|a NAMBA sanctioned Fast Electric R/C Boat Race
months ago, our racing team (Donnie, Daniel, Don (Dad) and Brian ‘The cool
hand’ Vega) debated which out of town race to attend, this year. This was not
an easy decision. Generally, the answer would have to be the NAMBA Nationals.
This year, the NAMBA Nationals are being held on a date in which we could not
attend. At least not all of us. Team member’s Tony Colarusso and Rob Michaels
were unable to make the trip.
question then became, “How do we find Nationals level competition without
actually attending that Nationals”? There was only one choice. The Spring
Splash in Seattle.
|Spring Splash race site at, Wild Waves
years, the Puget Sound Model Boat Club (PSMBC) has held this annual event to
kick off the Fast Electric racing season in the North West. Racer’s traveled
from all corner’s to attend this event on June 10th and 11th. Points of origin
included Florida, Michigan, Alaska, Canada and California to join the fun and
excitement of racing Dick Crowe and his pals at their home pond. 170 plus boats
came to race. The race site is located at a water theme park called Wild Waves,
near the town of Federal Way, in Washington State, just south of Seattle.
On my 2400 mile flight home, as
I made notes for this article, I reflected on the highlights of the trip. The
weather for the race was not what I had expected. It rained. The sun came out
and then soon, it rained again. I suppose that could happen anywhere. Except, in
June its unusual to have cool (cold to me) weather where I live. Did not matter.
Snow would not have stopped this race. The water was almost calm which made for
fast racing. Floating debris in the
pond made things interesting and lively from the very first heat. Many racer’s
suffered mystery problem including our team. My favorite was the large 3 foot
long Carp (fish). There were hundreds of them. They really added a special
flavor to my usual pre-race jitters.
|Our "Friends", The Carp!
home club’s specialty is scale hydro’s. Without a doubt, the most beautiful
fleet of hydro’s in North America. Also, PSMBC is the home club to such noted
racer’s as Dick Crowe, Scott Bickford, Larry Kirby, Doug Filer and internet
hobby supplier Ray Fuller of Fuller’s Fast Electric’s.
Yordie assisted race commodore Dick Crowe with all of the first day details and
kicked off the racing. Event MC Don Mock was assisted by score keeper Harry
Gatjens. Great Job, guys! And a very smooth event launch.
Mono and Crackerbox where scheduled to race first, right after the announcements
and the driver’s meeting.
|Crackerboxes just after launch
Crackerbox and N-1 Mono require stock 05 can motor’s running on a limit of 6
cells. The Cracker’s went first. These boats must follow a very strict design
and look as close to the full size counter-parts, as possible. They are even
judged for the owner’s skill preparing his boat to look real. They even run
like there full size counter parts. Bucking, Jumping, Zinging and Zagging. Scott
Bickford showed the way with 3 perfect heats. Second place Kent Kornegay of
Alaska and third went to Brian Vega from Florida. All three driver’s used the
DPI boats for their wins.
Mono’s fielded the largest class of the event. This 19 boat field was very
diverse. New boats from Bandit, BBY and home build’s hit the course to battle
the venerable Maus Micro Bullet. What was specially evident at the race was the
added horse power of the new stock motor’s. Even though every driver seemed to
have there favorite, the Trinity and Reedy motor’s seemed to be among the most
popular. The Mono Master showed the field how it is done. Greg Schweers
blistered the water with his gray Maus Micro Bullet. Ever wonder if hours spent
setting up and testing actually pays off? If you ever observed Greg, you would
know the answer. Be sure you see Greg’s great article about setting up a Micro
Bullet in Rum Runner’s archives.
|N-1 Mono heat
place was snatched by a 3 year old. That’s right, a 3 years old. Young Colten
Crowe (Dick and Beth Crowe’s son) actually
drove his dad’s boat to a second place finish. What a guy! Colten was so
excited with his win that he took his trophy to bed with him that night. Dad
(Don Wollard) offered to trade his 12 cell rigger (before he wrecked it) for
Colten. So far, no deal. Following Colten and capturing third position was local
racer Rick Ramus. Rick had an expertly prepared Bandit Pistolero. A great
handling boat for this class and very nicely set-up by Rick.
