International Water Ski Racing Online Since 1996

What changes do you want in ski racing?

In April 2007 I launched a survey so that competitors around the world could give their views on some key items that the IWSF Racing Council was considering at the time. One of the 14 questions was; “What other changes would you like to see in water ski racing?”

This is an ongoing question which is relevant to the sport at every level and in every country. Small groups of people tend to run all sports, but it’s important that those people properly represent the people that ‘do’ the sport by listening to them. Let’s face it, many decision makers in many sports are completely out of touch with the actual sport and the people who do the sport. The survey gave everyone an opportunity to have their say and it gave the IWSF Racing Council an opportunity to listen, particularly concerning some key items.

All of the suggested changes in the original survey are posted below. If you wish, you can add more suggestions in the comments section at the bottom of this page (comments can take a few hours to display).

1. Faster boats Fri, 6/22/07 12:25 AM

2. more restriction on engines and boats size in curtain classes so it is more even to watch and more of an exciting race Tue, 6/19/07 12:34 AM

3. attractions to new participants and development toward a larger base of comptetitors Wed, 6/13/07 10:11 PM

4. more media Sun, 5/20/07 11:58 AM

5. limit the horse power of competing boats. It is rediculous to have an unlimited supply of power. In the interest of safety it shouldnt be made harder to ski at excessive speed, the boat shouldn’t be able to go that fast in the first place. Fri, 5/18/07 2:42 PM

6. Speed should go down in Junior – Races, only use FII Boats Thu, 5/17/07 6:46 AM

7. More coverage Tue, 5/15/07 1:41 PM

8. I would like to see more standard engine classes at world level to allow more teams who start racing at an entry level to move up though the classes and stay as a team as a team who have raced together a long time are a safe and fast team. Mon, 5/14/07 6:51 AM

9. grading of skiers penaltys for crews who dont take signals Sat, 5/12/07 1:29 AM

10. more advertising to publisize the sport Fri, 5/11/07 1:44 AM

11. more speed class races so its affordable to the general racer eg 70mph class 75mph class 80mph class rather than motor sizes Thu, 5/10/07 6:06 PM

12. I would like to see our competitors be more realistic when talking speed. The times prove that when you work the average that the teams are not travelling at the ridiculous speeds that are being discussed. Put everyone back on 6ft skis and see what difference this makes to the speed and the budgets required to win races. The skis are making the sport all too quick, but to think the top competitors are running at speeds at over 120mph is a joke and then to think that 6ltr teams are reaching speeds in excess of 106mph does not add up. I won the Bridge to Bridge in Australia Outright years ago, on a 6ft ski and off the beach, our time is not so bad when you consider it was over 20 years ago when compared with the record today, and our boat was flat out running faster than 95mph. Drop the ski size, stop the BS and get on with the job at hand, ski racing is the best sport in the world, and it is fast becoming a sport for the rich and famous. Wed, 5/9/07 9:00 PM

13. I love superclass ski racing and think that for all the worlds classic races the format should remain. But I think that for a world title it should be the formula 2 format. Take the boat out of the equation as much as possible and make it a skiers event. It will also make the sport more affordable and attract more competitors to the qualifying. Tue, 5/8/07 3:06 PM

14. I would like to see speed rated classes formed. I believe that it would create a more competive race atmosphere. Mon, 5/7/07 8:56 PM

15. more publicity for the sport Sun, 5/6/07 8:58 AM

16. more publicity… You certainly dont see big event races on sports center. Sat, 5/5/07 10:39 PM

17. Throw a dog-leg into a normal race course so that competitor on poll does not receive such a big advantage Tue, 5/1/07 11:31 PM

18. bring F3 and masters class to world level. F3 should be the standard class for new competitors to come. F2 should be very stricted and will probably be the hardest to handle cuz ppl try to tune up their engines a bit more and its dificult to see. But i dont think slowing the speed of this class would be an idea. Its perfect as it is. F1 is very expensive, and not many ppl can afford it, still, lets not forget this sport is called waterski RACING, its all based on the speed (why slow it down? dont wanna go so fast? stay in F2) maybe a help of cash prize from sponsors and stuff would bring more enthuthiasts to start competing. shortening the races is an idea, but then ppl would go faster… maybe do 2 or 3 rounds of 30min per day (of the same class) dunno that is a prob, spectators get tired of watching a 60min race. also an idea maybe bringing a manufactures prize, manufactures such as the boats made, engines and skis as they do with honda/yamaha and ferrari/renault michelin/bridgstone in F1 cars and MOTOGP. Tue, 5/1/07 9:29 AM

