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Results and memories

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2008 Winter Spectacular

We once again travelled down to Sydney for the 2008 Winter Spectacular, the only event where you have a winner take all final for open petrol hydro, open petrol mono, X Mono, X Hydro and 1/8 Scale.   It was very different for me this year as I would not be defending the two of the biggest titles, the 1/8th Scale Silver Cup, which I relabelled "Grub's Cup" as we have won it for the past three years and also didn't have the new twin rigger ready to defend the X Hydro Pete Purcell Memorial Cup.   I almost didn't make it to the event due to a car accident a couple of days before but with help from the in-laws and a few offers of assistance from other racers we got down there on Friday morning for practice. It was a nice change for us, as we had been experiencing torrential rain for the three days prior and it wasn't raining in Sydney. We got everything set up and then I collected my new engine from Winksy for the 21 Seaducer, as I blew the greenhead up a couple of weeks before and within an hour we had it running around. After 1/2 tank of juice I thought it may be good enough. 1/2 tank through the 90 Seaducer and the 45 Seaducer stayed in the trailer as it is my favourite boat and it very rarely lets me down (famous last words).   Saturday morning we were greeted with torrential rain (looks like we brought it down with us) and everyone got out the rain coats for the day. There were a few guys up from Victoria and they tried for an hour to tough it out in the rain but eventually had enough and went down to the camping place and got a gazebo to keep themselves dry (good move that one).   First round of racing got under way and it didn't get off to the best start for an event. The first heat was electric hydro which went with no trouble but then there was computer problems due to the rain. Once these were fixed the next two heats of C hydro produced no finishers and we started to think that the conditions are going to test us. Back to the pit area, lengthen pipes and richen the mixtures so that we have a more reliable base before we start. First up I had X Mono and squared up against Steve Winks for the first time. He got the jump at the start due the two other boats crossing lanes in front of me around buoy 5 and 6 putting me well behind. I caught up to the two boats again, overtaking the first one on the second lap and on the third lap around buoy 6 the second place boat went from lane 4 or 5 to almost hitting the buoy and putting me up in the air. I banged my hand on the railing thinking that was it but the old man grabbed me and said its still running. We cruised around for a hard earned third place. Thank god for the longer pipe and being a little rich which kept the boat going when we flipped it. Dad than raced his petrol Seaducer and raced hard for a third place.   Next was the unproven 21 Mac Seaducer and we hade had no idea what was going to happen. The little bastard surprised us and hauled ass but two buoy cuts meant we lost a few points. The B Mono was interesting as we were up against Brett Ward and the two boats are almost indentical in speed. Brett got the jump on us and was able to cruise around but we got the second and banked the points. We had the same trouble in that heat as the X Mono due to drivers not holding their lanes, one instance coming in on me and causing me to take avoiding action by cutting a buoy, which cost me in the long run. First rould wasn't that great but banked some points.   Second round on Saturday afternoon was again affected by the rain. Took an easy win in X Mono, just cruised around only had to open it up three or four times just to keep a decent lead and take the win. Dad and his petrol Seaducer nailed the start and held off two other competitors to take a win. The A Mono took off like a shot duck and took the win, surprising us once again. The second round of B Mono was held on Sunday morning and the weather was much better and it was starting to look like it was going to be a nice day. The B Mono than gave us the biggest shock of the weekend, in the lead, last lap, rounding buoy 6 and the boat launched itself off the water and dunked giving the win to Wardy. This is the most frustrating thing when you need to score points in every heat as there are only three rounds.   The third round produced no surpises for me, another cruisy run in X Mono, the A Mono ran around like it had a firecracker up its backside and the B Mono took the win as well, although Dad was fighting for second in his heat and caught a rooster tail and flipped. After the three rounds were completed, I ended up with 1st Place in A Mono, with no little practice and a new engine, 2nd place in B Mono thanks to the dunk in the second heat and qualified second for the X Mono final behind Steve Winks while Dad surprisingly got third in Petrol Mono.   The X Mono shootout final was looking good as we had some of the best X Monos in Australia lining up although without Tony Jones, the X Mono king, it wasn't the best field ever assembled. As the countdown approached the start Winksy and I were side by side and as it hit zero we took off. We went down the straight side by side less than a foot apart (geez its good when you can trust a fellow competitor that much) and he took the inside lane around the first turn with both of us just squeezing inside a dead boat. Then there was another dead boat in the back straight which caused me to back off to avoid it and it was all over. Now I had to contend with someone catching me but our boat was quick enough to stay ahead and we battled the rough water to secure second place.   Not a bad weekend, a first, two seconds, ony used 4 litres of race fuel, two glow plugs and an exhaust silicone. Probably one of the more enjoyable (other than the weather) weekends of racing I've had in a long time. No expectation to win the scale trophy again, no twin hydro to fuel and maintain, so I had not much pressure and plenty of spare time to talk to everyone and watch some good racing. So I had good fun and it didn't cost me too much, can't ask for much more.   Our club guys performed very well, Al won the Silver Cup, Ashley battled the twins with his single X hydro and got third in the final and Paul (White Ice) won petrol cat. I'm sure there were other trophies, I think Al got a place in sport hydro as well but my memory is gone as I type this.   It was funny to see Steve Winks collect the first place trophy for petrol sport hydro with quite a few people in the crowd yelling "Gas Gronk" and then he pointed at Wild Bill saying "You're gonna get one next". I think Bill is dreading the day he said he would allow people to bend him over before he gets a petrol boat.   Next year, if I get may act together and finish a few boats we should be able to enter a few more classes and get that adrenalin pumping. Its nice to watch the racing but there is nothing like racing the twin and winning a winner take all final. So now back to the shed, I need to finish the new scale boat and the open petrol hydro and Dad's almost finished the new twin.   As it was Fathers Day on the Sunday, I have to thank my Dad. It was great to see him get a heat win and end up with the fastest time in his class. Happy Fathers Day mate.   Next meeting on the cards for us is the Hunter Valley Championships in November. See you all there.

