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Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3, Pic 4, Pic 5,
Pic 1: A nice day at Mote Park, Maidstone for the 8th round of the 2007 Z class championship. Pic 2: Gary Wilkinson and Dave Willson carry out some fine tuning to Daves Fast 4 Wood Astra. Pic 3: Dave Clay used a geared, submerged drive Warlock in the unrestricted section and won. Pic 4: Gary Wilkinsons Z-6 took second place in the restricted section. Pic 5: John Kerrs Z-6 took third place in the restricted section.

The lake at Mote Park, the dock at Bristol and the harbour at Penzance. The venues couldnt be more different for this months reports. An OMRA boat certainly has to be versatile to take in the range of conditions at these different venues. Stewart will be back next month with a report from Kingsbury Water Park, but this month Bernard Holder returns to cover the AA-D races.

OMRA/Dateline Marine Z Class at Maidstone, September 30th 2007 by John Kerr

Two races to go after this one to decide the 2007 championship. Kelvin Bird leads the 23 boats in the unrestricted section. Can he stay in front? Last year Kelvin had a poor run at Maidstone - would it be repeated? Dave Clay heads the other 24 boats in the restricted section. Can Julie Hine catch him or would she be caught by Gary Wilkinson, John Kerr or Jean Kerr who were all very close behind and all driving similar boats. With the seven best scores from the ten races to count, it is quite difficult to calculate all the possibilities, but it is going to be close.

Philip Robinson was a spectator at Maidstone. His Fortech engine had seized after Herne Bay. New boats at Maidstone were from Paul Baxter with a Hyper powered Sportsman and Dave Clay had elected to use his Wasp powered Dateline Warlock in the unrestricted section. Owen Thompson joined the multihulls with what was recorded as a mine cooper powered by a Hyper 12 and David Willson showed me his unnamed, multi-stepped design he would be using next year.

From time to time the racing got a bit too close, but the first heat of the restricted boats went very well, all the boats proving to be reliable on the calm water. It was not the surface of the water, but its contents that had the most effect in heat two. Four boats stopped with plastic bags around their submerged propellers. My boat stopped relatively near the end with just a small bag. At the end of the morning, Gary Wilkinson was in the lead on 55 laps, Julie Hine just behind on 54 and Dave Clay on 53. Jean Kerr had a water pipe come off. The overheating exhaust melted her starter belt, so the shaft had to come out to replace the belt before it could be restarted to rejoin the race.

Ted Aggetts unrestricted boat wouldnt keep running - he had not screwed the plug in! I think weve all done that at some time. Kelvin Birds Novarossi also kept stalling, so he put a smaller propeller on to keep the revs up. Mike Knights boat slowed when the glow plug failed. A quick change had it going again, but it was not going well. Steve Whenham and I were both quite quick, but also both stopping. At the end of the morning, Chris Hine had a four-lap lead over Steve Whenham, then came Dave Clay 10 laps back and the championship leader, Kelvin Bird, was 16 laps adrift.

Geoff Stent had the conrod fail in his Novarossi in the morning and Steve Whenham replaced it for him at lunchtime. Its not easy fitting these tiny circlips in the comfort of your own home, let alone at the lakeside, but Steve had it repaired in no time. Dave Clay went very well to record 57 laps with his restricted Cherokee Chief II in the afternoon. Gary Wilkinson added 54 laps to finish one lap behind Dave. I also added 54 to take third place after Julie Hine had a cooling pipe come off and she dropped back to fourth overall. Kelvin Birds 51 laps brought him up to fifth place and Clare Rogers finished sixth despite trying to alter the scenery in the morning. Jean Kerr ran into Steve Bond and he ran into her later, causing his own boat to do a complete somersault, but it did keep going. Also during the race, Ted Aggett went straight on into the side of my boat on a corner. Ted immediately apologised. You cannot expect to race all year without some damage, but fortunately very little damage was done in any of these incidents. Teds Miami later flipped. Keith Wellers Rossi powered Harpoon was not on song. This new design has great potential but needs some further work on reliability. Paul Baxters Sportsman went very well, but he was disqualified for a rule infringement.

