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WPPA expands technical committee purview Enhanced vessel safety put on fast track.

Byline: Alaric Gomes

Dubai The World Professional Powerboats Association (WPPA) has expanded the purview of the Technical Safety Committee while putting enhanced safety in powerboats on the fast track.

"The technical safety committee has been asked to investigate and hand in a report within two weeks regarding the structural design for safety in Class One boats, especially in the canopy and cockpit," Sid Bensaleh, Secretary General, WPPA told Gulf News following the conclusion of a late night meeting on Saturday of the WPPA Board of Directors at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi.

"Safety measures in boats and for the drivers have been evolving continuously over a period of time, especially in the past 20 years or so. But we feel there is a need to research, upgrade and improve more and more on the safety," he added.

The WPPA Technical Safety Committee was appointed last April to work closely with independent experts in boat canopy safety in both design and structural improvement aspects.

"Unfortunately, we had this incident on Friday and perhaps this has urged us to seek a new direction in enhancing safety for the drivers when they are out in their boats," Bensaleh stated.

Preliminary report

The committee had submitted a preliminary report before the WPPA some three weeks back, which in turn, was forwarded to world governing body for watersports, the UIM.

"Now that a bulk of the work has been done in enhancing ways and means of improving canopy safety, we will use this preliminary report as a base document," Bensaleh said.

"What happened on Friday was unfortunate and such a huge loss to the sport. There was absolute majority from all members that we need to take a step forward by first restructuring the safety aspects of the sport," he added.

The WPPA board also debated the measures to be taken regarding the withdrawal of boats midway through the season. Bensaleh stated that this aspect came on the agenda following the withdrawal of the two Qatar Team boats after the second round of the 2009 UIM/WPPA Class One World Powerboat Championship in Arendal, Norway.

"A full report on this matter will be submitted to the concerned parties and the UIM for a decision," Bensaleh said

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Dec 14, 2009
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