Grub

Grub

 

2008 World Oval Racing Challenge

A memorable event it was for good and bad reasons.   I was pushing the envelope just to make it to the event, building boats and working the day before racing meant that I would miss practice and have to race with unknown set-ups. Entered A Mono, B Mono, X Mono, B hydro, X hydro, Multi Engine, 1/8th Scale and 23cc Petrol Mono.   A Mono hasn't missed a beat in the six months I have had it but in the first heat it seadunked so I was behind everyone from the start. Never really got a hold of the set-up or mixture for the whole meet and finished most races but didn't place in the overall standings.   B Mono was much better although we seadunked twice. I got a number of heat wins which got us second place. Unlike not so long ago where you could motor around and get a trophy, now there is a lot of fierce competition and if you don't race flat out you're not going to get anything. B Mono is still my favourite class and it seems it is getting more popular.   X Mono. Brand new boat that was finished a couple of days before the event and only had an hour to test it at our home pond. Dunked the first heat but after that ran pretty hard. A couple of heat wins and some placings meant we were in the running. In the last heat, Tony, Craig, Winksy and myself were lined up together with Tony and Craig leading the points. Winksy wanted to play the spoiler but during mill time Craig stopped which meant no one could catch Tony on points. I nailed the start and Winksy was hot on my tail but couldn't get past and the win took us from fourth in the points to second. Not bad for a virgin boat.   23 Petrol Mono. We entered the crackerbox known as "Schitta-box". Again only just finished it before the meet and only had one run with it previously. Mixtures were wrong for most of the event but think we fried a couple of gaskets early and thats why it was hard to tune. We did get out on the water a few times and had the skid fin well out of the water showing everyone how fun it was to drive one of these boats.   Multi Engine and X hydro. Had a couple of good runs with the twin Cajun Bullet but on Thursday it all came to end when in the multi engine race, I opened it up down the back straight to overtake a few guys and it left the water as i entered buoy 4. After flying for an enternity it hit the water backwards, jammed the throttles on full and proceeded to enter the racing line where it ran head on into Wacky's twin. I knew it was bad when it came back because both engines were hanging out of the bottom of the boat. On the plus side I saved a lot of fuel by not being able to run the rest of the heats on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.   1/8th Scale. The old Miss US came out to play again and she was a little grumpy the first couple of runs as I found it difficult to get a mixture. When she did come on, she dunked in the rough. With nothing to lose in the last heat, Al and I went for it. Miss Bud and Miss U.S. side by side for five laps, full throttle and running on the edge with only inches apart. On the last lap Al left a foot gap between himself and buoy 4 and I took the gap and buoy 4, I than ran wide and Al went up the inside but he ran wide exiting the turn and I went back up the inside to win by a boat length. Probably the best scale boat race I've been in although after the race I noticed that the bottom of the sponsons on my boat had given way which means that was probably her last race.   The B hydro didn't get finished in time plus the new pipe didn't arrive so I didn't race it.   The event overall was very good, plenty of hot days (over 35c/100f each day) and the venue was excellent with very good canteen and toilet facilities. It was good to meet up with Al Hobbs, Lohring Miller and the Hills once again and also great to meet the Kiwis as well. The Instigator Twin hydro will live again one day and now that Miss US is hurt, I can't put off building the new one any more. I probably didn't do as well as I thought I would but only have myself (and work) to blame for not practicing and rushing everything before the event.   Big thankyous go to the MBCofNSW for putting the event on, my Dad for being Dad and also for crewing and putting up with me, Winksy for help with the scale boat, Tony and Frank for the parts and help and Ian W for repairing a few things. Without people like this in the hobby, we wouldn't enjoy it, as they helped, not only me but others as well, get boats back on the water so we could race.

