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USTS Annual Meeting Minutes 11/2/19

By Diane Murray

Nov 29, 2019

USTS November 2, 2019 Fall Meeting

Meeting was held at the Hilton Doubletree in Rosemont, IL

The meeting was called to order at 9:08 am by Todd Brinkman, President.

Ms. Murray commenced with the Board of Directors Roll Call. The Board Directors present were: Rich Krier, Pete Nydahl, Mike Thirlby, Paul Bosnich Todd Brinkman and Diane Murray. Tim Small was excused.

The minutes of the 2018 Fall Meeting were read by Ms. Murray, Acting Secretary. On a motion made and carried, the minutes from the 2018 Fall Meeting were approved as presented. Mr. Weinandt asked that the minutes be posted on the website and Facebook for the current meeting.

Mr. Brinkman asked Ms. Murray, Treasurer, to present the Treasurer’s Report of the 2019 Racing Season. Ms. Murray directed the members to the financials that were handed out in advance of the meeting. Ms. Murray discussed the balance sheet as of November 2, 2019. Ms. Murray discussed the cash position and noted that there were still invoices outstanding that required payment, which related to the Fall Meeting as well as the awards for the High Point Winners. Ms. Murray discussed that the spectator digital was recorded in equipment as the final payment was made. Ms. Murray noted that there was an amount that was received during 2019 for a refund of taxes for overpayment. Ms. Murray commented on the retained earnings as well as total assets.

Ms. Murray next presented the income statement for the period ended November 2, 2019. Ms. Murray reviewed the revenue line items in detail. She commented on the Membership Dues, Entry Fees, Arm Band sales, Sponsor monies, Promotional Items, net of expenses, and Miscellaneous Income. Ms. Murray continued with a discussion of the various line items that comprised the Expense category. Ms. Murray discussed the significant items that included Sanctions/Insurance, Show Money, Officials, Banquet/Drivers Party, Awards, Website, Professional Fees and Miscellaneous. She mentioned that Supplies had increased due to items that were below the capitalization policy and were required to be expensed. Ms. Murray noted that the Gifts included $1,000 to a DePue, IL high school student for a scholarship. Ms. Murray noted that other expenses were still anticipated primarily relating to this meeting and banquet.

After some discussion, on a motion duly made and carried, the financial statements were accepted as presented.

Mr. Brinkman asked Ms. Murray to announce the two finalists for the 2019 Board Nominations. Those running were Paul Bosnich II, Derek Gesler, Andrew Kirts, Tim Small, Preston Thirlby, Austin VanOver and Jim Wright. The two positions will be filled by Paul Bosnich II and Tim Small.

Mr. Bosnich made a motion to keep the same slate of officers as the prior year. The Board members are the following officers for 2019-2020:
• Todd Brinkman, President
• Richard Krier, Vice President
• Tim Small, Secretary
• Diane Murray, Treasurer

Mr. Brinkman asked if there was any old business and there was none.

Mr. Brinkman moved to New Business. He commented on renewal of the D&O Insurance as well as the Umbrella Policy for equipment. There was a motion to approve renewal of both policies.

Mr. Brinkman asked the members regarding the change in 2019 of flipping the Saturday and Sunday schedule every other race that had been implemented during the 2018 racing season. The upcoming race schedule will continue to be posted on social media.

Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Gesler to the Mechanics Seminar that was held the beginning of 2019. Mr. Gesler remarked that he had prepared books from the Mechanics Seminar and the books were priced at $25.00. He noted that there were approximately 60 people in attendance and would like to do another Mechanics Seminar in 2020. He thanked Mr. Dan Kirts for finding a facility to have the Seminar and the location was ideal. There was sufficient room inside as well as outside to park trailers and vehicles. Mr. Gesler felt that he could bring in more resources in 2020. Mr. Gesler said that he did not have a firm date as of yet but would communicate as soon as possible. Ms. Murray commented that she would send Mr. Gesler an updated membership listing.

Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Paul Bosnich III to discuss a Driver’s School. Mr. Bosnich III thanked all the volunteers that spent Wednesday and Thursday morning helping out. He felt that it had been a successful first year with 11 participants. He believed at least 2-3 adults will be buying boats to race next season and at least one of the kids also will be racing next season. Gary Merkel is going to donate his boat but would like for the US Title Series to purchase his engine to use for the School. It is the same rig that was used this year in DePue. Mr. Merkel is asking $1,500.00 for the motor and all the spare parts that he has. Mr. Bosnich III commented that there is another boat and will have that rig available at the Driver’s School. There will be two complete setups in the 2020 plan. Mr. Bosnich III commented that if anyone witnessed the problems, we encountered on Wednesday that it is understandable that there is a need for two rigs in case one of them has issues. Also, it would be nice to be able to eventually allow the drivers to have an exhibition race and possibly get them hooked even more so than just going for a boat ride. After some discussion, on a motion duly made and carried, the Board approved to purchase Gary Merkel’s engine for $1,500.00.

Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Schmidt to discuss allowing drivers to pick the type of start they want to use specifically 125cc Hydro and 250cc Hydro. There was discussion regarding what race courses, timing with running daily schedule, determining position for first heat and needing personnel to watch the lanes. Discussion occurred as to whether 350cc Hydro should be included. It was agreed that a survey would be sent to the 125cc Hydro, 250cc Hydro and 350 hydro drivers that were raced during the 2019 season. Information will be disseminated as quickly as possible after the survey is received.

Mr. Brinkman requested that Mr. Bosnich III explain raising USTS Membership Fees by $25.00 a year. He noted that the extra money would be put into a Promotional Fund to be used to gain new race sites as well as to assist the Driver’s School. There was discussion as to what memberships should be considered and when would this increase be implemented. After some more discussion, the Board on a motion duly made and carried, the regular Racing Membership effective April 1, 2020 to be $100.00 and the $25.00 would be maintained in a separate bank account.

Mr. Brinkman asked that Mr. Bosnich II present the recommendation that any driver that signs up or is assigned for Tear Down/Cleanup at the race site and does not show up, would not receive their Show Money. It was agreed that the Board would discuss and review any recommendations.

Mr. Brinkman commented that the next item was submitted by Mr. P. Gryskiewicz. Mr. P. Gryskiewicz explained that many times, in many classes, the 3rd heat is not the best heat as one driver has enough points to be an event winner, sometimes without even participating in the last heat. Perhaps a more competitive 3rd heat might be achieved by increasing points for the 3rd heat by some 10% or 20% or something else. Mr. Schmidt commented that there should be an incentive to finish and run the 3rd heat. After some further discussion, Mr. Brinkman said that the Board would discuss and offered to entertain any suggestions.

Mr. P. Gryskiewicz also had a recommendation for the race schedule. Mr. P. Gryskiewicz noted that in Clarksville, there was an interesting schedule, with testing Friday starting at 10am followed by a few heats of racing followed by another session of testing until the magic 5pm hour. How about a return to the original USTS constitution by running the “non USTS classes” on Friday starting at maybe 1pm. Friday classes to be 125cc Hydro, 700cc Runabout, 175cc Hydro. Saturday 125cc Runabout, 250cc Runabout, 350cc Hydro, 500cc Runabout, and Sunday 250cc Hydro, 350cc Runabout, 500cc/1100cc Hydro. There was further discussion regarding ability to race on Friday without pit crews and volunteers; switching engines in same day or flight; keeping best class for the end of the day to keep spectators; etc. There also a suggestion to have testing on Saturday after the races are complete. It was agreed that there would be Saturday testing after the races where possible.

There was no other new business.

Mr. Brinkman then turned the discussion to the proposed rule changes for 2019.


The first item was submitted by Mr. Hall. Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Hall to elaborate on his recommendation. Mr. Hall commented that a change to paying prize money for first, second and third place per class along with show money. This would encourage drivers to upgrade their equipment to be more competitive. The way it is now, you make the same money just for showing up and running last, as the teams that really put on the show. There should be some incentive for trying to win. You could pay out 50% in show money and the balance for first, second, and third, or only pay for first place. Whatever it takes to get better competition. There was further discussion, but it was agreed to leave the current show money payout as written.

Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. P. Wright to discuss the recommendation for a formal process for class elimination. 3-year probation shall be in effect on any class with 5 boats or less run on average. It was discussed that 500cc Hydro was combined in with 1100cc Hydro for 2019. After discussion, it was agreed to put 500cc Hydro on the schedule, but if there were not three boats to have a legal race only 1100cc Hydro would be run at the race. The 500cc Hydro would not be scored separately if combined with 1100cc Hydro for that race. 500cc Hydro and 1100cc Hydro would run 2 heats each.

Mr. P. Wright also wanted to change Rule #9 to read that Special event classes will be run at the end of the days racing. Add any additional category classes will also be run at end of day. There was discussion and agreed to leave the Rule #9 as written.

Mr. P. Wright presented Rule #10 to say: all engines must have expansion chambers or mufflers and will be enforced. After some discussion, on a motion duly made and carried, it was agreed to eliminate Rule #10.

Mr. P. Wright also presented changing Show money to Prize money for Rules #13, #23 and #24. From the previous discussion held, Show money would remain as written.

Mr. P. Wright also presented recommendations for Class participation and decisions on Class structure. After some discussion, no changes were made.

Ms. Murray asked that Rule #24a be updated as the website documented in Rule #24a is no longer applicable and to have the wording read: USTS will calculate one way driving miles from the home of each driver to the race site using the website[]=&loc[]= On a motion duly made and carried, the change in the wording was accepted as written.

Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Schmidt to discuss Safety Rule #15g, which currently reads:

HYDROPLANE HULLS: Sponsons on hydroplanes shall not exceed 60% of the hull length.

Mr. Schmidt remarked that he believes that Safety Rule #15g should be eliminated as the European boats have demonstrated that boats are able to go over rough water. There was discussion as to what effect the elimination of this rule would have on the current class structure. Mr. Brinkman noted that a questionnaire would be sent to all capsule drivers that were registered in 2019 noting the differences in the sponson design and obtain their input.

Mr. Schmidt also asked for a change to SR#6a - Change the SNELL Specifications on helmets to M2010, SA2010, K2010. Mr. Hooten noted that SNELL changes every five years and perhaps the rule should be to 2015; not 2010. There was discussion regarding those that just bought helmet. Mr. Brinkman said that he would have Mr. Kurps prepare an analysis between 2010 and 2015. The motion that was made was withdrawn.

Mr. Gesler volunteered to form a Safety Committee to review the current Kevlar specifications.


Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Schmidt to discuss the Technical Rule regarding KPro, which currently is:

K PRO H Evinrude and Johnson 15A

Mr. Schmidt commented that Allow the 125 PRD fireball engine in KPro class on a probationary status to be able to do testing and make sure the speeds are comparable to the OMC with the plan to being able to move to the 125 engines as the primary engine of the class. There were comments by Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Gesler, Mr. Bosnich III and Mr. Thirlby. Mr. Brinkman appointed Mr. Gesler and Mr. Schmidt to work on the technical information for the 125 PRD fireball engine. On a motion duly made and carried, the 125 PRD fireball engine would run with the KPro class on a probationary basis and rules would be adjusted as the season progresses.

Mr. Bosnich III requested that a KPro Committee be established to review and monitor restrictor plate speeds and restrictor plate use. It was agreed that the Race Committee would be responsible for reviewing and monitoring restrictor plate speeds and use.

It also was recommended to have KPro engines inspected at the beginning of the race and seal the engine. KPro engines would be inspected at the end of the race. Mr. Weinandt volunteered to bring a Digitron meter.

Mr. Bosnich III discussed that KPro class allow the 0.650 restrictor plate for 10-year old’s and at the KPro Committee’s discretion to allow a gradual increase in speed and competition. After some discussion, on a motion duly made and carried, that 0.650 restrictor plate would be allowed for 10-year old’s in the KPro class.

