STEWART RAE (SCOOP) with a report from Leicester and other news
Robin Butler with his AA10 Crusader III Hyper 21. AA11 is Andy Rennie’s Challenger 43 Pro CMB 21.
Being unaccustomed as we are to severe winters in recent times, the last couple of years have proven that not all can be relied upon with regard to weather conditions in this country. Here in the Midlands we appear on average to suffer less than the rest of the country (maybe some budding meteorologist will tell us otherwise) when it comes to heavy snow and extended periods of extreme cold weather which can and do have an effect on our racing.
The weather interfered with our winter race plans to the extent that the race planned for Telford on December 12th never went ahead, so just in case of more bad weather we converted the Kingsbury event in January 2011 (see report in last months MB) to a fun day and we decided to leave any decision on the planned Leicester winter race until nearer the time in March. The weather was now getting a bit milder, so we planned to kick the season off with the Leicester race as our first summer event! We kept a close eye on the weather forecasts and as heavy snow falls in Ireland and Scotland started moving south, thoughts of, ‘oh no not again’ came to the fore, but as it turned out March 13th wasn’t that bad, so lucky for some then!
BMPRS AA-D Race One, Leicester – 13th March 2011
As an OOD I like to arrive at race venues a few hours before the start of the racing, as this allows plenty of time to set the course, mingle with the competitors, catch up on gossip, carry out the all important risk assessment and make sure everything is as well as can possibly be for a successful day of racing.
Arriving at Watermead Country Park, Leicester, not long after it opened for the day, I was surprised to find a couple of BMPRS members had beat me to it. Mike Durant and Kevin Alcock were busy erecting a pop-up gazebo which doubles up as a safe dry area in inclement conditions and also somewhere to have a brew, cook bacon and sausage butties, and have a good old natter. A bit of a portable social club really!
I received a few phone calls from people asking what the weather was like, which was overcast, very light drizzle (which lasted about five minutes) and a light breeze that all seemed to be spot on with the forecast and with sunshine promised to break through just after lunch.
With some of our members choosing not to run in the Winter Series our change of plans found them having made other arrangements, so they were unable to attend the Leicester race. However 20 boats was a good turn out for our first race, a chance to blow away the cobwebs and to get our racing eyes back in focus.
At 0900hrs it seemed that everyone had arrived all at once, and the host club members were busying themselves erecting the safety fencing to cordon off a safe enclosure for the pit and launch area. The rescue boat was being readied and competitors were unloading their cars and staking claim to their favoured spots in the pits. I set a large course around four buoys leaving enough room on the margins for safe overtaking and long enough for some decent full throttle runs, so let the fun begin!
There were going to be four heats: AA/A; B; C/D; and D classes. OOD Scoop gave the competitors the choice of a mill time or dead engine start with 15 or 20 minute heats. As this was the first race of the season and just in case anyone had any last minute glitches with their boats we decided on a one minute mill time with a twenty minute heat, then after lunch we would choose how the afternoon heats would be run, so fair play all round then.
For people wishing to take up boat racing and not familiar with some of our racing terms let me explain what mill time and dead engine starts are.
Time given at the start of a race (one blast on the start horn) and it is either one or two minutes whereby competitors start their engines and launch their boats on to the water lining up for the race start proper (two blasts on the horn). Competitors are under racing rules during this time, so no course cutting etc. to gain an advantage is allowed.
Dead Engine start:
As the name implies, the engines are NOT running. Two blasts on the start horn signifies the start of the race; competitors start their engines and launch (hopefully) and lap scoring starts immediately the first boat crosses the start and finish line.
Back to the Leicester race then!
The first combined AA/A class heat was interrupted 10 minutes into the race when the rescue outboard motor had a bit of a problem, so it became a race of two ten minute halves.
Kevin Alcock took the top spot with his very quick Challenger 43 Pro CMB 21 with 32 laps to its credit on this very large course, which was just as well really as Andy Rennie also running a Challenger 43 CMB 21 was only one lap further back but he also had a count back of one. Third spot was taken by Robin Butler’s Crusader III Hyper 21 which returned to the pits early on under its own power for an engine tweak, but was soon back in contention. Dave Clay’s Novarossi 21 powered Challenger 42 also ended up spending sometime in the pits ending up with fourth place on 22 laps.
