The RYA has today written to the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the international federation for Powerboat Racing, to inform them that it will no longer act as national authority for powerboat racing in the UK with effect from 01 January 2019.
This decision has been taken by the RYA’s Board, following a review of the status of the sport and an evaluation of the risks and responsibilities associated with acting as the national authority.
The Board has been monitoring the situation closely since the implementation of the Cardy report in 2015/16, and following the 2017 season determined that the situation was no longer sustainable long-term. The announcement has been made at this time in line with the requirements advised by the UIM in advance of their 2018 general assembly.
The Board has concluded that the financial, safety, and reputational challenges presented are disproportionate to the number of clubs and competitors now actively racing. In particular, the voluntary disaffiliation of the Offshore powerboat racing clubs in 2017 has reduced the number of licence holders to an unsustainable level, with just 92 adult and 18 junior licence holders across nine affiliated powerboat racing clubs, of which only six are involved in actively organising powerboat racing events. The Board considers that it is no longer in the best interests of the RYA’s membership as a whole to continue to act as the governing body.
The Powerboat Racing department will continue to operate as normal for the remainder of the 2018 season, including issuing licences and ratifying the results of British Championships, World and British Speed Records. The office will close in December 2018 and no licences will be issued by the RYA for the 2019 season.
It is not the RYA’s role, or intention, to nominate any successor organisation; this is a decision for the UIM to take at the appropriate time. Once the UIM has decided, the RYA is committed to transferring all appropriate records and resources to the new body in order to facilitate their operation. Meanwhile, the RYA will be proactive in exploring all viable options for an interim solution to assist the transfer in 2019 if required. This includes the possibility of UK drivers applying to the Irish Sailing Association for licences subject to compliance with ISA terms and processes.
We would like to thank the many Powerboat Racing clubs and volunteers who have offered their services to the RYA and to the sport, as well as the many competitors who have represented us in both National and International competition.