After six laps a boat ran into the stern gear of Mike Knights Z-2 on a corner, the rudder taking all the impact. Mikes boat just circled so he stopped it. It looked like the rudder servo gears had failed, but on later inspection it was seen that the servo arm had given way and it ended his race. After eleven laps Geoff Stent went out. Five laps later Steve Bond joined him and some intermittent running resulted in a score of just 21 laps for Harry Birch. David Willson and I recorded laps in the thirties. Steve Whenhams 42 dropped him well back as Ted Aggett on 51, Gary Cooper on 52, Kelvin Bird on 54 all passed him. As for the championship lead? After 43 laps Chris Hines coupling came off and his con rod broke as the engine over-revved. Dave Clay sailed past him with a great run of 56 laps to take the win on the day. With all the drama going on around her, Shannen Wilkinson drove a consistent race to finish sixth. She was undoubtedly spurred on by these encouraging words of her Dad: Nice bit of driving, just like your old man

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Pic 6, Pic 7, Pic 8, Pic 9, Pic 10, Pic 11,
Pic 6: A beautifully built Cherokee Chief II by Dave Monck . Pic 7: A LLumar ready to run hydro that can take a 12 engine for the multihull section. Pic 8: Steve Whenham replaces the broken con rod in Geoff Stents Novarossi. Pic 9: Dave Clays wins again with his restricted section Cherokee Chief II. Pic 10: Kelvin Birds Hyper powered Delta Zero is not up to its previous speed. Pic 11: It was good to see Paul Baxter again, now with a Hyper powered Sportsman.

It was definitely Dave Clays day, winning both sections. With the next race to be at Kingsbury Water Park, can anyone beat Dave on his home water? Despite the broken engine, Chris Hine finished second in the unrestricted section, to get 12 points. He was now four points closer to Kelvin Bird. If we can mend Chriss engine he has a chance. In the restricted section championship, Dave increased his points lead over Julie Hine. Gary Wilkinson and I are catching her. It is still going to be close! Many Thanks to Steve Whenham, John Larke and the Cygnets club at Maidstone.

OMRA Bristol Classic Pairs by Bernard Holder

The 7th October 2007 and time for the well established Bristol Classic Pairs offshore team race held in Bristol Docks and hosted by the Bristol Pegasus Model Boat Club.

This year was the ninth year for this event and OMRA members really look forward to the day, some had even booked a place a far back as June. Unfortunately due to illness some regular attendees were not able to show, but an impressive 20 teams did enter and these were divided into four heats of racing. Officer of the Day was Bernard Holder who was well supported by Phil Locke, Steve Tudor and Ben Powell for rescue boat duties. Sincere thanks also go to the experienced lap scoring team of Carol Holder and Lynn Locke who kept the scores and controlled the race times brilliant. The weather was warm and dry with the Bristol Docks water fairly calm for a change.

The Pairs has some simple rules beginning with rule one: Enjoy your racing! Each team member has to complete 40 laps with a total team engine limit of 26cc (Petrol engines are classed as 15cc since some members only run that class of boat). One can run a boat a second time, but it must be with a different partner. If a member stops on the water, the other member may go on whilst its rescued, this keeps the racing action non-stop. There is no undertaking at marker buoys and the event is only open to fully paid up OMRA members. Races commence with a dead engine start and all boats must comply to the OMRA rules. Ideally, the fastest boat completes their 40 laps followed by their partner and then the fastest runs until the end of the race heat to register as many laps as possible. Mind you it doesnt always work out like that in practice.

So what happened on the day? As already mentioned, teams were divided into four heats which takes into account a number of entrants running more than once. With heat one under way all seemed well until the team of Tony Ellis and John Dobson hit trouble. John had a loss of battery power due to a faulty switch and that ended their challenge. Meanwhile Andy Payne, Pugley/Super Tigre61 and partner Simon Beament, Apache/Zenoah were settling into a good start. Andy started and completed his 40 laps non-stop, his boat running very reliably, however Simon had a couple of stops. Kurt Cave, Apache/Sikk was having his first try at The Pairs partnering Robin Butler, CrusaderII/CMB45. There was no doubt from the relaxed look on his face that he was thoroughly enjoying himself. During Robins initial time on the water he managed just one stop due to a plastic bag. Overall both had a good heat and Kurt displayed real racing courtesy as he throttled down coming up behind slower boats at marker buoys before overtaking them without incident, what a gentleman. Throughout the heat the team of Nigel Bedford, CrusaderII/CMB45 and John Smith, Ocean52/Zenoah were hot on their transoms. John did the bulk of the heat which saw them finish only one lap down on from Andy Payne and Simon Beament. Also in heat one was the father and son team of David Hall, Makara/CMB90 and Daniel(jnr), Tequila/Thunder Tigre21. The team were a little adrift as David was trying to set up his new engine. By the close of heat one the target was set by Andy and Simon with 130.3 laps.

