Well its been three very busy days and the team has done quite well.
Sunday saw myself and Bill compete in Open Multi Engine. After two DNFs in the first two rounds, I redeemed myself and got a second in the third round and in the fourth got my first blue ribbon at a NAMBA Nationals. It wasn't the way I wanted the day to go but there were some positives as my boat was just about equal in speed to the rest of the boats. Bill drove consistantly all day to end up second overall in open multi engine.
On Monday, Steve and Phil competed in B Mono and the competition was quite fierce. Every heat had quick boats and good drivers. Steve had a very good day and was arguably the quickest boat on the water in every heat and also finished every heat. The nerves were getting to him in the last heat and I could feel his knees shaking from 10 feet away. He ended up taking second place behind Jerry Crowther overall, but unfortunately they did not get to race each other during the day. Phil obviously run over a couple of chinamen on the way to the pond as he had radio troubles, handling problems and switch problems all day.
Tuesday Bill and I ran in X hydro. In my first heat someone sabotaged my starting gear by swapping the leads around. After three attempts to start the boat we eventually threw it in and the motors were running backwards. Let this be a lesson to anyone when everyone thinks you're a threat on race day. The next heat we started in third place and drove around both of the boats to take a win. The third heat was one of the most heartbreaking moments so far as I had passed three other boats to take the lead on the fourth lap and then cruised around until the last corner when I ran out of fuel. I had richened the boat thinking I just want to finish but this obviously bled the tanks dry. With nothing to lose in the last heat we went out, nailed the start and cruised to another win. If I had've finished the thrid heat I would have finished third overall but unfortunately ended up fifth overall. Bill ran consistantly all day with two seconds and two thirds to end up third overall in X hydro.
No more racing until Thursday, when we race the Nitro team marathon with Steve and Phil racing their B Monos for 100 laps.
Well, it was time to stop talking and race some boats.
B hydro has now been raced and I didn't fair too good although each heat consisted of eight boats. First heat ran around and finished third. Unfortunately a bad glow plug (I think) in the second heat almost put the end on my points chase. But we came back in the third heat to get another third placing. The final heat saw me get my best start of the day but unfortunately because I was full noise across the line and the other boats were still accelerating, I was deemed to have broken the start. Ended up dumping the boat on the fourth lap becuase I was just trying too hard to catch up a lap on everyone else.
Bill had a better day in B hydro as everyone seem to hit buoys or just stop to allow him to get more points. In one of his heats, he missed the start cause the boat wouldn't come back on pipe and started sixth. By the end he got second.
Well Sunday is Open Multi Engine and once again Bill and I are racing.
Never seen so much rain since Tennessee in 2004, it just poured for most of the day but we did have some good runs. Had a little trouble with the twin but a few repairs tonite and all should be well. The 45 hydro had trouble pulling the props we ran back home so I borrowed one and now it is back up to speed.
Bill's twin had a run but now needs a few little repairs, Steve and Phils Mono are running alright although Steve's X Mono decided give the radio box a drink.
Tomorrow is another day and once we have sorted our little niggling problems we should be ready for race day.
Have met up with a few old friends and met some new ones as well but more people arrive tomorrow and it looks like we won't be lonely as everyone just wants to have a chat. We love it here and thats why we came back to the US.
We have arrived at race headquarters after a day we will never forget - we went to Kennedy Space Centre and saw the Space Shuttle "Discovery" being launched into orbit.
Now we have to prepare for the Nationals by setting up our Pit Areas, putting the boats together and making sure nothing was broken in transit. The cases that the boats were transported in have seen better days after the rough treatment by the Airlines.
Tomorrow will will be doing a bit of shopping then going to the lake and coming back to have a few drinks with the other competitors.
After many hours of flying on planes, we have arrived in Florida. What a night mare it is getting here though as we hasd to fly from Sydney to Hawaii, Hawaii to LA, LA to Chicago and then Chicago to Orlando.
Orlando is pretty cool with a lot of tourist stuff to do and today we want to Universal Studios and tonite we are going to the Medieval Times theatre restaurant.
Tomorrow we are driving to Fort Lauderdale via Kennedy Space Centre as we want to watch the Space Shuttle launch. Fingers crossed, just hope the weather is fine.
Look out guys, we will be at race headquarters tommorrow night.
Well it is 10am, Saturday 1/7/06 and Annie and I have arrived in LA after the long flight from Sydney. The worst part of coming to the NAMBA Nats is the flights but I know once we are in Fort Lauderdale we will have the time of our lives.
