My First Race

Races/Events Article ...by Christian Olsen

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In this article a reader shares his first racing experience...

 

 

 

 

 

During the winter doldrums I decided to try model gas boat racing. Off I went to find out all the do's and don'ts of racing a gas monohull. I first went to the NAMBA (North American Model Boat Association) website. I found the specific district I would be racing in, which is District 1.

I applied by email for a membership which is required for racing. I sent in my email and got a fast confirmation it was being processed. I also sent an email to the district 1 leader Dave Rychalsky. Dave sent me a welcome aboard email and was very helpful in what to bring to the race.

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(Dave Rychalsky and Charlie Ott at May 7th race)

 

After finishing my first race boat I did the initial test. I had the motor modified by Bonzi Sports They were very helpful and got my motor back to me within 1 day of receiving it. (thanks Dean) .

 

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(First Race Boat Aeromarine 56 Apache with a modified G260)

 

The day of the race was all prep work. Making sure everything was tight, straight and working properly. When dealing with a 5 foot boat with a 5 horsepower gas motor nothing can go wrong. I also took the added precaution of adding a failsafe. This shuts down the motor in case I loose signal to the boat. The district1 Leader is very much into safety which is probably why he's the leader, along with his love of model boating. I got to the Long Island pond (Grant Park, Hewlett, NY) at about 8:30. Much to my surprise everyone was already there. I was told we start at 10 so I looked around and started talking the district members. I told everyone this was my first race and they all were very helpful to me. Advice on what to do. How to alter the boat for maximum performance and a few other helpful hints. The race I was to start in was the CX Mono class.

 

Charlie Ott was my Pit crew. This is the guy who throws your boat in the water after you start it. So I started the boat and ran to the race line. This provides you with the best vantage point while racing. Charlie threw in the boat and it took off. I was very excited this being my first race. The count down starts and then there is a 30 second announcement the race is about to start. So the idea is to go around the course until the race starts. Being on the right side of the starting line is what you want. I was about to start when I slowed down and the carburetor loaded up and stalled the motor. So you now have the pleasure of sitting there watching the race. While watching I noticed several of the other boats had different sort of problem's. Several boats were going so fast they would hit a small wave and become airborne.

 

The consensus when I got the stalled boat back was just finish the race. Nothing fancy doesn't have to be fast, just finish. Getting this advice from guy's who have been running large model for better than 20 years I was obliged to listen. Sure enough the second race was finished and I also finished. I finished second but I finished. Not bad for a 56 inch boat badly tuned that's not made for oval racing. There are also severe class to race in Mono, Hydro, and Catamaran in all varying shapes and sizes.

 

I really had a great time. There is a definite sense of community and fun not associated with many hobbies.

 

It really amazed me how many boats would be taken out by attrition that wouldn't finish. There where motor problems, wipeouts and the occasional collision. It not a matter of being the fastest it seems to be a matter of being consistent. I'm sure after a few more races and more experience I stand a chance to make it into the standings.

 

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(First crash of the season in Gas Hydro class)

 

Videos

 

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