RC Boating Kuwaiti Style - Part 3

Races/Events Article... by Carlo Catalanotto (CC Racing Engines)


The final part of this 3-part article of a trip to Kuwait for R/C boating!


Sunday was Airplane day and James picked us up to bring us to the airfield. Now since the first day I arrived I had to listen to James talk about these airplanes. Now airplanes are one part of the RC hobby that I have the least amount of experience. Yea I have a simulator and I have had a Ugly Stick plane that I flew around a few years back. Nothing like these huge planes that James has with 50cc gas engines and a controller that looks like you could fly a real 747 with.  James brought a special plane for me to fly it was a foam electric ducted fan shark and it was pretty fast. He took it up flew it around effortlessly did a few tricks and told me how easy it was. I told him no way I was flying that thing and that he was wasting his time even trying. Well of course Brent and James had quite a few choice names for me and I finally said ok give me the controller and let me do this. I took off and looked pretty good I even did a few rolls and made the first turn like a pro. Well it was the second turn that I lost track of which way the plane was going and tried to a hand the controller to James and it was too late the shark took his last bite and it was the ground that won the battle. James and Brent enjoyed there laughs at my expense while we picked up the pieces of what was left of the shark. Well it was time for the pro’s to get after it and to watch James fly this 50cc plane was just amazing. He did tricks I had only seen in videos Practice_20on YouTube. Seeing it up close and personal was just an awesome experience. After James flew the plane for a while and gave it the ok it was Brent’s turn and he was giddy like a little kid with a new toy. He talked about flying this plane since the day James told him we were going flying and that he was welcome to fly it. Brent took off and looked like a pro he flew around for quite a while and really had a good handle on the big plane. He did not have all the tricks down like James but was definitely much better than I was that was for sure. While we were taking a brake one of James flying buddies Mohammed showed up with a plane exactly like we were flying. James and Mohamed took off with the two planes and were doing some of the most amazing tricks I had ever seen and were doing them together which made it that more spectacular. Well I knew it was not going to be long before I was again going to be pressured into flying and I was right. This time it was much easier as the big plane flew like a dream and I actually did a few tricks that had the guys laughing. I figured I better quit while the plane was still in one piece and I handed the controller to James and told him I had enough for the day. We went back to James house to get some of the boats ready for testing the next day. Since the cat race was the following weekend we got all of the cats ready to test. We worked on the boats for a couple of hours and then headed to Louays Hobby Time hobby shop to hang out with all the guys.  We stayed there for about an hour or so and then made our way to Starbucks before calling it a night.

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Well Monday morning arrived with some windy conditions for testing boats. James showed up with the truck loaded up and ready to go around 9am. He was a little upset upon arrival because he said he forgot the prop for his mono back at his house and that we would need to drive back to his house to get it. We said no problem we got all day. We made the trek to his house about a fifteen minute ride from the hotel. He jumped out of his truck and hurried to the house to get the prop a few minutes later he came out and went to the back of the truck and then got in without saying anything. The guilty smirk on his face told the entire story. I said the prop was in the boat in back of the truck wasn’t it? He started laughing and in that British accent said yes shut up no need to make it worse. We finally got to the pond around 10:30am Louay was already there waiting for us and I noticed that a lot of guys were already there testing. Talal, Rashed and a few other guys were already there and in the middle of there testing. We started setting up and I was talking with Rashed when he asked if I would drive His Insane Gen 3 cat and let him know what I thought. I said sure let’s see what it’s got. I made a few easy laps getting a feel for the course again and then I let it rip. The boat accelerated good, turned well and pulled through the corners. I told him there is nothing wrong with this boat you should do well with it. James was up next with his Lazer and made a couple of easy laps then ran it hard for about twenty laps. The boat looked really good and I figured he would run it until he had to go get it with the catch boat and I was right.  The wind was starting to pick up a lot and you could actually see the water entering the lake pretty fast from the two openings where the Persian Gulf feeds it.  We tried to test Louays cat with his new CC Rear exhaust engine, but the water had gotten so rough that he could not even give it more than half throttle. With the conditions the way they were we were done with boating for the day. We were all hungry so I suggested Maybe some Chinese or Japanese and Louay said there is a really good Japanese Hibachi restaurant close to where we were. We loaded everything up and headed there.  We looked over the menu and each made some choices as to what we wanted. Louay ordered us every appetizer on the list and we ate like kings until we were about to pop. We decided to go and get some coffee at Starbuck’s as I was starting to fall asleep from so much food. We got to Starbucks and everyone ordered what they wanted and when I ordered they were out of white Mocha. That spells trouble for me as I really have no idea of what to order from Starbucks as my wife usually does this for me so I asked the girl behind the counter what she recommended and she whipped me up a drink with caramel and whipped cream on top. We all sat down laughed about the events of the day and talked about what we would do tomorrow. I finished the drink and wanted to thank the girl that made it for me when she was walking by. I tried to get her attention as she was walking by and I don’t think she heard me so I said WooHoo to the girl to let her know the drink was good. When I turned back around the guys were about to pass out from laughing and the “WooHoo” would become the staple comment for the rest of the trip. That was it for the day and Khaled brought us back to the hotel for the night. 