Ian Searle’s very quick Mantaray CMB 45 ran a good solid 41 lap race and with no other contenders in this class he kept his boat well clear of the less powerful AA class boats. This was excellent racing etiquette and gentlemanly conduct shown there for 15 championship points and a good start to his racing season.
B class heat
Kevin Alcock was hoping to have his ASP 61 powered Mantaray ready for this race but with no testing under its belt he decided not to run it. This was a race of mixed fortunes and one that very nearly saw the rescue boat take the highest lap score!
Sally ‘Girl Racer’ Butler’s Magnum CMB 67 which was ultra reliable last season never made it past the mill time, so with a couple of starts she had to retire the boat when the electrical gremlins got to work. With the rescue outboard motor suffering another problem it was to be a slow ‘under row’ rescue only for Andy Rennie’s Pacer 50 CMB 65 and Dave Clay’s Apache 50 CMB 67. Both boats had slowed to a stop, Dave having scored just five laps and just a couple for Andy. In the time it took to rescue the boats, Andy managed to get his boat back on the water first with just a few minutes to go. Dave however gave up because as his Apache was being launched, it caught the handle of his combined boat stand and tool box which pulled the flexishaft out of its coupling.
At this point a driver’s meeting was called and we decided to break for a one hour lunch to see if the rescue outboard could be repaired.
With lunch over and the outboard still being a bit hit and miss as to whether it would run properly or not, the competitors decided that rescue would take place either under power or by rowing.
Combined C and D class heat
Andy Uttley flew away at the start with his very quick CMB 91 Patriot taking an uninterrupted 58 laps for the class win. Ian Searle’s Magnum CMB 90 had a slight hiccup and a quick rescue found him back on the water half way through the race to take second place with 17 laps.
Three of the D class boats took part in this race with Phil Hatcher’s Sigma Zen 26 requiring a rescue early on and with just a few minutes to go Dave Clay’s Phantom Zen 7 stopped at Buoy 3 having covered 48 laps for fourth spot. The two Sigma’s of Malcolm Pratt and Phil Hatcher crossed the finish line with laps scores of 30 and 31 respectively, Phil taking seventh and Malcolm eight place.
The rest of the D class boats eager to go after the winter lay off, flew out of the pits, and what a race it turned out to be. Six boats made up of three Phantoms, and one each of a Patriot, Stealth and Apache, running four different makes of engine; Sikk’s, Zen’s, RCMK and a new design Arrow 29.
The first race of the season is always exciting as there’s a mix of old battled scarred boats that have been patched up and repaired and of course the new build’s out for their first run. Having spent the last three races in the rescue boat I must say it came as a bit of relief to be stood in the pits racing my beat up old Apache with someone else (Graham Taylor from the host club) taking my place in the rescue boat.
One blast on the start horn signalled the start of our mill time and all the competitors got away pretty much on time with a little bit of banter between Scoop and Andy Uttley along the lines of: ‘I thought that Arrow 29 motor would have been a lot quicker than that Andy’! Little did I know that Andy was running at half to three quarter throttle whilst waiting for the engine to warm up. He soon let the rest of us know just how much power was available from this new design of motor (go to www.arrowmodelsport.com for details of this excellent piece of British engineering), and passing all of us with relative ease.
Andy went on to take the win with his Phantom Arrow 29, but not before rubbing paint with Scoop’s Apache Sikk 27 along the pit straight. It seemed that both drivers wanted the same patch of water coming out of the turn at Buoy 4. The Apache went on to take second place with 56 laps having lost a couple of laps when Buoy 3 was missed due to bright sunlight affecting the driver’s view.
BMPRS Rules state that if you miss a turn you cannot go back round it, so you lose the lap. Rounding a missed buoy was found to be a cause of a lot of crashes, so by eliminating this a lot more boats are going home in one piece.
Bill Warder had a strong drive, taking third place with his Zen 26 powered Stealth to a 53 lap total and Dave Clay’s Phantom 145 Zen 7 from the previous heat took fourth spot. Mike Durant, still running in his new Zen 29 aboard his Phantom, took it easy to a 37 lap score and fifth, whilst Robin Butler’s Phantom Sikk 27 found itself well down on power, later requiring a new piston ring, for sixth spot with 34 laps. New to D class racing in BMPRS, Kevin Alcock thoroughly enjoyed his first race, taking it easy with his Patriot as this had on board yet another new engine still to be run in properly.
