Changes To Driver Upgrade Testing

The testing procedure for driver upgrades to Regular or Senior Driver has been updated. The test now requires the use of Sure-Path for the practical on-water test, but the test can now be administered by two Senior Drivers instead of three. Testing forms have been revised to implement this change and in addition to the forms, the boat path report from Sure-Path must be submitted with the paperwork. Since this is a new procedure, anyone contemplating upgrade testing this season, should get in touch with our driver committee rep, Al Harris, for further information.

Fast Path to Tricks Rating for Regular and Senior Drivers

The AWSA board has approved a simple fast path to a Regular tricks rating for Regular and Senior drivers who do not hold a tricks rating, and a fast path to a Senior tricks rating for Senior drivers who already have a Regular or Assistant tricks rating.  Eastern Region promoted this change to help alleviate a shortage of tricks drivers for tournaments.   For the specifics read the policy and process here:


Drivers who wish to pursue this should get in touch with our Regional Driver Committee rep, Al Harris,



Clinics at Timberlake – Spring 2018

Driver and Safety clinics are scheduled at Timberlake this Spring. The link below lists the dates and signup contact information.

The driver clinic will meet maintenance clinic requirements for any current driver and will also test aspiring Assistant Drivers in any/all three events. To test for Assistant you must have: 1) completed and had signed off all prerequisites, 2) obtained a motor vehicle records review, 3) submitted the paperwork to AWSA for review, 4) received AWSA approval confirmation before signing up for the clinic.

The safety clinic will meet maintenance clinic requirements for current safety officials and will qualify new Safety Coordinators. There are no prerequisites for new Safety Coordinators.

Updates to Online Trained Driver Class

Here’s a clarification from Melanie Hanson on updates to the online Trained Driver class for new Trained Drivers.

The class has two components, a video, and the Boat US online NASBLA approved class. If the applicant has already taken a NASBLA approved class (Boat US, US Power Squadron, Coast Guard, probably others) it is only necessary to watch the video. The applicant can then send evidence of whatever class they took to Melanie as a substitute for taking the Boat US online class.

Evidently the video is first and once you have watched it, the program asks if you’ve taken a NASBLA class and allows you to skip out. You still have to pay the USAWS class fee up front.

This makes a lot of sense, especially since a lot of people have taken a NASBLA approved class already, and it makes it easier on new Trained Drivers. Win!

Lake Placid Weather

Here’s a click for the NOAA page for Lake Placid:

This click provides a two-day graphical projection of individual forecast elements.  A button allows shifting it forward or backward to other days:

Weather Geek

Driver Downgrades

USAWS has sent me a list of AWSA drivers who will be downgraded if they do not address deficiencies. Many on the list only need to renew membership and/or initiate an MVR check, things that can be done online. If deficiencies are corrected very quickly, the affected individuals will not be downgraded. Once downgraded, it is still possible to fix it, but not without a lot of hassle, and until fixed, you will have the lower rating. I have sent an email to the affected drivers.  If you did not receive the email, but are are uncertain of your status, I suggest you check your personal record online.

Al Harris

ER Records Repository Requirements Posted for Comment

An initiative is under way to develop an online Eastern Region records repository to be hosted along with AWSAEast. A core team comprised of Dave Allen, Darlene McCormick, Chip Shand, and Al Harris has been working on initial documentation of requirements. The requirements are not yet finalized but have progressed to a point where they will benefit from broader input and are now posted here in an Excel workbook (link below) for general comment from the region. The first sheet, General Requirements, identifies functionality to be provided and practical considerations for technology and resources. The second sheet, Fields in Record Entry, identifies the data to be held for each record entry. Continue reading