Offshore Model Racing News

STEWART RAE with a round-up of what is happening in 2010

This is my last race report for offshore racing from within the organisation known as OMRA. Over the winter months there has been much turmoil within OMRA and this has resulted in NOMRA (National Offshore Model Racing Association) being set up. The name sounds familiar, but there the similarity in style of organisation ends, although the classes raced are, and will be, much the same. Anyway, more about NOMRA later, so down to Hove on the South Coast just next to Brighton.

Hove Lagoon - Sunday 14th March 2010

The weather was overcast with a cool light breeze and the AA-D Class racing was organised by Dave Monck, ably assisted by Tony Gilder and Dave Palmer from the Brighton & Hove MBC.
I wasn’t racing myself, so in between pitting for Andy Rennie I helped Dave Monck out by doing a couple of stints of lap scoring. I also acted as OOD in the last race whilst Dave attended to the Mayoress and Council Officials who had arrived slightly early for the trophy presentation ceremony. I must say that the Mayoress and her party were very enthusiastic and took great interest in the racing by asking questions about what offshore model racing is all about.

Racing consisted of two 20 minute heats in each class and with 37 boats entered, which was 45% less than in 2009 and possibly caused by the unrest within OMRA, but there was still a fair representation in all the racing classes.

AA Class

Dave Clay’s Challenger 43 CMB 21 won both its heats to take a total of 77 laps and first place followed by Andy Rennie again running the same set up as Dave who took second place. Andy having had a few returns to the pit area for a bit of engine tuning during Heat One was a bit down on lap score as a result of this, but made up for it in Heat Two by almost matching Dave’s score. So, not bad for this first race for a new boat.

Junior member Shannen Wilkinson drove her Aasvogel CMB 21 into third spot with a total of 61 laps. Alan Thompson retired his Challenger 43 CMB 21 part way through Heat Two with engine problems as did Ted Aggett again running a Challenger 43 CMB 21 towards the end of heat one with a snapped con-rod which had broken at its big end. Ian Searle’s Challenger 43 CMB 21 was another to retire during the first heat but after 5 laps in the second, this was enough for sixth place and a few points.

A Class

It was a close-run thing as 79, 77 & 75 laps took the top three spots in this popular class of racing. Top honours went to Alan Thompson’s Challenger 48 CMB 45 with consistent 39 and 40 lap scores in the two heats. One lap behind Alan in both of the heats was Jessica Bridgman driving her Crusader II CMB 45 which had been expertly repaired by her dad Richard after its recent crash at the Willen Winter Series third race. Tony Ellis took 75 laps and third place with his Warhawk CMB 45. Dave Clay had to retire his Warhawk CMB 45 after a collision with something submerged around Buoy Four ripped the drive shaft out of the boat, but the five quick laps he managed was good enough for eighth place. Another competitor to retire early from the race was Ian Searle who noticed on his second lap that the engine aboard his Manta Ray was well down on power and it didn’t sound quite right. Later investigation revealed a crack in the crankcase of the CMB 45. Alan Storey was the third to retire his Manta Ray CMB 45 after 10 laps in Heat One

B Class

Ryan Bird (J) ran a consistent 23 and 24 laps to lift the first place trophy with a Challenger 48 CMB 67 on loan from Ted Aggett, just two laps ahead of the Warhawk CMB 67 of seasoned competitor Tony Ellis. Richard Haydock took the third spot and unusual for his beautifully turned out Warhawk CMB 67, there were a few glitches that saw a lap total of 36 laps, a lot lower than would normally be expected. Geoff Thompson retired his Donzi 49 CMB 67 after just six laps and Andy Rennie brought his Crusader II in at the end of lap one with signs of detonation on the head button of the CMB 65. New bearings, head button and plug for that motor then!

C Class

Richard Haydock made up for his dismay in B Class to take the win in this class and also the highest laps of the day trophy by clocking up 89 laps with his very quick Phantom 145 CMB 90. Not far behind was Geoff Thompson driving his Giant Apache CMB 91 RS to a total of 86 laps with Danny Bell driving his Phantom 145 CMB 91 into a well earned third place.

