The WPPA and IOTA Boards still await formal reply
The World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) and International Offshore Team Association (IOTA) Boards have formally expressed their disappointment and surprise at the action undertaken by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) in issuing a press release on the on-going and still unresolved situation between the parties, without having sent any official communication to either party involved in the negotiations.
“As of today, not only has no official communication been received, but the UIM Secretariat has taken care of attempting to clarify the UIM’s position by means of a press release.” said IOTA General Secretary, Marco Sala. “The WPPA and IOTA had agreed to reconsider an agreement if the UIM accepted the spirit of the WPPA project, which the Kuala Lumpur document had totally negated, and to continue discussions based on the recommendations proposed by the UIM’s own delegation.
” With the start of the Class 1 offshore powerboat season drawing ever closer, it was pointed out to the UIM that due to the commitments undertaken for the organisation of the Class 1 World Championship, a clear answer on the matter was required with no delay. It was therefore agreed that the definitive reply from the UIM would be given by 9th March. On 12 March, the UIM was requested to provide an official reply but once again there was no response. And so on the 20 March a communication was sent to the UIM and the National Authorities to inform them that due to absolute failure of the UIM to communicate any form of official response, the Class 1 World Championship would be run under the aegis of the WPPA.” confirmed Sala.
What is baffling everyone is that on the same date, the Chairman of the UIM Delegation – Raffaele Chiulli – informed the WPPA and IOTA that the UIM Council, when consulted on the Executive Committee’s recommendation to reject the proposal put forward by the Dubai Working Group, had voted with the majority not in favour of the Executive Committee’s position, thus opening the door once again for negotiations to continue.
Yet again, the WPPA and IOTA requested a formal communication which would clarify the UIM’s position vis-a-vis the WPPA project – but again no response. “The press release issued by the UIM, which starts off by accusing the WPPA and IOTA of circulating “misleading publications”, clearly expresses the view of a minority of the Council and informs neither the press nor the National Authorities of the text of the Working Agreement drawn up by the Dubai Working Group, made up of the UIM Delegation and representatives of the WPPA and IOTA.” said Sala, adding. “For absolute clarity the eight points contained therein outlining terms of cooperation proposed by the UIM’s delegation are as follows:
1. The WPPA will recognize the role of the UIM as the sole international governing body for powerboating and will run its activities under the umbrella of the UIM;
2. For the 2007 season, the UIM recognizes the capacity and exclusivity of the WPPA in regulating and managing Class One and World and International Powerboat Championship Events. For avoidance of doubt, the UIM Technical Rules approved at the Kuala Lumpur General Assembly (i.e. 2006) will be applied;
3. The commercial and TV rights of Class1 are owned by IOTA;
4. As a governing body, the UIM shall be entitled to a fee to be agreed upon between both parties;
5. The WPPA will uphold the image of the UIM and its presence during all racing events in a way to be agreed upon between both parties;
6. Should the cooperation be successful between the UIM and the WPPA, the parties may broaden their cooperation and extend beyond 2007;
7. In order to improve and further promote powerboating activities, both parties shall agree to exchange and share knowledge and expertise; and
8. Both parties agree to work constructively and consult each other in a transparent manner and in good faith.
“Unfortunately, we see that the efforts and perseverance of Raffaele Chiulli, supported by the majority of the council and the clear will of National Authorities, such as those representing Italy, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Norway and the United Arab Emirates, to name only the principal Federations who have clearly declared their support for the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) and therefore, for reform of the Institution. It seems opinions have not been sufficient to persuade the current Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) management to relinquish the position of power in which it has become entrenched.
“It is equally clear that, in bringing about a severance from Class 1, a minority of the UIM is seeking to support an alternative project of one of its own members which, for anyone who knows the realities of professional powerboat racing, has no chance of success.
“Aside from all the controversy, which is of little interest to those involved in sport, we are convinced that the WPPA represents the future and that Class 1 will continue to offer events of a spectacular and professional nature at the highest level all over the world.
“It is this which is clearly of prime interest to the National Authorities, to whom we continue to turn for their much-needed support and whose authority we have demonstrated we wish to recognise and respect.
“We are further convinced that the UIM will soon be reformed and at that point, the WPPA and Class 1 will certainly be willing to take up, once again, the negotiations which today, a minority persists in scuppering.”