Heat two saw Robin Butler, Magnum/Zenoah team up with Nigel Bedford, CrusaderIII/CMB45. A good team strategy saw the pair run consistently and profitably with Robin completing the bulk of the work. Dennis Wherlock, Esprite/Zenoah joined up with Rob Gay, Cobra/CMB45, but unfortunately Rob had problems with his engine.

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Pic 12, Pic 13, Pic 14,
Pic 12: David Willson holds his latest design - a triple stepped mono. Pic 13: Mike Knight again didnt finish the meeting after the rudder servo broke. Pic 14: Gary Cooper ran his spectacular Z cat in the multihull section.

Another father and son outfit was that of Richard Jordan, Warhawk/CMB67 and Jonathon Jordan, Aristocrat/Zenoah. This boat had only recently been purchased and was not quite set up. Over the heat Richard ran well, but the Zenoah of Jonathon developed a lack of spark, due to ignition timing moving out of sync. However in the running time that it completed, the boat looked the part. Young Ben Powell (jnr) borrowed a boat from Bernard Holder, a CrusaderIII/CMB40 and joined forces with Geoff Stent, Esprite/Zenoah as Geoff was looking for a partner. The pair were doing really well and Ben was showing his driving skills and boat control to good effect. When well placed and looking to record a very good total of laps Geoffs battery pack failed, however they did complete a creditable 118 laps. Also in this heat was Dave Palmer, Warhawk/CMB67 out of retirement. Well we havent seen him racing for some time and he was partnering Tony Gilder, Apache/S.G. engine. Tony had a couple of stops to do some engine tweaking whilst Dave kept the scoreboard ticking over. The pair went on to total 120 laps. As mentioned earlier, Robin Butler and Nigel Bedford were getting it all together and by the close of the heat found themselves now in the overall lead with a target total of 131.1 laps. In the championship racing this season, both have enjoyed winning trophies and today would be no exception.

Following the lunch break it was time for heat three and yet another family team taking part of father and daughter Phil Locke, Spirit of the South/Zenoah and Phillipa Locke, CrusaderI/Irvine46. There was a bit of doubt as to whether the team would run as Phil had to make a new engine manifold on the Saturday, however all was well and both took to the water. Over the heat Phillipas boat had a cracking run when compared to the power of the other engines entered. Part way through the heat Phil had to bring his boat in to replace the manifold silicone and only just completed his stint of 40 laps. Phillipa did the main running, clocking up an excellent 69.1 laps. The team of Tony Ellis, Challenger/CMB45 and John Hand, Warhawk/Zenoah set off with great promise plus speed, but alas over the heat Tonys CMB45 developed pick up problems following throttling down and many stops ensued, though meanwhile John raced on. Considering the time Tony lost they still had a good score of 129 laps and at this point were lying in fourth place overall. The team of Ian Searle, Manta Ray/CMB45 and Bill Warder, Enforcer/Zenoah were experiencing the event for the first time with mixed joy. Whilst Ian managed to pass his 40 laps, Bill had a spill and water cooled his radio, but nevertheless enjoyed the day - thats the spirit. Kurt Cave, Apache/Sikk teamed up with Andy Uttley, Challenger/CMB45 in this heat and for a while all looked good until Andy had a rule infringement and was disqualified. This left Kurt to race on with no chance of a realistic score.