19. i think especially in gb we need to concentrate on home nationals and see a programme of events for next year ready now and show emae how to do it!still no definate date for euro champs yet will all the competitors get stung again as in holland! and see places like holland none tidal change dates for uk tidal events but nice to dream if only the emae committe had some brains Tue, 5/1/07 8:42 AM

20. Tue, 5/1/07 4:08 AM

21. more carefull readings on the depth of the water in all areas not just the middle, skiers should have to ski inside the wash at all times Sun, 4/29/07 6:35 PM

22. stricter penalties for drivers and observers who ignore signals and also ban drivers who come to close to fallen skiers when they can see them Sun, 4/29/07 6:11 PM

23. I think that the sport needs to look at the sport in two different areas. International and Nationally (club level). First, at the international level I feel that a big step would be removing the alternate position from the F1 division for both men and women. The alternate is a useless position. Teams are allowed 3 skiers in F1, but only two skiers earn points for the team. So the alternate really is the 3rd skier. Most Countries don’t even have a 3rd skier, let alone an alternate. With this being said, I think each country should be allowed to bring a 3rd skier in F2 to World Titles. F2 has more people competing than F1, it is more affordable (although it is getting out of hand just like F1), and the racing tends to be more balanced and competitive. I truly believe this will improve participation at the International Level and the National Level. With that being said, races at home need to stop catering to the World Team Members. Marathon races are generally too long for the casual skier as they don’t want to race for 45 minutes to an hour. Shorter races, better race locations, and most importantly trying to make the sport more affordable. Sun, 4/29/07 10:26 AM

24. Ski racing is turning to more of an international sport for better competition. I belive that the host country of a world event should have money, product or services built into there budget to be made avalable to the teams travaling to there event. I also think we need to look at the F/1 boats as far as some kind of power limitation and number of drives that can be run. I know this would take a lot of conversation and I’m not sure if the world councl without imput from all the regions has the back ground to create those guide lines. The F/1 boats of today are to fast and far to expenseve to build and maintain. Sat, 4/28/07 1:03 AM

25. I think unlimited should be unlimited i think the isurance issue in australia needs to be addresed Fri, 4/27/07 2:41 PM

26. bring it back in the usa Fri, 4/27/07 7:06 AM

27. More thought given to coarse design and rules to accomadate a shorter/smaller area. Reason being better spectator viewing, closer racing, easier?cheaper to televise. Short coarse = rougher water = shorter distance to accelerate = slower speed.Also design a coarse which negates pole advantage ie; L or C shape instead of triangle or saugege shape Fri, 4/27/07 5:46 AM

28. For competitors to try to see things from a race organisers viewpoint. It is very difficult to promote an event in a professional manner when the “stars” of the event behave in such an amateur manner. Fri, 4/27/07 4:20 AM

29. More checking of skiers safety equipment. Limits to the size of boat motors grading of skiers & drivers & observers with years of experience & age Fri, 4/27/07 2:01 AM

30. Safety equip has to be worn. Its saved my a…so many times. I know that ins. prohibits this but come on common sense now if we have the equip why not use it all. Maybe more double ups like AU, Sorry but I like $ for trophy than a bag all the time. Thu, 4/26/07 4:57 PM

31. bring the price DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thu, 4/26/07 4:13 PM

32. I think the sport should aim for a max speed of around 110mph – however needs to be goverened by boats and not skiers equipment. This would require a big step down in current horespower, so changes would require long term notice. I would suggest this is achieved by removing forced induction, ie: turbo’s and super-chargers Thu, 4/26/07 4:09 PM

33. allow bigger boats to compete on a regular basis. when I go to the lake , its getting rare to see a boat the same length as our racing boats. most people have larger boats now. we need to entice them to compete also. Thu, 4/26/07 9:38 AM

