There are also Technical Inspection calls that are in dispute. My question to staff is how familiar are you with the 2019 IJSBA Rule book and the interpretation of those rules? Who mentored you and signed you off after a vetting process? How were you tested and what evaluations occurred? What are your qualifications?
I also extend this responsible accountability to the competitors. Many who do not have English skills and staff has limited international language skills, do you understand the rules and the spirit of the rules? Did you experience frustration in understand and comprehension of rules or expressing them to others?
When we look at a problem you must also look at ourselves to find the answer. Communication is the best place to start.
Interpretations must be fact based. This begins with the Technical Inspection crew and Race Director along with Scoring or Registration (if that applies). It relies on the documents and inspection lists that are filled out for each entry. This is also a responsibility of those in Staging to be looking for any infractions as the race vessels come to the line. How is this noted and conducted if at all?
It is also a responsibility of the racer themselves, and their teammates to understand and ask effective questions far in advance if they are not understanding a specific issue.
This also means that the IJSBA needs a dedicated staff member who is highly trained in human relations communications (able to handle stressful situations and communicate with compassion and stand grand when needed) to be accessible on the race site from start to finish with language skills. This person needs an iPad to document each question and answer and load it into a database for access. This can support evidence based appeal processing. This iPad can also assist in language translations as needed.
However, in the IJSBA defense there may be secondary issues not exposed here that should be taken into consideration. This is the only way to gain understanding and equitable solutions. Blame is easy to project, solutions are what people step away from, because its uncomfortable to be held responsible, it requires time and effort.
We do not have the full story, only the expressions of competitors who did not receive the benefits of their efforts. There was a press release from the IJSBA stating that trophies were stolen and misappropriated, this could explain a lot, however the racers whose trophies were stolen should have been contacted as soon as this came to light individually. People understand hardship, they can deal with it.
Staff and Management need to be educated on the protocols and procedures of problems that may occur from unforeseen circumstances and have what is called an ‘action plan’ or what others would simply say ‘damage control’. Sincere apologies go a long way.
People can handle the truth, but not to be dismissed.
Here is a Pro Tip for the IJSBA staff and other venues: I propose a meeting, take notes, race stakeholders’ public comments, structure the complaints and the timeline of problems faced at the venue. Evaluate the issues that took place with fearless courage. Issue public apologies. Ensure these athletes, their teams and their sponsors are given a platform for recognition after the fact for their earned efforts.
Secondly; IJSBA needs to responsibly train staff members to a higher level of functionality with organizational solutions for secondary controls. Staff members need to be vetted, tested, evaluated and assessed. Some people may not be the right fit for this job and they have to go away. Their Character and principles may not align with altruistic work. Others deserve more support and encouragement.
These people deserve a stronger leadership platform to assist them in the safe and competent production of a legacy event.
Perhaps it will take novice and seasoned IJSBA staff will take this into consideration and care about their constituents they represent with a higher level of professionalism. It would be helpful if staff would remember these simple pressures that people are placed under.
There are emotional and physical demands, lack of language translations from staff to teams that lead to frustration and misunderstandings. Many competitors who travel from all over the world, pay high costs throughout the year to compete for qualifying for this event, acquiring equipment, funding, sponsorship and travel demands.
It is demanding for both the supporting staff as it is for the athletes and their teams. There is a lot of emotion, hopes, aspirations and disappointments that are experienced during an event like this. There is the political climate, territorial issues and personality conflicts to navigate.
The IJSBA has disenfranchised many seasoned race event staff personnel and competitors. Some are deserving and some are incompetent rulings.
There may be financial considerations in these changes, personality or management conflicts. Whatever it is, solutions are potential for advancing the mission, vision and goals of Championship race events. It takes both parties to work together, like a marriage it is not about both sides, it is about the sum of the whole.
This problem is not just for Havasu, but worldwide. This has left a great void in mentorship, safety and event flow from crews and leaders. The time is now to address these concerns that have been voiced publicly by participants and former staff for a few years and organize a stakeholder meeting.
In defense of the current and past IJSBA staff, many are not paid high salaries, or they are volunteering their time, taking away from their work, livelihood and families. They sacrifice a lot to be a part of this amazing venue! They work long hours, in adverse conditions, and perhaps only once a year, or at local events, they may not have any training. Some of the rules and manners of racing may be different from where they are coming from in relation to this event.
Staff, you must hear the things you do not want to hear, you may shut down and become adversarial, that is not to your advantage.
Some of you may not be as great as you think you are. This goes the same for competitors. If you want to look at integrity in motorsports it begins with you.
Fearless review and inventory of your mistakes is the only way to grow the sport in unity. It’s not one against the other, it is everyone combined as a community invested in the culture and spirit of a dangerous and stressful motorized power sport. Otherwise carry on with the ‘Clown Down’ and drama, because it will only continue to slide downward with you driving it. It is your reputation you should be concerned about, not ego.
Do not expect affirmation or fame, expect sacrifice, hard work and personal achievement.
There are intolerable personalities who will continue to be a determinant to themselves and the race community by their own contempt and avoidance. There is nothing we can do to support folks such as this, they are unable to evolve.