Skat-Trak Returns as Finals Sponsor
Following a brief absence from their role as title sponsor, Skat-Trak recently once again secured the title sponsorship of the IJSBA World Finals, the world's largest and easily most prestigious PWC racing event. The 2005 Skat Trak World Finals is scheduled to take place October 11-16 at the Crazy Horse Campground on the shores of Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
As it has in year's past, the 24th Annual World Finals will include closed-course racing in ski and runabout, as well as slalom and freestyle competition. Organizers anticipate more than 800 world-class racers to be in attendance. In addition to the on-water activities, the event also promises to feature numerous other forms of entertainment, including mini-moto racing, live concerts, and what is being billed as an “interactive lifestyle festival.” All this in addition to the popular Performance Alley, an aftermarket and consumer shopping area featuring displays from the top manufacturers of PWC, aftermarket parts and apparel.
In related news, the IJSBA also announced a multi-year agreement with DSM Events, an event production firm based in Lake Havasu City.

PWC Return to Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
A final rule on personal watercraft (PWC) use at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Montana and Wyoming finds in favor of PWC use.
The ruling to reopen Bighorn National Recreation to PWC use was published this week in the Federal Register, and is effective immediately.
The move comes after discussions lasting nearly three years. In 2002, the National Park Service was required by a court settlement to restrict PWC in 21 park units pending the results of scientific studies regarding the vessels' impact. Seven units have completed these studies and now welcome personal watercraft; six other units are in the final stages of the rulemaking process to re-allow the vessels.
The environmental assessment study at Bighorn Canyon concludes that PWC present “no significant impact,” and are an appropriate boating activity for the National Recreation Area. Of three proposed rules, the park's preferred alternative welcomes PWC use with reasonable regulations, such as no-use zones on the southern shoreline, vessel inspections, and user education programs.
PWC use will be allowed on most of the 60-mile long, 12,700-acre Bighorn Lake with exception of areas south of South Narrows. State law in Montana requires PWC operators age 13 and 14 to take an approved boating safety course and carry a certificate of completion. Riders 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Wyoming state law requires PWC operators to be at least 16 years old.

New York Mulls Age Restriction
A bill passed earlier this month by the New York State Assembly would, starting in summer 2009, increase the minimum age for operating a PWC from 10 to 14 years old, and require that children under 14 be accompanied at all times by someone 18 or older who has a boating safety certificate.
State Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington (D-Suffolk County) sponsored the bill, which passed the Democrat-led Assembly by 136-2.
State Senate sponsor is Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County). The bill must be approved by the Senate and signed by the governor before it becomes a law. The Senate's Tourism and Recreation committee is examining the bill.

XBoard Receives Exemptions Certificate
Aqua Xtremes says it recently received certification necessary to sell its XBoard personal watercraft in the United States.
Aqua Xtremes' petition for a Grant of Exemptions Certificate (CGB 05-005) was accepted by the Boating Safety Group. Although the Boating Safety Group does not issue approvals for watercraft - they either grant or deny exemptions - a Grant of Exemptions is viewed by Aqua Xtremes as a critical step in the production process for XBoard.
“This is great news,” commented John Allen, Central Region Vice President of Sales for CyberAds, a professional sales and marketing organization that has the distribution rights for XBoard throughout North America and is currently building a retail and rental network. “Our Distributors are anxiously awaiting production of the XBoard this summer and they appreciate the significance of this type of regulatory process. What this means is that we are one step closer to seeing XBoards in the distribution channel.”
Parties interested in learning more about the XBoard or retail opportunities are asked to call 800/288-3099 or visit for more information.

Hipwell Joins WaterCraft World Magazine
Rod Hipwell has joined the Ehlert Boating Media Group as national sales manager for WaterCraft World magazine. He will be based in Ehlert's Carson, California, office.
Now in its 18th year, WaterCraft World is the largest-circulation national publication dedicated to personal watercraft (PWC) enthusiasts. Published six times annually, the magazine is packed with detailed tests of the latest PWC and accessories, as well as features on great riding destinations and watersports. Hipwell joins the WaterCraft World staff after spending five years as sales manager for Personal Watercraft Illustrated magazine.
“We are delighted to welcome Rod aboard,” said Wiley Poole, group publisher of the Ehlert Boating Media Group. “We're putting together a strong core at WaterCraft World, and we think Rod's experience and enthusiasm will make him a great fit in the position of national sales manager.”
To learn more, visit

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