FAST ELECTRIC BOATING IN THE UK 

by Ian and Lee Pearson.

Hi, As this is the first article I  thought firstly I would tell you a little about myself and my son Lee.

I started electric racing with buggys some 11 years ago, moved onto I.C.s, along during this time came two boys and had a break to support swimming and football but, then some four years ago, my youngest, Lee and the rest of the family were at the park when we noticed these little boats, we made some inquires and found out that were called "sloopys" from John Brinkler.

We traced him through a boating magazine and with some of the gear I still had from "buggys" build Lees first boat for Christmas and that started it all off, I build design finance (most of the time, although Lee bought some of the hulls), Lees the man on the sticks and he’s got very good.

Let me tell you about the structure of Boating in the UK, The National body is called the M.P.B.A. The Model Power Boat Association, this looks after all aspects of model boating, for example, scale, I.C., hydro, electric.

The M.P.B.A. is divided into sections, the fast electric’s has its own National body, and it is called ELECTRA.

Electra organises the National championships; this usually consists of 10 rounds, with three heats for each class, and the best two heats counting towards the points.

Electra has in 1998 come in line with Naviga the " world " ruling body, (all except the U.S. I think ) with the adoption of its class and time rules, but still keeping some classes unique to the UK, however it will be another year before the course and sizes will be completely adopted.

This year the classes raced in the UK are as follows:

Mono 1 : 7 cell with 540 and open motors allowed.

Mono 2 : 12 cell with open motors, or 12 cell with Graupner speed 700 motor (UK class).

Mono 3 : 20 cell with open motors.

In the UK and Europe, "stepped" Hulls are allowed and are more common in these classes and they are surface drive.

Hydro 1 : 7 cell with 540 and open motors allowed.

Hydro 2 : 12 cell with open motors, or with speed 700s as the monos.

Hydro 3 : 20 cell with open motors.

Race duration for these classes are MONO :5 MINS.+ 1 LAP, ( approx. 330 secs.).

Duration for HYDROS : 4 MINS + 1 LAP, (approx. 270 secs.).

SUBMERGED DRIVE Classes are:

FM 1: this is a 12 cell class with a speed 700-turbo motor (O.K. only class).

FM 2: this is a 7 cell class with 540 or open motors (split into classes) and is ECO class.

FM 3: this is a 6 cell class with 540 motor (used in the UK as an entry class racing).

ECO 400 this is a 7 cell class with a speed 400 motor, it’s a new series this year and races round a triangle shaped course.

These classes race anti clockwise round a "M" shaped course, (except the eco 400s that only use the triangle formed by bottom left and right buoys and the middle top buoy that forms the "M" shape ).

Duration time is 5 MINS.+ 1 LAP, (approx. 330 secs.)

The other main event during the year in the UK is SPEED RECORDS DAY; this is an annual event, which may have to be made a 2 day because of the large numbers and classes now partaking.

Now that I have talked about the national scene, there is a thriving F.E. racing movement at club level, especially in the Southwest of England, with its own classes and race series’ and in the Northeast a growing senior and junior club, it maybe the cost of racing around the UK that stops many more club racers going to these rounds, with mainly a hard core of 40 to 50 supporting the National F.E. Championships.

THE NAVIGA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, DUCHCOV, CZECH REPUBLIC.

This year will see the largest numbered UK team ever, with 14 seniors and 2 juniors attending.

This has been the focus for many of the racers, with their sights being set on this event and not so much the Nationals.

It’s a difficult time trying to get a competitive boat and not having any major experience of what’s going on in Europe. (YES, we know were only 25 miles from France, but very few venture into Europe).

Hopefully the team will do o.k. on the day, it’s a real learning curve, with the Germans and Italians and Czech having so much experance, and Ill talk about the preparations ,members of the team boats next time.

THE UK CHAMPIONSHIPS.

WELL!!. For you who follow the Rum Runner page, you will have seen my comments a month ago about the UK weather.

WE have had three rounds so far, the weather at the first event in Birmingham was unbelievable, Freezing cold, snow, sleet, rain, MUD, yes lots of it!, new boats, motors, ideas, Ill talk about these in the next article, and as builders let us peek into their boats!, onto event 2 , We never made it to Child Beale as Lee caught the most nasty flu virus that put hin in bed for the first few days on his school break ( much to his dislike )and the day was from what I hear the best condition so far with a good turnout , great racing and o.k. Weather .(oh to live in Florida?).

The most recent round was again in Birmingham, different venue and a sunny start with calm water, but after midday it took a turn for the worst and poured down with rain, turned to sleet and made everything white for a short time, Ill talk about who’s who and the racing next month, by the way, Birmingham is in the middle of the UK, so tends, because of its location to get several rounds and speed day.

Lee and myself are also going to support a three round inter club event in the south of England, we’ve attended the first round at Eastbourne, (Randel Tripp came to this venue last year) it was windy with 9" chop on the water, a real tester in setting the boats up and frustrating for many with so many flipped boats, but good to have to cope with such extreme conditions, we are hoping for much better weather at the other events.

As for the race calendar in the UK And Europe I will try to put together for next months article, and it goes without saying that anyone coming to the UK on holiday who wants to bring a boat or even just come and chat is most welcome, and will get every support from ELECTRA if they want to race, just E: MAIL me and Ill put you in contact with the right people.

There’s a lot to say about the UK and the European Fast Electric Racing movement, any one who has anything they would like me to add into my article can also E: MAIL me my address is at the end .

I would just like to add that the comments in this article are my own, I hope that they are accurate, and any offence of any kind is not intended, I also hope this is the sort of thing is what you want to read, let me know, I cannot say that I can answer all, but will try.

FLAT OUT TURN RIGHT, IAN and LEE PEARSON, igp@thepearsons.swinternet.co.uk.

 

This Article was written by Ian and Lee Pearson Exclusively for Rum Runner Racing. Use of this article is prohibited without written permission from Rum Runner Racing.

 

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