BOATING NEWS: YAMAHA MARINE TECHNICIAN GRAND PRIX 2016


These exceptionally skilled technicians represent their dealership, state, and country, in their quest to be crowned the most outstanding marine technician in the Trans-Tasman region. The competition, held biennially, is a major highlight for the Yamaha Technical Academy (YTA), who pride themselves on the skills Yamaha technicians develop through the extensive training the academy delivers. YTA’s mission is to keep Yamaha’s Marine Technicians up to date with the cutting-edge skills and knowledge required to support the ever-developing range of Yamaha outboard engines.

Competitors must satisfy the following criteria before they are eligible to sit the initial qualification exam:

• Participants must be nominated by their dealerships owner / manager. • Participants must be qualified technicians. • Participants must be a current Yamaha Technical Academy (YTA) members. • YTA members must have been in the Yamaha Dealer Network for 12 months or more. • YTA members must have attended Yamaha training. • YTA members must be an employee of a  Yamaha dealership. • Previous Grand Prix Winners are ineligible to compete in future Technician Grand  Prix competitions.

After all potential candidates have completed the online qualifying assessment, eight finalists from regions across Australia and New Zealand are selected to compete in the official event.

The event breeds ambition and healthy competition within Yamaha workshops, as technicians aspire to be selected to attend the Grand Prix which is essentially race day in Yamaha`s Technical Academy program. The event keeps skill levels for marine servicing in Yamaha dealerships throughout Australia and New Zealand at very high levels. The personal development of Yamaha technicians in the market through this training and testing equates to excellence in aftersales service for Yamaha customers, who consequently are the real winners from the knowledge and skills gained by Yamaha Technicians who take part in YTA’s programs.

THE TASKS: Eight practical tasks with a 25-minute time limit and a 10-minute break between are set to test finalists’ knowledge, skills and composure under pressure. A number is pulled from a hat to determine each contender’s starting task. The practical tasks are designed as such to test the technician’s ability to: • Follow instruction. • Obtain relevant information from both questioning the customer (assessors can play the role of the customer also) and appropriate service literature. • Apply critical thinking to solve complex problems. • Utilise Yamaha Special Service Tools and Yamaha Systems to help diagnose faults that have been pre-programmed into the engines.

The finalists are presented with a scenario outlining what they are expected to complete during each of the tasks. Once all practical tasks have been completed, finalists then tackle a theory-based assessment containing both Yamaha specific and general knowledge technical questions.

The Champion: From the outset, Tony Powell of Telfer Marine in Rotorua New Zealand, was a standout performer and never looked like faltering. See image.

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