3rd Annual Batavia Mid West Nationals was held at Depot Pond, a
retention pond off the Fox River, in downtown Batavia Illinois. In recent years
renovations to the area created a environment very adaptable to RC boaters. This
included dredging, steps to the water, a wall that is a natural drivers stand
and a building that includes AC and bathrooms 50’ from the water. Over the
years we have entertained various levels of drivers from all around the country.
This year we were happy to see people from Toronto, Michigan, Tennessee,
Kentucky, Indiana and of course Illinois.
Saturday proved to be the sunny day which was surprising with all the
thunderstorms on Friday night. Bob Wilkinson and I were in charge of the race
and setup. On Friday we were worried with the downpour and intense light show
that we never would setup the course. We had to really hurry between cloud
bursts. We do not have a surveyed sight and unfortunately with our hurry the
course was a little longer than expected. The turns were perfect in size just
the SAW suffered (I think we only had about 20 minutes to get the course down
into the water). Next year we will use a transit to help eliminate any
measurement problems. The classes followed in this order;
12 Cell, 4 Minute Hydro Oval Enduro. (3 Rounds, laps and time = Score)
What a mouthful. This type of racing was inspired by NAVIGA 12 Cell Hydro
Class. One big difference was instead of a 5 minute race we scaled it down to
4 minutes. Ed Hughey continued again, his efforts to set the pace this year.
There were many good boats in this field which I thought was surprising for
Enduro. Rupert Mayuga was able to hang onto Ed’s blistering pace. On the
last lap Rupert ended up doing a tugboat sprint to the finish (he had no
battery power left). Marek Pleskacz had the fastest boat in the field but,
could not get his boats runtime down. Marek still did some very respectable
laps giving him a well earned 3rd place overall.
8 Cell Mono. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total, Top 4 go to the Mains =
Looked like a class of who’s who in boat racing. There were many strong
boats. My TJ Sabre seemed like the one to beat. Round after round it jumped
into the lead only to be plagued by motor brush failure. Round 2 was the only
round it finished and won. Rounds 1 and 3 Tom Balmes dominated with his TJ
Sabre. Tom and I tied in holding the fast time at 1:15. For the main it looked
like a good race with Tom Balmes, Neil Reesor, Me and Rupert Mayuga, who
qualified in that order. For the Main it was an awesome start. All four boats
went side by side into turn one. I managed to grab the inside line and pull
the field down the straight. I opened about a 20’ lead into turn two with
Neil Reesor in hot pursuit. Down the front straight my boat started to slow
and died into the start of lap 2. Neil Reesor then had Tom Balmes to deal
with. Tom started tightening his lines to catch Neil during lap 2. Tom
actually cut it a little too tight taking himself out of the picture. Neil
coasted to a well deserved win and Rupert followed in 2nd.
8 Cell Outrigger. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total, Top 4 go to the
Mains = Score)
These were among some of the fastest boats of the weekend. The Buzz was
George Dalecki and his record boat technology. His first race he seemed like
the one to beat. He had to trim it out for a few laps then he gave Ed Hughey
something to worry about. Unfortunate for Ed he caught a funny ripple and
flipped. Round 1 was plagued with DNFs. George and Tom Balmes walked away with
wins. Round 2, Ed regrouped his efforts and won Heat 1, George won Heat 2. The
funny thing is Ed and George turned the same fast time of 1:05 for Round 2.
Round 3, Heat 1 it was the Ed Hughey, George Dalecki and Tom Balmes show. Ed
and George had a side by side start. George looked like he had some steering
problems allowing Tom to sneak by. While this pass was happening Ed kicked it
in the see ya later mode, opening up a huge lead and win. Round 3, Heat 2
Steve Reesor edged out Dennis Whitt on the start. Steve took the inside like
while Dennis remained in hot pursuit. Dennis had a few handling problems
allowing Jim Phelps to gain on Dennis and pass him. This was short lived
because near the end of the race Jim lost what looked like his steering
control giving away 2nd. For the Main it was a great start. Steve
Reesor was the first to the line and Ed Hughey immediately closed the door.
Steve Then had to worry about the charges from George Dalecki and Tom Balmes.
On the 2nd lap Tom made steady work on Steve temporarily passing
him. Within about ½ a lap Tom hit that phantom ripple that Ed hit in Round 1.
Then it came to Steve and George. Steve held off charge after charge that
George made to hold onto 2nd. While the battle for 2nd
was going on Ed was far ahead out of harms way.
