|To say that relations between the UIM and the WPPA have been strained over the last year is an understatement. We have witnessed a number of reconciliation attempts by the WPPA and UIM but so far no agreement has been reached. It now appears that the UIM will go ahead and create a new offshore formula to rival Class 1.|
Acting UIM president Charles Strang issued the following letter:
It has been more than 6 months since the Paris Council meeting where
we agreed to attempt reconciliation with the breakaway offshore group,
the WPPA. We created a UIM Working Group to conduct negotiations.
Despite the best, and almost single-sided, efforts of the UIM Working
Group, no reconciliation with the WPPA has been achieved.
At the last meeting with the UIM Working Group representatives in Oslo,
Norway, on August 9-12, the WPPA stated that it was ending any further
discussions with the UIM, but that it might be willing to re-open
discussions after the election of a new UIM President in November.
Whatever the reasons for this action by the WPPA, the matter is now
dead. The negotiations have failed.
That being the situation, I conclude the following :
1. Since the negotiations have failed, in order to avoid creating
problems for the November General Assembly and possibly affecting
the results of the election, the UIM must continue with the position
taken at the June 6th Executive Committee meeting for the remainder
of the 2007 racing season, but no later than November 1, 2007. At
that meeting it was agreed that National Authorities, teams and
officials that participate in WPPA events would not be penalized by
the UIM while negotiations were ongoing.
2. It is thought that a key reason behind the stalling and delaying tactics
used by the WPPA during 2007 was to delay the creation of a new
premier Offshore Class within the UIM. Expecting a quick
reconciliation with WPPA, the UIM stopped Ugur Isik's work on that
new class and circuit. That was a mistake ! The UIM lost the 2007
UIM cannot repeat that mistake for 2008. We must proceed with the
creation of a new premium offshore class and circuit --- to provide
our National Authorities with a new Offshore alternative, to put a
future UIM President and Council in a position of strength for dealing
with the WPPA and, above all, to uphold the UIM's position as the
ruling body in the world of powerboat racing.
In view of the WPPA's action at Oslo, the above two steps are effective