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DUBAI. Fri,3rd Feb 2012 The three vital ingredients of education, enforcement of rules and use of technology will go a long way in making watersports even safer, according to two experts who conducted a “Performance and Safety Seminar” at the Dubai International Marine Club on Friday. “We have approached safety in watersports with a three-pronged manner: education, the enforcement of rules and the use of technology. And what we have done today is part of the education process where we explain to the pilots, crew and teams how they can take adequate steps to ensure safer racing on the water,” Bob Wartinger, the President of the UIM Safety Medical Commission told a gathering of nearly 50 pilots, crew and teams at the seminar held before today’s third heat of 2012 UIM X-Cat World Powerboat Series. “The interesting thing is that the safer pilot is usually the faster pilot. As the pilots learn to be safe they often get faster, which they don’t naturally think about in the beginning. The UIM has over 50 countries involved in different categories of watersports racing. Some of the categories have improved and changed, while others have lagged behind. These need to recognize that the performance increase on the boats needs to also usher in enhanced safety measures,” Wartinger added. Wartinger was assisted by Paul Hicks during the course of the seminar in ensuring the entire X-Cat Series personnel get an enhanced idea of safety norms while racing. “There has been a massive change in safety norms following the accident here a couple of years ago. It is important to keep in touch with the pilots and the crew that is racing and this seminar has covered some old ground explaining why we made these changes so that they can understand the direction we are heading in,” Hicks noted. The expert told the gathering that watersports is as risky, if not more than Formula One racing, thus making adherence to safety measures even tougher. “It is difficult to put safety on water in terms of figures. Marine sport is a high-risk sport just like F1, but we are always behind this. We don’t have the constancy of a racing track as water conditions can change so swiftly. Our aim is to bring down the risks all the time and the X-Cat series is really the class that has improved dramatically over the years,” he pointed out. “We always know there is room for improvement and we are always on the look-out to achieve this as it is a never-ending process,” Hicks added.

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