OMRA NEWS August 2009

STEWART RAE and DAVE MONCK report from Bristol and Stevenage

Bristol AA to D Class - 12th April 2009 by Stewart Rae

A fine, sunny, dry and warm day greeted us here at Baltic Wharf in Bristol Docks, a very popular racing venue not just for the competitors but also the hundreds of spectators who come to watch us racing and then go for a beer and a meal at the quayside public house (or is it the other way around?).

Phil Locke, Officer of the Day opened the drivers pre-race meeting with the shock announcement that this would be the last OMRA AA-D Championship race at Bristol. However, the annual Bristol Pairs racing event will still take place. Phil advised drivers of thirty minute heats and the race order was AA, A, D1, B, D2, C, D3.

AA Class

Dave Clay had one return to the pits after a flip but it didn’t stop him from taking first place with his Challenger 43 Pro CMB 21 clocking up 67 laps well in front of a second place for lady driver Pippa Locke who took 43 laps from the half hour race with her Crusader I Force 21 boat. John Kinsley-Dobson’s (OMRA Treasurer) Arrowshaft Force 21 was a further five laps back to take the bronze trophy. Unusual for the AA class was the high rescue rate with all boats requiring rescue at least once during the proceedings. Danny Bell had his Challenger 43 Pro CMB 21 LS returned to the pit and I’m afraid it was end of his race with a broken con rod.

A Class

Luke Copley threw down the gauntlet for the highest laps of the day trophy with a score of 81 laps to his credit taking the gold trophy with his Challenger 48 Pro CMB 45 set up. Bernard Holder drove a steady race (as always) to take the silver with his own designed and ever reliable CMB 45 powered Crusader II with a score of 74 laps. Junior (just) driver Ben Powell driving an ex-Bernard Holder Crusader III CMB 40 boat took third spot with a 67 lap total and Ted Aggett driving another Crusader III this time with a CMB 45 aboard took fourth place. Yet another junior driver, a young lady Jessica Bridgeman, drove a steady race under the watchful eye of father Richard taking a very creditable fifth spot and 53 laps with her Crusader II CMB 45.

It’s encouraging to see a lot of new members joining the racing this year with a high percentage of them being from the younger set, see the pictures for a couple of our younger racers.

B Class

Mark Copley took first place with his new season Apache 50 CMB 67 setting the pace with 78 laps. Countback separated second and third spot with Dave Clay’s Warhawk CMB 67 just pipping Andy Rennie’s Magnum CMB 67 to second, Dave taking 71.2 against Andy’s 71.3 laps giving a difference of two championship points. All boats had at least one rescue with the exception of Andy’s Magnum which was being driven at a steady pace as he was still ‘running in’ a rebuilt engine. Richard Jordan did well to take fifth spot after a stop to repair a loose exhaust on his Warhawk CMB 67 and Tony Ellis had several stops with his Warhawk CMB 67 suffering with throttle problems.

C Class

Bernard Holder was on the winner’s rostrum again, coming out on top driving his own design Magnum CMB 90 to a 74 lap total with Jonathon Jordan’s Challenger 48 Pro just two laps further back to take the silver trophy. A gap of seven laps followed to a third placed Mark Copley’s own design Phantom 145 CMB 90. Danny Bell and John Kingsley-Dobson fought it out for fourth and fifth place with Danny’s ‘Toyminator’ Magnum CMB 80 just beating John’s Challenger 48 Pro CMB 80 by 0.2 of a lap. Dave Monck, our OMRA Z Class correspondent, had a few problems, but managed eight place with his Apache CMB 91 behind Nigel Bedford’s very quick John Smith designed Stealth CMB 91 (sixth) and Richard Haydock’s Phantom 145 CMB 90 (seventh) whose engine had got a tad warm due to a broken water cooling inlet pipe.