Look out America, the Grub has landed.
Miss Budweiser T-6
Cut all the parts out and almost finished the Jig, All of the hardware is on order http://www.retallickeng.com.au . Ken makes the best gear I have seen to date.
CMB 67 Green Head
A Salisbury Power Pipe will be order in the next few weeks
http://www.salisburypipes.com/ Dave is right “Get one or Follow one”.
Well, I made to the Shed with a coffee, and without been spotted, turned on the laptop for some music, I looked at the plans and ply then the phone rang and it didn’t stop ringing, so that was the end of day 2. metal note; turn phone off when working on boats!
I got much more done this time. The entire main frame is glued up and square; next I will add the finishing touches before the bottom goes on.
The Battle of the Borders has been run and won for another year. Had a pretty sweeeettttt meet with three out of my four boats bringing home the gold.
A outboard - Villan / Stock O.S.
Had a good run with Dad's new little baby that was only finished two weeks before the meet. Had two runs at practice and everything worked. In the first heat we just tried a little to hard and flipped on the last lap with only about 20 yards to the finish. All the other heats we just idled around due to some really rough water but we did enough to get three more wins and win the Battle of the Borders Tunny Masters trophy. It was a three way tie for first on 1225 points however we had the fastest time out of the three.
It was the first time this perpetual trophy has been offerred it was a real honour to bring the trophy home for myself and the NSW guys. With all the talk before the meet, the pressure was on in the last heat.
B outboard - Custom / K&B
Ran my sisters old custom Balsa outboard. Boat circulated on its only practice run and then we thought it would be okay. How wrong Dad was. In the first heat we completed a lap then stopped. The second we made it to buoy 1 and stopped and in the third and forth heats it stopped as soon as it hit the water. Although we did try 3 times to get it going in both the third and forth heats but Dad just couldn't get it going. Mixture? Fuel? Mods? Leg? who knows? 0 points, back to the drawing board.
X Hydro - Cajun Bullet / 2 x CMB91RS
Had some good runs with the boat this weekend. Went only for one practice run and sounded really good. First heat went out just tried to finish and get some points on the board but ran a 1.05. In the second heat we leaned it off a bit after we threw it in and it went that quick that we blew all of the water lines off. One motor kept running and we crawled around to get the start and the 25 points then shut her off. The third and fourth heats it ran really good recording and 1.02 and a 1.04. The organisers changed the heats to have all of the twins together in the 3rd and 4th but unfortunately Glenn Watkins was unable to get going. Finished First.
1/8th Scale - Miss U.S. / Mac 67
I had been told by a few people on the practice day that I had the Gold Cup in the bag but I'll tell you that I had to work my ass off for it.
In practice we circulated for only a couple of laps then brought her in cause she was ready for the battle. The first heat we went out and was really rich but we just circulated enough to get the win by half a lap.
The second heat was a problem, we were on a flyer, ran 15 seconds for each of the first four laps and then it sounded like we ran out of fuel. After pulling out the engine and mounts, then the tanks, I replaced the plumbing in the tanks ready for the third.
The third heat was a screamer. Miss U.S.'s sister, Steve Treadways Miss Bud, got the start ahead of us and we chased as hard as possible for the first three laps. As we rounded buoy 2, Steve spun right in front of us and my heart was in my mouth as we just squeezed up the inside. If Steve's boat had've recovered from the spin a little better then we would have destroyed both boats. We got the win ahead of Steve.
The fourth heat again was going to be a screamer except the pond monster decided to grab the boat at full noise down the back straight on the last lap. I immediately thought we missed the final but after the points were added up we qualified 5th. It was the hardest dunk the boat had done ever as it hit the bottom of the lake at great speed. When the boat came back the dummy motor and mounts were broken.
We had about 15-20 minutes to make a replacement for the final. Steve Winks grabbed the Orange Juice bottle cowl we made for Aaron's 67 the night before and used a large amount of radio box tape to fix it to the deck and the front of the water jacket on the motor.
