2001 Michigan Cup

Sponsored by: Fine Design
Hosted by: Mid-Michigan Electric Unlimiteds Club 
Reported by: Chris Harris

This, the second annual Michigan Cup was full of surprises. Not the least of which was the weather. Most of the out of towner's were expecting a hot summer weekend and had brought mainly summer clothes. However what we got was wind, rain and cold. Undaunted the racers feverishly prepared their boats and themselves Saturday morning for the challenges ahead.

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The start of race was delayed slightly by heavy downpours on Saturday morning. This along with 20-30 mph winds and a windchill of 33 degrees F gave everyone the feeling it was going to be a long day. When the racing did get underway though everyone started to warm up because the racing was hot!

In N-1 Mono, Canadian racer Neil Reesor showed the way with his beautiful homemade RBW Hornet. This was just the beginning for Neil as he did well all weekend. Cleveland Ohio area racer Allan Nayman took the second spot.  B. Chandler grabbed third.

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N-1 Hydro would also see a Ressor take the top spot. This time it would be Neil's dad Steve. Steve's boat was one of the best running N-1 hydrous I've ever seen and the results show it.

Joye took second with smooth consistent driving. Watch out for this kid and his brother in the future they are good drivers. First time racer Dick Boersman brought home third in a tough field with his HammerHead rigger. Good job Dick!

In 1/12 Sport Scale Hydro Mark Kennedy sped to first place with his rocket ship Taifun. Mark is an excellent driver and will be a threat at any race he goes to. Second place went to Mark's Team Fine Design teammate Chris Fine driving his Bandit shovelnose. Alan Nayman took third in class also with a Bandit shovel.

The next class, though not an official NAMBA class yet, definitely got its share of attention.

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S-Sport 40 proved to be one of the crowd favorites for sure. BIG boats and Big horsepower are the name of the game in this class. Based on the NAMBA S-class which mandates 19-24 cells combined with the NAMBA Sport 40 rules proved to be an exciting mixture. 

Chris Fine was unable to get his Sport 40 hull ready in time so he was forced to run his Aeromarine "Team Believer" catamaran. The other S-Sport drivers voted to let Chris's points count anyway since this is not yet an official class. Well, this ended up working out good for Chris because his boat was tried and tested, something that the other boats in the field needed more of for sure. Although the 3-pointers were faster they all had a hard time finishing due to blow-offs, collisions, and just a lack of test time on these beasts.  Andy Kunz survived to take second behind Chris Fine. Even though jumping to the lead in every heat Chris Harris was still struggling with the setup on his boat and fell to third in the class. I can't wait for next year when these boats are more developed and we have more entries.

Since the NAMBA Offshore rules became official Dennis Whitt has been the king of N-2 Offshore. However at this race Dennis was running the race so he left it up to his teammate Eric Johnson to carry the torch. Well, Eric didn't just carry it he ran off and hid with it!!! Ericís boat and driving were to say the least, dominate. With Eric running away with it, the race was for second. Neil Reesor took that honor driving his RBW Digger hull. Third place went to first time racer John Vanderwall, who just so happens to be Andy Kunz nephew.

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P-Offshore proved to be one heck of a show down. With just about every boat capable of winning, this was one of the most competitive classes of the weekend. Chris Fine and Chris Harris both had perfect scores going into the third and final round. The race officials decided to do the Offshore classes on points instead of total laps so these classes could count toward the Michigan Cup. Chris Fines heat was up first. Like the heats before, Chris jumped out into the lead and looked like he had them covered when all of a sudden his boat takes a hard left in the backstretch and hits the shore. Because in Offshore you can fix your boat and put it back in the water Chris ran around the lake to discover that his antenna tube had slipped out and that's why his boat glitched. With that fixed he re-entered the race but wasn't able to pull off a first. In Chris Harris' heat, he somehow missed the call for the race and arrived late but did get his boat in the water to get 7 laps in the remaining time, but it was to no avail. You can bet that Chris Harris's Bandit El Lobo will be back with a vengeance next time. When the rooster tails had settled on this one Dan Fine ended up with the win followed by Chris Fine in second and Mark Kennedy in Third making it a Team Fine Design sweep of the class. 

Another Fine Design sweep would be seen in Q-Mono. These guys love horsepower and know how to manage it. Dan Fine took the top spot, closely followed by his brother Chris with their teammate Mark Kennedy making it another sweep in third.

Q-Hydro would be the last class of the day. Usually outriggers but not this time dominate this class. Chris Fine raced his Areomarine "Popeyes" catamaran to first place. Second was Kevin Whitehead running a homemade wood sport boat built from plans from Roger Newton.

Dan Fine had the top finishing rigger, in the class, in third. Interesting stuff indeed!!!


Sunday morning brought better weather, well sort of. It was still quite cold but at least it wasn't raining. Starting the day off was N-2 Mono. This class took on a special importance, it being the second round of the Lightning Man N-2 Mono Pan Am series. 

Alan Naymen showed he was up to the task. Alan drove his Electrified mono built from R/C Boat Modeler plans to the win. His boat was smooth and consistent. In hot pursuit and taking second was Barry Janzen with his ballistic BBY Oval Master. In third was Neil Reesor driving his RBW Hornet mono.