Grub

Grub

 

2007 Australian National Titles

Well fill me full of beer and call me "James Clegg" because I had a shocker and probably shouldn't have woken up on the last morning.   We arrived at Cherry Lake in Mexico (Melbourne) on the Thursday morning after driving all night from Newcastle. It was a beautiful morning and practice was good with no major problems.   Race day came and the weather slowed everyone up a bit. The funny shape of the lake and the wall caused the water to be a little rougher than we expected. Heat times showed that everyone couldn't go too fast otherwise they nosed dived and ended up stuck in the mud as the pond was only 2 or 3 feet deep. Plenty of boats were lost at times and rescuers had to wade around looking for them.   B Mono was my best chance as this MAC/Seaducer combo had been fast and so consistent in previous months. But alas finished the first four heats with three wins and a second and all I had to do was finish within one place of Steve Treadway in the final heat. It was the start of pit time I realised the pressure was on then when pit time commenced the stupid thing wouldn't start. I tried everything, flus the engine, new plug, turned up the heat on the plug, swore at at it, hit the boat and then eventually with 1 second remaining it started and I ran for the drivers stand. My pit man lifted the boat off the stand first then removed the plug heater and threw the boat in the water. When we hit the water I had 25 seconds to get a mixture and no matter how lean or rich it just wouldn't get up. We made it round for the start with all six boats crossing the line in close proximity and then we all proceeded to round the first turn very slowly as everyone had the same problem with their mixtures. Tony Jones quoted "they looked like a bunch of tortises crawling down the back straight". At the end of the race Steve got 2nd and I got 4th and lost the title by 31 points. 2nd is not bad but ITS NOT AS GOOD AS FIRST!   B Hydro, well this was a boat that I took that basically had never really got going before and on race day nothing changed. It was just the small things that either came loose or broke that caused it to stop. But in the third heat it stopped on the water and got run over by an out of control boat and ripped the back side out of the radio box. Lucky for me the pipe stayed attached to the header. 2 bottles of CA glue were used to glue pieces of wood around the radio box but to no avail as in the final heat the boat decided enough was enough and lost radio and the boat went for a long wander to the other side of the lakeand into the reeds at full noise. 2 things that were luck was that it wasn't really running to fast anyway and it just missed the concrete wall. Back to the drawing board for that boat and possibly a paint job to get rid of the unlucky orange and white scheme and go with my lucky black with yellow sponsons.   X Hydro, just finished rebiulding this boat two weeks prior to the event after destroying it at the Winter Spectacular last year. Only run a few tanks through it on the previous weekends and expected to do okay with it. Went out in practice and never had the chance to really open it up because of other boats on the water so I left it for the racing. In the first heat I went out and leaned it off but obviously not enough as I ran out of fuel on the last turn again (memories of the NAMBA Nats flashed through my head). In the second heat wiated a little longer in pit time before we started and we hit the water with plenty of time. The mixture button was working overtime and when I hit the sweet spot the boat really took off. I nailed the start and after 3 laps had put a lap on almost every other competitor but stopped on the back straight. Upon returning to the bank I saw that the water lines had holes everywhere and the pressure build up in the lines caused them to bubble and burst in a number of spots. I spent the next half hour trying to locate some Tygon line and then replaced all the water lines with tygon. The next two heats I finished in 1st place by idling may way round in the rough just wanting to finish. With one heat to go, good weather, calmer water (it was never going to be calm) the last heat shaped up to be a good one. Everything went like clock work, the boat started we got on the water, really leaned it off and we nailed the start once again. 15 second first lap, 12secs the next, 11 secs the next and then on the fourth lap to many holes on the right turn and the boat went towards the sky once again. Luckily this time I only broke one cowl clip. With two heat finishes I still got third place which is not as good as second and now where near first.   In the end it was great to catch up with Winksy, whose new Wideboy G3 hydro finished first in B hydro, Phil, Aaron, Tony, Shane and Brett plus all of the other guys from down south. A total of 10 hours driving to get there and another 10 to get back, 8 tanks of fuel in the car, 6 nights accommodation, 15 litres of race fuel, two rolls of radio box tape, 2 bottles of CA glue, one pipe mount, 1 new receiver, three engine mount rubbers, 25 glow plugs, a wet trailer thanks to the rain and a large amount of Coronas were used to make this a good weeks racing.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 Winter Spectacular - Sydney, Australia

