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2014 World tour schedule:

>  07/15/2014



2014 World tour schedule:

The 4th round of the World tour is 7 weeks away and at this time it is unclear about the 5th stop in Brasil. I recognize that given the last minute cancelation of the stop last year, that many of you have doubts about the event for 2014.

All of the elements are in place for the stop however the government sponsor has yet to transfer the needed capital to finalize the confirmation. I also realize that many of you need adequate time to prepare your travel plans in advance to achieve the most reasonable pricing. I will make a note to say that information regarding the tour is officially found at the IFWA website and FB pages, not from other sources or their prospective websites. Questions regarding IFWA should be directed to staff for clarification as discussion with others is second hand and can be misleading.

I have discussed the situation with staff in Brazil and am confident that they are making every effort to expedite the process however as we all know bureaucracy moves at its own pace. We are looking for a resolution and will update you as soon as the decision is made regarding the Final. Understandably, the points leaders especially are anxious and for this I have pushed the local promoters for their feeling in lieu of a concrete answer. That feeling is currently the event will take place but it is hinging on the deposit of the necessary funds or at least a signed contract. A meeting takes place in the next days with those involved and we hope to have good news before the end of the month.

As you can recognize its difficult to put any stop together in todays economy, it is a fragile situation for the tour this season and we have been very lucky that we have the support that we do. Unfortunately this does not answer the problem we face at this moment. Out of the last 15 years the JetWaves has been successful all but last year and it was political elections and bank holidays that forced a last minute cancellation not the lack of effort. I am confident that the round will commence at this stage of the discussion. By standard we have allowed the local event promoter 60 days prior to the scheduled event as a deadline for confirmation. This allows the adequate time to prepare travel and arrange equipment. In the past, we have put the needed funds up in such situations privately but this is not possible this season due to lack free capital so its a hard fact we need to have the sponsors apply their funds before we can proceed. As an example we had some sponsors pull back their promised support post the opening round that left a sizable hole in our working capital for the following rounds which has put us in the place we are at this date.

The Proximity of the Surf Slam and Jetwaves dates make it even more difficult as the time is so short to make arrangments. This is well understood by us, we may push the Brazil round back to November for this reason and dates are also under review for next season.

With regard to the continuing rumors surrounding the shipping of equipment to Brasil, It is a safe process as long as the directives of the local staff are followed specifically. IFWA does not encourage livery of your equipment outside of those guidelines. In the past we have had to work with local authorities to control and expedite the passage of equipment through customs authorities and guarantee the security of those shipments and Brazil is no different.

We understand the frustration that some are beginning to feel and I can assure you that its mutually felt by IFWA and every passing day adds more to that anxiety. For those of you at the top of the points the loss of the round can have significant effects on the points total for the championship but as always I remind you that those that participate in every stop have the benefit over those that choose otherwise. For this reason we are in conference bi-weekly to seek a resolution at its soonest possibility.

Whether the Surf Slam or the Jetwaves ends to be the final, we at IFWA will be prepared to mark the champion at either. A resolution for the future may be to hold the USA event last in the series in order to have a concrete location to award the championship podium. The Staff at IFWA have worked continuously for the last 10+ years to provide the competition as a venue for the sport and its from this history I ask you to be patient a little longer as a decision is pending.

There is some promising support for the tour on the table for 2015 and its our hope that we will may soon put the problems like the ones we have faced since the loss of Spain, Portugal and Brasil behind us.

Much of the effort over the past decade has been wrought with challenges overcome by promotors risking personal assets and it is just not something that can be done this season. With this in mind we are working very hard to secure a more cohesive sponsorship for the tour as a whole. These discussions are currently underway at this very moment.

Additional locations are asking to join the world tour and they all seem very viable but in the end it is the established stops we rely on based on past history. Supporting those promoters that have worked so hard to bring freeride to their countries over the past 10-15 years are our first priority while we maintain an optimistic attitude to the addition of new locations suggested or pending approval. The logistics for IFWA are not unlike those of each pilot but on a larger cumulative scale so indeed we understand the situation as it currently stands.

Please understand that IFWA is first and foremost about the pilots yet I ask you to respect that without the massive effort of each local promoter we have not a tour. We have come a long way and we intend to continue that journey well into the future for the up coming new enthusiast athletes that daily catch the fever of freeride.

A deadline for the decision is in discussion and i would ask that based on the past personal efforts of Marcelo Brandao , a founding member of IFWA, that we understand the reality that he and his staff are facing. We have a very capable staff assemble at IFWA and we are every week moving forward with the help of technology to bring the international members closer together in the planning stages to strengthen the association and maximize the efforts of all involved including the pilots.


Mark Matsuda

President IFWA