STEWART RAE reports on the AA to D Class event held at Penzance

Tide what tide?
Well, here we are then at Penzance on the 26th October 2008 for the last race of another busy season with what for most competitors is the furthest they have to travel and in fact five hours each way for myself.
Nigel Bedford runs this event and he has to travel from the southern most tip of Cornwall to all the other races so I think it is only fair that the rest of us support his local event.
Sometimes the season is already over at this time with the top three trophies already claimed, but this end of season event could find some competitors in a trophy winning position if they did well at this event and others just needing to consolidate their positions in the championship table.

Some competitors make a long weekend of it staying at a local hotel near the harbour, but me? Well, Im as daft as a brush because I travel there and back in one day. I get up at 3 am, collect my mate Andy Rennie from Coventry at 4.30 am, set the auto pilot for Penzance and off we go. Barring any hold ups we pull into the petrol station on the outskirts of Penzance at 9.00am to fill up ready for the journey home.

As we drove around the sea front road to the harbour we couldnt help noticing the lack of water in the harbour basin and in fact the tide was out!

The clocks went back an hour last night, so was the tide late or were we early - who knows? Anyway OOD Nigel Bedford promised us that the water was on its way and when the tide comes in at Penzance it does not take very long at all to fill the harbour and by 11.00 oclock there was plenty of the wet stuff to float our boats. So we had about an hour to spare and with rumours abounding that petrolhead Tony Gilder was running a nitro boat at this event, we headed for the harbour café for a well earned and rather yummy breakfast.

Nigel decided that as time was short he would run just four forty minute races which meant mixing most of the classes with the exception of the D Class. Race order then was: Race One, three AA and three A Class boats: Race Two, two A and four B Class boats: Race Three, two B and five C Class boats and finally for Race Four, ten (yes ten) D Class boats.

Race One

First off were the three AA and three A Class boats. I can indeed confirm that Tony petrolhead Gilder was running a nitro boat in the AA Class which was a tiny Nova 12 powered Titan. He only went on to win it, so well done mate for a job well done in the sea conditions with such a small hull. Andy Rennie was going great guns and was on for the win in AA Class until about half way through the race his Crusader 3 went into fail safe mode. With the engine shut down to tickover and the rudder hard over to starboard it was circling in the harbour basin and was in collision with the rescue boat which was technically a disqualification, but really just a case of bad luck. The rescue boat driver was blindside of Andys stricken Crusader and didnt realise it was there until the collision occurred. Somehow seawater had found its way into the radio box and shorted out the electrics, so end of race and the season for the Crusader! Another good run from Pippa Lockes Sea Spirit II saw it constantly swapping places with Tonys Titan for the lead until eventually Tony managed to pull a hard fought three laps in front to take the class win. So a first place in OMRAs AA Class for Tony nitro Gilder. He did ask me to keep it quiet that he was running a nitro, but hey!

The three A Class boats in this race saw a first place for the already crowned champion Luke Copley, running his ever reliable Challenger 48 CMB 45 Evo 2 taking 92 laps from the forty minutes. Bernard Holder kept his cool after an off to change a plug in his CMB 45 powered Crusader II to take 72 laps and third place, OOD Nigel popped up in fourth on 52 laps with his Crusader II also sporting a CMB 45.

Race Two

Young lady driver Pippa Locke took another second place in A Class, this time with her Crusader II running an Irvine 46 engine taking 80 laps. Irvine engines are classed as Sport engines and are not as powerful as the CMBs, so this was an excellent result for Pippa. Andy Rennie could only manage 16 laps with his Crusader II CMB 45 Evo suffering from lack of engine power - still he has all winter to sort it ready for the 2009 season.

Mark Copley was running his new Apache 50 CMB 67 in B Class and had one or two offs to take fourth place with 66 laps which just happens to be his boat number as well. Richard Haydock set a blistering pace with his Warhawk CMB 67 Hydro to take first spot with 103.2 laps.

