Dubai: The president of the UAE Marine Sports Federation (UAE MSF) is banking on support from teams across the world to float a new sustainable class of powerboat racing.
That is the resolve of Huraiz Bin Mohammad Al Huraiz, the president of UAE MSF after he was elected on the influential 17-member Board of the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), on Monday.
Based in Monaco and founded in 1922 in Belgium as the Union Internationale du Yachting Automobile, the UIM is the world governing body for powerboating.
“Being on an influential decision-making body gives us a voice on behalf of our sport. We need to introspect and keep up with the times, and hence the inclusion of a new class of powerboat racing that is both sustainable and cheaper on the pocket, is the need of the hour,” Bin Huraiz told Gulf News at the end of the 90th UIM General Assembly held in Budva, Montenegro, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, from October 15-22.
“Our primary goal is to work for the development of our sport, not just in the UAE but in the region and beyond. And now with this election I have the added responsibility of continuing to grow our sport in the right direction,” Bin Huraiz said.
“The focus, as always, will be on professionalism, on safety aspects in powerboating and in the fair, free and consistent implementation of the rules all across the world of powerboat racing,” he stressed.
The world governing body could not put together a calendar for Class One Offshore powerboat racing with all teams folding up earlier this season. “We’ve got to be honest with ourselves as we know how Class One powerboating had gone out of reach for teams due to the cost factor involved. The UIM XCATs World Championship has taken the place of Class One on the UIM season calendar, but we’ve got to have that one class of powerboat racing that will be cheaper, more cost-effective for teams, and hence also sustainable for the future,” Bin Huraiz related.
The official further said that watersports federations all over the world are concerned not only about protecting their sport but also taking it further in the right direction. “A new class of powerboating will be the answer, not just for the teams but for the federations and associations all over the world,” he offered.
Safety during racing will be another important aspect before Bin Huraiz, considering that powerboat racing has had incidents leading to casualties in the past. “At no point have we ever compromised on safety in our sport. But now, with this election I promise I will take this further and ensure we do not have any further heartbreaks of losing anyone involved in our sport,” Bin Huraiz promised.
“We need to operate at the most professional and international standards, and that will always be as one of our main priorities,” he added.