SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN RACES
By Allan Shillitto
It's a good question and it is one that is not necessarily easy to answer.
You might say that you have to have all the latest gear - not so. I have seen
races won by people with 'last years model' of everything. So where do you
How about the 6 P's
.Proper Preparation Prevents P*ss Poor Performance -
Short- To the Point and Accurate!
Someone once said to me "to win - first you have to finish" sounds
simple but it's not. How many people have you seen turn up at a meeting, throw
their boat in the water only for it not to work? The first step then has to be
to get the boat from the start to the finish - then you are in with a chance.
What this means is that you have to service the @*&! thing! After you finish
and before storing, strip the boat clean and oil the drive line, check the radio
for contamination (clean, dry, test, and replace as and where necessary).
Lubricate all linkages. Service the motor especially make sure that the bearings
still work and oil them. If you can get at the brushes check them and replace as
necessary - Make sure that they move in their guides freely. Check the com and
clean it skim it as necessary. Check the hull and repair as necessary. Check the
rudder and prop(s) repair, replace and lubricate. Finished? Then you can store
Don't forget your cells - look after them - they need it. Go through a charge
discharge cycle before storing and before use. Store as the manufacturer
suggests. If you don't then don't expect them to perform. This includes race
packs receiver packs and transmitter packs.
Range problems with the radio must be the most popular fault. Most
manufacturers sell the equipment for use with dry cells - often stating that
Nicads may be used. Nicads have 0.3 volts a cell less than dry cells. That means
that for every 4 dry cells you can use 5 nicads - so use them. The effect on
range and interference problems is dramatic.
A couple of good products worth a mention are BSG racing oil and Loctite
superlube teflon laden light silicon grease. The former is available from UK
suppliers the latter from hardware store/ YO-YO shops!
Before you race (the day before at least) do it all again. When you do this
the first time make yourself a checklist - use it next time and if you have
missed anything add to it. There is a site with a pre-race checklist on but I
cannot think where it is. I don't propose to tell you how to do all these things
because I am no expert in some of the areas - another lesson - look, listen and
Ready for the races - wrong! Before you go racing go do some practice - the
more you practice the easier it gets. Chuck some buoys in the lake (whatever)
preferably retrievable ones - I use Toilet cistern floats with a loop on the
bottom with weights attached - continue the line from the bottom weight so that
it reaches the shore. Now drive round them you don't need a full course you can
use your imagination for most of it but get used to coming round the buoys from
different angles in different conditions - learn how your boat handles and
responds. Once you have done this you might like to get 2 or 3 others with you.
The worst thing is having a quick boat - coming up to a buoy with 6 slow ones
round it. What do you do?
Now you are ready to race, or are you - if it's your first meeting, a new
venue or a new meeting do yourself a favour and check where it is, get
directions, check access and facilities. If you need something special speak to
the organisers first don't expect them to read your mind. In the UK we expect
all racers to do a race duty - marshalling, timing, race control, OOD etc. Check
what will be expected of you and be prepared to do it.
Before you leave home check that you have everything you will need - and
spares where that is reasonable. E.G. a spare prop, brushes etc. is reasonable.
So Your at the meeting your first race is 5th
the order and you have nothing to do - wrong. You may have race duties to do so
check them out and arrange your charging and servicing around that. Find out who
you are up against - If they are in other races - go watch see how they handle
their boat - the start etc. etc. If this is your first meeting don't expect to
win straight off use it as a learning experience - keep out of the way of the
fast guys coming up to lap - YOU ARE NOT RACING AGAINST THEM. There are no blue
flags in model racing - but there ought to be. If you are experienced then watch
out for the inexperienced! The more info you can collect the better. Use this to
modify your tactics. If they drive tight around the corners don't expect to
overtake on the inside of a bend. You have to make it stick on the straight by
getting the inside line.
There is more than one way in to a corner - be careful more
accidents happen here than anywhere else.
If you have done all this and kept out of trouble then you are
in the points. Now start improving your hardware!
Have fun racing - enjoy yourself - tomorrow is Monday and
WORK! I have purposely kept away from detail as each of the subjects touched on
above is worth a book. Look at the articles in the archive if you don't find
what you need or you can fill one of the gaps then ask - or write the article -
we all benefit in the end.
Now I sharpen my props by
. But that's another story that
someone else can tell!
This Article was written by Allan Shillitto Exclusively for Rum Runner Racing. Use of this article is prohibited
without written permission from Rum Runner Racing.