Part of the way through this race the rescue had to intervene as Buoy No.2 tried to make its escape drifting towards the harbour entrance (it was probably fed up with all the knocks it had taken from close running boats). It was quite amusing watching all the boats go further out to sea, their drivers not wanting to attract a penalty for failing to round the marker buoy! Bernard Holder had another off in this race to replace a damaged rudder on his Magnum CMB 67. A very quick repair saw him return to take 82 laps and second place, Alan Kingsley-Dobson took just 16 laps and sixth place after engine problems with his OPS 65 powered Warhawk.

Time for lunch then! A few competitors made use of the lunch break free time by running and testing their boats. John Smiths bright orange Riptide made the most of the break. The Riptide is a bit on the nippy side if you check the pictures.

Race Three

Having fed and watered ourselves, the last two B Class boats and five C Class boats made up this the last of the season nitro races. Andy Rennies Magnum grabbed third spot having taken 73 laps from the forty minutes and John Kingsley-Dobsons Warhawk CMB 67 took fifth spot with 34 laps to finish the B Class racing.
Setting the pace in C Class was Bernard Holders Magnum CMB 90 scoring a very steady 101 laps. Mark Copleys very quick Phantom 145 was mixing it with Richard Haydocks equally quick Phantom 145, both running CMB 91 RS motors. Both had offs with Mark finishing in second place on 97 laps and Richard took fourth after completing just 47 laps.

Another competitor to set a blistering pace was Nigel Bedford driving his Ocean 52 CMB 91 RS, but he had a few offs as well, but managed to secure third place with his 49 lap total. Racers came away from that race saying it was getting a bit lumpy out near the harbour entrance, but in fact it looked a bit lumpy around 90% of the course if the truth were known!

Race Four

Here we go then for the final race of the 2008 season for the petrolheads. 2008 has seen a substantial increase in the amount of competitors turning up for D Class races. Not surprising really as most if not all petrol motors are pull start, so there is no need to carry heavy batteries and starter motors around. There is only one choice of fuel and the hulls are large, so there is plenty of room for the engine(s) and fuel tank(s) etc. as well.
Ten boats entered this race with eight or nine different hull types, so a good mix then with five different makes of engine being used.
Tony Gilder managed to keep his RCMK powered Pacer out of harms way to take 103.2 laps and first place. Simon Beament (our new OMRA secretary) had the bit between his teeth and was determined to do well with his Red Bull Makara running a Zenoah 26. He finished six laps behind Tony to take a well earned second place. Gary Darch kept up his tradition of doing well in sea racing by taking third with his Blatta 40 Phantom 145 completing 92 laps.
I feel sure John Smiths Stealth 57 RCMK 26 would have been up there with the trophy winners had it not been for a collision with my own Apache Sikk 26. Previous to this my Apache was leaned on by another boat at the harbour entrance marker Buoy No. 2, resulting in a rollover. It took twenty minutes to get the Apache rescued, sea water emptied from the engine and pipe and then restarted. Upon return I had the engine at full chat and was running side by side round Buoy No.1 with Johns Stealth when our pit crews shouted: Rescue! Im afraid I turned my Apache to port just that little bit quicker than John managed to turn his boat with his Stealth having nowhere to go other than over the top of the my Apaches bow, leaving a hole the size of a football in its tracks and unfortunately for John also stopping his Stealths engine as the prop. tore through the GRP (sorry John, one of those racing incidents, well, I am still wearing L plates!). Having a quick look at the Apache as it came into the pit straight we, that is Andy Rennie (pitman) and myself, decided to leave it on the water as it was the last race of the season and I might as well enjoy it as long as possible! The old Apache went on to take fifth place with 56 laps after just twenty minutes on the water. Local lad Justin Copeland finished his Zenoah 26 Riptide in sixth place on 55 laps with Phil Lockes nicely turned out Spirit of the South Zenoah 26, three laps further back.
A thoroughly enjoyable day out at Penzance once again. I dont know why more competitors fail to turn up. Maybe its the distance or maybe they have already secured a trophy, or its a bit late in the season and can be cold and wet (occasionally), but hey its the last race, so enjoy.

