Gassers and FE Racers working together!

By: Chris Harris

Welcome to the first edition of "The Southern Scene". In this column I will do my best to keep you informed of what's going on in fast electrics here in the south eastern United States.  As many of you probably already know Orlando, Florida will be the site of the 1999 N.A.M.B.A. Fast Electric Nationals. This race however will be more than just a national event we will have racers here from Europe as well. Most of us have not had the opportunity to race with the guys from the other side of the big pond so this is going to be something special!!! Plans for the race have really come along in the past couple of months and things are progressing very well. We've secured a title sponsor for the race and some sub sponsors. However we could still use a few if any companies are interested. Our on-line registration started in the first week of April and in the first week we had over 80 boats entered for the race. Exciting indeed!!!  Many of you may be wondering where we will get all the manpower it takes to put on a race of this size. Well that brings me to what I would like to talk about next.

First a little history. I met a gas boater named Bob Priep in 1993 and I knew then that we had the same passion for our sport. Bob has written several feature articles and has had one his boats featured in the column "Final Moorings" in the publication "R/C Boat Modeler. Bob is what I like to call a visionary for the sport of R/C boating. He has progressive ideas about the sport and how to make it grow. Well after not seeing each other for about two years because of our busy lives I guess, I got a call from him. He had some questions about a new brushless electric motor he had bought because it intrigued him. Well we had a nice conversation about a bunch of things besides the motor. During the course of the conversation I found out that he and some other gas boaters had just formed a brand new club called The Florida Gas Burners. After a long conversation about our clubs we decided to get together at a practice lake and catch up from the past two years.

During our conversation at the lake we realized our clubs had a lot in common even though they were gas and we are electric we both have similar challenges. One of the big challenges is that both our clubs planned on running very large events over the next year but with our current memberships manpower would become a problem. Because of this most the members of our respective clubs wouldn't even be able to race at their own event. What's the solution? Well Bob presented the idea of forming a cooperation between our two clubs. Immediately I thought what a great idea! You have to understand that not only are we with two different associations but electrics have long been viewed by most gas and nitro boaters as toys. Well not anymore!!! Bob and I think a lot alike when it comes to this. We are all racers we just use different fuels. Sure some may go faster than others but that doesn't make any one better that another. It wasn't long before we were able to put this new idea to the test.

The 99 Florida Watts 'n' Water race was scheduled to be held at the Central Florida High Voltage boat clubs regular race site. However somehow a wedding got scheduled in the park at the lake on the same weekend so we had to find a new site. Well it was the Gas Burners to the rescue. They told us that we could use their site in Titusville, Florida. Their site was new a yet undeveloped but with volunteers from both clubs and a lot of hard work we were able to get it ready for the race in time. At the race the Gas Burners helped with officiating, points keeping, and timing. The volunteers from their club included the president of the Gas Burners Hap Mulvany and his wife Peg. These are people truly dedicated to the sport and did a great job running the race. Well now it's our turn to return the favor. We will be helping them with their Fast Gas Bash on may 15&16. I look forward to helping them like they did for us.

The reason I thought it important to share this story with the world is I believe the only way to keep the sport alive, well, and growing is to have more cooperation between the different segments of the sport. With this mutual respect we can be a larger voice and we will be able to show generations to come what a great family sport R/C boat racing can be.

Chris Harris

This Article was written by Chris Harris Exclusively for Rum Runner Racing. Use of this article is prohibited without written permission from Rum Runner Racing.

 

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