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2008 World Oval Racing Challenge

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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.

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