Hydro came next. This is a Hydro class which again, limits the power to a stock
05 motor and 6 cells. However you can run any type of Hydro you can build. A
neat class which requires the racer to work hard on there equipment to be
competitive. A boat of special mention and one with a lot of future potential
was an shovel nose hydro custom built by Terry Treichel from Canada. Terry
designed the boat himself and constructed the entire boat from sheets of
styrene. Watch out next year for Terry’s hot outfit. First place went to
Dennis Whitt who resides in Michigan. He was really moving with his bright
yellow BBY rigger. Second place and tight on Dennis’ heals was Chris Harris
from Florida. Chris’ beautiful black, blue and white Hammerhead rigger was a
sight scooting around the pond. Trailing in third was Alaska’s champ Larry
(the Big Dog) Larson.
mid morning, 1/16th scale Hydro’s with 17 entries were ready for battle. This
very popular class features scale like appearance hydro’s which can be no
larger than 24 inches. A maximum of 8 cells are allowed with no restrictions on
motor and hardware used. These boats are also judged for finish and scale
appearance. I must say, they were all painted and decorated well. Except my
boat. I launched my brand new UL Light by RC Hydro’s two days before we left
for the race. Not sure, maybe it was the bad paint job that made it run so
you have never seen this class race, you must. The scale looking boats look so
real racing it is truly amazing. They bounce, turn and flip just like the big
ones. The best part is the driver’s is on the shore and not in harms way. The
17 boat fleet had all the racer’s and spectators at water’s edge each time a
heat started. The clock counted down, spray flew and the whine of highly tuned
motor’s pierced the air. The whole fleet pounded the pond for lane one.
National class champ Dick Crowe drove to three perfect first place heats. This
Guy is amazing. He sprung his right knee a few minutes before the first heat.
Dick was in real pain. Nothing could be done except send him to the hospital.
Well what can I say? Dick is a champion and a true racer. He iced down his knee,
took two aspirin and hobbled to the driver’s stand. Actually I mistakenly
thought the pain would distract him so I could slip by him in the heat. Not a
chance. Dick drove his expertly prepared Maus Shovel nose with Aveox power to a
new NAMBA 1/16th Scale Oval Record of 1:06.90. A very fast boat. This guy can
really set-up a hydro.
|Greg, Donnie with his RC-Hydro, &
at Dick’s heals all the way was Donnie Wollard (that’s me) driving my UL
Light. My boat is actually a larger 12th scale boat and was designed in race
with 12 cells in 1/12th scale P-Hydro. For me, this boat was just what the
doctor ordered. Its large and stable yet able to be set-up for 1/16th scale
competition. I used a Plettenberg (German) motor for power and choose 2200
(NiHM) cells for power. I will do a story for Rum Runner soon featuring this
boat and explaining my speed secrets. Third place went to Scott Bickford driving
a beautiful Bandit Shovel nose.
in this class was very intense. There were so many fast boats and good
driver’s the outcome could have gone any-which-way. I made special note of
Brian Vega’s DPI hydro. This boat comes in kit form which anyone with a couple
of weekends to invest could be competitive with. I do believe Brian’s boat was
the fastest 1/16th scale hydro that I have ever seen.
Brian used a Plettenberg motor for power. Brian promises to keep his boat
right side up for the National’s. The hard luck trophy (if there was one)
would have gone it Jeff (Mr. Aveox) Vasquez. Jeff posses tremendous driving
skills and owns one of the fastest 1/16th scale boats in the country.
|Brian Vega's DPI 1/16 scale
Hydro guys got a breather while the OPC class got wet. These are scale Tunnel
boats which require 12 cells for power. Voted an official NAMBA class just last
year, OPC is gaining a lot of
attention and popularity.
boats are powered by an outboard motor. An electric motor is mounted on an
outboard type lower unit which in turn is mounted to the boat via a bracket. A
was fast. Alaska’s Larry Larson was award first place and a new record with
his Plettenberg powered Stark’s Tunnel. I do believe the fastest boat to race
was Chris Harris Bandit Tunnel. A beautiful boat he named “Killer”. Third
place went to Dennis “Mr. Creative” Whitt. Dennis choose to custom mount an
Aveox onto his outboard unit. A very nice job. Dennis reconfigured the ESC in
such a way that it could be placed under the motor’s hood. Look for a lot of
trophies out of this boat in the future.
|Dennis's OPC Outboard w/ Aveox power
afternoon we had a special surprise. A floating island broke loose and quickly
floated through the course area past the driver’s stand. Dick Crowe and Larry
Larson jumped into retrieve boats and quickly towed the menace out of range.
Quite a sight. Thanks Guys.
|Dick and Larry pushing the island away
from the front stretch!
Scale Hydro (also called P-Sport Hydro). These are the largest scale hydro’s
raced in NAMBA. Similar to the 1/16th scale boats in that this class is also
judge for scale appearance and finish. I was very impressed with the time and
quality invested by the contestants. These boats range in size between 24 to 28
inches long. Any Hydro scale or sport hull is legal as long as you don’t
exceed 12 cells.
|1/12 and 1/16 Scale Concurs
was fast and furious. The Aveox 1412 series motor seems to have become a class
favorite even though I saw plenty of Plettenberg’s. Prominent boat hulls
include; Bandit, Maus, BBY, RC-Hydro’s, DPI and of course home builds. Larry
Larson with his home built Dave Frank design Hydro took top honors. What a nice
handling boat. Be sure you review the great story Larry wrote about building his
boat. Its located in the Rum Runner archives and is called "Setting up the 1/12 Scale O'boy Oberto".
place was awarded to Randy (Mr. BBY) Naylor with his ‘Big Splash”. A well
set-up and nice handling boat. Third place was earned by Mark Ferreira. Mark
drove his custom painted Bandit shovel nose. This boat is fast enough to win any
event. I am sure you will see Mark with the big wood at future events. Watch for
Mark at the Nationals in September.
final event of the first day was called Anything Goes. As the name implies, you
can run what ever boat and set-up you so choose. No limit on size, number of
batteries, boat design or motor. For the most part, this event is paramount to a
drag race. The top boats were driven by Larry Larson, Jeff Vasquez and Dick
Crowe. All three driver’s used custom built rigger’s. When the points were
tallied, Jeff Vasquez had the top points.
This was another event that was so close the out come could have gone any which
Ramus joined the fun with his absolutely beautiful BBY War Eagle. With 18 cells
this boat was a sight to see in competition. Good luck at the Nationals,
|Rick with his BBY War Eagles
morning chill and dampness quickly gave way to anxious sounds of racer’s
preparing for battle. What promised to be a day of very competitive fast racing
was subject only to the weather. Would it rain? Could wind ripple the pond?
Would the floating island stay put? Could the racer’s navigate through
PROBLEM! The racer’s charged batteries, tuned radios and got ready to field
their fastest boats. By race time, a heavy drizzle rain kept the pond almost
smooth. Racer’s dawned whatever they could find to protect themselves from the
rain and covered there radio controller’s with plastic bags. And....the action
|Chris and Toby getting ready to race in
want to add a quick note how impressed I was at the speed and handling of the
Mono racing at the Splash. Every class and every race was entertaining and
action packed. Most heats started with 6 boats. Nose to nose they would creep to
the start line waiting for the count down to reach the magic horn. Every start
was like ‘BAM’. Hot and spicy. I really enjoyed seeing newer racer’s hit
the juice along side the likes of Greg Schweers, Jeff Vasquez, Larry Larson,
Chris Harris and Mark Ferreira. It was also nice to see the ‘top dogs’
upside down as often as the newer racer’s. Hummm!!!
to race was N-2 Mono. These hulls are usually around 22 inches long, are limited
to 6 cells and use any modified motor. Generally,
the hulls are of a V-design design and made in plastic or fiberglass. Set ups
varied from driver to driver however I did not see a slow boat in the fleet.
This class requires a lot of driving skill along with a fast boat. Just ask 15
year old Rum Runner team driver Daniel Wollard. Daniel’s boat which was
designed, built and set-up by his dad was right there with the fastest.
Daniel’s aggressive driving style got him upside down and wet. Daniel is
really coming along and hopes to be back next year.
Larson showed the 18 boat field the definition of ‘fast’. Larry drove a
Lehner powered Maus Micro Bullet. He smoked the rest of the field. Jeff Vasques
drove to a second place with his Aveox powered Micro Bullet with Randy (Mr. BBY)
Naylor in close pursuit for third place. Randy was at the helm of his brand new
Hydro followed with 11 boats in the hunt on fast water. Any Hydro hull with 6
cells and a modified motor can race this event. Most driver’s in this class
seem to have chosen 05 motor’s for power and an outrigger type hydro. Brian
‘The Cool Hand’ Vega entered his speedy Rum Runner rigger to compete for top
honor’s. Brian’s new boat has only been in one event prior to the Splash. He
sweep that race and took fast time.
his first two heats of the day easily distanced Brian from the field. When the
final heat began, Brian was tied with Dennis Whitt for first place points. Brian
only had to finished first or second in this final heat to land first place,
overall. Out in front by almost an entire lap, Brian’s boat hopped then
flipped 75 feet short of the finish line. Brian had fast time for the day but
dropped to 4 place overall.
