Northern Nats

Races/Events Article....



Northern Nats in London Ontario, Canada. An event that continues to grow year after year!





{sidebar id=1}


On August 25-27th 2006 the Thames Valley Model Boat Club of London Ontario Canada hosted their annual Northern Nationals race. The classes include: Nitro (B, D Outboard Tunnel; B, D, E, F Hydro; B, D, E, F Mono; Novice; Sport 21; Sport 40; 1/8 Scale Hydro). Gas (Mono, Sport Hydro, Cat, Rigger and Crackerbox). This race is an IMPBA sanctioned event.

I had been hearing more and more about this race and decided that this year I would attend. The event has been running since 1990. At first it would alternate between the London Ontario club and the Flint club in Michigan. The Thames Valley Model Boat Club in London, Ontario, Canada now hosts it every year. It's been in London for about 8 consecutive years now.

I arrived Friday morning, along with my boating partner Stephane Cote, just in time to setup our pit area and do some testing during open water. The whole day Friday was reserved for open water and it went very smoothly. We also had some friends come along as spectators but they ended up participating quite a bit in the pit area and helping with whatever they could. Stephane’s friend Sarah Mitchell who happens to be a race photographer brought along some photo equipment and took some great shots. The automatic focus on Sarah’s camera acted up during the weekend so she had quite a challenge taking high speed action shots, but as you will see in the pictures, she did an awesome job anyway! I thank her very much for doing this for us.


My wife came along for the trip along with some friends of ours. They took some time to do some site seeing (translation: shopping!) in the city. They did however come see us for a few hours everyday and enjoyed some of the racing action.


Most racers participating were from Canada but there were also racers from all over the United States; Racers from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and even as far as Florida. I had a chance to meet a lot of great people, some for the first time and some familiar faces. I also met (for the first time) IMPBA National Gas Director, Kevin Sheren. It was nice talking with Kevin and I was happy to see him at this event.


Saturday morning Steph and I arrived a little later than we had hoped for. Waiting for us was Carmen Blois of Needforspeed Hobbies. Carmen had flown in the night before from New Brunswick and had not been able to make it for open water. I had brought along a Hurricane Mono for Carmen to race, and despite the fact he had never even run it, he did some fine racing! Unfortunately I had not had sufficient time to brief Carmen on the boat and radio and the boat died on him on the first launch. The following heats Carmen had the boat running great.


The racing started Saturday morning at 9:00 after a drivers’ meeting. The weather was good and the racing was better. One thing I really enjoyed about this race was how smoothly things went along. The crew did an awesome job of keeping a good pace. By the end of day one we were through about half of the program. This was probably not as much as the directors had hoped for (they had to cut the weekend to 4 rounds rather than 5) but I thought it was a great pace considering all the boats and racers involved. I was expecting this to be a fairly big race, but must admit there were much more boats and racers than I had anticipated.


ImageOn Sunday the weather was a little bit less cooperative when the racing started, but it slowly got better as the day progressed. Again the racing was competitive yet friendly. The racing ended with a few tie-breakers which were quite interesting to watch.


Another thing worth mentioning is how well the radio impound was organized. At the beginning of each racing day racers had to bring their radios to the radio impound, where they were tagged with their names and frequency. Every time you were up in the hot pits prior to a race your radio would be on the impound table waiting for you. The ladies taking care of this did a tremendous job! I personally did not see one incident of radio interference at this race and this is probably due to the fine impound system.


Once all the racing was completed, the hosts proceeded to give away prizes from the raffles and the 50/50 draw. This was followed by the actual trophy presentation for the winners of each class.


Mike Hallam of Hallam Marine Hobby was Contest Director for the event. He was helped by Steve Peterson who was assistant CD and Terry Keely who also called some races. Shannon Harrison was on the CD stand for both days to make sure the scores were recorded accurately and to call driving infractions. Marg Hallam and Tammy Harrison were in the radio impound tent both days to control the radios being used. Roger Hallam and Teddy Dudely did most of the pit bossing. Steve Enneper, Karl Wallace and Bob Tanner did most of the retrieve boat work. Pamela Timmermans, Mike Hallam's daughter, and Suzanne Hallam were in charge of the BBQ for hamburgers, hotdogs and sausages. Robin Hallam spent hours on the computer to ensure there were no frequency conflicts, get the heats set up and print off labels for every contestant radio. She also ensured that all pre-race activities were completed and was in charge of the registrations.


Folks this is a great race and if you haven’t already done so, you should mark it on your calendar for next year… I know I will!






Class Winners:


Outboard - 1. Randall Thomas 2. Steve Enneper 3. Ron Zaker Sr

Novice - 1. Pete Dukes 2. Chantelle Rumble 3. Michelle Thomas

Sport 21 - 1. Dan Palmer 2. Steve Enneper 3. Dan Brandon

Gas Mono - 1. Don Nehls 2. Chris Rupley 3. Butch Fields

B Mono - 1. Garrett Randall 2. Jerry Crowther 3. Terry Keeley

Gas Rigger - 1. Don Nehls 2. Mark McCray 3. Greg Sheckler

B Hydro - 1. Mike Nowicki 2. Mike Betke 3. Ron Zaker Jr

D Mono - 1. Charles Dukes 2. Ralph Barthel 3. Jerry Crowther

Sport 40 - 1. Steve Peterson 2. Teddy Dudley 3. Dave Rumble

Gas Cat - 1. Butch Fields 2. Jerry Crowther 3. Gus Dolsen

D Hydro - 1. Ron Zaker Jr 2. Mike Nowicki 3. Robin Hallam

Gas Sport Hydro - 1. Jerry Crowther 2. Butch Fields 3. Chris Rupley

Open Mono - 1. Don Nehls 2. Oliver Douglas 3. Gus Dolsen

E/F Hydro - 1. Mike Betke 2. Ron Zaker Jr 3. Terry Keeley

Crackerbox - 1. Butch Fields 2. Gus Dolsen 3. Chris Morley

1/8 Scale Hydro - 1. Oliver Douglas 2. Dan Brandon 3. Mark Owens









Event Sponsors:



Aeromarine Laminates

Blazer Marine

Boca Bearings

Cooper Pipes

Hallam Marine Hobby

Heritage Marine


Horizon Hobby

Irwin Products

Kevin Sheren

Midwest Products

NAPA – Sarnia

Need For Speed

Octura Models

Prather Products


Red Max Fuel

Seaducer Boats

Sign Crafters

Signature Graphics

Simpson Fence




Photo Credits:


Sarah Mitchell


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




See more pictures of this race in the RACES section of the MGB Galleries . Pictures by Sarah Mitchell and Greg Sheckler.



Log in to comment

User Login


You are not logged in.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved.