Concern for falling numbers opens up opportunity for P1 Evolution class

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The newly appointed chairman of the International Offshore Team Association (IOTA), Mohammad Al Jaidah, has called for new rules which will enable fairer and less costly participation in the Class 1 Championship.

Al Jaidah made the announcement following concern within racing circles at the declining numbers joining the top end of powerboat sport.

Only six boats started the second race in the opening round of the world championship in Brazil two months ago.

Al Jaidah’s aims are to promote new teams who can compete at the highest levels using a sustainable budget, revise Class 1 rules to adapt to new market requirements and set aside any divisions or self-interest.

In an effort to boost entries, the Class 1 circuit is to accept the P1 Evolution class that was left without a championship series after its overall sponsor and race organiser withdrew support in March.

Al Jaidah said: “A re-launch is especially necessary at this delicate moment in time that has seen a reduction in the number of participants despite continued interest on the part of a number of prominent venues.”

At the recent UIM Offshore Professional Committee (OPC) meetings, the following points were made concerning the future of Class 1 racing:

– The management of the sporting side of Class 1 was entrusted to the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique), which gave full operational responsibility to the Offshore Professional Committee.

– The rules relating to safety were approved in essence and will come into force starting from the next event in Norway.

– With guarantees of participation on the part of the Victory, Welmax and Abu Dhabi teams, as well as the probable confirmation of the participation of other race boats, the board decided to confirm the events already on the calendar.

– Given the requests which have been made by several of the P1 teams to take part in some Class 1 events and as some compensation for the low number of boats participating in the Class 1 races, it was decided to give the Evolution P1 category the opportunity to hold their championship at Class 1 venues.

– Incentive monies will be allotted only to those teams which are in a position to guarantee their participation at all the remaining events of the 2010 season.