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If you want a good gauge of how far fast electric boats have come in the past few years try watching N-2 Hydro at any top level race. It is just incredible how fast six cell boats are now.

This field was no exception. Mark Kennedy showed the way by not only taking the class win but also setting a new 5-lap record of 1:02:13. Mark's excellent start and lane one driving contributed to the record setting performance, but the boat was ballistic!!! MMEU club member J. Joye brought home second, driving his dad's own design canard hydro. Only because of some miss-fortune in one heat, did Steve Reesor bring home third. Steve's boat was definitely capable of winning.

O-Hydro was another class that championed the hobby-builder. Barry Janzen drove his own design rigger to the win. Barry's boat and driving were right on and he cruised to the victory.

Michigan racer Kevin Whitehead took second with a Bandit Shovel. Jim Caldwell of Rogell Marine drove his Aveox powered entry to take third P-Mono was one of those classes that just leaves you saying WOW! Chris Fine had his A-game working all weekend. In the first round Chris set a new 5-lap record for the class with a 1:01:00.

This is a blistering time!!! Who would have ever thought we would see monos this fast? Chris swept the class to take the win. Dennis Whitt gave his Seaducer hull another good run with a second place finish. Mark Kennedy drove his Cordite powered Graupner hull into third place.

In P-Hydro Chris Fine showed real quick he was not done rewriting the record book. Again in the first heat Chris got a perfect start and drove a tight course to set a new 5-lap record with a Three years ago this would have been a record time for four laps, now it's being done for five. AMAZING!!! Chris again swept his way to the win. Dan Fine also drove a good race to finish second. MMEU Secretary Ken Joye drove his canard to finish third.

1/16 Scale Hydro proved to be another favorite among the spectators. Realistic looking boats ripping around the race course was very exciting. Barry Janzen was one of those ones doing the ripping, for sure. His BBY Splash was setup perfect. After fighting it out all day with Alan Naymen Barry took the win and Alan second. These two were involved in some of the most intense racing of the day. In the wood again in third place was Kevin Whitehead. Watch out for this guy in the future.

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The last class of the day would be Q-Offshore. The battle was again between Chris Fine and Chris Harris. The two never faced each other the whole day and both had perfect scores going into the last round. Chris F. took a first in his final race so it was do or die for Chris H. Because points instead of laps were scoring the Offshore classes, Chris H. not only needed to take a first in his race but also needed to make sure that he got more laps than Chris F. Well it looked like Chris H. was going to do it, when at the 8-3/4 lap mark his steering servo mount broke loose which turned the rudders hard right and made the boat flip. He had more laps now than Chris F. and as long as no one got by him that was on the same lap he would still finish first in the heat and take the class win. Well, just when the CD yelled stop John Hainer was fast approaching.

Johns boat coasted literally a couple feet past Chris H's dropping him to second in the heat and giving the class win to Chris Fine. Chris Harris took a hard fought second. The winner being decided by only a couple feet after a whole day of racing, now that's what I call close racing!!! Dennis Whitt took the third spot driving a new Aeromarine Titan. The Michigan Cup is awarded to the best performing team of the event. Each team picks four classes before the race begins that will count toward "The Cup". The team with the most points from their four classes takes it. The cup itself is a beautiful brass piece that anyone would be proud to display. The winners get to take it home for a year. When it's time for the next Michigan. Cup race they either have to send it back or come to defend it. Looking at the results of this race it's easy to see that one team really stands out. Team Fine Design's performance throughout the weekend was impressive. They certainly deserved to win "The Cup" this year. It should be mentioned though that Team Reesor were only 600 points behind in the final standings. If Team Fine Design had a couple of bad heats here and there the cup might be in Canada right now. Hmmmm.

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Keeping with NAMBA tradition a highpoints champion was chosen also. Again looking at the results, it's not hard to figure out who had the dominant performance. With five class wins and two seconds Chris Fine earned the highpoints trophy for 2001. Chris was also the major sponsor of this race and received a plaque that was signed by all the racers in attendance in appreciation for his support of the hobby/sport. RumRunnerRacing.com congratulates and commends Chris for all his success and support of the hobby.

In closing, on behalf of all the racers that attended the 2001 Michigan Cup, I would like to thank all the sponsors for their support of this race. We all know putting on races cost money and without the contributions of the sponsors the hobby/sport would be going no where. So when youíre building your next project, support those who make races like this one possible. 

Next, I would like to thank the members of the Mid Michigan Electric Unlimiteds club for all their hard work putting this event on. A special thanks goes out to John Hainerís wife Rebecca. She did all the score keeping and helped with a bunch of other odds and ends throughout the weekend.

What's so amazing about this is Rebecca was 8-1/2 months pregnant with twins!!! I'm sure I speak for all in attendance that it was a joy having her there and we look forward to seeing her and the kids next year. 

I would also like to thank the Lansing Parks Department for letting us have this event in beautiful Sharpe Park. The park has a pavilion with A/C power, restrooms and is beautifully maintained, not to mention the lake, which was the perfect size for our type of racing. I look forward to racing there again and again.

Our special thanks to Chris Harris for taking his time to cover this report for RumRunner Racing.com. Chris is a great asset to this hobby, a cornerstone of the Florida High Voltage Club and the District 4 NAMBA FE Chairman. 

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