All reports & scores by Russ

Weds Night Series Rd 5 (1st Sept) score sheet & FINAL overall points table 2021 > FE Rd5 Weds 1st Sept & FINAL overall points table 2021

Finally, we had a meeting with almost zero wind, so a flat lake which suits me and the other Mono X drivers! Unfortunately, a few guys missed this round for various reason with one who forgot it was on!

Mini Mono RTR
Only 6 racing, split into 2 heats of 3 boats but we still managed to have some great races and a few light “contacts” and one which was not so light!

Race 1; Chris went from the start line straight out and into the No1 marker and was out of the race with a disconnected ESC plug! He had lost sight of his boat in the rooster spray. Having not completed a single lap he gets no place and no points – not a great start to his evening. Meanwhile Mark (Shipman) with his racing Gulf livery Mono X boat looks to be getting to grips with their handling. Driving very smoothly with very few errors he went on to win the race with a 21 lap, 5 second score, with Dave also right in the grove with his Human Torch just 4 secs behind (21L, 9s). Kevin racing his Vector was once again in the mix picking up in 3rd place scoring 20L, 13s.

Race 2; This was the best race of the night with Dave and Mark in the same heat fighting it out lap after lap until the very last 30 seconds of the race. It was a shame Chris dropped down to heat 2 as he was on an identical pace. In the end they all finished on the same 21 lap score with Dave 1st crossing the line at 3 seconds, Chris 2nd just 4 seconds behind and Mark 3rd another 18 seconds back due to a dying lipo pack on the very last lap.

Race 3; Once again Dave was in the grove, his boat also prefers a flat lake and he made the most of it clocking a massive 22L, 32s score, the highest of the night and easily the winner of this one. Mark clocked a 21L, 7s to take 2nd place and complete a very good night, while Chris took 3rd place with a 20L, 47s.

The conditions at this round favoured the slightly faster and but less well handling Mono X and Human Torch boats but a Vector in the hands of Kevin still nicked a 3rd place on the night. Had there been more boats racing in each heat and therefore more chop on the water I think it would have levelled the field and we would have had even closer results.

Dave took the honours at this round scoring 60 points for his two race wins and a 2nd place. Mark scored 55pts for his 1st, 2nd and 3rd with Kevin just ahead of me scoring 44 to 43pts respectively.

Final overall points table
Kevin’s 3rd place in Race 1 was enough for him to secure the series overall no matter what happened the rest of the night. He finished on 225 points, a very well-deserved series winner. He has made the fewest errors over the 15 races and has consistently been at or near the top in each.

This brings to an end a 15 year long run of either Chris or myself winning it! In fact, over the last 32 years only the late Pete Fisher had won it twice, every other year it was either Chris or me who had won it.
I finish the series in runners-up spot (202pts) with Chris in 3rd (197) just 1 point ahead of Mark (Shipman) in 4th on 196 with Dave leapfrogging a few places to take 5th on 192.

Vice Chairman Chris Locke presenting Kevin Roberts (right) the Mini Mono trophy 

Mino Hydro
4 boats for this round, to play safe we raced in 2 heats of 2.
Heat 1; Myself and Chris enjoyed 18 laps racing at times a bit too closely for comfort until I hit the top No2 marker trying a bit too hard! I thought I had got away with it as the boat kept going but I had broken a sponsor rod and once full power was applied it capsized.

Heat 2 was also fairly close for a while between Dave and Kevin, until Dave dropped out (not sure why) on lap 12. Kevin was going along nicely until he clipped a marker, again it looked like he got away with it but lap by lap the boats inside sponsor slowly dropped lower into the water until it became almost impossible to drive. He kept going in an attempt to catch my score but he missed out by just 10 seconds. Most of that in the extra penalty time for missed markers as the boat was so awful to control! Chris was easily the race winner on a huge 26 lap, 4 second score. I was 2nd 18L, 20, with Kevin 3rd (18L, 30s).

Overall points table
I had already won the series before this round, with Chris secure in runners-up spot, though he will be the first to admit he had the quicker boat but hit the markers slightly more often than me! 3rd place however was up for grabs and Kevin nicked it scoring 63 points, just ahead of Nigel on 61 with Dave just a few points behind on 59.

In summary
It has been a slightly shorten Weds night series than usual for obvious reasons but the 5 rounds (15 races for Mono and 5 for Hydro) had provided some great racing throughout the field with the usual lakeside banter – something I for one had really missed during the 2020 lockdown.

Roll on the Winter Series which kicks off in just over 9 weeks time on 14th November – I can’t wait!