Whitt moved into first place with his BBY rigger. Donnie Wollard (that’s me)
moved into second place with my brand new natural finished Rum Runner rigger.
Third place went to Larry Larson driving a Reedy Sonic (9/2) powered Twaits
Mono fielded 11 boats for one of the toughest battles of the day. With drizzling
rain falling, the little Mono’s lined up for a fast start. Similar set-ups to
the N-2 Mono class except this class offer’s 8 cells for power and any
modified motor. With Aveox, Lehner, and Plettenberg power choices you can only imagine the speed
of these small boats. Larry ‘The Big Dog’ Larson drove 3 perfect heats with
his Schweers Electro Vee powered by a 1409 1.5 Aveox. Larry set a new record of 1:11.21. Second
went to the Mono Master, Greg Schweers who masterfully drove his Aveox 1409 1.5
powered Micro Bullet to a very close second. Third place was sealed by
California’s Mark Ferreira. Mark was at the helm of a brand new Fuller-Bandit
El Lobo 2.
|Brain Vega driving a Fuller-Bandit El
Hydro is one of my personal favorite classes. Any Hydro hull with 8 cells and
any modified motor can enter. The hulls are not to big or small, generally
around 22 - 23 inches long. 8 Cells provide just enough punch to turn these
boats into electric powered water rockets.
Rum Runner has spent the last 3 season developing it’s O-Hydro rigger design.
The team brought 4 boats to the event and raced
3 of them. Brian ‘The Cool Hand’ Vega’s dialed in Rum Runner rigger with a
1409/1.5 Aveox jumped on step and never looked back. Three perfect heats and a
first place. This boats is the current NAMBA 5 lap record holder in O Hydro. I
was award second place overall with my Lehner powered Rum Runner. Wow! I like
those Lehner motors. They are fast and smooth. Just hard to find in the states.
Third place went to 14 year old Chris Yoder with his DPI American Dream. This
young man is a national champ in the making. I am sure you will hear his name in
the future. The hard luck trophy for this class (if there was one) would have to
be award to Florida’s Chris Harris. Chris lost a sponson and his day was over.
Chris’ boat was easily as fast as any in the field.
got busy right after the hydro’s came in. These boats are generally 24 to 26
inches long, 12 cells and use any motor. I have had a close eye on this class
for the past 3 years. To be fast, you need to take your time and set your boat
up to race on the edge. That is the easy part. You still need control and enough
stability to finish the competition. So how is this done? Ask Brian Vega, Mark
Ferreira or Greg Schweer’s. Brian powered his Maus Bullet to a first place.
Second was Mark’s dialed in Bandit Pistolero with Greg ‘The Mono Master’
in close pursuit. Another event which could have gone any-which-way. Brian was
the only driver to actually finish all three heats.
P-Hydro’s began their competition. The field included Larry ‘The Big Dog”
Larson who recently achieved the Q Class S.A.W. record with his oval competition
boat. Dick Crowe and Jeff Vasquez both fielded very fast
Fine Design - Twister rigger’s. Dick drove Doug Twaits, Jr’s.
personal boat with a specially modified Aveox motor. Most of the 12th Scale
P-Hydro’s at the event joined in for a little additional excitement. Team Rum
Runner fielded two rigger’s. Brian Vega piloted an Aveox powered boat and Don
(dad) Wollard was at the helm of a brand new Plettenberg powered boat which used
the new 2200 NiMH cells.
