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Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3, Pic 4, Pic 5, Pic 6,
Pic 1: Now, that’s what you call a lighthouse on a steering course! Pic 2: A smiling Eric Austwick (Balne Moor Club) with Keith Young (CADMA Club) behind and Kath Jones and Dot Wilson sorting out the paperwork for the event. Pic 3: Paul Wigglesworth’s stealth tug. Not even the crew can see where they are going! Pic 4: Ian Kennedy’s Russian secret weapon revived for this event after a long lay off. As you can see, Ian has a taste for the unusual with six propellers and no rudders. Pic 5: Ian Kennedy’s secret weapon on the course. Pic 6: Ian Wallett’s Brackengarth on the course.

Goole Model Boat Club held its first ever MPBA Scale Qualifier on Sunday 18th May 2008 and what an event this was. There was some trepidation by the club members concerning this scale steering event, but it was a shining example of what can be achieved when people pull together.

I think that this requires an explanation, because over the past few years there have been reports of clubs failing because of apathy amongst their committees and members, plus a drop in membership of the MPBA, so let me tell you all that this was most certainly not the case on this day.

Firstly, the Goole MBC has a growing membership and has gained itself a reputation for putting on good events at its venue in Goole Docks. Secondly, the committee is strong and puts time and effort into whatever they are doing and this is leadership by example at its very best. Thirdly, the Northern Area MPBA Scale Section has a wealth of experience and is willing to use it to help clubs that show initiative, such as Goole MBC. Also the other clubs in the area have members who are not afraid to come to an event and roll their sleeves up and help in any way possible.

Now that I have finished my sermon, this is not designed to cause shame and embarrassment, but to highlight that the scale competition scene can be successful and what is required to make it happen.

The preparation started two weeks prior to the event when Paul Wigglesworth of the MPBA came to measure the pond to see what could be achieved in the way of a course. This information was passed to Dave Nowland, who designed the course and sent it to the Goole secretary, Graham Buckton, who copied and made them ready for the day.

At the same time two members of the Hull MBC came and offered their services plus two others for the following weekend. On the Saturday before the event, the club had its monthly meeting then set about laying the course for the Sunday.

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Pic 7: Keith Young’s Ida Mary, a Dutch lifeboat, on the course. Pic 8: Dot Wilson on the course surrounded by judges. Well you have to be fair don’t you! Pic 9: Dave Nowland designed the course. Pic 10: Dave Nowland winning the ‘Hook a Boat’ competition. Pic 11: The tour boat from the Sobriety Barge Project, took quite an interest in the activities and indeed we became part of the tour for the day. Pic 12: Just a small part of the total entry.

On the Sunday morning I arrived there at 8am to find the chairman Ted Holmes working away on course markers and within half an hour there was a small army of people from various clubs all joining in and getting everything in place.

Kath Jones and Dot Wilson who administered the event had only two requests, a cup of tea and a chair each, before they had all the entries, pegboard and running order sorted and ready to start. The judges were all briefed and equipped with clip boards, so this was like a successful military operation without the need for a General, although Dave Nowland is a well campaigned organiser together with people who not only know what is required, but just get on with it.

So for all amongst you who think that scale events and the MPBA are on the decline, I say think again, because this was a perfect example of people working together and an organisation that is not in decline, but knows how to make things work.

The Qualifier was run over two rounds, one clockwise around the course and the other one anti-clockwise. This was all finished by 3.30pm and there were happy faces all round at the conclusion.

Amongst the results were:

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First: Dave Nowland from the Huddersfield /Dewsbury Club.
Second: Keith Young of the CADMA Club.
Third: Jim Wilson also of the Huddersfield/Dewsbury Club.

There was a certain irony as Jim Wilson was not allowed by his doctors to drive to the event, but managed clear rounds on the course, so there was not much wrong with him! A great day for the club and the MPBA.

(Graham Buckton is the secretary of Goole MBC and can be contacted on tel: 01405 839777 or email graham@buckton.freeserve.co.uk for more information about this club.)