Russ

Weds Night Series 2021 Round 4 (18th August) score sheet & overall points table > FE Rd4 Weds 18th August 2021
Once again, we had a fairly breezy night, not quite as strong as we’ve had at some earlier rounds but enough to get the boats up out of the water and make their control a little tricky at times. The ducks seemed particularly keen to gather in the middle of the course so Jaws (RC rescue boat) had to be used a few times to “encourage” them to move clear!

Mini Mono RTR
We had 9 racing in this class, so they were split into heats of 4 and 5.
Race 1 was very competitive across both heats with the race lead changing several times. In the end the top 3 places were separated only by their additional 10 second penalty times added for missed buoys. Dave had his best result of the series winning this race with a very good score of 21 laps, 14 seconds. Just 6 seconds behind him was Chris in 2nd place scoring 21L, 20s and a mere 3 secs behind Chris was Kevin on 21L, 23s in 3rd. So only 9 seconds had separated all the top 3!
Terry’s racing his Vector 48 had a lucky escape after its boat top was removed following one pretty hard collision, the boat carried on and its top was recovered after the race.

Race 2 was another close one, this time just 1 lap separated the top 4. Mark (Shipman) won this one scoring an impressive 21L, 12s, which turned out to be the best score of the night. Once again, he was a first time series winner and I think the first time he has won a race since joining our club? Though he didn’t get any credit for it at the time as I mistakenly announced lakeside that Chris had won that one – opps, sorry Mark! Chris actually finished 2nd just 16 secs behind, with Dave taking 3rd place (19L, 3s) 1 lap behind them both.

Race 3; The evening light was starting to fade by the time the night final heats races got underway, but we did just manage to get them completed. Though rounding the far makers was a bit of guess work at times! I managed to win this one scoring 20L, 8s, a score that would have only placed me 4th in Race 1 but I didn’t care – a win is a win! Kevin wrapped up another good night taking 2nd spot (19L, 21s) and Nigel finally got his boat into a top place finishing in 3rd on 18L, 20s.

It had been a good night for the class overall with a mix of Super Mono X, Vector 48 and an old Human Torch boat all up at the front at different times as well as a few new faces getting into the top 3 places. That’s only good for the future of this class.

Overall points table
Kevin now all but has his name on the trophy, he only needs a 6th place or higher in just one race in the final round to guarantee an overall series win. Chris and I are now left to battle for runners-up spot, it is mathematically possible we could be caught by someone else but it would be very unlikely.
4th place is also very close between Mark (Shipman), Nigel and Dave. So, outside the series winner there will be many places to be decided at the final round, I suspect it will go right down to the final race result.

Mino Hydro
A couple we not able to attend this round but we still had 5 boats entering which is not too bad for this fairly specialized class. The 5 were split into two heats of 3 and 2, same as for Mini Mono this was decided by their previous race finishing places. Only 1 race was run due to time/light constraints.

Heat 1 started well with Kevin getting away and briefly leading ahead of Chris and me. If was very brief as after just 1 lap he turned a little too hard and his boat flipped over – he was capsized and out. His boat then slowly drifted towards the No3 right bottom corner marker.

After a massive hit on a buoy Chris was still going (somehow?) and was gaining to lap me, but he’d also missed another marker so was carrying a 10 second penalty. With a lap taking not much more than that we were actually racing for the lead and neither of us were going to give it up that easily! Both taking the shorter and much more risky line through the gap between Kevin’s dead boat and the No3 marker, knowing any contact of Kev’s boat meant immediate disqualification from the race. After 20 or so laps and both taking the tightest line possible it all ended in the final 30 seconds when we collided rounding the top right marker. Though we both kept going with only slight damage, Chris had lost boat speed for some reason so I managed to unlap myself and win a hard-fought race. It finished 23L, 5s to 23L, 20s in my favour – phew!

Heat 2 started off well with Dave looking to have finally got his hydro going at a decent pace while Nigel’s boat was really going very quickly, once he got the handle of it after a few laps. All was going well until 2 mins into the race when two ducks decided to play “chicken” paddling out right across the finish line! Dave capsized trying to avoid one, while Nigel ripped a sponsor off after hitting the rescue dinghy outboard trying to avoid the other! A great shame and very unlucky for them both. Nigel finished 3rd scoring 9 laps, Dave was 4th on 8. It would have been interesting to see what lap scores they may have achieved, but avoiding contact with ducks, dead boats and the markers is all part of FE racing.

Overall points table
The win for me at this round means I have secured the series overall no matter what happens at the final round and Chris has the runners-up place tied up. 3rd place in the series is still all up for grabs between Nigel, Kevin and Dave separated by just 4 points (after a race discard). Roll on the 5th and final round on 1st Sept. Fingers crossed for no cloud cover so we get some decent light – we will need it!

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.