Few would argue that the last two years of RYA rule were turbulent, and it appeared to many that the powerboat racing division was making little effort to get the sport back in some form of order. However, it is imperative that the sport in the UK does have a figure head as without membership to the UIM it would be impossible to operate on the international stage.
When the OCRDA (Offshore Circuit Racing Drivers Association) broke away from the RYA last year other clubs, not all, followed suit even though the members were well aware that without affiliation to the UIM none could enter into international championships. It still came as a surprise when the RYA announced that they were throwing in the towel and relinquishing their membership to the UIM.
Within weeks a new association was born – the BPBA (British Power Boat Association) with the intention of succeeding the role of the RYA and after wading through a forest of paperwork the BPBA was appointed as the UK’s governing body for powerboat racing to the UIM.
The BPBA is headed up by Christopher Loney, a respected member of the Windermere Club, and the committee is made up of two members from each active powerboat discipline in the UK including Circuit, OCRDA, Thundercats and more to follow. UKOPRA which organises among others the Cowes-Torquay and the Poole Bay100 offshore races, were very confident the UIM would make them an associate member and have declined the offer to join. Hopefully, we will see all the British clubs & disciplines cooperating fully with the newly formed association in the future as it is in everyones’ interest that the sport is able to continue without the bickering that has been so detrimental to powerboat racing over the last few years.