6 Cell Roar M-Course Enduro. (3 Rounds, laps and buoys =
Last year Marek Pleskacz showed us what the European Ecco was like. I
decided to get one too. The funny thing was we both without each other knowing
it, got the same type of new boat from Miha Holc in Slovenia. I was excited
that both of us had these boats to run, this was my first race with it. Round
1 proved to be devastating for Marek, he missed the call to get to the line. I
was disappointed but still was able to battle with Ed Hughey. I was working on
a pass to get by Ed. He only gave me 1 foot to work with around a buoy. I took
it and to my amazement snapped a 90 degree turn without loosing momentum.
Round 2 was awesome. Marek and I battled the whole race. It felt like we were
driving slot cars, it was pretty cool. I had a little more top speed on Marek
but he had the lines and the lead on me. I hit some heavy water he created by
Marek, stuffing 2 waves trying to pass him. Marek took that round. Unfortunate
for Ed he was not able to turn any laps. Round 3 again had another making of a
close race. After lap 2 I broke my drive shaft. Marek had the win followed by
Ed Hughey, Ryan Wilkinson, Ron Dickenson and Bill Enright. The race for 3rd
in Round 3 was also very tight among the last 3 mentioned people.
12 Cell Tunnel. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total, Top 4 go to
the Mains = Score)
Was probably one of the lesser classes in attendance. Ed Hughey, Tom Balmes
and Jim Phelps were the only ones who participated. Round 1 Ed got a good
start on the race followed closely by Tom. Ed and Tom were pretty equal on
speed but, Tom seemed to loose a little bit each turn. Tom started tightening
his turns to catch Ed and flipped on the last turn hitting a buoy. Round 2 was
a very difficult call were we had to use on site instant replay to convince
the racers of that call. Ed Hughey was DQed because he had a lane passing
violation causing Tom Balmes to hit a buoy and DNF. Jim ended up winning Round
2. Round 3, Tom had an excellent timed start and took control of the race. Tom
kept tight lines to hold off a hard charging Ed for the win. Jim was slightly
off the blistering pace that Tom and Ed were setting all day. We did have a
mains for this class to give what we promised on the race flyer. I think next
year we might have a 6 or 7 boat minimum to run the mains, this only makes it
fair. The whole purpose of the mains is to bring the fastest consistent
drivers together for the best racing. The Mains were not created to make the 1st
three rounds seem like practice for the mains, we do want the first 3 rounds
to matter. The Mains looked like a repeat of Round 3.
6 Cell Stock Crackerbox "IRONMAN". (4 Rounds, IMPBA points
total = Score)
Crackerbox class has always been a fun race to participate in. Sometimes it
can be the most difficult to run under rough weather/water conditions. To make
it interesting we had racers run 2 oval courses, 1 triangle and 1 four minute
M-Course race. We give out a special trophy with a weight lifter on it, for
the top 3. Round 1, Dave Amstutz smoked the field with his boat. I thought
that this was his class to win by how fast he was. Round 2 proved to be Dave’s
undoing when he flipped it early on the M-Course allowing Marek Pleskacz to
win. The M-Course scores you mainly on laps to get your position, no matter
how fast you are finishing is important. Round 3 past Champion Aimee Mayuga
showed Marek how to drive on the Triangle. Unfortunate for George Dalecki and
Dave Amstutz the tight turns played havoc for their boats, both DNFed. Round 4
Marek won followed by George and Aimee. Aimee was so consistent finishing in 3rd
each race except for winning the Triangle course. Needless to say the points
difference between Aimee and Marek was pretty close. Consistency does pay off
for this class.
12 Cell Box Stock Hydro. ". (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
as long as I can remember this class represents a grudge match between Bill
Enright with his MRP Mr. Pringles and Bob Wilkinson with his Graupner Tornado.
These guys are so serious that they hide their hot setups until raceday. Ron
Dickenson has a T-Plus and I think felt intimidated by the seriousness between
Bob and Bill. Round 1 showed Bob getting the lead and holding off Bill for the
win. Bob set the fast time of 1:26. Round 2 Bill brought out his Nitro Packs
and blistered away from Bob setting a fast time of 1:20. I thought this year
Bill was out to get Bob as revenge for last year. Then Round 3 Bob and Bill
went side by side into turn 1. Bob had the lane 1 advantage and took the lead.
Bill held on for 3 laps then faded big time on lap 4.
