Set for August 3-6, the Great Lakes Grand Prix is the next race on Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series schedule. But as offshore powerboat racing teams and dedicated fans know, the Offshore Powerboat Association-produced Michigan City contest is problematic for Class 1 as it is not an American Power Boat Association-sanctioned event.
The Great Lakes Grand Prix is the third race on 2023 UIM Class 1 World Championship Series schedule. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
All Class 1 events “must have a National Authority sanction per UIM rules,” according to a press release from APBA leadership. The National Authority in the United States is APBA, and has been “for over 100 years.”
Translation? Minus the APBA sanction, UIM Class 1 points cannot be awarded in Michigan City per the existing rules of both organizations.
In the release, APBA Offshore Racing Commission chairman/UIM commissioner Rich Luhrs and Chris Fairchild, the president of APBA, offered a solution in the following statement.
“Currently, a sanction application has been received from the Class 1 worldwide promoters, Powerboat P1,” the statement read. “In consideration for the efforts put forth by the local organizers and volunteers of the Michigan City event, the Class 1 race teams, the Powerboat P1 worldwide TV production and the sponsor, XINSURANCE, APBA has proposed that this sanction for the Class 1 portion of the event be approved.
“This presumes that APBA and UIM racing and safety rules are followed, and certain insurance and liability issues are addressed, all of which are achievable in the period between now and the race weekend,” the release continued. “Per APBA’s insurance requirements, this portion of the event would be separate from the remaining classes and activities during the race weekend. This will not adversely affect the event regarding Michigan City’s interests nor impact the fans’ perspective.”
The release included more details.
“This is not a joint sanction and is specifically a one-event departure from normal APBA procedure to ensure that the competitors, Powerboat P1, Michigan City and most of all, the fans get the best show possible,” the statement read. “As such, it is understood that this exception will not be repeated. APBA remains committed to reasonable and respectful discussions to prevent this kind of occurrence in the future. We wish all racers in all classes a safe and exciting weekend and a successful event for the Michigan City community.”
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