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We woke up Tuesday morning opened the curtains to what we thought was a foggy day in Kuwait. Little did we know it was not fog it was the fine powdery sand and when there is a major change in wind direction it kicks up the sand and makes it look like fog. Brent and I talked for a little while and realized that this was our last day in Kuwait and that time had really gone by fast. We planned to visit some of the market places today for gifts for our family. James and Khaled picked us up from the hotel and I realized I needed some sinus medicine as this weather was tearing me up. We stopped at one of the pharmacies along the way and got some medicine from the doctor that cleared me right up. We met up with Louay at our first stop where we were searching for Kuwaity cloth for Brent’s wife. There were stores everywhere in the market with all kinds of cloth from many different countries in any color or texture that you might desire. After searching through quite a few stores Brent finally found what he was looking for and we then headed to another hobby shop that James told us about that was located in the older part of the city. If you did not know where this hobby shop was you would never find it. It was located on the second floor in the middle of a street that had wood shops and traffic everywhere. This shop had planes and cars everywhere you looked and was well stocked for a place you could not find without a guide. James hackled the owners for a while about some of the plane stuff we all laughed a bit and then off we went again to eat our final dinner at Khaleds house. We met up again with Louay once we arrived at Khaleds house. Khaled walked us around and gave us a short tour and we were just amazed at how beautiful the house was. We sat in the living room waiting for the final food preparations to be finished and after a few minutes Khaleds two little boy’s Latif and Soud came to visit with us. James asked the boys where are the remote control cars let’s get them out and play. The living room in the house is filled with furniture that is not safe for remote control cars and James knew it. The boys just kept telling him that they were upstairs. He kept it up telling them to go get the cars let’s play. Finally Soud went upstairs and came down with a RC car without a remote control. James tried real hard to get them in trouble but they just were not biting as they knew the trouble they would be in. Knowing that Latif was a big Michael Jackson fan we did get him to Moonwalk for us followed by the robot that had us really chuckling. It was now time for dinner and when we got to the table there was a feast of food that could have easily fed ten people. It was all Kuwaiti style food that looked wonderful. There were all sorts of food including delicious rice with shrimp, Lamb chops and all kinds of sauces and bread. Khaled’s brother Mohammed showed up just in time for the start of dinner. We all ate until we could not move and then Khaled said let’s move to the next room for the deserts. I could not believe we had more food to eat but there were quite a few more dishes filled with deserts along with hot tea in the next room. We all took a deep breath and started eating deserts that were just delicious and once again we could not stop eating.  We sat and talked for quite a while and then I asked Khaled if he would mind bringing me to a market where I could pick up a few things for my wife and son. He agreed and said I know just the spot. We visited a new market that was in a big building like a convention center that had everything you could imagine for gifts and small things. We walked around for a while and picked up a few items and then decided it was time for our last trip to hang out with the guys at HobbyTime. When we got to the shop one of the guys brought his Cobra Mustang with twin turbo’s for me to check out. Upon inspection I noticed that it had a Hellion Turbo System on it. One of my longtime friends from racing Mustangs, John Urist manufactures’ and sells the Hellion Turbo kits for Mustangs in the States and it was really cool to see this stuff from a friend on a car so far from home. We hung out at the shop for a while and started to realize that this was it and we would be on our way home in the morning. We all went to the hotel and chatted in the lobby for a while and then said our goodbyes. We thanked Louay for such a wonderful trip and let him know it will never be forgotten. We gave James a big hug told him bye and thanked him for keeping us laughing the entire week. We shook khaled’s hand and said we will see you at 2am for the ride to the airport.