34. I would like to see more racing less politics !!! Thu, 4/26/07 5:38 AM

35. In the UK, more clear and open communication to all those in the sport (that is those who are active, i.e. members of BWSF). An agreed approach to raising profile of the sport .i.e why arnt we at any of the boatshows? Thu, 4/26/07 4:31 AM

36. Tighten the rules for F2, currently to open with no horspower checks being done. I look to NZ to see what happens. Thu, 4/26/07 4:04 AM

37. Other engine classes at an international level to allow the up and coming racers to strive to be better but at a slower speed and with slower boats. ie, 2.5 litre and smoc, as they do in australia. Thu, 4/26/07 3:49 AM

38. Much sorter races Maximum 1/2 an hour but more of them. Lets move the sport on, every other sport evolves to suit let not be left dead in the water! Thu, 4/26/07 3:44 AM

39. inclusion of more countries. Masters (over 40) class included Thu, 4/26/07 3:25 AM

40. making more races better for spectator? Thu, 4/26/07 2:28 AM

41. Formule 3 for the hole world!!! in europe its a succes and an improvement for skiracing! Thu, 4/26/07 2:20 AM

42. the minimum distance between the skier and another boat should be much further than 2m away. it should be minimum the length of a boat incase it loses its steering or hooks sideways. in races such as worlds things like this can happen so quickly and the next thing you know the boat next to you has run over your skier. for the safety of the skiers the minimum distance should be made far larger – theres is plenty of water out there so why do they need to be so close to each other? it is too dangerous Thu, 4/26/07 1:40 AM

43. international classes changed to suit more common motors used at present Thu, 4/26/07 1:35 AM

44. Limiting rigs and equipment either by specification(preferable) or financially to open up the ‘sport for all’ aspect along the lines of A1 Motor Racing. Thu, 4/26/07 12:40 AM

45. In world water ski racing – not sure about – but in Australia, I would like to see them not try and change the rules so often and think about the ramifications of the rule changes. Wed, 4/25/07 11:57 PM

46. The sport desperately needs to get a clear direction of where it should go and then that ‘policy’ to be driven from the top. More sympathy to environmental issues and participation costs may induce more newcomers and address ‘speed’ concerns. Shorter races at domestic level may also help, particularly newcomers and youngsters. This may also enable more races over a weekend, giving more spectator appeal. Wed, 4/25/07 11:16 PM

47. more media coverage and more entry level classes such as a 75 MPH class like the 60MPH class here in Aus Wed, 4/25/07 10:15 PM

48. love to see more people in the sport that is so amazing… Wed, 4/25/07 8:45 PM

49. A short course world championships which involve a greater number of people from different age groups. It is too restricted at moment and limits involvement from so many people who could compete at a world level ie have age classes instead of F! or F2 only. Wed, 4/25/07 8:35 PM

50. More competitors! sponsors more incentive for people to ski…like cash prizes (from sponsors) more spectators more advertising Wed, 4/25/07 6:43 PM

51. I would like to see class divisions becoming more even. Limiting not only engine sizes but horse power as well. For example I ski in the very competitive 6ltr class in Australia and in most of the classic races we are finishing well in the top 10. Our class is spending huge amounts of cash to try and get an advantage over other competitors. Our class is how hitting speeds of over 106mph towing two skiers which is alot faster than most of the other boats in the classes above us. The crews in our class have been spending up to $400,000 Australian dollars to get the boats on the water. What will happen is that while the class is strong at the moment other competitor who cannot afford to spend this kind of money on their boats will end up stop competing as they will get sick of going flat out for a whole race and still finishing at least 5+ minutes behind us and the other top teams. Wed, 4/25/07 4:57 PM

52. Less emphasis on the elite skiing events and more on welcoming newcommers, and/or families. Wed, 4/25/07 4:35 PM

53. more club interaction amongst members while encouraging promotions. Wed, 4/25/07 4:10 PM