D Class

Twenty three entries saw the petrol heads split into three heats. In Heat One Tony Gilder (last season’s D Class champion) accepted the challenge thrown down by Luke Copley in A Class for the highest laps of the day trophy to take 84 laps from the half hour run with his Pacer RCMK 26 taking the class win and the highest laps. Second and third places popped up in heat two, Andy Uttley took this heat win and second overall with his Phantom Sikk 26 taking 81 laps followed by Darren Smith driving his Sigma 51 Zen 7 to 77 laps. John Hand had a good run in Heat One to take fourth spot with his QuickDraw 26 Stealth. Heat Two provided Rob Gay with a fifth place, his Sonic Titan RCMK 26 scoring 66.2 laps against rookie driver Richard Bridgeman’s Heat Three winning score (sixth place overall) of 66.4 laps with a nicely turned out Esprite Zenoah 26.

No such luck befell Kurt Cave and Mark Wild who both lost drive when the flexishafts in their boats parted company (both failing at the flexi-stub shaft join) and junior driver Cameron Snewin had throttle linkage problems, but these were soon sorted out by his pit crew.

Our thanks to the rescue crew of Steve Tudor and Jeff Pepler who were kept busy all day and to Pegasus MBC for organising the event. Thanks also go to the lapscorers Carol Holder, Lynn and Teresa Locke and the OOD, Phil Locke.

Highest laps of the day trophy went to Tony Gilder, D Class Pacer RCMK 26 with 84 laps and Concours d’Elegance was awarded to Richard Jordan’s B Class Warhawk CMB 67.

Next month I shall be reporting from a wet and wonderful Southampton, where there was a bit of a breeze and a few drops of rain!

Stevenage Z Class - 3rd May 2009 by Dave Monck

It was a cold and windy day for the second of six rounds of Z Class racing in the 2009 Championship. The venue was the small lake at Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the large lake having been drained yet again to repair a leak! We have heard that before somewhere! (Hove maybe? - Scoop). Hosts were the Stevenage MBC and Greg Sadler was the OOD.

There was some concern a short while before the event that it might have to be cancelled due to lack of interest, but in the end 29 boats were entered, 12 Standard, 12 Modified and five Multihull. Competitors often leave it until the last minute to book in for events and it does raise concerns for the organisers. People like to keep an eye on the weather forecast, but OMRA racers are made of sturdy stuff and they like to race in most conditions, so please see next month’s AA-D Class report from Southampton!

After the usual pre-race practice session, drivers meeting and scrutineering, the plan was to run two groups of Standard Class, two groups of Modified Class, each racing two fifteen minute heats and one Multihull Group, racing two ten minute heats, all with the statutory two minute mill time and with a lunch break separating the two heats. Kelvin Bird made a request that half a ton of salt be put into the lake as his Portsmouth boats didn’t like freshwater!

Group one of the Standard boats were first away with some very close racing between Ted Aggett’s Novarossi powered Wizard, Gary Cooper’s Toki powered Z2 and Andy Davis with his Novarossi Cherokee Chief II. Ted Aggett however had the edge and finished 11 laps clear of Gary Cooper and Andy Davis who both managed 45 laps. Dave Monck had tuning problems with his Novarossi powered Cherokee Chief II as did Andy Nightingale. Steve Bond raced steadily to complete 35 laps with his Rossi Sportsman.

In the second heat after lunch Ted Aggett’s Wizard was running in top form completing the whole race without incident, closely followed by Steve Bond’s Sportsman and Gary Cooper’s Z2. Dave Monck’s Cherokee Chief was not happy and had to be brought back to the pit several times for fine tuning. Dave Clay who was pitting for him put it down to the altitude difference between Stevenage and Dave’s home venue at Hove! Apparently it does make a bit of a difference and requires the mixture setting to be richer at higher altitudes.

