July 3, 2006 – Making Waves

APBA responds to Frazier interview
The American Power Boat Association’s Patrick Mell recently expressed concern over the recent Powersports Business interview with Scott Frazier, the managing director of the International Jet Sports Boating Association.
According to Mell, the APBA has fielded numerous calls from members and aftermarket companies upset with Frazier’s comments about not encouraging any more spending on two-stroke engines.
Mell wishes to make it clear that this is not what the APBA and its board members feel are in the best interest of the sport in the United States.
“The APBA in no way wants to discourage people who own two-strokes from racing and will continue to provide a place for them to race as long as there is a demand,” he said. “One of the major things that have killed the sport in the past has been requiring racers to buy a new boat to be competitive after they spent a ton of money building the boat they have. We are working on ways to find a place for owners of four-stroke watercraft to race, but the success is and will be in creating or expanding forms of racing like Supercourse and Offshore racing to accommodate these larger and faster boats.”
Frazier said, in fact, “the IJSBA does not in any way discourage two-stroke owners from racing. In fact, a few months ago, the IJSBA created some classes that are specifically tailored for many of the popular two-stroke stand up models that are showing some age.”
He also said that “the future of this sport is very clearly four-stroke platforms. Therefore, the IJSBA does encourage anyone who is going to invest in PWC performance for competition to do so on a four-stroke.”
The Bionic Dolphin lives
It must be the year for unique takes on personal watercraft.
According to a report in technology pub gizmag, inventor Thomas Rowe plans to put his “Variable Attitude Submersible Hydrofoil” — or Bionic Dolphin — into full production.
The craft, which resembles a dolphin in its exterior hull design but features a gasoline-powered engine within, has made headlines since the early ’90s, but has yet to become more than a one-off novelty item. That all may soon change, however, as Rowe has put together a new company, NoLand Corp., to bring the VASH technology to the market. He is currently working with TARCO Research to design new models for pleasure use. Design collaborators Innerspace Design also will reportedly continue to make custom models.
“After fielding literally hundreds of requests for Bionic Dolphins, I decided I needed to bring this technology to the working guy who is bored with the limitations of the Jet Ski, but doesn’t have the time or skills to build one for themselves,” Rowe told gizmag.
According to the company’s Web site, bionicdolphin.com, the bionic dolphin will be on display at the first-ever Jules Verne Adventures Film Festival and Expo in October at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, as well as Wired Magazine’s NextFest 2006 in New York.
And you thought Sea-Doo had a monopoly on that whole dolphin image…
Yamaha Europe Joins IJSBA
Yamaha Motors of Europe recently joined the International Jet Sports Boating Association as a manufacturer member.
A company heavily involved in PWC racing, Yamaha Europe is a major player in the European race circuit, and the sponsor of 2005 Runabout World Champion Nicolas Rius. The company also recently released a performance version of the Yamaha SuperJet, the SuperJet RR (Rius Racing Edition).
Kawasaki Recognized For 15 Years Of Support
Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. recently received the Eagle Spirit award from Sharp Healthcare Foundation of San Diego as recognition of the company’s 15 years of involvement with that organization’s “Day on the Bay” adaptive watersports event.
The annual one-day event on San Diego’s Mission Bay is targeted at disabled adults, and allows them to experience the thrills of various watersports activities, including water skiing, sailing and personal watercraft.
Each year Kawasaki has provided Jet Ski watercraft, as well as volunteer staff, so that “Day on the Bay” can be a success.
“This is our favorite event of the year,” said Clair Jones, Sharp’s director of rehabilitation and services. “It gives us an opportunity to show San Diegans what people with determination and spirit are capable of overcoming and the contributions they make regardless of personal obstacles. It shows everyone attending the most important thing we can do is to empower each other.”
Kawasaki’s involvement over the years has drawn a fair share of press coverage, and opened the eyes of many to what is possible, both from the disabled participants and from personal watercraft.
“The opportunity to participate and support Day on the Bay has been a privilege for Kawasaki,” said Roger Hagie, Kawasaki’s director of public affairs. “The employees who have volunteered over the past 15 years have made our participation possible. They have always enjoyed seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they ride across Mission Bay on the Jet Ski watercraft.”
The Eagle Spirit Award is given to individuals and corporate sponsors who are dedicated to “advancing the future of rehabilitation and celebrating the potential of the human spirit. psb

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