The final heat of the day saw things liven up a bit with a few quick boats. Robin Butler, CrusaderII/CMB45 teamed up again with Nigel Bedford, Stealth/CMB90 both in a confident mood. Mark Copley, Challenger/Rossi21 partnered Gary Darch, Spirit of the South/Zenoah and set off at a cracking pace. Also in the heat was young Ben Powell (jnr), CrusaderIII/CMB40 this time with John Dobson, Warhawk/CMB67. Over the heat the pair ran about even laps to return a creditable total of 130.3 laps. It would see them finish joint fourth overall. Richard Jordan, Warhawk/CMB67 and Bernard Holder, Magnum/CMB90 teamed up together having been previous Pairs winners, but unfortunately following a spin out with the Magnum, which involved a coming together with another boat early on, didnt help their cause. Richard took over but he had problems on lap 28 when his flexi-shaft broke. Bernard then continued with a lengthy spell which ended when the screw holding his carburettor barrel in the engine broke free. At that stage he had completed a very good 87 laps. Mark and Gary were then able to press home their advantage. There was a good effort from Daniel Hall (jnr), Scarab/SC46 and Mark Sneap, Makara/CMB100 and the team would pass the 100 laps with ease. However it was getting tight as the heat progressed, between the teams of Mark/Gary and Nigel/Robin. In fact it was so tight that Gary spent much of the later stages of the heat checking on the scores. He spent so much time at the scorers table that he could have taken over the lap scoring duties. Well we all hear about close finishes and this was one of them. At the final blast of the hooter Mark and Gary just took the prize of first place overall by a count back of three. Their final lap total was 151.1 with Robin and Nigel on 151.4. The latter pair also took third place with 132 laps. Overall it was a great days racing and the Bristol Pegasus Model Boat Club would like to express their appreciation to all who entered. Since race day I have had enquiries as to the date for next year, which is set provisionally for 5th October - see you then.

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Pic 15, Pic 16,
Pic 15: The trophies at Maidstone. A reward for those who won them and an incentive to others to win next time. Pic 16: Bristol Classic Pairs trophies, which includes highest laps.

OMRA AA-D Class, Penzance Harbour by Bernard Holder

Sunday October 21st 2007 and OMRA were championship racing at Penzance Harbour, Cornwall. Normally this would round off the racing for the season, but due to a couple of cancellations during the season, provisionally a late replacement event at Kingsbury Water Park had been set for 11th November 2007, subject to entries. In late October four of the five championship classes had been decided with just B class to be resolved. What a venue Penzance Harbour is, which not only has the racing, but also due to its location is a most sociable weekend. On the day there were excellent weather and water conditions and the café for refreshments is right next door. Normally it closes at this time of year at around 12 noon, but was still serving refreshments at 5pm. At various times of the day there were quite a number of spectators who also had lots of questions about the racing. Officer of the Day was Nigel Bedford who had organised the heats of racing to take account of who performs pit duties for who etc. Unfortunately at the last minute he was very badly let down over the rescue boat, but Justin Copeland very kindly stepped in. Over the day, lap scoring duties were shared between Lynn Locke, Lesley Stuart and others, with Nigel occasionally calling the boats as they passed. Other entrants manned the rescue boat, so well done everyone. Racing took the form of 40 minute heats and it was a very relaxing and enjoyable occasion. There were only a total of twenty five entries, which is a shame really as Nigel travels to all the championship races in the rest of the UK from his home down in Newquay.

AA Class

Just two entries for this class, with championship winner Mark Copley deciding to sit this one out. Phillipa Locke ran her Sea Spirit II/Force21 and the other entrant was Bernard Holder with his Crusader III and almost worn out Force21 engine. There was some question as to tossing a coin, but the competitive instinct was too great, both boats hit the water for the mill time with Bernard away nicely, but Phillipas engine was not playing ball. Following a few laps at a reduced speed she brought it in to tune it, whilst Bernard was off and flying round the course. After another pit call to do a bit more carburettor tuning, Phillipas engine decided to play ball and both entrants settled down to the task of running forty minutes. That is until lap eighteen, when Bernards Crusader III came to an abrupt stop coming up to buoy one. The rear bearing had given way and locked up the engine. This allowed Phillipa time to catch up and eventually take the lead at which point she called it a day.