So, because of rescue boat outboard motor problems that bought the day to a close. BMPRS would like to thank the members of the King Lear MBC at Watermead Park; the rescue crews; Sue Butler and her assistants for lap scoring and Mike Durant who was standing in for Scoop on OOD duties. Thanks also to BMPRS member Mark Wild for providing the rescue boat. An excellent and most enjoyable start to the 2011 season, lots of fun and a good day at the races.
Plans for 2011
Some of the BMPRS membership will be attending the Mayhem Weekend at Wicksteed Amusement Park, Kettering just a few weeks after this issue hits the shops. That event takes place over the Saturday and Sunday of 28/29th May. In 2010 it attracted many trade stands, more model boat clubs, independent modellers and lots of visitors including the general public, so it a great showcase for the hobby. It is great for the social gatherings on the Saturday evening but also for the rest of the park attractions which are ideal for families. Excellent camping facilities are available at this established park. Relevant websites are: www.wicksteedpark.co.uk or www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk.
For quite sometime now, several of the BMPRS committee plus a few of the members, have been pondering over an alternative to the fast race bred engines that can and do cost a small fortune to purchase and maintain. For example one of our members was astounded at the repair cost of a well known brand of engine, this being £150 for a new piston, liner and con-rod. These sort of costs are okay if you have the need for speed and can afford it, but what about the family man who wants to take his son or daughter (or both) racing on a limited budget? We think we may have the answer and have set ourselves the task of building a BMPRS A class boat for around £300 complete and race ready.
With this in mind, I’m proposing to do a build project to show just what can be achieved and hopefully it will appear in this magazine in the not to distant future.
We decided that a side exhaust 45/46 (7.5cc) engine such as the ASP 46M would be an ideal candidate, but what about the hull type? Well there are plenty of hulls about that would be suitable: Crusader’s, Challenger’s, Mantaray’s, Cavalier’s and the like. I came across a hull on a well known auction site on the Internet, not quite up to BMPRS rules, but a quick enquiry revealed the company produces a slightly larger boat hull that would be very suitable and complies with our rules regarding freeboard. As it looked a bit different from the norm’ (always one to try out new things!) I placed an order and just a few days later it arrived in very sturdy packaging and is a very well moulded hull with clean and sharp lines, plus an all in delivered price of just £63…..wow! It’s called a GPL 1000 and is 40 inches long with a beam of 13 inches and a minimum 65mm freeboard, available in many colours. For details contact Graham via his email: Laylaylandxyxaol.com. (substitute @ for xyx)
Now what about that side exhaust engine?
Well there are probably a few Irvine 40’s /46’s sitting idle in people’s workshops that would make an ideal power plant, but I wanted something new for the project. I contacted Just Engines, website: www.justengines.unseen.org for information on their ASP 46M two stroke nitro motor. They do an exhaust manifold, tuned quiet pipe plus all the clips bundle as well and the whole lot came to £116.37 and was delivered the next day. So that’s it, I’ve got the hull, engine and tuned pipe having spent just under £180 so far. Please take a look at the photos and keep an eye out for the full build article in this magazine in the near future.
Our Chairman, Danny Bell, has already converted his Challenger hull to take an ASP 46M engine with parallel submerged drive and it will be interesting to see how the different hulls perform against each other running the side exhaust sports type of engine and when matched up against the racing thoroughbreds.
Well that’s about it then. The next issue of BMPRS News comes from our AA-D class race at Branston Water Park, Burton on Trent.
Please check out our website: www.bmprs.co.uk for details of racing events or see our racing calendar in this issue. There is also a bundle of other information on our website including links to suppliers.
OOOps! In the April 2011 issue of MB I stated that race fees for multiple boat entries at BMPRS races would be £5 for the first boat and £3 for all subsequent boats, it should of course have read £5 for the first boat, £4 for the second boat and £3 for all subsequent boats, apologies for any confusion caused.
Cheers for now - Scoop.
(Note: The final results table will not convert into the website format unfortunately - see June 2011 issue of Model Boats)