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.