A Class

A few more entries in this class, with a total of six including the championship winner this season, Bernard Holder with his Crusader II/CMB45. By the time this race started, the water conditions at the top buoy at the harbour entrance were becoming quite choppy, so all boats took to the water with the prospects of a good race. Bernard Holder took the early lead followed by Mark Copley, Challenger/CMB45 which had more than a passing resemblance to his son Lukes boat. Also in the early part of this race and really performing well was Phillipa Lockes Crusader I/Irvine46. Whilst the engine is not the same quality as the CMBs etc, Phillipa was flying. With a somewhat worn out piston/liner, Tony Elliss Challenger/CMB45 was operating in short bursts of speed followed by comments of, when is this thing going to come on the pipe again. Officer of the Day Nigel Bedford ran his new boat for this year, a Crusader II/CMB45 and set out his intentions early on. So far this year, Nigel has enjoyed good success with this combination and he was anticipating more today. Going well was Mark Sneap with a Challenger 43/CMB45, that is until he flipped over at the top buoy which lost him time.

There was some very good racing with individuals showing their skills, although at around the twenty minute mark whilst in the lead, Bernard Holders Crusader dropped off the pace a bit. Eventually he brought it into the pits to discover that a blade was missing off the propeller. This allowed Mark Copleys Challenger to take charge putting in a fine reliable performance.

Over the race Mark would come into the pits for a quick top up of fuel near the end. With a new propeller fitted and a few more laps to his total Bernard was off again, but alas at the top buoy his boat hit and took off over the upturned boat of Mark Sneap and a rescue was needed. Nigel Bedford in the middle of the race when going well also turned over again at the top buoy and in doing so had the misfortune of breaking the throttle linkage to the engine - race over. Mark Sneap seemed to have put his barrel roll behind him, but then with ten minutes to run, guess what, he ran out of fuel! Undaunted by the others, Phillipa Locke continued to put the Irvine 46 to the test, but even she would not race without a problem. With not many minutes to go her boat slowed and came to a halt when the main mixture needle snapped. This was particularly unfortunate as at that stage Phillipa was probably in second place. Mark Copley and Bernard Holder raced on until the final hooter, but just coming around the bottom right buoy Mark flipped the Challenger.

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Pic 17, Pic 18, Pic 19, Pic 20, Pic 21,
Pic 17: The Bristol Classic Pairs trophy winners. Pic 18: Bristol Classic Pairs winners (left to right) Gary Darch and Mark Copley. Pic 19: Bristol Classic Pairs second and third (left to right) Nigel Bedford and Robin Butler. Pic 20: Early arrivals at Penzance Harbour pit area. Pic 21: Jonathon Jordan with his Aristocrat/Zenoah entry.

B Class

Only three entries for the class, but for the organisation on the day the race included two D class boats. Final season positions would rest on the outcome of the race. Richard Jordan, Warhawk/CMB67 was keen to maintain the points needed to secure him third place whilst Bernard Holder, Magnum/CMB67 hoped to secure the class championship. Joining them was John nervous Smith, Ocean52/Zenoah and David Hall Spirit of Norway/Zenoah.

There was a good start by all and John Smith was keen to enjoy his day, his boat was extremely quick, but as he put it; the boat control left a lot to be desired. Over the race he would have a number of stops, but at all times had a big smile on his face. The three B class contenders were simply tearing around the buoys and it looked a cracking sight for the spectators. Bernard Holders Magnum was well suited to the conditions and along with Richard Jordans Warhawk both contested the early lead. Tony Ellis as usual had a very quick performing Challenger/CMB67 but had an occasional unscheduled stop. The other D class boat of David Hall was putting in a solid performance and adding to the spectacle, when around the halfway mark Bernard Holder throttled down to pass the rescue boat in the pit straight and his boat suddenly stopped. It was quickly rescued, but seemed to have a fair bit of water inside. This stop allowed Richard Jordan and Tony Ellis to gain laps and all was thought lost at this stage. Even worse was to follow when having returned to the water, whilst throttling at the top buoy, the Magnum stopped again with more water inside. On return to the pits it was discovered that the manifold water cooling pickup had snapped off. This was quickly resolved and off he went again, but needing to make up time.