The final, WOW. Coming up to the ten second mark I got in behind every one else and got ready to open her up. Graham Mason, Al Ansell and Robert Chiappolone crossed the start on the beep at full noise and I wound the MAC up. As we all went into buoy one four wide, Rob was on the buoys, I was next to him with Graham on the outside of me and Al going the long way around. As we hit two I pulled the boat a little tighter and really squeezed the trigger. Coming out of three we were already five metres in front. Then came the really nervous part where we were out in front with everything to lose. I was shaking so bad and even told Dad to shut up and leave me alone for the next four laps. As we crossed the finish we were about to lap the others then I circulated until Rob and Graham returned to shore. Then I decided to do a few donuts for my girlfriend down in front of the Wideboy pit area and continued to the centre of the course where we opened her up and did some donuts at full noise.
I was shaking as I got off the stand, Dad was soo happy and couldn't stop shaking my hand, then Bucky gave me the trophy. Nearly shed a tear but I didn't. I put the trophy, my glasses and hat on the table then proceeded to do a somersault off the launch platform into the pond.
It was one of those dream weekends where nearly everything went right and we didn't do too much damage to the boats. Having Dad and my girlfriend, Anne, there to watch one of my best drives in the final of 1/8th Scale was the best moment. We have now nicknamed Anne, the Boat Whisperer after she spoke to all off the boats before they went out and raced and told them that if they didn't perform we would dis-own them. It obviously worked. It was a real team effort having Dad, Steve, Phil and Aaron helping out all weekend while Anne looked after the Hospitality tent and made us beautiful salads and sandwiches each day.
Now that we are home, the boats have been put away and now its time to get ready for the next race meet.
My younglblood rigger finally showed up Thursday, took some time checking it out and started to make plans for making her water ready. Got a crate of goodies along w/ the engine and other parts on the way and hopefully will have it done by next weekend for some testing - weather permitting. Spent half my morning today putting all my gear and hardware stuff neatly in some new tackle boxes turned field boxes. Once that was done I finally got the Blizzard Kit out and started making the sponsons. This boat is going to be light as a feather, I'm psyched and can't wait to see it run on nitro ! Gonna be working on gettin' it done the rest of the week along w/ final paint prep to my hot shot tunnel, but it's tough not having a workshop to work in, apartment living sux I'll be moving into a house finally this spring and things will much easier. Work decided to make a few phone calls to a local college and got me a grant for 4 years of Tool and Die classes along w/ some CNC programming courses, I've already had 2 years of the same courses and have 7 credits left to finish up for my associates degree, probably knock out those 7 credits this summer when I start the new machining courses. Be cool if I end up w/ two different degrees for the same type of classes !!! Hope all this doesn't cut into my boat time, that would suck
Perhaps I might be getting in over my head, but ever since I bought my first boat last August I just keep adding to the list and living off this site and ebay. I hope I have enough money and time this winter to get everything bought and built before the weather warms back up. I've just about completed restoring my dumas 45 hot shot tunnel, still need to construct the radio box and paint, install electronics and she's ready to rip. Bout half done w/ my first mono kit build, dumas ske vee 10 - still need to pick up some hardware for it. Have a blizzard X sitting in it's bag asking me every morning when I'm going to start on her...hopefully soon. Timely arrival of my first .80 size rigger (yougblood) ready to go minus engine and radio will be here this Wednesday, have all parts needed to run but still need to get an engine and pipe - arrrgh, the list just keeps growing Got a set of sponsons that need a tub, probably going to order a ff.21 soon along w/ 2 more radios and some running gear, and I'm watching yet another brand new hull on ebay that seems like a steal. Will it ever end !!!
Finally the last day of the working year for me. It's about time as it's been a pretty rough year. Best thing is now that I'm on holidays I will be able to focus on the important things..............boats.
I aim to get the FFGas back on the water a few days after xmas. She's now sporting some tricked up carbon bits.
I am also endeavouring to make some good progress on a new one,..................why.............because I can. Do I have to, no................but I want to. I find building to be a great release from the world.
Dragged my club sec to a new site last night in the hope of operating from a bigger space of water. Looks like all my driving around seekign water has paid off. We will now have a bigger facility to operate from which means I will no longer be bound by small ponds.
Still trying to get my act together to get across to the AMPBA Nats on the other side of the country. Fingers crossed I will be able to make the journey with the Firefighter, Mono & Hydro, now that would be fun. Would be great to finally meet all the faces behind the names that have assisted me over the past few years.
Well, that was another instalment of Johno's existance
Last week i finished twin # 3 we tested it on Sunday at Penrith what can i say i am 3 for 3 every thing worked as it should oh i forget to mention that the last twin was a Taipan Twin 45 CMB evoRS and i thought twin 90 sounded good the sound of two 45 at 26,000 rpm is pure music and boy dose it go, with a little more running time it will be very fast.