Of the group two Standard boats, Ed Houghton’s Force 3 had to be scratched at the start due to the manifold bolt vibrating loose with stripped threads. The other five boats all required rescue at one point or another during the race, it was nice to see Dave Clay racing his Novarossi powered Cherokee, but tuning problems which seemed to blight the day left him with just 15 laps at the finish. Alan Hales had problems with his Rossi powered Cherokee, which left Kelvin Bird running a Hyper Delta, Geoff Stent with his Rossi Cherokee and Paul Weller to battle it out. Kelvin Bird had several stops and he found out later it was due to a loose manifold, Geoff Stent also had a few stops but he came out on top after speedy pit work to get his boat back on the water. After lunch Dave Clay took the honours after having sorted the tuning on his Cherokee, Geoff Stent’s Cherokee requiring rescue after a flip on the back straight and Alan Hales with his Cherokee proved like Andy Davis in his modified heat that turning too close to a marker buoy can have severe repercussions when the propeller becomes snagged in the buoy anchor line.

The group one Modified Class boats had problems before the start, Ed Houghton’s Patriot had a faulty receiver and had to be changed ready for the second heat. Ted Aggett’s Novarossi/Miami, Gary Cooper’s STS/Cherokee Chief II and Gary Wilkinson’s Protech Z2 all managed some steady racing throughout, although Ted’s Miami hit a buoy three minutes from the end of the race. Gary Wilkinson took the heat honours with a very creditable 54 laps, Dave Monck and Geoff Stent both had problems with their Novarossi powered Cherokees. The heat got off to a disastrous start with frequency interference to Geoff Stent’s Cherokee, the race required a restart only for the same thing to happen again, but this time it also affected Dave Monck’s Cherokee which made a beeline, out of control, for the slipway with the resulting crash damaging the propeller and knocking the rudder out of alignment. Dave was given time to effect repairs, whilst meanwhile an across the board frequency check took place to check there was no more interference before the race restarted, because sometimes the general public can be using r/c equipment close by but be totally unaware of the havoc they are causing.

After lunch in the second heat, Dave Monck had to retire after the loss of steering due to the gear wheel in the servo locking up, probably caused by his misfortune in the first heat. Ted Aggett’s Miami was having a good run despite having to throttle back a bit after the knock from the first heat, Ed Houghton had managed to replace the receiver in his Patriot which then proved to be a nippy boat. Gary Wilkinson’s Z2 also lasted the duration of the race with Geoff Stent failing to start and Gary Cooper having problems with his Cherokee, a bit of a shame after his excellent run in the morning session.

The group two Modified Class also seemed to be affected by radio interference. In their first heat it was Kelvin Bird’s Cherokee Chief II which had radio problems with the boat stalling on the back straight and the cause was eventually diagnosed as a faulty receiver battery pack. Steve Bond with his Rossi powered Cherokee took the heat honours with Shannen Wilkinson’s Protech Z3 putting in good consistent lap times as did Greg Sadler with his Novarossi Challenger. Andy Davis like Alan Hales turned too close to the buoy and snagged the propeller on his Z2B, this manoeuvre eventually putting him out of the second heat and he was joined likewise by Kelvin Bird.

Steve Whenham’s Wizard was also hit by tuning problems and he only managed 28 laps after flipping the boat following a tight turn out of the pit straight. In their final heat after lunch with only four boats racing, Greg Sadler again raced steadily despite a rescue as did Steve Whenham. Shannen Wilkinson and Steve Bond raced neck and neck for the duration, although Steve had the faster boat a rescue left him one lap behind Shannen at the end of the heat.

The Multihull races were run over ten minutes with only Ted Aggett’s Dateline and Steve Whenham’s Cat managing to last the duration without rescue. Steve Whenham eventually won with a 12 lap margin over Ted Aggett. Dave Monck’s Proboat Miss Llumar had to be scratched after a fault with the flexishaft. Ed Houghton with his concours winning Shovel Nose Hydro and Gary Wilkinson’s Zibet (made out of lots of spare parts) also completed the race.

Sincere thanks to Stevenage MBC for hosting the event, to OOD Greg Sadler and to Ian Searle and Bernard Hitchcock who manned the rescue boat. Thanks also to Roland and Trevor who carried out the lap scoring for the entire event. The day finished with the trophy presentation and everyone was on their way home by 3.30pm.
Note: Unfortunately the results tables will not reproduce in the website editor so you will need to refer to the August 2009 issue of the magazine - Colin Bishop