The Union Internationale Motonautique safety working group met in Amsterdam last week

Ralf Frohling, President of the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) invited Dr Robert Hubbard of the Biomechanical Design Research Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, to participate in the UIM safety working group meeting in Amsterdam on April 26.

Ralf Frohling said:

“I have followed with interest the research and development of Dr. Hubbard’s Head and Neck Safety Device System (HANS) for about ten years. It could be an invaluable device for racing powerboat drivers. I have watched its application to different categories of motor racing, Cart, Formula Atlantic, Nascar and the FIA: the latter officially introducing it to Formula I in 2003. But we will need a custom-made version for powerboating.”

“I have therefore asked Dr. Hubbard to deliver three HANS systems in time for the opening round of the F1 series in Portimao, Portugal, on May 3-4. Seven times world champion, Guido Cappellini from Italy and Finland’s Sami Selio have both agreed to test it.”

“A powerboat system must be fully adjustable to suit drivers strapped in the cockpit capsule and if tests prove positive, I will ask the UIM to make these devices compulsory at the end of the year. In 2004, every team participating in the UIM World F1 championship will then be obliged to race with a HANS system.”

Nicolo di San Germano, Promoter of the UIM Formula 1 Powerboat Championship added:

“Formula 1 powerboat safety officers are constantly working to improve safety and hence I wholeheartedly support these trials. I have high hopes that HANS can be applied to powerboat racing and so contribute to the protection of the neck and head in the event of an accident. Our key priority is to enhance safety standards by ever improving regulations.”