I better finish this 21 this week before Santa gets hear!!!!!!!!!!!!
No time, No time, No time, No time, No time,
Started this week to do the final assembly of the latest Taipan Twin boy it's unbelievable just how long it takes to do the fit-out working 4-5 hrs a day and hear it it Friday and I'm still making parts. I suppose when you make all the parts your self time just ticks away any way i beater get back to it ill post some photos shortly of the fit-out cant show the construction gigs gotta keep some secrets.
Well, it's finally Saturday and I have been left to my own devices after a very hectic week, wife and son have gone to the inlaws for the night. so I can have the shed as much as I want. Tried from the long days of late (everyone wants their equipment calibrated prior to the new year), but that's life in a blue suit I guess. Been starting work at around 0530 and finishing by around 1630-1700 ish most days so I haven't had too much time to "Play" in the shed. Damn shame I don't get overtime or I could've retired by now
Got the Firefighter Gas rigger tub all repaired now after a shocking crash into so rocks at speed the other weekend (damn reciever switch). Thankfully I only lost a "few" pieces, nothing that isn't easily replaced. I wasn't too sure how it would hold up to the impact however it faired alot better than anticipated. Apart from the usual dings a scrapes, just ripped the transom clean out. Easy fix and she is now sporting CF sides laminated, looks mint.
Decided I'm going to slowly make the transition back to the good old trusty nitros, unfortunately this will mean I have to change clubs as my currently local club doens't allow them, but that is a sacrifice I'm preparded to make to have even more fun. I have had the blues over the non nitro policy of my club for some time, even contemplated giving it all away, but I've made my mind up, I'm here to stay and if I want a nitro, I'll run a nitro, if it means I go somewhere else....................so be it I say
My time outside in the shed is ticking away, so best I get back out to some of the finer things in life..............boats.
And so to were the days of Johno's life
Finally its saturday. The boys have gone riding or on the PS2. So im in the shed cleaning up!! I could not even walk in the door without stepping over a boat or two. Maybe a clean shed will get my motivation going!!! bugger the trailer is already full of rubbish, where to put the fresh rubbish?.........................
Another day has passed, No time to work on boats. The new Vintage tin shop I have been building up has finally fired up and the work has flooded in the doors. Great I have work for the next three months, The downside heaps of overtime!!! Oh well. I am hoping to build this business up and have a good little shop that specialises in reproduction tinware for vintage motorcycles and cars. My boys have a keen interest in what i am doing. The Torque converter rebuild shop gets quieter by the week. Soon there will not be enough work to sustain it. The tinware should take over and keep us going. so now its nearly Xmas and I am now thinking about the long hot days to come!!
My oldes boy Peter finishes school for the year tomorow and he seems very pleased with his exams. he is a straight A student. so he gets a few weeks off before the rest of the schools close. He wants to get some holiday work. Should be good for him.
Its wednesday again half the week has gone by and I have achieved nothing on my boats
Off to work at 6:30am do the hard slog thing till 4:30 then its off to collect the kids and them take them everwhere, BMX, Football and girls. Oh the joy of having two testostorone filled teenagers and one 10 year old hyperactive boater! No wonder my boats are not finnished. Its at least 7:30 pm by the time i get out into the workshop, then the phone will ring (if anyone can get through whth the net on all the time) Yack! Yack boats and bikes next thing its 10:00 pm and its time for bed again to restart the day at 6:30 am. Somewhere in there I was supposed to get an order of pipes in the oven, Oh well I will have to get up early and do them before work! Then the weekend comes. Yeha time to sleep in on saturday!!!!! Oh no the boys want to go riding, fishing, and all of a sudden after getting the chores done its lunch time. Time for a rest!!! sneak into the shed and look at my boats! yep thats right just look at them! No motivation to do anything!!!!!!! Too hot, too tired! Oh well maybe after tea. Mow the lawns and tidy up a bit and tea time rolls around. Sneak on to the PC after tea befor Tracey and the kids get on the net and I will have to wait in line!. get to the shed and my boats! I cant be bothered tonight>>> too tired.
I have a very busy life and people are always wanting me to do little jobs for them, Sorry but i will have to start saying NO!. My family is a full on 24 hr a day job and they have my love and devotion and they are my main pripority! earning money comes close second and my boats..... well they are always last .
I would like to say thanks to my family and friends for being just the way they are. maybe I can get to work on my boats on sunday night