Less than two weeks after returning home from the US, the next major race meeting, the Winter Spectacular, was our our next assault. After claiming the Silver Cup in 2005 we were hoping we would be able to take it home again.   Practice on Friday was very good, my twin X hydro, the Instigator, ran well except for a few small driveline parts failing at the end, the B hydro went round and round (it wasn't the quickest but it was reliable) and the scale boat, Miss U.S. hauled ass.   Well.........then Saturday came along and I was ready for my first beer at about 11am. First heat of B hydro we cruised around for third place, not a bad start to the day. Then it happened, the X hydro wouldn't start and then the scale boat only did half a lap and stopped. One finish out of three heats in the first round. In the second heat of B hydro while leading for three laps two other boats passed me on either side down the back straight then proceeded to cross paths 5 feet in front of my poor little boat. Another DNF. The X hydro started the next heat, made a near perfect start and pulled away for the win in a time of 1.04. The scale then went 40 yards and stopped. I was now really p'd off with the scale and pulled the motor down thinking it was engine related but after an hour of investiagtions found a 1 inch split in the pressure line. Third round, B hydro cruising around but the low sun caught my eyes each lap as I didn't have sunglasses on and couldn't see my boat cause eyes were adjusting slowly in the shadows and flipped while behind Winksy. That was the end of Saturday and thank F@#$ for that.   Sunday, first heat up was X hydro and again performed a near perfect start to cruise to victory and top qualified for the winner take all final. Scale boat actually completed a heat but after screaming around during mill time went off during the race to crawl around and finish. The mixture wasn't on the money yet but the next race was the final. Last heat of B hydro was a real good one, got the best start of my weekend and held a two boats that were much quicker for the five laps. I never spent much time mor ethan 2 feet from the buoys in that heat. Next was the finals. Up for grabs were a number of perpetual trophies offered by the MBC of NSW but the two I was after were the Pete Purcell Cup for X hydro and the Silver Cup for 1/8th Scales.   In the Pete Purcell Cup final, with the Instigator running near perfect, I made a perfect start in lane 1 to lead around the first turn and opened a comfortable gap. Thinking I'm out in front and I should just back off a little, the next time down the back straight the twin left the water and almost did a complete loop before crashing into the water. It just wasn't my day. Congrats to Richard S. for being more reliable and actually finishing and winning the final. I was credited with third but unfortunately doesn't make you feel better after having it in the bag.   In the Silver Cup final, Miss U.S. took off like a rocket and I said to Dad while she is running we are not backing off in case she doesn't come back on pipe. Top qualifier Al Ansell unfortunately did make it around the first time and a few others stopped so it looked like it was just me and Graham Mason with Burien Lady. We came across the line nearly side by side then went into the first turn at full noise together and down the back straight. As I rounded the bottom turn, Miss U.S. decided she was too lean and proceeded to slow. Thinking I am front and if I finish I still might have a chance we got her in lane 1 and readied ourselves to make the next four laps really tight. Too our amazement Burien Lady did exactly the same thing and both boat were running very slow with a few feet of each other for the next four laps. It was one of those nervous moments when you're just about to cross the line and the boat had a cough but we made took the win and the Silver Cup for the second year in a row.   One of the highlights of the weekend was the un-announced arrival of Agressor, one the famous Australian unlimited hydroplanes. The presentation was then held with Agressor in the background and everyone got their rewards for the efforts over the three days. All-in-all it was a well organised weekend and we got to meet up with quite a number of interstate friends as well as the usaul locals.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 NAMBA NATS - Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

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.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 NAMBA NATS - Saturday 8th July, Race Day

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.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 NAMBA NATS - 1st Practice Day

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.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 NAMBA NATS

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.    

Grub

Grub

 

2006 NAMBA Nats

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.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 NAMBA Nats

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.

Grub

Grub

 

2006 Battle of the Borders

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.   Summary 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.

Grub

Grub

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