Anything Goes M Enduro. (3 Rounds, laps and buoys = Score)
This class was setup as an unlimited class that ran for 4 minutes on the
M-Course. Usually 8 to 17 cells has been common place on this course. Round 1
it looked like Ed Hughey was in familiar form like last year winning with 13
laps. The fight really was for 2nd place between Steve Hill and
Bill Enright. Each Buoy counts as a point or part of the total laps on the
M-Course. Steve had a 10.3 and Bill a 10.1. Round 2 looked like a repeat of
Round 1with Ed taking the win. Round 3 Marek Pleskacz was able to fix some of
his earlier problems and turn a 12.2. Ed did manage to turn a 13.3 which was a
great improvement over his earlier rounds.
6 Cell Roar Stock Mono. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
Round 1, Heat 1 Dennis Whitt had the timing plus lane 1 on the start and
won. Jim Phelps Jr. did not have the speed to catch Dennis. Ed Hughey had a
cavitation problem and did not get on plane. Heat 2 Marek Pleskacz showed how
fast a Ecco subsurface drive could be just a little bit faster than Neil
Reesors surface drive. Marek edged out Dennis Whitts time by one second with a
1:38. Round 2, Heat 1 Dennis Whitt got an early jump on Ed Hughey. Lap 2 Denis
had problems with turn on allowing Ed to pass him. It was going to be down to
the line between Ed and Dennis until Dennis flipped. Heat 2 Marek again had
the start and showed his consistency duplicating his Round 1 fast time. Round
3, Heat 1 Neil Reesor got a jump on Steven Wilkinson at the start and did not
look back. Neil’s boat was incredibly smooth. Heat 2 looked like the top 3
fast boats were put together (Ed Hughey, Dennis Whitt and Marek Pleskacz. At
the start Dennis flipped setting the stage for Ed and Marek to battle it out.
Marek timed the start on the buzzer in lane 1 forcing Ed to knock on the
outside with lane 2. Going into the first turn Marek showed the
maneuverability of his Ecco and kept his lead. For the rest of the race he
slowly pulled away from Ed destroying his earlier fast time with a 1:34. Marek
not only won this class but received one of two battery packs Hill Top
Batteries donated as winning prizes. We had Steve Hill do the honors of
awarding his prize to Marek.
It is unfortunate with the slightly larger course size that we could not
get and accurate comparison to how fast Marek and the other boats were moving.
Perhaps next year we will eliminate the difficulties for offshore measuring
and do our own surveying. I also hope we do not have a major storm front to
have to deal with.
Sunday seemed like it was going to be as good as Saturday. All weekend
rains were moving in and out of the area. Originally it was supposed to rain
Friday and Saturday morning. No one expected what we were about to get on
Sunday. The Storms came in Saturday night and rained all day Sunday. When it
down poured on Sunday we still planned to race like usual, just a little wetter.
My comment was that the boats are meant to get wet. Other people did not share
that same enthusiasm. Only Ed Hughey, Steve Hill and Jim Phelps decided that
they did not want to deal with these wet conditions. We let people pit within
the center that had the bathrooms. This was good because ½ way through Round 3
the wind picked up. I think my tent was the only one outside to brave the
elements. The rain was so heavy that a river of water came down the walkway
through my tent. Needless to say we ran all 3 Rounds but, canceled The Mains.
12 Cell Sport Hydro. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
The 12 Cell Sport class is part of what we call the Challenge Cup class.
The winners of this class will be presented with a gold cup trophy and
eventually will have their name engraved on a monster trophy like used in auto
racing. It looked like the race was going to be between Jim Fraiser with his
Graupner Taifun and Bob Wilkinson with his Danvo Dream of America. With the
start of Round 1 Jim was fast off the start and seemed to dominate all 3
rounds. Bob had some good speed but, had a hard time making the turns that Jim
could. Round 3 the winds picked up pretty heavily and kept Bob from finishing.
Jim’s boat not only was fast but could handle the rough stuff that Round 3
had to offer.
6 Cell Mono. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
Has proven to be the largest class of the day with a total of 8 boats.
Dennis Whitt seemed to have one of the faster boats he just could not keep it
on the water with all his speed. Round 1, Heat 1 I managed to hold of Tom
Balmes for the win. In Heat 2 Marek Pleskacz, using his Ecco held off Dennis.
Round 2, Heat 1 I managed to get the good start off the line for the win while
Tom Balmes took 2nd and Rupert Mayuga 3rd. Heat 2 Marek
and Neil Reesor were battling for position and had a collision, which took
them out. Bob Wilkinson took control of the situation with his Danvo
Stabilizer for a win. Round 3, Heat 1 I had another good jump on the start and
held tight lines through the turns forcing the two Canadians Marek and Neil to
race for 2nd. Marek won that battle. Heat 2, the winds picked up.
Bob was the remaining driver out there then on the last lap the strong head
wind flipped him.