Many thanks to OOD Nigel Bedford and thanks also to Justin Copeland and his mate for manning the rescue boat for most of the day and to the various lap scorers who helped out.

We much appreciate the harbour café owner staying open that little bit longer than normal and for allowing us to take over the outside seating area as it otherwise gets a bit cramped on the slipway. Thanks also to the Harbour Master for all his assistance.
Highest laps of the day was a joint win with 103.2 laps each for Richard Haydock in B Class and Tony Gilder in D Class.

Concours dElegance was awarded to Justin Copeland for his immaculately turned out Riptide Zenoah 26.

Other news

Now then if you remember, sometime ago I reported in Model Boats a crash between Danny Bells Magnum and Robin Butlers Giant Apache. The crash action caught by Dannys onboard video camera can be seen on Youtube. If you go to the OMRA website: and if you click on the Bits n Pieces button then click on Boatcam crash you will be linked to Youtube.

Most sane people would have thrown that Magnum hull in the bin, but not our Danny. Off it went to be repaired by its creator Bernard Holder, who did some really nice quality repair work.

Talking of which, my damaged Apache is too good to throw away as it runs true and straight as a die. Its sitting there awaiting repair, but time is short at the moment with DIY and Im sure the list of jobs is getting longer by the day!
Fortunately, Herby Irons (ex chairman of OMRA from many moons ago) came to my rescue and offered an Apache hull he no longer has a use for. So thanks Herby, you have saved me a lot of rebuilding time. So thats my D Class sea boat sorted for next season and now Ive just got to sort out the new freshwater A and D Class boats. Next month we shall have a chat about how the 2008 season went and who won what with what. Also the newly formed for 2009 Shy-Tot Racing Team have been developing a totally new D Class engine and I hope to have some exclusive pictures from the tuning houses for your perusal.
If you would like to join OMRA, or indeed want to come and watch us at play, details can be found on our website: and click on the contacts or calendar pages for more detail.

Penzance Race Results 26th October 2008
Position Name      Hull          Engine        Laps

AA Class

1         Tony Gilder        Titan              Nova 12       68

2         Pippa Locke        Sea Spirit II      Force 21      65

          Andy Rennie        Crusader III       CMB 21        Disq*

A Class

1         Luke Copley        Challenger 48 CMB 45        92

2         Pippa Locke        Crusader II        Irvine 46     80

3         Bernard Holder Crusader II        CMB 45        72

4         Nigel Bedford Crusader II        CMB 45        54

5         Andy Rennie        Crusader II        CMB 45        16

B Class

1         Richard Haydock    Warhawk       CMB 67        103.2

2         Bernard Holder Magnum        CMB 67        82

3         Andy Rennie        Magnum        CMB 67        73

4         Mark Copley   Apache 50     CMB 67        66

5         J.K. Dobson        Warhawk       CMB 67        34

6         A.K. Dobson        Warhawk       OPS 65        16

C Class

1         Bernard Holder Magnum        CMB 90        101

2         Mark Copley   Phantom 145   CMB 91        97

3         Nigel Bedford Ocean 52      CMB 91        49

4         Richard Haydock    Phantom 145   CMB 91        47

5         Mark Sneap    ??????             ??????             25

D Class

1         Tony Gilder        Pacer              RCMK 26       103.2

2         Simon Beament Makara        Zenoah 26     97

3         Gary Darch         Phantom 145   Blatta 40     92

4         John Smith         Stealth 57         RCMK 26       79

5         Stewart Rae        Apache        Sikk 26       56

6         Justin Copeland    Riptide       Zenoah 26     55

7         Phil Locke         Spirit of South    Zenoah 26     52

8         Dennis Wherlock    Apache        RCMK 26       23

9         Dave Hall     Spirit of Norway   Mathe 35      21

10        Dave Palmer   ??????             Mathe 35      8


Disq* = Disqualified for contact with rescue boat