Dave Palmer who normally runs in D Class had a go at C Class with a Pacer 60 carrying a CMB 90 but retired it after just 24 laps. Another to retire was Arther Preou who just couldn’t get his Phase II CMB 90 to run properly.

D Class

Ten entries saw Dave Clay, a newcomer to the petrol head class take first place with his Phantom 145 Zenoah 26 scoring a total of 85 laps. Richard Bridgman was very consistent yet again with a 38.2 and 39.1 laps take second place on count back against Bill Warder’s 38.5 and 39.3 laps. This was very close and exciting racing from Richard’s submerged drive Esprite Zenoah 26 and Bill’s surface drive Stealth RCMK 26. Fourth place went to last year’s D Class champion Tony Gilder who had an excellent first heat with 46 laps but only managed 27 in the second.
John Smith’s Stealth RCMK 26 had problems in the first heat but faired better in Heat Two to give him fifth spot. Darren Smith who came all the way down from Milton Keynes was struggling, only managing 12 laps from Heat One and just 7 from the second, eventually discovering the cause to be water contamination of the fuel. For those of you not familiar with racing boats, most of the engines are highly tuned and they only need the slightest thing to be not quite right and they start playing up. With petrol engines it only takes a few drops of water in the fuel to cause such problems, so always flush the fuel tank out before use and never use old fuel and this goes for nitro fuel as well).

Anyway back to D Class and Dave Palmer who normally has an excellent race managed just 16 laps in heat one before retiring his boat. Ian Folkson’s Sigma Mod CMB 26 managed just 4 laps near the end of the first heat and he then went on to retire from the day’s racing.

Conclusion and prize giving

It was a very good day’s racing expertly organised by Dave Monck assisted by Tony Gilder and Dave Palmer at this excellent South Coast venue. Lap scoring was in the capable hands of Dave’s son, ably assisted by several other people and rescue was carried out all day by Ray Ward. To have the watersports centre available as the hub of activity, ‘control tower’, café and somewhere to warm up was sheer bliss as not all race venues have these luxuries!
To much applause, the Mayoress of Brighton and Hove Council presented the trophies and at the end Tony Gilder presented Jessica Bridgman with one of his new Pacer 50 hulls in ‘Bridgman Blue’ colours.

Highest laps of the day trophy went to Richard Haydock and his Phantom 145 CMB 90 and Concours d’Elegance was won by Andy Davies Ocean 52 CMB 91.

And now for something completely different; well almost!


The National Offshore Model Racing Association (NOMRA) held its inaugural meeting at Hardingstone Village Hall near Northampton on 11th April 2010 much to the delight of all who attended.
NOMRA has a new website: and by the time you read this it will be up and running with a couple of races having already been completed.
We are presently being bombarded by interested people wanting to join this new, vibrant and forward looking enterprise and much interest has been received from model boat clubs asking if we can arrange a race at their local water, my how word gets around!

The set up:

We at NOMRA recognised the need for having a full and representative committee and with that in mind we spent the winter months indoors (well there was a lot of snow outside) considering the best way to go about it.
The ‘naughty buoys club’ (yes that’s me and some others!) plus a few other individuals considered that rewriting some of the association rules that were use in other organisations was the way forward, removing all the dead wood so we could see the trees so to speak.
NOMRA’s committee consists of Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Officer, Membership Secretary, Health & Safety Co-ordinator, Webmaster, Publicity Officer, Junior Representative plus a representative from each of the model boat clubs whose venues we will be racing at. We hope that by going down this route any decision regarding the day to day running of this new association will be considered by a larger group of people rather than just one or two. There is an air of excitement buzzing around NOMRA and the first event for 2010 on 25th April at Priorslee Lake, Telford will have been run by the time you read this. For that, we would like to thank Telford MBC and especially Giles Ponting for allowing us the use of their club water.
Is one of our events coming your way? Please check our website: for information or alternatively phone the Publicity Officer, Stewart ‘Scoop’ Rae on tel: 07711 594063 for further details.

Next issue I shall be reporting on this first NOMRA event at Telford plus more about the people behind NOMRA so be sure to get your copy of Model Boats to check out all the fun we’ve been having.

Cheers for now, Scoop.