All reports & scores by Russ

Weds Night Series 2021 Round 3 (28th July) score sheets > FE Rd3 Weds 28th July 2021

There had been a 6-week long break since the last round as we had voted to reschedule that meeting (to 1st Sept) so we could watch England play their Euro 2021 semi-final match. We had 9 drivers taking part, all of them in Mini Mono RTR and 6 also racing a Mini Hydro class boat. The Mono class was raced in heats of 4 and 5, the Hydro’s in 2 x heats of 3. Yet again we had unusually windy weather which at times produced waves almost as large as the boats! This made their handling very unpredictable, especially for those racing Super Mono X’s if they pushed them anywhere near to their maximum speed.

Mini Mono RTR
Race 1; everyone found the racing on such choppy conditions very tricky, with many spinning around and diving below the water. Nigel’s boat really didn’t like it at all and after just 2 laps he ended up in the reeds! Chris lost 5 laps capsized in the middle of the course by the time his boat finally self-righted the raced was almost over. Afterwards he discovered the foam normally attached to the number plate was missing, on the Mono X boats this is essential to make them self-right. I went on to win this race with my Mono X ahead Mark’s (Sutton) Human Torch and in 3rd place Kevin with his Vector SR48 boat.

In Race 2 we all took things a bit easier and it resulted in all 9 boats finishing the race – something that doesn’t happen very often! The racing was very close in both heats, in the end the top 4 places were separated by just 35 seconds. A few places were changed when the 10 second “missed buoy” penalties were added. Kevin won this race, with Chris just 7 secs behind and Nigel (avoiding the reeds!) a mere 3 secs further back to take 3rd place.

By the 3rd and final race of the evening the wind had dropped very slightly which was reflected in the higher lap scores. Kevin and Nigel enjoyed a great race from start to finish in very close company. They both clocked an impressive 20 laps score, but Kevin nicked it finishing just 14 seconds ahead of Nigel. Chris was best of the rest in 3rd (19L, 19s).
All 9 boats would have finished this race as well had John not hit No3 marker which dislodged one of the connectors between the motor and ESC – DOUCH!

For this round we were joined by Terry (Greenslade) who was racing with us for the very first time. Unfortunately, he was not able to get in much practice at the previous meetings due to not one, but two faulty rudder servos! So, he was in at the deep end racing against 4 others and in very difficult conditions. He did very well overall, finishing all 3 races with no damage to his Vector boat, though he did run up the ramp a few times and created his own race course on occasions!

Overall points table
Kevin’s 2 wins and a 3rd place at this round scores him 58 points and has stretched his lead in the overall series. He has won 6 of the 9 races run so far and its is looking hard to catch him now. I’m holding 2nd place 9pts ahead of my old nemesis Chris, but I think we may only be fighting for the runners-up spot this year – something that has not happen for a very, very long time!

Mino Hydro
As agreed at the previous round we raced this class just once and completed both heats before 7pm in time for the Mono class to have their races. The racing was very challenging as Hydro boats really don’t like any chop on the water and cannot self-right. Chris set off from the start flat out and pulled out a half lap lead, this forced me to do the same to avoid dropping too far behind, but on his 13th lap his luck ran out and his boat flipped. Nigel’s black “scorpion” had already done the same but on just his 3rd lap. This left the way open for me to win the heat 1 race.

In heat 2 Kevin took a few chances while lapping other boats to keep up the pace. On one occasion while fairly close to bank it hit a wave turned 90 degrees in the air, landed and with the throttle still on he managed to get it back pointing the right way all in one move! My heat 1 score of 22L, 12s won the race overall, Kevin was 2nd (17L, 11) with Mark (Sutton) racing one of Malcolm’s old boats taking 3rd spot clocking 16L, 10s.

Overall points table
I have a decent lead in the series on 60 points having scored 2 wins and a 2nd from the 3 races run so far. Chris holds 2nd place on 54 with Nigel on 45 just ahead of Dave on 43. It is still anyone’s to win as there are still 2 races left to run in the series, 1 race discard and a possible 42 points up for grabs.

Russ

Weds Night Series 2021 Round 2 (16th June) score sheets >FE Rd2 Weds 16th June 2021
There was 8 altogether entering this round with all of them in Mini Mono RTR class and 5 also racing their Mini Hydro boats which were being run for the very first time in our Weds night series. Yet again we had perfect weather for yacht racing with a pretty strong westerly breeze – not so great for the rather twitchy Mono X boats like mine!

Mini Mono RTR
O
nce again Kevin was in top form racing his Vector SR48 boat faultlessly he won Race 1, but it was by a very narrow margin of just 17 seconds ahead of Dave back from his holiday. Mark (Shipman) also drove a tidy line to take 3rd spot just 1 lap back.
Race 2 saw a few surprise DNF’s, firstly with Chris losing his shaft on his very first lap, and then Nigel’s speed controller came unplugged after a collision moved the battery on lap 8. My lipos died a full minute before the finish time, leaving the way open for Kevin to take an easy win this time by a huge 3 lap margin over myself and Mark.

