Position Statement

Development of Junior Sport in Power Boating – Exemption for u/12 years

Updated: 22 June 2018



  • The Australian Power Boat Association of Australia (APBA) develops junior powerboat racing as part of a National sports development initiative.

  • The APBA – Victorian branch is recognised by the Victorian Government as the State Sporting body for power boat racing

  • Many Australian Grand Prix F1 class boat pilots competing internationally have developed from the APBA junior sports development initiative, principally the J1, J2 & J3 Formula Future Racing classes.


Racing Class – Formula Future

Racing Class Outline

Formula Future J1

·         Drivers in this class must be aged eight to sixteen years

·         Power of motors used in this class is limited to 6 HP

Formula Future J2

·         Drivers in this class must be aged ten to sixteen years

·         Power of motors used in this class is limited to 10 HP

Formula Future J3

·         Drivers in this class must be aged twelve to sixteen years

·         The power of motors used in this class is limited to 15 HP


  • Junior competitors are encouraged to participate in the construction process of their own race boat

  • Formula Futures power boat racing classes are developing in all jurisdictions except Victoria

  • The junior sports development program in Victoria is under threat from the safety regulator (Maritime Safety Victoria) that refuses to exempt junior competitors from Victorian marine licensing provisions and therefore participate in racing on Victorian waters.

  • The Safety Director (MSV) has stated that juniors under 12 years of age will never be granted an exemption to participate on Victorian waters as the safety risk is unacceptable

  • The safety record in relation to these activities is best captured in a NSW case study over the past three seasons where there have been a total of 42 J1 and J2 Drivers competing in over 100 races. In this time there has been only two incidents and both incidents were the boat has rolled over in the corner. Both times the driver was not injured. That equates to over 12,000 laps being completed with only 2 minor incidents where the boats were not damaged and the drivers were not injured.

  • The safety record, by comparison to other sports is therefore highly favourable.

  • The APBA has appealed the Safety Director’s decision and progress has stalled


BIAV Position and Actions:

  • BIAV supports the APBA’s application to have TSV grant an exemption, subject to assurances that an adequate and TSV approved safety plan for all activity involving u/12s is in place

  • BIAV would like to see the TSV Safety Director review its current position.

  • BIAV understands that this is the sport and recreation of choice for these children and their families and that preventing them from taking part will have a flow-on negative effect for the overall sport. Encouragement of participation, for so many reasons including physical and mental health, inclusion and social interaction is a priority for BIAV, as it is for the government. It is hoped therefore that participation can be enabled here, instead of being blocked.

  • BIAV asks that the activity be assessed reasonably with regard to safety and by comparison to other sports including, however not limited to pony club, gymnastics, road cycling, surfing and motocross.

  • BIAV see this as an important starting point for a lifestyle and lifetime in boating for those inclined. This, in BIAV’s view, should be nurtured and not blocked.

“Technical Paper 6. Marine Licence and Endorsements” contain stats relating to age and injuries needing hospitalisation on page 15. Ben also pointed out one of the criteria Victoria used in determining licence standards in Victoria was based on what other States were doing- this begs the question as to why Victoria cannot follow NSW in granting the exemption we require



Further links and attachments:

  • Letter from Maritime Safety Victoria to Kim Bull - APBA - Application for internal review - 24 April 2018

  •  SSA_Min Sport_APBA Vic