The 1st Annual US Enduro
Florida Hydro Shootout 2003
CLICK HERE FOR RACE PICTURES
Could 8 minutes of racing run time be
possible in a 6 Cell Electric Boat in high-speed competition? How about
6 minutes on 12 or 18 cells? Accomplished they were and with much
Racers traveled from as far away as
California, Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico to
compete for top honors at the very first US Enduro Championship. New
equipment, interesting cells and lots of wonder opened the first day of
the competition with a windy weather front. The new club race site,
located at a Mall in the town of Sanford was an idea location for an
event. The race site drew a lot of attention from visitors, the local
newspaper and city officials who enjoyed the racing action.
6-Cell - N2 Enduro was first to race. With
windy choppy waters, the event quickly became a serious challenge for
even the most seasoned driver. The contest was quickly sorted out as the
European style Eco hulls shot into the lead and handled the water and
challenge of 8 minutes run time with ease. The Eco’s are hulls specially
designed to self- right in the event they flip over. This became very
important as flipping over on the choppy race course became the norm for
this event. Brian Vega drove into the lead on the very first lap and
never looked back. Brian raced his brand new Ozone Eco designed by Miha
Holc and imported to the US by
Brian became the very first driver in the US to win an 8-minute Enduro
heat in a sanctioned event. Chris Harris and Donnie Wollard followed
Brian feat closely with almost identical boats. Lehner Basic 3100
motors; Lehner/BK controllers and 3300GP cells powered all 3 boats (also
Brian was the overall winner with a total of 36 Laps and 16 minutes of
Next came 12 cell - P Enduro and bigger
boats. The Choppy, windy water still took a huge toll with the biggest
boats easing into the lead and finishing the 6 minutes with ease. The
very first driver to win this 6 minutes competition was Gilberto Perez
with a total of 31 laps. Expert driving and a well-prepared boat
was the key. His boat was powered by a Hacker 8XL Motor, the Hull was a
32” Warehouse Hobbies Offshore Mono (www.FineDesignrc.com).
I do believe this boat could run 7 minutes or more. Following
closely behind were Randy Naylor with 25 laps and Brian Vega with a 20
18 cell - Q Enduro brought out some really
big boats. Dennis Whitt, Donnie Wollard and several local favorites jump
in for some hot elbow-to-elbow action. These boats were big, fast,
and a absolute blast to watch! In the first heat Dennis Whitt took
off and left the pack, with Chris Harris being his nearest competitor
yet still 5 laps behind him. In the 2nd and final heat Donnie
Wollard took the lead and lead the pack by nearly 4 laps, with Dennis
rite behind. The Dennis took the overall win with 25 total laps,
Donnie in 2nd with 20, and Chris Harris close behind with 16 laps!
I do have to say, 6 minutes with these big boats was a real Hoot!!!
The Florida FE Club is long known for some
interesting hydro action. Each season seems to bring out new and
creative monsters who rip up the course with amazing speed. Outrigger
style hydroplanes are long the local favorite. These are unusual looking
boats which sport pontoons (called sponsons) in the front and a long
slender center body which house all the gear. Chris Harris long know for
his creative innovations always debus his latest ideas at the Shoot-Out.
This season Chris featured an innovative adjustable sponson design that
proved very useful.
From 6 cells through 24 cells, riggers are
always fast in Florida. Randy Naylor (
) also introduced an innovative rigger
development joined the party with several new BBY riggers with ABS
plastic sponsons. Another very creative innovation for the new season.
Randy boats proved stable and did well in the choppy Florida water.
Scale Hydro’s are always fun to race and
watch. Most racers entered at least one Scale class, which made for many
heats of action packed racing. With choppy waters, the best game plan
was to finish. O Sport hydro featured several extremely fast
competitors. Dennis Whitt’s ride was ballistic fast but flipped. Tony
Graffia's new boat had an incredible custom paint job. Tony raced the
same boat in all 3 scale classes, O Sport, P Sport and Limited Sport.
This seems to be a popular trend with many racers and a very affordable
way to approach the hobby.
Brian Vega debuted the new Slo Mo Shun IV
in P Sport. In its very first racing heat, this home build wood
prototype (soon to be offered in kit form from (www.RumRunnerHobbies.com )
captured a new national class speed record of 54.59 seconds. This
was just over 5 seconds faster than the previous record (60.03s) which
was also held by Mr. Vega. The overall class winner was Tony Graffia who
did a great job driving his viper, with Dennis Whitt and Brian Foster
Limited Sport Hydro, the third and perhaps
most popular scale hydro class. Even with a sealed "stock" style
motor, these boats are extremely impressive! Randy Naylor and
Steve Vopel seemed to really be keeping everyone on their toes in this
class. In the end Randy only edged Steve out of first place by 25
points and Nathan coming in closely behind in third.
Mono action was is always fun in Florida.
Wood boats from Rum Runner Hobbies, ABS boats from BBY and Fine Design
competed against Glass boats form all over the world. In small cell
classes, the wood and ABS boats certainly showed an edge. However with
the choppy waters, the big Glass mono’s ruled he big boat action.
A BIG THANKS TO;
Big and Special thanks to Peg and Hap
Mulvaney who managed the actual race and CD chores. This pair has been
model boat racing for over 50 years and is best known for their years of
contribution to the Florida Gas Burners Club.
The City of Sanford and the Towne Center
Mall. Chris discovered a wonderful, well located spot for FE racing.
Right in the middle of a major Mall which actually adjoins the
designated race hotel. With Brian Vega's help these two guys literally
pull the rabbit out of a hat when they were able to secure all of the
proper permits in record time. No matter what, the club always Chris and
Brian when things are difficult. We all appreciate you, Gents!
This years raffle went to the benefit of
Make-A-Wish foundation. This is an outstanding organization that
supports terminally ill children and their families. This raffle raised
over $800.00 because of the generosity of many individuals and FE hobby
firms such as BBY, RumRunnerHobbies, Lehner Motors & BK Electronics,
Radio Control Boat Modeler Magazine, Brian Vega, Scott Harris, and
several others that donated parts from their personal stash!
Congrats and a big thanks to all who participated. We appreciate you!
And a special thanks to RCBM and Rick
Eyrich for selecting The Florida Hydro Shoot-out and US Enduro
Championships for magazine coverage. It’s a very special honor for any
FE event to be featured for worldwide reporting. Thanks Rick!
Please support the people and business
that make FE racing possible. Without them, there would not be events
like this. A big thanks to
www.RumRunnerHobbies.com who footed the bill for the entire race and
the trophies. Rum Runner Hobbies is the US Importer of Lehner Motors and
BK Electronics, The Ozone eco race boat, a leader in custom wood boat
kits, glass mono’s, and custom racing propellers and running hardware.
If you want to go fast, be sure to visit Rum Runner Hobbies whose
products have more world records than any other brand.
Plan your racing action next year to
include the US Enduro Championships.