar situations arise in the future.  We apologize to the rider and anyone unaware of these policies and hope this issue will not come up again.

2017 Log Jump

All Ski Classes with an Expert designation, or higher, will go over the log jump except for those classes where the new 2017 Kawasaki SX-R is allowed.  Pro Ski Mod, which does allow the new SX-R may do the log jump.  This is a decision that will be made after the track is completed.

Last Day For Early Registration

Monday, at 11:59 PM, PST, pre registration closes.  Afterwards, only onsite registration is available.  Save time and save money by registering before then.

This update took forever to write and several hundred emails and numerous phone calls came through during the time it was compiled.  We hope it was less painful to read than it was to construct.  See you at World Finals in a week.