I was looking forward to covering the UIM Class 3 World Championships in Tvedestrand, Norway this year; little did I know that the organisers were woefully under prepared to host such a prestige event.
After attending the Drivers Briefing and watching the first of a 3 race Class 3A and 3B World Championship yesterday, (Saturday 2nd June) and then talking to competitors after, I can only describe the start of the Skagerrak Water Festival as a total farce.
Tvedestrand has a proud heritage of running Offshore Events and it certainly appeared to me that the organisers were leaning on that history to ‘cobble’ an event together.
I have been told by a Class 3B Swedish team that rolled their raceboat over during the race that the Safety cover was at best poor and medical help or advice was nonexistent.
Due to the unpredictable weather here in Norway and a lack of strong leadership from the organisers, Drivers Briefing didn’t give the competitors any firm idea of what courses or laps that they would be racing over just a few hours later.
No wonder so many boats made navigational errors.
When it came to the posting of results, it was clear that nothing was in place to do it correctly. At 20.45 last night a final piece of paper was badly taped onto the Norges Motorsportforbund (NMF) truck, this after no less than 4 other earlier results had been badly taped onto the NMF truck and subsequently removed.
I was told this morning that the ‘organisers’ are meeting this afternoon to ‘iron out’ the problems from yesterday.
With whispers of a potential boycott from some Swedish teams, I can only hope they have had a ‘wake up’ call and get the remainder of this Event right.
International competitors have spent and are spending good money to attend this UIM International Event and surely deserve better.
(Posted from my accommodation in Norway due to the lack of a Media Room provision that should be provided under UIM rules).
John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.