2014 SAMPBA National Championships hosted by Cape Model Boat Club.
RACE REPORT SAMBA NATS 2014 CAPE TOWN
After some debate over the event and systems for the 2014 season, reason prevailed and all plans were on “full ahead” for the 2014 National Championships to be held in Cape Town in early May.
After the locals had spent the past few weeks wearing paths between the pit areas and the hot pits/Pilots stand, a few sneaky Inlanders slipped into town on Sunday 27 April to get some early practice laps ahead of the big event. Excuses abound around Engagements on the Mountain and other romantic stuff, this will perhaps work for Craig Heideman but not sure how Tienie can include himself on this early arrival excuse!
Tuesday saw the first shot being fired in earnest, that is if you exclude the little superbright bicycle light that was seen whipping around the dam at all times of the very late evenings, Seems a brown and yellow F1 was seen in the afterglow from this light! Tienie was out with a new Mod Mono and had everyone’s eyes wide open when they saw the pace he had brought along. His Inboard Gas Tunnel was also bulging with horses and both of his boats looked ready for action before the official practice day had even started. John was also showing that his prep work and practice was going to result in a strong Nat for him as well. The Harrismith boys were also in town but spent a good part of their day rebuilding a blown QD before they got in some decent practice laps too.Definitely some big horses in that camp as well.
Wednesday saw a far bigger turnout and the dam got busy with all the visitors on the water while the locals just bided their time, only coming out to show their pace when they saw the visitors getting cocky! It looked like being a great Nat with pretty good entries across the board in most classes.
An “active” AGM was held immediately after practice and despite some “hot” subjects and points being tabled, it ended with a team being elected to try move the sport foreward during the remainder of 2013 and into 2014. What is needed from the pilots will be input when mails are cirtculated and we can try to get the package improved and streamlined in quite a few areas. Good luck to those who have taken on the tasks and let’s have a positive year going foreward.
Great weather with the lightest of breezes greeted the pilots and after a briefing from Cobus, racing was underway.
Rigger Hydro class
With Wennie being off with a back op, and a few others who didn’t make it, just Andrew Hall and Nico Leonard put on a few race/ demo runs to give these craft some exposure. They certainly draw the attention as the pit-work stopped when these boats were on the water. Nico had the edge in this contest and hopefully we will see more of these at Nats 2015
F1 Nitro 7.5cc
Again a few missing boats left this field a bit depleted but there are a few boats re-emerging back into circulating, both in the Cape and in Durban where currently has 7 boats now active, so hopefully this class will also grow again to a decent level of entries. Mixed fortunes for all these pilots, with Andy leading day one but Dave taking over with a strong day two and Lionel hanging close in 3rd as he got his motor running better as the racing went on. Eventually only 100 points separated first and second with the win going to Dave, with Andy second and Lionel third. All these boys will definitely need to find a bit more reliability before the next Nat to give this class more credability!
Gas Stock V hull
9 boats made the line here and this class looked to be a battle between the ever reliable Gulliver brothers and Deon Vosloo, although heat 1 went to Henri van Reenen. Deon took heats 2,5, 6 and 9 but the consistant finishing of Mark Gulliver saw him also winning 4 heats and backing these results up with a number of seconds as well. Mark would ultimately take the title despite the spirited challenge from Deon, which saw him take 2nd overall with 3rd spot going to Shaun Gulliver. Great to see Godfrey improve his performance to snatch the 4th spot for his best ever Nats result.
Gas Stock Cats
Very much a Cape affair in this class but it was still going to be a tough battle. Gerald de Jager took round 1, Reinhard Lerm, took round 2, Kurt Wallish round 3 and it looked like it could go any way but Gerald took control from round 4 and banked the next 5 wins in a row. These helped him to an unassailable lead which secured him the overall win ahead of a fighting drive by Shaun Gulliver who took 2nd while 3rd went to Kurt Wallisch who finished his day with a really exciting win in the final round. Gerald had found a really good balance for his boat and adding some good prop choices and some fine driving, his was a well fought win for 2014.
If you want a challenge, take on John Addinal in his own back yard! This is what Tienie and Johan Leanard did and it was big ask for both of them. Johan banged in wins in round 1 and 3 to take an early lead but John fought back, taking rounds 2,4,5 and 6. The expected challenge from Tienie only came late in the rounds with Tienie taking his only win in rounds 9 and 10. Consistant back up runs for both John and Johan Leanard saw them move to the front with John taking a well deserved win from Johan in second and Tienie 3rd.
A stong class for the Cape boys here with a tough tussle amongst the clubmates as Steve Hodgson surprised his pals with 3 wins in a row on day 1 to leave the others debating just how they were going to crack this run of great wins..Clive Cohen obviously didn’t sleep much on Thur Night as he bounced back with wins in rounds 5,6 and 7 Unfortunately some reliability issues dropped Steve down the points ladder a bit and at the end, Clive took a good win ahead of teammate Steven, with Shaun Gulliver taking another trophy with the 3rd spot overall.
Gas Mod cats
Another class that went right down to the wire. Clive Cohen set up day 1 with a win in rounds 1,3 and 4 but the field fought back with a mix of different winners, but nearly all with the same pilot steadily taking a string of seconds, Shaun Gulliver! In all he took 6 second positions and 4 thirds. Great consistant driving which would see him snatch the title in the last heat to take his first SA Title for 2014, ahead of Clive by just 53 points, with 3rd going to Steve Hodgson..
Gas Mods Mono
Some real big guns in this class and racing was expected to be very tough here and it lived up to it’s promise. No less than 5 different winners in the 10 heats! The Harrismith boys surprised a few when Nico Leonard blitzed around the leaders on the first lap of heat one and never looked back. Shaun Gulliver snatched heat two only for Newcastle’s Tienie Roos to light up heat 3. Shaun bounced back to take no 4 before Nic Mitchell’s rough weekend got on track as he took Heats 5 and 7. Gerald de Jager had meanwhile been banking points as well and when he took heat 6 and 9, the challenge was really on. Shaun Gulliver kept cool and safe as he scored more solid points before locking down heat 10 and the overall win. A close second went to Gerald de Jager with Nick grabbing the 3rd spot after a tough weekend.
Some great close racing, good skills and sportsmanship, and after the tough AGM, a really good spirit prevailed over the whole 3 days of racing.
Interesting to hear what the thoughts of the pilots are after running on the different points scoring system to what the Cape boys usually run at home.
Of Note as well is that the average age of racers is well above 30-35. Unusual as racing normally draws the younger set. Thoughts on how to draw some more youth into the sport?
Congrats and a big thank you from the visitors and locals for the efforts put in by the organising team and the assistance and comradie shown by the pilots to all.
Look foreward to Nats 2015 !