|Brian Vega driving a very fast 12 Cell
Rum Runner Rigger
driving skill and the unbelievable handling of his ride gave him 3 perfect heats
and a first place overall. He also set a new 5 lap record with at time of
1:01.10. Larry Larson was close in the hunt for first place points until
his final heat. Larry and 5 other boats hit the start line almost at the same
time. This was an important heat for Larry because a first place could have put
him into first place for the competition. Turn one, 6 boats all in touching
distance to one another, began their turn. Larry’s boat bounced, tumbled
several time and was t-boned by Don who was very close behind in the outside
lane. Larry’s boat immediately sunk. Don’s boat was recovered but was a
total loss. Several days later a diver was able to recover the remains of
Larry’s boat. I understand the motor and electronics’ were saved. Larry
stayed in the top points with 2 wins and received a second place, overall. Third
place went to Randy Naylor with is BBY rigger.
hard luck award for this event would have to have gone to Brian Vega. Brian
finished his first heat in second place with a twig caught between his strut and
rudder. In his second heat, Brian hit something. His turn fin was bent and the
prop was missing when his boat was retrieved. Are there alligator’s in that
pond? In his final heat, Brian caught-up something around his rudder. When he
finally got on step he was an entire lap behind the leader. By lap 3 he had
moved into second place and was closing on the first place boat when his Aveox
apparently had a heat shut down. Brian is looking forward to the Nationals after
all summer to tune up his ride.
Mono and Q Hydro were the last events of the contest. These classes allow up to
18 cells, any motor and respective hulls. The Mono’s got wet first. Most
racer’s use hulls and motors similar to the P Mono class. Mark Ferreira lead
this very fast class with his Aveox powered Bandit Pistolero. Mark used 16 cells
with a X442 prop. Randy Naylor was award to Randy Naylor and third place Jeff
Vasquez. Amazing speed for electric powered Mono’s.
Hydro was like a Nitro race on a short course. Whew! The fastest boats I have
ever seen on an electric course. Now
get this! Dick Crowe raced his 12 cell P Hydro in this class by adding two
additional cells. In one heat, Dick was penalized a lap for bumping a buoy. No
Problem! Dick hit the throttle and drove his boat for 6 laps in 1:01.10.
Ramus got second overall with his BBY War Eagle with Plettenberg power. Third
went to Jeff Vasquez who must have earned the Hard Luck award for this class.
His Fine Design Twister was very fast. He had to pull out of the contest after
suffering from an accident.
Team Championship award went to Team Fuller’s Fast Electrics. Good job, guys.
The team included; Scott Bickford, Ray Fuller, Greg Schweers, Larry Larson and
Dick Crowe. They scored a total of 4300 points.
|Team Fullers Fast Electric
Larson was Mr. Highpoints for the event. His total score of 4800 was very
impressive. Dick Crowe was a tight 200 points behind.
wanted to add a special thanks to Ray Fuller. Ray spent most of the event
assisting the racer’s and providing hardware and supplies when needed. As
always, he was great help.
was also a treat to have manufacture’s present. Dorrien and his wife, from
Bandit Boats, and Randy Naylor from BBY were present. Each assisted racer’s
with set-up ideas and speed secrets. Thank you for attending the race and your
finally, there was so much activity at the Splash that I am sure I forgot to
mentioned someone or something. With racing, taking photo’s and taking notes
things were a little busy under our tent. On Sunday I got very few good
pictures. My new camera is not water proof. My notes got wet and the ink ran. I
did the best I could between heats and keeping my gear working right.
the event I failed to mention any racer, speed record or spectacular event, my
apologies to all. I want everyone to know what a great time we all had at the
Spring Splash. Hope to see you there next year.
visit the attached Sponsor’s page. These are the
people who make races like the Spring Splash happen. Its your patronage which
keeps them motivated to help. I want you to specially note that sponsor’s of
most races are small businesses. NOT huge conglomerates. Please Let these
Sponsors know that you appreciate them. Its important!
for visiting the World’s most popular Fast Electric R/C Boating Site. I
certainly hope you enjoy our coverage of FE events as much as we do going.
My good friend Dick Crowe just had surgery to repair his damaged knee. Dick will
be laid up while his knee recovers. Dick would love to hear from you with Get
Well wishes. His address is firstname.lastname@example.org
all your many friends and admirer’s worldwide, our prayers and wishes are with
Fast Electric RC Boat Races can be
held because of individuals and businesses who get involved to help. Race
sponsor's at every level make these races possible. Please take a moment
to thank them when you have a chance. They really deserve your patronage.
The Event sponsor for the Spring
Splash was Fine Design, a hobby supplier out of the North East. Fine does
not have a web presence yet so give him a call at 914-342-8697. Who knows,
your next championship boat might be there waiting for you.
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