54. 1. To make the social and 60mph class more attractive, the engine capacity should be limited to 6 Lt. Skis should not be race hybrids…the rules are too loose. 2. Its good to see skiers now staying outside the wake a lot more. When I was skiing, there was no way we would say right behind the boat because we could not see the water conditions ahead, we liked clean water, and we did not want to be hit by engine bits if the motor blew. In turns or corners the ski bit into the water better too than when the surface tension was broken up by cavitation etc. Its now a regulatory issue, but one I tell my guys about, and I think they turn better and are more stable that way. 3. I think its very dangerous for observers to be seated up really high in boats…sometimes their waist is level with the front deck. I know they have to be high to see the skiers if the motor etc is huge, but these motors are just lazy design for the intakes. You can have the turbos down low and a plenum that is low profile if you are a good designer. Have a look at MercForce. Its even a stock Mercruiser. There you have a 1200hp motor that is only 20cm higher than the rear deck. This allows the observer to get down low in the boat. It is much safer, provides a better aerodynamic profile, reduces the roll centre so the boat is more stable in turns and allows the downforce built into the hull to work. The only problem is its too noisy at the moment. Wed, 4/25/07 3:27 PM

55. professional ski schools for our up and coming champions or just competitors Wed, 4/25/07 3:24 PM

56. I have been involved at a competitive level for over 30 years and the sport has become too expensive and the top runners have made it where the average person cannot compete. Even the Formula 2 class, which is gaining in America, is now too expensive for the average person to build a boat to compete on the same level as the front runners. Only the well off and boat manufacturers are able to keep up and they keep changing hulls and engines where the average person has to keep the same rig for years, and cannot afford to keep buying new motors and hulls. Wed, 4/25/07 2:45 PM

57. More shorter sprint races Wed, 4/25/07 2:21 PM

58. Have F1 limited to an affordable engine configuration to allow the sport to be more obtainable to the average person, and make worlds racing more about team work and skier ability than money. Wed, 4/25/07 1:46 PM

59. in world selection events family members of people who are skiing in the events have no say in incidents that occur during a race. have seen in 1 to many times. Wed, 4/25/07 1:45 PM

60. All ages in world titles so EVERYONE has a chance of repping their country. More people in the worlds better money sharing for the teams competing. Shorten the time or length of race as well so it is not a total life stopping committment(mums and dads can compete as well) to get there Wed, 4/25/07 1:43 PM

61. Only possible way of limting that I think would be beneficial is to have the rope and ski length limits for age group skiers, i.e introduce the limits only for kids. If I listed the other changes I wouldn’t get any work done for the next week 🙂 Wed, 4/25/07 1:21 PM

62. None I think the sport tends to look after it self so why change it. Small changes in gear and equipment will come with time and as the sport continues to evolve. Wed, 4/25/07 1:13 PM

63. the lenght of boat increased especially in f1 I think boats are far too fast for a limit of 21 ft, the rule is years old and engines are much faster. alternitively limit hp of f1 and reduce f2. Wed, 4/25/07 1:08 PM

64. Bring F3 and Seniors into the worlds, increase boat length, all classes should be the same in all countries. Wed, 4/25/07 11:52 AM

65. Here in the states I would like to the the sanctioning body have a more hands on approach to recruiting new skiers, observers, drivers etc. The approach being used (i use this term loosly) is cater to the big name teams only. Sure the big name teams contribute to the sport, but in my opinion it is negatively. It makes them appear elitest. The body needs to do more to make a new/perspective skier feel comfortable and welcome in this sport. At the rate they are doing things here this sport is not long for this world. Perfect example is Catalina which used to routinely attract over 110 teams, the last few years have been in the low 80s.The state of ski racing here is piss poor at best. No one listens to any imput. There are a few people that go out and try and recruit (Jeff Barrus) and the sanctioning bost gives him ZERO support. The state of ski racing here is piss poor at best. Well thanks for listening to my loosly assembled, rambling rant. I hope it helps. Wed, 4/25/07 11:25 AM

66. shorter lines for the next generation Wed, 4/25/07 11:18 AM

67. People should stop messing with F2 engines. They’re ruining the sport. F2 is supposed to be cheap and affordable for everyone. Wed, 4/25/07 10:53 AM

68. Shorter races, but two on one day. Like in motrocylce racing. If you have bad lunck, you can still make up in the other heat. Also at the end of a long race when some teams fall out it gets boring for the public with too few competitors on the water. Wed, 4/25/07 10:30 AM

69. More promotional effort Wed, 4/25/07 9:56 AM

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