6 Cell Tunnel. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
Since some people left because of the rains we did not have enough to fill
6 Cell JR Class. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
We did not have enough entries to complete this class.
12 Cell Mono. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
Looked like another exciting class to run. Round 1, Rupert Mayuga held off
a hard charging Tom Balmes who pushed it a little too hard and could not
finish the race. Rupert Mayuga took control and the win. Round 2, Tom and
Dennis Whitt were battling it out in a very fast race. Tom ended thwarting
Dennis and his attempts. Rupert could only get a 3rd place out of
this race. Round 3, with the rough water it was surprising that all 3 boats
finished. Unfortunately Tom Balmes and Dennis Whitt did not start this race.
Marek Pleskacz was able to get his Maus Aveox powered to finally perform and
steal the 1st place from Rupert Mayuga.
8 Cell Sport Hydro. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
This class was like the 12 Cell Sport class as far as offering the
Challenge Cup. Unfortunately for this class there were only 3 of us. I
borrowed Ken Mayugas boat at the prompting of his father Rupert. Ken could not
make it because of final exams. Round 1, Bob Wilkinson could not start because
of radio problems he had. Barry Janzen and I got off to a good start but,
Barry ended up flipping to end his race. I did a few more laps and felt that
the boat was dumping so I brought it in because with a Tornado, I did not want
to get stranded and have it fill with water. So I DNFed too. Round 2, I
managed to get into the lead and keep it. This left Bob and Barry to battle
for 2nd. Barry passed Bob for 2nd. Round 3, one by one
the rough water blues eliminated boats. First it was Bob, then it was me, who
was trying to catch Barry. Luckily for Barry his boat handled the rough stuff
allowing him to keep his position for the win.
4 Cell Open. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
truly believe this is the future of the hobby. We left it open to encourage
any boat to come out and try it. It seems the best setup for this class is a
Hughey gear drive with a 7 or 8 turn 05 motor. The RBW Sting driven by Steve
Reesor was the fastest boat in the field. Steve won all 3 rounds clearly
beating George Dalecki and Barry Janzen. At the start of Round 3 I asked Steve
what he thought of the rough conditions. He did not seem to care because of
how well he knew his homemade hull was. I was impressed especially with the
rough, clearly it was one of the best handling rough water boats during Round
3. The best part of the race was the awards ceremony. This class received a
specially donated 4 Cell battery pack for the winner. This prize was donated
by Hill Top Batteries. Steve’s eyes glowed after receiving such a prize.
12 Cell Outrigger. (3 Rounds, IMPBA points total = Score)
Was an extremely fast field with Tom Balmes, Steve Reesor, Dennis Whitt and
Marek Pleskacz. It was probably the tightest point battle the whole weekend
saw. Only 100 points separated 1st and 2nd. Between 2nd
and 3rd only 25 points separated them. Round 1 Marek with his Miha
Holc outrigger was able to hold off the Tom Balmes charge. Round 2, Steve
Reesor took the win and did some fancy driving to hold off Marek.
Unfortunately for Tom he went hot into turn one bumped buoy 2 and kept his
finger into it. I think the speed he carried transferred the weight to the
outside sponson which pushed the boat into the wall. His left sponson
disintegrated ending his day. Round 3, Dennis Whitt took 1st
followed by Steve and Marek.
4 Minute, 8 Cell Mono Oval. (3 Rounds, laps and time = Score)
We did not have enough entries to complete this class.
After the races, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Looking at the pond
the water level increase by at least two feet. All of the boat club members hung
around, tore down the site and reflected on the days event. It was a fun day
regardless of the weather, especially to see boats running in such horrid
conditions. Surprisingly enough we even had a few spectators come to watch
during the rains. Each year we have attracted people from all over. This year we
had more new faces that we hope will come back next year. Bob and I work hard at
trying new ideas and getting rid of what does not work. I think we are the only
boat club that will run The Mains. We have had a few negative comments about it
but, feel that this is something that adds to the racing. How often can the 4
best boats race each other with everything on the line. Even during a random
sort during Rounds that does not happen. We do not have our date for the 4th
Annual BMW Nationals, you can probably be sure it will be a June or July date.
We are also looking at Sanctioning the race with IMPBA.
The Riverwalk R/C Model Boat Club would like to thank our Sponsors: Hughey
Boats, Aveox, Airtronics, Futaba, Hitec/RCD, Hobbytown USA, Hill Top Batteries,
AstroFlight, Horizon Hobbies, Danvo Boats, Great Plains, Dumas, Boca Bearing,
Tower Hobbies, Air Age and Octura.