Tony’s Toys team responds

First
and foremost Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing team would like to thank God for
blessing us as a team in all aspects. We would also like to thank our sponsors
and fans for supporting us through the years.

Tony’s
Toys Watercraft Racing team is not just “another team”; we are the largest Jet Ski
team on the Island with more than 40 active members of which the majority are
young people. Our team gives youth opportunities to get involved in the
enjoyable sport of Jet Ski Racing as well as help out in their communities and
also by donating to the less fortunate. 
By doing these and other community projects we help to mould our young
people into respectable citizens of this country and encourage them to always
be willing to give of themselves by helping others.

It
is unfortunate that we at Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing find ourselves
responding to allegations of the sort that were reported in the Caymanian Compass
on Thursday, 28 January, 2010, in the article titled ‘Tony’s riding on mixed
emotions’  and also on Friday, 29 January,
2010, titled ‘Shane is proud of excellent safety record’. However due to
several misleading accusations of what unfolded at the East End Surf Challenge
on 25 January, 2010, with our team we had no choice but to respond and set the
record straight.

First
of all being the kind of team that Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing is, we
willingly volunteered one of our own members and watercrafts to help out with
marshalling due to the fact that there weren’t sufficient marshals as was
promised by the promoter of the East End Surf Challenge.

We
would like to clarify that when our Tony’s Toys rider Jason Bush had his mishap
and fell off his craft, he was picked up/ rescued by his teammate Andres Webb
(who was in the same race as Jason) who then handed him over to a nearby rescue
boat, which was captained by Mr. Samuel Rankine, who is a very experienced
local captain who carried Jason to shore. We at Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing
would like to personally thank Mr. Rankine and the paramedics who attended to
Jason for doing a great job.

Another
matter for clarity is due to a concern that our team had in regards to the
safety of the riders that were going to ride on a new course in the second race
of the day. It was stated in the East End Surf Challenge rules that no rider
was allowed to approach a race marshal directly with a concern or complaint and
that it would have to be made through the team manager, so our riders followed
the rules and voiced their concerns through our team manager Antonio Smith. The
expressed concern was that there were several exposed rocks also known as “high
heads” on part of the course which made it unsafe for all the riders. Anyone
who knows the East End waters inside the reef would agree that there are lots
of high heads out in those waters. Bear in mind that this was a whole new
course that was thought up (after the first race was completed), which clearly
had no plan. Our team manager approached the race marshal and promoter with the
riders’ concerns in regards to the high heads being unsafe. One of the marshals
came over to our riders and manager and said that they were in the process of
trying to sort the problem out. No one came back to let us know whether or not
the problem was sorted out and that the race was ready to start and therefore
they started the race without our three riders. Note that our bikes are race
bikes and are fully equipped with self drain plugs so they cannot be sitting
steadily in the water unless they are plugged due to this. Our riders were
waiting on the officials to clearly identify the high heads. However they just
didn’t bother to let us know that they were going to start the race even though
we were the ones to report our concern in regards to the safety of all riders.

It
was stated in the article on Thursday, 28 January, 2010, that Tony Coe (the
race marshal) felt that the Tony’s Toys riders were deliberately stalling
getting to the start line just to unsettle the others. If anyone knows the
history and track record of the Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing team in the East
End Surf Challenge (by which we have always dominated) would know that we would
never stall or try to unsettle any other team. Coe was also quoted in the same
article saying that we were using strategy to get an edge. We, the Tony’s Toys
Watercraft Racing team, are a well respected and disciplined team that has not
and will not try to bend the rules to suit ourselves. We have always been a
team that is opened to fair and organised competition of which this was not the
case.

The
promoter of the East End Surf Challenge was quoted in the same article as
saying that we didn’t have to pull our riders from the modified class. Due to
the concern in regards to the high heads/ rocks only being partially sorted
out, collectively as a team we all agreed that complete and not partial safety
was our first priority as we were not the only team that had safety concerns
that day. What better reason did we need than that of the safety of our riders
being jeopardised for us to peacefully withdraw from the event?

The
promoter of the event was again quoted by saying “you can’t say that your part
of an association promoting the positive side of racing and then take your team
and walk out for no good reason”. As previously mentioned, safety was our main
concern and reason for our team leaving the event. The association, as far as
we know, had no part in the staging of the East End Surf Challenge race; however,
Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing team believes that the association, which is in
the process of being formed, is actually going to be a good thing because it
will foster fair and safe competition, which is so badly needed.

Once
again we would like to thank our sponsors and fans for supporting us and we
would also like to apologise to our fans who attended the event to see a good
show but were not able to, due to our teams safety concerns of which comes
first; however, we would like to assure our fans that the next event that
Tony’s Toys Watercraft Racing team participates in will be exciting as always.

If
there are any companies that would like to come on board as a corporate sponsor
to help us continue to mould our young people into outstanding respectable
citizens, please feel free to contact us by email at
[email protected] or call 916-3977.