For Race 3 Kevin switched to his 2nd brand new Vector boat – this turned out to be a big mistake as this boat never had any speed. He finished the race in 7th place but his 54 point haul made him the nights overall winner. Chris took the honours in this race and with a 22 lap score was the nights highest lap tally for this class. I finished in 2nd with Mark once again picking up 3rd spot making it 3 x 3rd places in a row for him.

John (Peacey) was racing with us for his very first time and improved race by race scoring 11, 15 and then 17 laps. In fact, his 17 lap score would have been much higher had his rudder not picked up a piece of twig. He had a few near misses with other boats, a couple of missed buoys, bounced off No 3 buoy and briefly dived to the bottom – but that’s all part of FE racing! His boat required a quick repair (thanks to Mark & Chris) of its safety loop so he was able to get it back and start all the races. It’s a steep learning curve but he did very well overall and his brand new Mono X boat was still in one piece when he finished!

For the overall series Kevin’s 4 wins from the first 6 races means he has opened up a sizeable lead, which due to a late start because of lockdown is only 5 rounds/15 races this year. Others (including me!) will have to up our game very quickly if we have any plans to catch him now.

Mino Hydro
It was agreed in advance to run Race 1 (2 heats) for this class before our normal 7pm start time. This was achieved with 5 mins to spare, but unfortunately most of the time was actually spent out in the rescue dinghy picking up dead boats or pieces belonging to them!
Race 1 was won by Chris clocking 23 laps, knocking me into 2nd place by a mere 8 seconds (ERRR!). Nigel picked up 3rd place 5 laps back but he was the only other to get his boat going properly.
Chris and I switched places in Race 2 with me winning it scoring 25 laps, Chris taking 2nd place (23) and once again Nigel (18) was the best of the rest taking 3rd spot.

The less said about the performance of Kevin’s and Dave’s boats on the night the better!

At the end of the meeting all the Mini Hydro Drivers agreed the rush to squeeze in 2 races and 4 heats of the class was a little too much in one evening meeting. It was agreed in future that just 1 race (2 heats) would be run from 6.30pm to 7pm. Then we had the rest of the evening for 3 races (6 heats) for the Mini Mono class plus time for repairs and most importantly a good old chin wag!

Russ

Wednesday Night Series Round 1 (19th May) score sheet > FE Rd1 19th May 2021
Report by Russ Chilcott, photos by Mark Sutton

We had 9 entries for the opening round of the 2021 Weds night series. It was a pretty cool with a very strong westerly breeze which made the water very lumpy. As usual the Mono X boats don’t like too much chop on the water and most of them found it very tricky.

Kevin racing his Vector boat took full advantage, he drove a nice tidy line making very few, if any mistakes (it hurts me to write this!) easily winning Races 1 and 2. He then finished with a 2nd place in Race 3. In total he collects 60 points and takes a valuable early lead in what will be a fairly short 5 round series this year.

I did the best from the Mono X fleet, after a poor start, I managed to tame my boat and driving to win Race 3. This moved me into 2nd place for the night scoring 51 points. My Race 3 score of 21 laps/5 seconds was also the evenings highest – I had to mention that!

Another Vector driver Bob (Mr Consistency) was the best of the rest finishing in 3rd, 4th and then 5th places he took 3rd overall scoring 45 points, just ahead of Chris (44), Nigel (43) and Richard (42). There was a little gap back to the last 3 headed by Mark Shipman (38), Daron (35) and Mark Sutton (22).

Highlights from the evening; First race back and 8 of the 9 boats were separated by less than 4 laps! Race 3 watching Nigel trying to control a massively overpowered Vector boat which had a mind and direction all of its own!

A year with no racing but some things never change; boats hitting markers, boats hitting each other, boats diving below the water, boats crawling along desperately trying to get to the finish line.

Great stuff – roll on round 2 on 16th June

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After a year we no race meetings – WE ARE BACK!
From 19th May we resume the Weds night series, see 2021 Calendar page for details. 

A few short videos of the FE “testing” sessions under Covid 19 rules is now on the Club’s Youtube channel;SMBC Youtube channel

Winter Series round 5 (8th March) & FINAL overall points table > Winter Series Rd5 & FINAL standings 2019-20
We didn’t know it at the time but due to the Covid 19 outbreak this turned out to be the last race meeting for us for well over a year!

This was the 5th and final round of the Winter Series and the conditions were pretty much identical to the previous round with strong and gusting westerly winds making the far side of the course very choppy. Russ won the Mini Mono RTR class, he had already won the series for this class and finishes on 162 points. Dave took 2nd place which meant he keeps hold of runners-up place in the series on 138 just ahead of 3rd place Kevin (133) with Chris (132) and Mark Shipman (129) taking 4th and 5th respectively . 

Russ also won the Mini Hydro class which was enough to secure the class series overall on 157 points. Bob finished in 4th at this round but keeps runners-up place in the series on 149. The racing was close with many personal battles, some would decide places in the overall series, but not the top spot as that had been secured by Chris Locke at the previous round. Russ won on the night and secured 2nd place overall, with Dave taking 3rd place in the series.