|The World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) is hopeful they may eventually nudge their way back into the UIM fold in due course of time. Teams participating in the World Class One Powerboat Championship voted in favour of forming the WPPA on December 2, 2006 after a string of unsavoury brushes over a period of time with the UIM, the world governing body for watersport. Since then, the WPPA has gone about getting itself organized in putting a full eight-race world series together for this season.
"Quite simply, we need each other in a very professional manner, and for the greater benefit of the sport," noted Saeed Hareb, Chairman of the WPPA. "However, we need to ensure that we maintain our autonomy and self-management as we do not need them as much as they need us," Hareb insisted.
To its credit, the UIM has shown a half-hearted approach in brokering an agreement in having Class One back in its fold. But with the world governing body splintered in taking the WPPA back, the Class One series has had no option but go ahead with its own world championship this year for the sake of continuity for participating teams.
The WPPA kept the discussion channels open with the UIM starting with a meeting in Kuala Lumpur and this was followed by a joint agreement between the two bodies in Dubai on February 24 this year.
In fact, the two UIM officials are currently in Oslo to further discuss this agreement and try and arrive at some sort of solution in the matter. "We want to talk to the new UIM and this is possible only when the new body is elected [in November]. We have to find a compromise situation with the interest of the sport at heart," stated Marco Sala, the IOTA general secretary.
One of the main aspects that may determine the outcome is the impending elections to the UIM scheduled for November this year. With three candidates showing an interest to challenge for the top UIM post, the direction of Class One racing can go any way.
"A lot of the UIM problems are due to internal issues and not because of the WPPA. So a lot of the restructuring process of the UIM will depend on the November elections," observed WPPA official Rory Power.
"We need to be under the UIM umbrella, but we do not need to be run by the UIM," added former world champion Bill Barry-Cotter.