As the race unfolded, Tonys boat began to perform and then not perform, much to his frustration, but he continued. Then Richard Jordan hit a snag or should I say got snagged up on the top buoy securing rope, stopping his boat dead. One cant say that boat racing isnt without problems, as in these first three races everybody seemed to have had an incident or two. With Richard now stationary it allowed Bernard to catch up and move into the lead. In between all this, David Hall had a couple of stops, sadly the last one saw water enter his radio compartment, but he still would finish fourth overall in D class. Near the end of the race it became clear to Tony Ellis that there was a significant problem with the radio not functioning correctly which had dogged his race. At the close it was found that the throttle servo to the mixture control was faulty. Before the close, Richard Jordan managed to submarine his Warhawk leaving Bernard Holder to take first place, the pair of them had enjoyed a good contest over the forty minutes. In so doing, it was enough to secure Bernard the overall class championship for 2007. With Richard finishing second it clinched him third place overall in the championship.

C Class

Just four boats for this class, but all full of power. Mark Copley, Giant Apache/CMB90 could look forward to a relaxing time as he had already secured the class championship this year. Tony Ellis prior to the race decided to withdraw, but Nigel Bedford brought along his speedy Stealth/CMB90 which still has a bit of trimming to sort out. The remaining pair were Bernard Holder, Magnum/CMB90 and Mark Sneap Makara/CMB90. Right from the start it was all systems go and boy dont these C class boats shift. One of the noticeable differences between racing on inland lakes compared to the sea, is that boats travel a lot faster on the sea due to the extra buoyancy of salt water.

Over the first half of the race Mark Copley took the lead followed by Bernard Holder. Not to be left out, Mark Sneap kept up a steady pace and Nigel tested his Stealth to the limit. All were running fine until around the twenty minute mark, when Bernard Holders Magnum lost a blade off his propeller forcing a pit stop. Just after that Mark Sneaps Makara turned turtle at the top buoy. It didnt matter what size of boat one had, the top buoy water conditions needed careful driving. At one point in the race the rescue crew of John Hand and Tony Ellis were seen driving around the outside of the course trying to create chop in their dreams! Whilst the others were having problems, Mark Copley continued on his merry way clocking up laps. With about ten minutes to go, believe it or not, Bernard Holder lost yet another blade darned seaweed! Over the race Nigel was quick, but just couldnt always keep the Stealth upright. On the last occasion of a dunking he struggled to get his CMB90 to fire up. Shortly before the close of the race Mark Copley dropped into the pit area for a quick refuel without incident. Over the race as a whole Mark Copley and Bernard Holder displayed some awesome speed with their respective speed and driving skills to match.

D Class

As mentioned two of the D class entries ran in B class which left seven to race. Phil Locke had his new boat, a Spirit of the South/Zenoah which he said still had a little tinkering, before being fully race ready. It was by far the quickest boat on the water. It was a first time on the sea for Simon Beament, Makara/Zenoah and he got off to a good steady start.

Now John Hand, Shead/Zenoah also had a new boat in the form of a bargain buy at a recent Bristol Classic Pairs. As far as could be ascertained it hadnt even been on the water prior to the days racing. It must be the Cornwall air ,as Dennis Wherlock also had something new and untried in the form of a Zenoah in his trusty Esprite. In fact it was so new the engine hadnt even been started and Dennis was going to use the race to run the engine in. Then we had Jonathon Jordan with his second hand purchase, an Aristocat/Zenoah previously owned by John Quelch from Cornwall and last seen racing in Bristol Docks many years previously. With the race underway, Phil Locke was out in front setting a very quick pace followed by Gary Darchs Spirit of Norway/Zenoah. Not to be left out, Simon Beament and Jonathon Jordan also showing well. The Aristocat looked really good on the water, but had problems early on. This was down to a slipping flexi-shaft in the coupling, which presumably had worn over the years. On top of that the engine manifold securing bolts let go, so Jonathon withdrew. Junior member Daniel Hall was having one of those days and struggled to get his boat to run due to a leaking manifold. John Hand was making good progress with his Shead, but at times found rudder control a little indifferent. Dennis Wherlock was having a good run, although you wouldnt know he was trying to run his engine in from the speed of the boat. After twenty two laps the Esprite turned over and Denniss race was over, due to water in the radio compartment.

