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.