Mr. Hall presented allowing any 700cc engine in the 700cc Runabout class. This item was referred to the 700cc Runabout Committee. [The 700cc Runabout Committee met subsequent to the meeting. The 700cc Runabout Committee recommended to the Board that the rules remain as is.]

Mr. David Hooten via Mr. Daniel Hooten asked that 2 items be presented. The first was to wait until 30 minutes before said sunset, at an championship, nationals or record run , the race day cannot e called, cancelled or postponed by the USTS Race Committee or any other official/club/committee unless it is obvious the weather is not going to be clear and a unanimous (great than 50%) vote of the drivers has been taken. There was discussion regarding safety, spectators, sponsors, volunteers, cleanup, etc. After further discussion, no action was taken.

The second item was to put 700cc Hydro back on the National Race Schedule. Mr. Bosnich II responded that the DePue Men’s Club wanted 1100cc Hydro to run on Sunday, but if breakdowns occurred in the 700cc Hydro class, then the show would not be as spectacular. After further discussion, Mr. Brinkman and Mr. Bosnich II said that they will ask the DePue Men’s Club.

There was no further discussion regarding rules.

Mr. Brinkman presented the proposed races for the 2020 race season:


Mr. Brinkman mentioned that Clarksville had invited the USTS to run on Memorial Day. The City committed to $20,000. The USTS would have all of its classes. NBRA also would be racing. The USTS would be the conducting club due to insurance requirements. After some discussion it was agreed to commit to Clarksville. Mr. Nydahl commented that Pleasant Prairie, WI could be used after Labor Day if Clarksville is on Memorial Day. Mr. Nydahl would confirm. Mr. Brinkman discussed that he is working with the City of Springfield on dates, but he had heard several complaints that there were too many races during the month of July. He noted that is was the highest paying show money race, but participation has been down. Mr. Brinkman said that Springfield would be on hold for now.

Mr. Thirlby said that Constantine, MI is all set and permits are in place. Mr. Brinkman noted that DePue is set for the Nationals.

Mr. Brinkman noted that there might be some possibilities in Florida.

Mr. Brinkman asked Mr. Schmidt to discuss the Connecticut race possibilities. Mr. Schmidt commented that Riverfront Recapture said that if the USTS would pay $30,000 that there was a possibility. Farmington has a race site, but difficult to find someone to talk to regarding the site. Glastonbury has a beautiful park and easy launching. There has 100 feet of breach. He has a meeting with them next week. He said the race would be after Labor Day. Mr. Schmidt said that he has been searching other areas in the northeast. He found a site in Columbus, OH that is privately owned. He said he would pursue.

Mr. Brinkman asked if any new equipment was needed. He knew that starting gun shells and radio batteries were needed. Mr. Brinkman said that a new laptop was needed.

Mr. Brinkman discussed the Promotional Items. He said a new person was needed to sell the merchandise. Ms. Murray thanked Mrs. Brinkman for all of her time in assisting in the ordering of merchandise as well as selling the merchandise at every race. Ms. Murray asked people to consider selling as if there is no person – no merchandise would be sold.

Mr. Brinkman mentioned that Mr. Rodda was working on preparing a promotional package to sell a race that can be provided to potential race site personnel/sponsors – would be what is required, timeline, etc.

Mr. Brinkman again reiterated that drivers must wear a team shirt to the awards ceremony to collect show money. He noted that this was needed at all races.

Mr. Brinkman remarked that we need to get more volunteers. Mr. Brinkman reminded everyone to thank the volunteers for all of their time and devotion to the USTS so that racers could continue to race.

Mr. Brinkman presented the classes for 2020:

125H 250R
175H 350R
250H 500R
350H 700R
1100H 500H

Mr. Brinkman opened the floor to other items for discussion.

Ms. Ellison asked about the combined USTS/APBA race for DePue in 2020 and the insurance. Mr. Brinkman suggested that they discuss via a telephone call.

Mr. Brinkman asked if there was any further open discussion and there was none. On a motion duly made and seconded, the 2019 Fall Meeting was adjourned at 2:47 pm.