Meanwhile Phil Locke was into new territory, known to most as racing. His Spirit of the South was superb and very quick. On lap forty two and going well, Simon Beament became yet another victim of the top buoy curse upturning his Makara, in doing so he may have clipped the buoy as when the boat was returned only his propeller was badly chewed and with no spare it ended his challenge. There was also the slight problem that water had entered his radio box and affected the failsafe feature. Although over the race John Hand would have a couple of stops, he was beginning to get the hang of his new boat. Now all this time running on the water must have tried Phil Locke who was clearly in the lead, but with about ten minutes to go he also succumbed to the boat graveyard of the top buoy. A slight misjudgment and over went the Spirit of the South and water into the radio box. Whilst all this was going on Gary Darch continued to motor on and put himself well into the lead. Mind you he did have a stop or so, plus decapitated the bottom right buoy. At the close of the race Gary had a clear lead of fourteen laps from John Hand in second and Phil Locke in third.

All that is left to be said is: What an excellent day of racing.

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Pic 22, Pic 23, Pic 24, Pic 25, Pic 26, Pic 27, Pic 28, Pic 29, Pic 30,
Pic 22: Junior Daniel Hall Makara/Zenoah was plagued by exhaust problems on the day. Pic 23: Third place trophy finish for Phil Locke with his Spirit of the South/Zenoah. Pic 24: Second place in D class for John Hands bargain buy Shed/Zenoah. Pic 25: Dennis Wherlock with his Esprite/Zenoah entry. Photo26: First sea race for Simon Beament and his Makara/Zenoah. Pic 27: Just arriving John Smith with his Ocean52/Zenoah looking to have an enjoyable day. Pic 28: Officer of the day Nigel Bedford preparing to present the trophies. Pic 29: All the successful trophy winners at Penzance Harbour. Pic 30: Marion Ridings, the café owner and a friend.

So a thankyou from John Kerr to Bernard for reporting on the Bristol Pairs and Penzance AA-D class meetings. Next month Stewart Rae will be back reporting from the unexpected extra race at Kingsbury Water Park, and what a pleasant day that was.

The ABC of powerboat bits - T

Telemetry: Yes, you really can have Formula 1 style telemetry between your model and the bank. In practice, banks of laptop computers do not fit well with a rainy day at the lakeside and even less well on a beach, but there are small units that fit onto the transmitter giving visual or audible warnings and the display of readings from sensors on the boat. They even vibrate when pre-set values are exceeded, should you have the device in your pocket. Whilst these are used quite extensively in the model car field I have not yet seen them in use in OMRA. The most useful function to powerboats is probably to monitor the engine temperature. To recognize a cooling problem and be able to come in to fix it before the boat stops or serious damage occurs, can only be an advantage. Revs and speed sensors are very useful in testing and may also help in making fine adjustments on race day (although I prefer not to). These parameters can be measured by stand-alone devices such as an Onstatwet and a GPS, but it is easier to see it in real time. With telemetry, the receiver battery voltage, servo movements and even G-force can also be monitored and stored. There are two basic types of telemetry transmission available. One type, such as Seagull, uses the 433MHz EU telemetry frequency band and the other makes use of the two-way transmitting features of the Spektrum and Nomadio type 2.4GHz radios. Packages are available for nitro users that have temperature, revs, voltage and lap-time information. The lap timing requires an infrared beam from the bank and across the start line to trigger the timer on the craft and also to register another lap on the display.

There may be many useful functions for racing, but the most entertaining must surely be having a camera mounted on the craft with a monitor on the shore. Unfortunately spray and the rooster tail from someone elses boat completely obscures the vision and just makes you glad you are able to stand on the bank to steer! In my opinion it is important not to get too carried away with technology. The more you have, the more there is to go wrong, and it wont help if you dont already have a well-made boat with clean fuel.

Come racing and you could be a national champion!

To take part in OMRA races you have to be a member. All the information and membership forms come from the website or just contact one of the committee: Chairman, Kevin Jones, 5 Kenrick Square, Bletchingley, Surrey RH1 4PU; 01883 743477; Secretary, Alan Baldry, 7 Hyde Way, Wickford, Essex SS12 9BH; 01268 462640; Treasurer, Martin Golder, 12 Norfolk Way, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 9TJ; 01268 449246;