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Wednesday morning was a tough one as Brent and I went to sleep about 11:30 pm and we woke up about 1:30am to get our bags situated for our trip to the airport.  Khaled showed up at about 1:45 and said lets go boss it’s time to go home. It was a short ride to the airport and Brent and I had separate flights home. Khaled helped us both get checked in and get out bags turned in. My flight was a little earlier then Brent’s as I was flying to Abu Dhabi then straight to Chicago and from Chicago to home. Brent was flying to Dubai and then straight to Las Vegas. We all hung around in the airport for a little while and had a few laughs about the great week that we all spent together until it was time for me to board my flight. I told Brent bye gave him a hug then gave Khaled a big hug and thanked him for everything he had done during this trip that made it great. I then boarded my plane for the short flight to Abu Dhabi. When I arrived in Abu Dhabi and got out of the plain it was like walking into a mall with stores everywhere. The airport was really nice, but at this point I was really tired and just ready to get on that big 777 and get home. After a short layover it was finally time to go and this was going to be a really long twenty-hour ride to Chicago.  I boarded the plane got situated and then watched about three new movies in a row and then decided it was time to get some much needed sleep. When I woke up I got up stretched my legs and smiled thinking we must be on the second half of this flight by now and I will be home soon. I did the dumb thing and checked the monitor in front of me and we were still a couple hours from the halfway point. All I could do was laugh take a deep breath slide back down in my seat and look for some more movies to watch. I am not sure how many movies and what seemed like an eternity the captain came on over the intercom and said flight attendants prepare for landing. I have to admit that statement was like music to my ears as this was the longest flight I had ever been on and I was glad it was over. Once in Chicago I went through customs filled out all of the needed paperwork and was told welcome home. I had a couple hours to kill before my last flight home so I bought a magazine got something to drink and before I knew it they started calling us to board the plane. This flight from Chicago to New Orleans was almost three hours long and seemed to go by rather quickly compared to the last one. I was finally home and could not wait to get my bags and see my family. I left baggage claim and went outside to find my beautiful wife, son, and dog waiting to pick me up and bring me home. 

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The older I get the more I learn that most people no matter what race or religion are good people if you just take the time to get to know them. This fantastic trip to Kuwait turned into much more than a vacation or a trip to play with toy boats in another country for me. It was an eye opening and life changing experience that unfortunately not many people will ever get a chance to experience. It changed my entire thought process about the Middle East and the people who live there.  The laughter and memories of this trip will become part of a list of stories that I will tell for a very long time. The nine days I spent there was an absolute pleasure and I feel very fortunate to have spent that time with people I will now consider lifelong friends. If you are like I was and think that the Middle East is just full of terrorists and roadside bombs you need to think again. The country is beautiful and the people are peaceful, intelligent, loyal, very proud and very family orientated. I learned in a short time that they are no different than we are and the personalities are just as unique as the traditions of the country they live in. There are a lot of things in their country that we should take notes of and pass along to our fearless leaders for our country. I want to thank my friends Louay, Khalad and James for a trip that is like no other I have ever experienced and for that I just cannot thank you guys enough. I hope that we get the chance to do it again in the future.


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jimboq8 replied the topic: #11415 12 years 11 months ago
Guys you made the trip memorable, thanks to loauy for getting you to come, and Brent I am sure that everytime you look at that EGG on your mantel piece that you will remember us.....lol woohoooo.

Take care guys, as I said cant wait to get out there and meet up on your home turf.
Propworks West replied the topic: #11414 12 years 11 months ago
Hey Carlo
Im so glad that you took the time to write the days events even though we were both so tired at the end of the day.
Reading your story allows me to enjoy our trip to Kuwait over and over again.
And thankyou to Louay, Khaled and James for taking such great care of us.
My trip to your country just keeps getting better and better the more I think about all the fun I had.
Thankyou guys.
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CC Racing Engines replied the topic: #11413 12 years 11 months ago
I am glad you guys liked the story. I can't wait to see you guys here at the races.
jimboq8 replied the topic: #11412 12 years 11 months ago
Good story Carlo, cant wait to meet up with you again on your home turf.

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