John Nichols & Ladybug at Taranaki
SUHA Diamond Cup Regatta at Taranaki 5th & 6th March
Merv, Jason & Chris travelled down to New Plymouth for the recent Scale Hydro meeting, and had some interesting racing with the 'naki boys John Nichols, Paul Garner & Paul Flett, (plus one or two boatless hangers-on/helper-outers.)
Chris, being a bit aged now, was reluctant to travel that far in the evening so left at sparrow-fart on Saturday morning and arrived in time to watch the Scale 45s race (in spite of what seemed like endless road works).
The Lake at 'naki (duck shooters on far shore!)
The Taranaki Pond is a good location well away from locals who might complain about noise but was suffering from serious weed problems together with fall-out from the local duck shooters! We therefore set a very tight and narrow (!) course at one end of the lake.
The guys had mixed success in the 45s with Jason in Poseidon running a flex-shaft (some truly AWFULL noises before it finally called a halt), and Paul Flett just not able to get his recently fixed boat Thingy to perform. Even Paul Garner with his usually reliable day glow green Annihilator was off the pace. Merv, with Steinlager had better luck as did John with his very nice Lady Bug but in the end, and for the second year running, no-one managed to complete the final and take the cup.
Steinlarger at Taranaki
Off-Shore as up next with Chris' L&P showing some good speed. That is, until running too tight in an effort to keep the faster Merv out wide, Chris had to leap very high out of the water to miss a buoy, accidentally reversed direction in mid-air, over reved, and broke yet another con-rod.
Next day, once the rain had stopped, we decided to limit things to 1/8th scales so we could head off home reasonably early. We had six boats, Llumar, Budweiser, Speedy Printing, De-Walt Tools, Madison, and Paul Flett's very impressive Fluoro yellow and purple Smokin Joe's
With the narrow course we elected to limit each heat to three boats with the top three boats from the heats to compete in the final. Some good heats were had but with considerable attrition, boats just not wanting to go, problems with weed blocking water intakes and catching on fins and rudders, and people forgetting to screw in their deck aerial. John Nichols in Madison had one unfortunate excursion into the harder stuff on the opposite bank but luckily the damage as not serious enough to put him out. Some patching with Chris' secret-supply radio box wonder tape and he was back in the racing (but showing serious signs of a desire to go flying).
Madison carving a furrow
The final was to be decided between Budweiser, Speedy Printing and Llumar. Sadly the Bud chose the final to loose its propeller, so it was down to two boats. Chris was WAY early for the start, so had a long way to catch up to Speedy but had the speed to do it over the 5 laps. Chris pulled out all stops and threw caution to the wind and on the last lap, it looked like the finish was going to be VERY interesting. But then of course the fickle finger of fate struck and as Chris entered the second-to-last turn, Llumar disappeared from view in a large shower of spray leaving Speedy Printing to a well deserved victory.
Llumar at Taranaki