UnlimitedHydroplaneRacing.com prides itself on the accurate portrayal of information pertaining to Unlimited Hydroplane Racing. In this installment, it is the 2014 Schedule and potential participants that is of particular concern.
There has been some misleading commentary lately about Big Wake Weekend’s change of strategy for the 2014 season. Some on the Hydropage Forum have indicated BWW will not be on the “Official 2014 Schedule.”
Please allow me to clarify one very important point: there is not currently an official 2014 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Schedule, nor is it very common for a schedule to be formalized and officially released this early prior to a season! Indicating anything contrary to this reality is just plain wrong.
(It is unfortunate timing that specific examples can’t be cited currently from the Hydropage Forum. They are having trouble again with hackers, this time with visitors being redirected to an antivirus site. I am not linking to that site on purpose until they get their operation stabilized. We all wish them the best in getting this resolved.)
Link Bait Fishing
There is a practice of what many in the Internet economy call “link bait” or the use of over-sensationalized headlines to get people to click on a story and visit a web site. One perfect example of that is a story currently on Hydro-News. Their story headline of “Sacramento One and Done” is in my opinion, very misleading and does not accurately portray the events currently taking place.
An improved and more accurate headline might have been something like “Big Wake Weekend Refines Strategy for 2014 Schedule; H1 Refines Theirs.” Oh wait… that’s being used…
Clarity Counteracts Confusion
While the quotes used by Hydro-News seem to be accurate, they are nothing more than pasted text, in a very loose attempt to support the headline. Doing a quick word count, that represents 304 of the 391 words, or 77.7% of the story. Conversely, that’s only 22.3% original commentary. UnlimitedHydroplaneRacing.com continually strives to achieve a much higher commentary percentage!
Now, let’s try to clarify some things, shall we?
First, here’s the Big Wake Weekend Facebook header, at the time of this writing:
To me, this really doesn’t look like a “One and Done” event. It really seems to be a reference to an evolving event, with new and exciting things coming. Transparency and excitement. I like it.
Next, let’s look at the entire Big Wake Weekend Facebook post from yesterday. Notice the first paragraph that Hydro-News somehow omitted:
Again, this emotes an evolving event with plenty of exciting activities – especially if you focus on the “omitted” paragraph at the beginning.
Again, I like it!
It seems a bit disingenuous that Hydro-News characterized Big Wake Weekend’s changes as “not inviting the Unlimiteds back to Sacramento in 2014.” They make it sound like BWW is in a downward spiral. The quote (while a bit rough grammatically) indicates H1 “respects the decision” and implies they were in contact leading up to the announcement. “Not invited back” seems a bit harsh.
Here’s the H1 Facebook announcement from yesterday:
Run; Refine; Rinse and Repeat
What we have here are two (actually three; see below) organizations attempting to improve their positions. Big Wake Weekend is seeking to take a new direction with an attempt to bolster their event in a different manner. It just so happens that it doesn’t look like it will include Unlimited Hydroplane Racing.
On the other hand, H1 Unlimited is responding to this change in their environment and is already committing to seeking a new partner to restore Unlimited Hydroplane Racing in Sacramento.
In each case, leaders are evaluating their situations and making adjustments for the future. In any form of business activity, adjusting to your environment is healthy. Period.
Sort it All Out
What do we make of all this?
Aside from some misguided commentary, there really seems to be an underlying theme that seems to be growing throughout the Unlimited Hydroplane Racing sport. A theme that is not necessarily bad, but it might have significant ramifications for the sport. Big Wake Weekend appears to be exercising sound judgment with respect to appropriately responding to changing business conditions. So is H1 Unlimited. That doesn’t mean BWW or H1 are doomed. However, it does suggest they are about to go through some changes.
I won’t profess to having any inside knowledge about “why” but the “what” tells me that making strategic changes often surround revenue and expenses. Races need to be self-funding to be sustained and if the math doesn’t work out, you change the equation.
A related development is the recent decision Frantz Keintz made recently surrounding his goal to bring Unlimited Hydroplane Racing to Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas. Unlimited Hydroplane Racing is pleased to have been able to provide Frantz an opportunity to be the first Guest Author and tell his story about why he has refined his own strategy.
He too is taking a realistic and prudent approach to creating the Dardanelle Water Fest featuring the Arkansas Crystal Cup. He is still in the planning phase, but recognized a smaller festival with Formula 1 boats and some drag boats, along with other family-friendly entertainment would be a more sound financial strategy for his eventual inaugural event.
My Point (Finally!)
My recommendation to fans who sensationalize hand-picked portions of the news to stir the pot is to look more deeply and objectively – like true fans should.
Is the sport of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing facing some challenges? Of course.
Is it worth it to all of us to look for ways to help the sport face the challenges? Absolutely.
Should we sensationalize snippets of news just to stir the pot? I think not.
We hope our readers will continue to visit UnlimitedHydroplaneRacing.com knowing that information on our sport will be reported and discussed accurately and objectively.